Milo yanked my arm down the street, not answering any of the questions I had for him. The violin case on my back hits against me every time Milo pulls my arm a little too far from where the rest of my body is.
“Milo,” I tried to call out for him again, but this time I made us stop. He turns around when he notices my hand is not in his anymore. “For the last time, where are we going?”
Milo smiled. “You’ll see,” Milo answered. “We’re a couple of blocks away, Scout.” He wasn’t wrong. A couple of minutes later, we stopped in front of a building, a storefront of some sort. I looked up at the sign that reads, “Castro Dance Academy”.
“Why are we here?” I asked MIlo as I looked at him. He rings the doorbell of the studio, and to my surprise, Mrs. Kamalani opens the front door.
“Hello,” Mrs. Kamalani smiled and greeted us. Milo walked into the studio without hesitation; I on the other hand was terrified at being in a dance studio with his step-mum alone.
“Hi, Mrs. Kamalani,” I greeted her, yet was so nervous that when I said hi, I bowed to her out of respect. I immediately turn red, realizing that doing so isn’t normal in American culture. I immediately shot up and corrected myself. “I mean, hi Pep.”
Mrs. Kamalani smiled as I greeted her. I looked over to Milo, whose face was even redder than mine.
“Hi, Sophie! I’m glad to see you and Milo here working on your assignments,” she said as she walked further into the studio. The studio was spacious and decorated to seem fit a dance studio. I stood in the middle of the dance studio, watching Milo come in and out of a small storage closet.
“So, we have to get busy, so…” Milo said to Mrs. Kamalani. She nodded.
“Gotcha, you want me out of your hair. Well, we have to leave by 4 since I have to pick up the girls from Grandma’s,” Mrs. Kamalani walked towards an office room and closed the door behind her. Milo turned around to look at me, smiling.
“You like the surprise?” Milo asked.
“I feel honored to practice in a real studio,” I answered, looking around the studio. Milo took the liberty to take my violin case off my back and set it down next to a folding chair next to a music stand. I blushed at the gesture.
“So do you have any idea what you want to play for this assignment?” Milo asked. I shrugged my shoulders before answering.
“I was going to play the piece I did for the audition,” I answered. Milo didn’t look amused.
“Scout,” Milo began. “Your audition piece was bomb, but that was middle-school Scout. She’s definitely a better player now than that audition.”
“And what were you thinking of doing for the assignment?” I asked back. Milo smiled his infamous “I got confidence” smile. I hope to one day have confidence in my craft the way Milo does.
“I was going to actually make a song,” Milo said. He took out his laptop and began to play a beat. He then took out his drum sticks, in which he began to play over the beat with his practice drum. I’ve heard Milo play in the past, but something about his music playing these days just feels different. I feel like I am sitting in front of a celebrity when I hear him play. It makes me smile to think that not many get the chance to be in a studio playing with Milo Kamalani: one of the school’s fewest dual majors. When he’s done, I clap like an audience member witnessing magic on the Carnegie Hall stage.
“That. Was. Amazing!” I said, really excited for Milo. “You make this assignment actually look like a piece of cake.”
“It is,” Milo stated. “And I know that you’re gonna make it look easy too.” My smile fades away, now having to think about what it is that my assignment will look like. I can’t lie; I still feel like I shouldn’t be in this band ensemble because of how many few girls are in it. I feel like the boys in the class look at me like I’m in the wrong classroom. There was a lot of talent in our band ensemble and sometimes, I feel more like a viewer than an actual participating member of the ensemble.
“I still don’t know what I should do for this assignment,” I said a little more defeated than I intended. Milo’s smile fades until he gets an idea.
“How about a cover of a modern song?” Milo suggested. I look at Milo as if he had five heads all speaking a different language.
“I’m sorry, what?” I asked. Milo goes into his bookbag and pulls out a book of sheet music. After bookbag has a small keyboard in it. I’m amazed at just how prepared he is. He flips through the book and stops at one song. He begins to play the keyboard to a song that plays on the radio. Naturally, I play the violin along. I didn’t know I was capable of just jumping into it. I was always taught that you should always have music to play to, and you should always follow it. Milo has time and time again shown me that it’s okay to break the rules.
“Now that was even better than bomb,” Milo complimented me. I smiled and shared a comfortable silence with him until my phone rang in my bookbag. I walked over to it to see who it could be; it was most likely my mom just asking when will I be home. I looked down at my phone screen to see a blocked number from the UK. Dad. I immediately mute my phone and put it back into my bookbag.