I reached into my bookbag to get out my notebook for band class, as well as my drumsticks. Huge drums surround me every 6th period, and I swear it makes me happier as the days pass. More of my bandmates come into the classroom, sitting in their assigned seats and taking out their instruments. As I tune the drums next to me, I hear a girl’s voice and immediately look up. It’s Sophie.
“Hey, Milo,” she greets me. I smile at her and give her a hug.
“Hey, Scout. Ready for class today?”
“Of course! I’m interested to finally see the piece we’ll be learning for the showcase,” Sophie answered excitedly. I smiled at her, but couldn’t help the other bandmates all look at Sophie as they passed by her. It annoys me that even a couple of days into school, they still can’t get over the fact that she’s one of the only girls in band class. Sophie looks at me and her smile fades; I guess she already knows what’s going on.
“Hey, don’t be down,” I reassured her. “Don’t let these boys make you feel like you don’t belong here. They don’t know your mad skills yet. She finally smiled again, which makes me happy.
“Thanks, Milo. You always know what to say,” Sophie said. Our faces were pretty close, and she didn’t move away from where she was standing. It was weird with Sophie; I never knew if she wanted to be more than friends, but I was always worried to scare her off if I told her I wanted to be more than friends. We haven’t spoken about any of the kisses we shared when we were in middle school. Sometimes I feel like she just wants to forget they even never happened. Me, I can’t stop thinking about them.
“Alright, alright; excuse me,” another voice is heard. I turn around and see Aaron standing there, trying to make his way towards the percussion area to his seat. Sophie steps back and walks back to her seat. I rolled my eyes at Aaron. Always ruining my mood somehow.
Our teacher, Mr. Harrison, comes in and quiets down the class.
“Hello, everyone,” Mr. Harrison greeted us and placed his briefcase on top of his desk. “Today we are going to talk about the assignment that is due on Monday. It is simply just a one-minute piece of what instrument you play and one of your favorite pieces to play. As these will be your bandmates for the next four years, it is important that we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses in order to become one ensemble.”
I look at Sophie from the strings section. She takes notes in her notebook while everyone around her just sits there and looks at Mr. Harrison. I guess that’s what makes Sophie the smartest girl in her classes; she’s always writing notes.
I look to my left and see Aaron taking notes in his notebook as well. Might as well take notes too.
I walk into vocal early and see my dad sitting at his desk. He looks up to see who’s walking into his classroom.
“Milo?” my dad said. I went to sit at my set and placed my bag on the ground.
“Hey,” I responded back. My dad leaned on the back of his chair and crossed his arms.
“What do you need from me, Milo?” he asked. My dad always knew that whenever I needed something from him, I would be extra good or actually be in my dad’s presence like I wanted to. I sighed, letting go of the persona.
“Do you think Jennifer can let me use the studio on Saturday?” I asked.
“What’s wrong with the one downstairs?”
“It’s at the house,” I answered, looking at my dad like he wasn’t understanding.
“Milo, it’s still a studio place where you can practice,” my dad tried to convince me, but I didn’t want to change my mind.
“Please, dad? Sophie and I have an assignment due next week and–” Before I could finish my sentence, my dad smiles and laughs to himself before looking at me.
“Is this more about impressing Sophie than the assignment?” my dad asked as he crossed his arms. To be quite honest, it was totally about impressing Sophie, but my dad didn’t need to know that.
“No! It’s just,” I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to say. “It’s just… that at home, everyone’s gonna be home! Jennifer, Micah, and the twins; I just want to have quiet space to work on this music assignment.” I don’t know if my dad bought it, and I guess I’ll find out since the bell for last period rings and the first person in class besides me is Aaron.
“Good Afternoon, Mr. Serrano,” my dad greets Aaron as he takes his seat. My dad looks at me before continuing. “You can take a seat, Mr. Kamalani.” I rolled my eyes and went back to my seat. More and more students come into the class and then my dad clears his throat to start today’s class.
“Alright, guys; I would like for you all to prepare a song for next week’s class. You will be performing it in front of the class! Please choose a song that you believe best fits your vocal range as this assignment will determine your specific section in this choir,” my dad walked to the blackboard and wrote a couple of words down before turning around towards us again. “This choir will have 8 sections: first and second for sopranos, altos, and tenors while finishing it off with baritone and bass. Please do not come into this class on Monday singing Mariah Carey notes if you know your voice can only go as high as a first alto or second soprano.” My dad stopped talking and pointed to someone at the other end of the classroom, I look in the direction he is pointing at.
“Question, Mr. Serrano?” My dad asked.
“Can it be an original song that we wrote?” Aaron asks. I feel Mollie nudge my right arm.
“Look at Mr. Over-Achiever,” Mollie teases. I don’t answer back, I just watch my dad and Aaron talk back and forth with each other.
“Of course! I’m not sure how many of you are dual majors,” my dad started. I roll my eyes at even the sound of my dad mentioning the dual majors. Yes, I am one myself, but I would never flaunt it to the other students who were lucky enough to get into one program. Aaron seems to find the opportunity to share his status no matter where he is.
“But if you are one,” my dad continued. “We would love to see any other talents you may have in this assignment. The more we know about you, the better the teamwork will become once we start learning music.”
“Might as well just share that you’re a dual major,” I whispered to Mollie, who laughs in her seat. I couldn’t help but mimic how fucking bratty that guy sounds. It makes Mollie laugh even more.
“Excuse me, Ms. Castro and Mr. Kamalani,” my dad looked over at us. “Please stop disrupting the class. This is your first warning.” When he looks away from us, I roll my eyes. It’s bad enough I get scolded by my dad whenever I get into trouble at home; it sucks I gotta get it from him as my goddamn vocal teacher. My dad kept teaching and I did nothing but hide my face with my hair, waiting for the class to be finally over.