“You’re ready, Kamalani?” a voice spoke out to me. I looked up and saw it was the last person I wanted to see in person: Aaron Serrano. I rolled my eyes as he squeezed his way into the row of seats in the auditorium. He sat down and looked around. I looked back down at my phone. The door at the back of the auditorium opened and our band class enters. I look in the crowd of our bandmates to see Sophie down the aisle. I let out a breath of relief. I haven’t gotten to talk to Sophie much since rehearsing for this showcase and since her phone got taken away. I tried to make the most of the time I did get to see and speak to her. I got up from my seat to walk over to where she was sitting with the rest of my class.
“Hey, Scout,” I smiled and greeted her. She looked up and smiled at me.
“Hi, Milo! You’re ready for showcase rehearsals?”
“I’m ready for them to be over,” I said after I heard another voice call my name. If it’s Serrano telling me to go sit back down where we need to be, I’m going to lose it. Sophie giggled.
“Aw, it’ll be over before you know it,” Sophie reassured. “I’m definitely nervous for the strings showcase part of the show.”
“Mr. Harrison knows what he was doing putting you as the lead in the first song,” I tried to calm her nerves the way she calms mine down. I can’t tell if it worked but she looks like she’s about to puke up today’s lunch. I turned around and saw my dad standing there, nearly scaring me in place.
“Oh, sh-” I stopped myself before I continued. Let’s not give this man more fuel to punish me in and outside of school.
“Rehearsals are about to start soon, Mr. Kamalani,” my dad stated. “Please go back to your seat.” I didn’t fight him, I just turned around and started to walk toward the seat I was in originally. I don’t know what was my dad’s problem when it came to me talking to Sophie. I feel like he always has to make things extremely awkward for me whenever he sees me with her. It feels like he uses him being my teacher as an excuse to always keep tabs on me. For the last time, dad, I am not you or my biological mom. I’m not out here making stupid decisions like you two did.
As I walk across the auditorium, I look at where my vocal classmates sit for the rehearsal. I squint my eyes harder when I notice something extremely weird. Is that…? I see Aaron talking to Mollie and she’s not… mean-looking? Telling him to fuck-off? It makes me angry that my dad would scold me for talking to someone in my own band class, but let someone talk to someone in his own vocal class and he’s fucking blind to it. Instead of walking back to my seat, I walk towards them, giving Aaron a piece of his own medicine.
“Hey, Serrano,” I said. Aaron turns around to look at me. I look at Mollie, trying not to make eye contact with her but I can feel her eyes on me as well. “You should really be sitting in your seat; you’re going to disrupt the rest of the class on their rehearsal. Fuck yeah, Milo; tell this douchebag off.
“Okay, Mr. Kamalani’s son,” Aaron said as he walked off. Well, fuck, that went nowhere. I looked at Mollie but turned back around to go back to my seat before my dad came to yell at me again. What the fuck is Aaron doing talking to Mollie?
“Okay everyone,” Mr. Harrison began. “We are going to begin the rehearsal for the senior tribute first, then we will go ahead and get rehearsals going for each ensemble. The showcase will run as follow: sophomore/junior vocal choir, junior wind ensemble, freshman string orchestra, freshman full orchestra, freshman vocal choir, and then the senior band and vocal ensembles tribute.” I looked around the auditorium and felt really weird seeing all of the upperclassmen and music majors in one room. I look down the row that I’m sitting in, wondering if they are other underclassmen that were chosen for this senior tribute.
“Dual majors,” my dad looks in my direction. It finally clicks to me that this one row of students is the other dual majors at Waverly. “When you are finished performing within your own ensemble or choir, please come back here to prepare for the tribute. I expect nothing but professionalism from you guys and everyone else in this room.” He finally walks toward the other side of the auditorium.
Listening to the other performances of the other students made me think just how serious everyone is about their craft. There’s not a single person in this auditorium that stumbled or messed up in their rehearsal. It made me nervous since this is our first rehearsal in front of the other grades and majors. I was glad we were one of the last performances to go for the rehearsal; at least I got to see everyone go first.
It was the strings section to rehearse and I was excited to see Sophie play. I sat at the edge of my seat, looking towards the stage as the strings section set up for their rehearsal. Sophie looks in my direction; I can tell she’s nervous considering she’s playing lead in the first song. I smile back at her, hoping that maybe she’ll feel better knowing I’m here to support her. As they set up, I hear Serrano talking in my direction.
“The strings section has a lot of competition to keep everyone awake,” Aaron said. I looked at him, who was now looking toward the stage. I was annoyed at his comment.
“They are the strongest part of the orchestra; it’s why they have their own performing segment,” I reminded him.
“Ehh, others disagree with that,” he responded back, careless and unbothered at the way he was acting like a complete asshole. He adjusted in his seat and took his phone out of his pocket. “Let me know when we’re up to rehearse.” I rolled my eyes and paid attention to the stage where the rehearsal was starting. the strings started off their first song; it was a modern take on a famous piece that most string orchestras are famous for. They were pretty good, even if Mr. Harrison had to stop them every now and then to fix a couple of things.
By the middle of the song, Sophie stands up from her seat, getting ready to start the solo of the piece. I sat up, watching her as she looked down at her stand towards her music score. She begins to play, and I swear she doesn’t miss a beat or note on her solo. It’s like the chemicals in my brain are reacting to every note she stums with her bow. I knew Sophie was a good violinist, but I sometimes forget she’s this good when she constantly is telling herself she isn’t good enough or she’s just “good”. I overhear a couple of people in the row behind me instantly saying “whoa” when she hits those high notes on her violin. That’s my Scout.
The song ends shortly after, and their rehearsal is officially finished. Everyone in the auditorium claps their hands as the strings section wraps it up for the next performances to begin.
“Freshman orchestra, get ready for your rehearsal,” Mr. Harrison shouted. I got up from my seat and walked up toward the stage. I walked toward where Sophie was sitting on stage before going to my section on the stage.
“You were fire on that stage,” I said to Sophie. She turned around from her seat and smiled at me.
“Do you think so?” Sophie asked.
“Let’s just say some of the dual majors sitting behind my row were shook,” I emphasized. Her eyes widen, and her face instantly turned red. Before I can say anything else, I hear another voice talking to Sophie.
“Dope solo, Violee,” Aaron said as he passed by us. Violee?
“What did you call her?” I immediately spat back, and then Aaron stopped walking and stopped in front of us.
“Chill, Kamalani,” Aaron said. “Violin? Her last name is Lee? Violee,” Aaron started laughing, but I didn’t think anything was funny. “Sheesh, let your cub scout breathe.” He walked away and I swear I was fuming. Did he also just call her Scout? I feel a tug at my shirt, which makes me look back at Sophie.
“After-school ritual today?” Sophie smiled and laughed. Fuck. I haven’t had the time to talk to Sophie about my dad not wanting us to go hang out at my grandma’s house anymore. I don’t want her to think it’s because of her, but what do I tell her when it’s time to leave for the day and she begins to walk down our usual path to my grandma’s house? Before I can say anything back, Aaron is yelling my name.
“Yo, Kamalani! Stop flirting and get in place!” Aaron shouted. A couple of our bandmates around him begin to laugh, which makes me feel even sicker to my stoamch. I turn back towards my seat, already exhausted from this rehearsal and it just started.
All I want to do is hang out with Sophie.