“But, Mom, please let me stay home today!”
“No! You’ve practiced all summer and you’re going!”
“But look at all the blisters on my fingers!”
“Yep, looks like you should practiced even more.”
“You hate me!”
“Go to school.”
I lose. I always lose and will always lose when it comes to arguing with Mom over anything. Don’t get me wrong, I love music. Okay, I love listening to music, but I don’t really love playing music. Yet, here I am in the school orchestra feeling like a gullible little clod. For three years, I have sat here faking an energetic expression that somehow landed me in a solo for the opening of the school year. My teacher had me practicing some stupid opera that has like a million notes per minute…on…the…same…string! I just stand there going back and forth like I’m trying to saw a log with a piece of hair.
Standing here in front of the entire school is nerve wracking. I swear my heart is going to explode from my chest and run away like that little guy at the end of Spaceballs. Mom won’t let me watch Alien even though I’m thirteen and all my friends watched it years ago. My orchestra teacher is sitting in the front row smiling. I wish he was up here instead of me. I wish everyone would stop looking at me. Ooh, there’s Christy and she’s frowning at me. Everyone one is except the teachers. I think they’re the only ones that really want to be at this stupid ‘Welcome to a new school year’ assembly.
I have to face these people for the next four years. Is this who I am? A trained monkey? Here to entertain the adults so they can pat themselves on the back and show parents what their tax money gets them? I put the violin to my chest, look at all the frowning faces and fidgeting students. Am I with the students or am I with the enemy? Quick! Think! Decide!
I know exactly who and what I am. As the accompanist begins to play the opera’s libretto, I begin to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star off-key and off-tempo. The students laugh, cheer, and begin clapping. The teachers frown and stare at my orchestra teacher. He escorts me to the office where we change my schedule. Yep. A win-win for everyone all around. That is until I get home tonight, but I’m okay with that. Right now, Christy is outside the office waiting for me with a smile on her pretty face.