I walked into the school’s library, waving at the person that sits at the front desk during the day. She knows me by heart since I’m always in this library. Yeah, who would’ve thought Mollie Sue Castro would be familiar with a library. I walked toward the front desk like I normally would do whenever I visit the library.
“Hi, Barb,” I greeted the woman at the front desk.
“Good afternoon, Mollie,” Barb smiled as she answered back. She goes through the wooden box of door keys behind her, picking one out. “Doing some more vocal study?”
“Yeah,” I nodded my head. “We have quartets later in class and it’s always easier to practice with another person.”
“I bet it is,” Barb answered as she takes out the paperwork for me to sign. “Well, tell Aaron I said hi, and good luck with your vocal assignments.” I smiled as Barb handed me a key to one of the study rooms in the library. Aaron and I have met to study for the past couple of weeks now; he wasn’t kidding when he said he needed help in vocal class. It’s not that the guy can’t sing, but he is clearly using all the wrong techniques to sing! He’s going to end up fucking up his vocal cords if he keeps straining his singing voice like that.
“Yo!” I yelled out to Aaron as he was singing. “You don’t hear that sus ass note? It’s sharp, not flat.”
“Where in this song do you see that it’s a sharp note?” Aaron yelled back, obviously frustrated. I walked toward him and pointed at the sheet music.
“There,” I answered. “The baritone note is sharp and the bass note is in the major key. You are the melody, they are the filler with the sopranos.” Aaron’s eyebrows cocked up, realizing his mistake.
“Oh shit,” Aaron responded, and I couldn’t help but laugh. He clearly looked offended at my laughter. “Yo, what’s so funny?”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I said while trying to contain my laughter. “I just realized that you might have been the one person in vocal the other day who was singing solo notes out of this piece.” Aaron widens his eyes and a smile appears on his face.
“You heard me sing off-key in class and now just telling me, Castro?!” I begin to laugh out loud at the situation again; thankfully Aaron was now laughing along with me. “Yo, I thought I was killing it that day!”
“Yeah; killing that song,” I said, still trying to keep my composure but couldn’t help myself. Aaron nudged my shoulder and continued to laugh so loud, a library worker had to bang on the glass to quiet us down.
It’s not until a few minutes later do I see Aaron tapping on the glass door of the study room. I get up from my seat and open the door for him.
“Hey, Castro,” Aaron smiled as he greeted me. “Ready to absolute slaughter the class in quartets in class today?”
“Stop gassing me up,” I said playfully. Aaron shakes his head and takes out his sheet music. “So, which song do you want to practice?” Aaron looks through the papers in his hand before he answers me.
“Let’s do… oh! In Mozart’s “Requiem”, I don’t understand how the baritones began the piece with the altos when they are in completely different sections.”
“Those two sections typically carry the melody of a piece,” I answered, flipping through my folder of sheet music to get the right one out to start practice. “It makes sense if they typically sing together or start off the song,” I looked up and saw Aaron looking directly at me while I was speaking. It made me nervous. “What?”
“You are fucking smart,” Aaron responded. I laughed to myself, shaking my head.
“Yeah, well try to tell everyone else that,” I said, not realizing that I was about to have this conversation with Aaron Serrano of all people. “Like, does being smart in vocal make you a smart person?” Aaron scrunched his eyebrows together; he looks hella annoyed at me all of a sudden.
“It makes you passionate about your talent,” Aaron answered back. “I don’t know who told you otherwise, but being good at what you’re here to do makes you fucking smart. You are hands down the smartest person in our vocal class; I think anyone would trade their book smarts for your talent.”
“Thanks, Serrano,” I said back, not really meaning it. It’s nice to be known as the “girl who knows all her music” or the one that answers all the questions correctly on our quizzes. But truly, does it even mean anything if I’m doing something that’s not completely my passion? I like singing, but the more I walk around these halls and see the dancers, it makes me feel like even in the place I should be in, I don’t fit in. Aaron taps his pencil on the table in my direction. It makes me look directly at Aaron, who is still looking directly at me.
“I mean it,” Aaron said. “You’re talented and smart and funny and just… if anyone thinks otherwise, they are a fucking loser.” I smile at Aaron’s honesty. I look down at my sheet music but before we started studying, I look back up and back at Aaron.
“What’s your motive?” I spat out, not realizing I said what I was thinking out in the open. Aaron looked confused.
“Motive?” he asked.
“Yeah; like I see you with your other friends all the time and yet we are always in this damn study room, studying for vocal. Are you just trying to use me to pass vocal or something?” I was growing annoyed now. Maybe this is just some bottled-up shit I kept in that bothered me, but no one ever wants to hang out with me for many reasons. It seems like all the boys in this school just want to be with the pretty girls and whenever a guy talks to me, it’s either he’s using me for his own personal gain, or he’s keeping this big secret from me. Guys don’t like me, and they don’t ever want to be my friend. It’s never this easy to keep a friend, and I feel like I’m making it very obvious that I’m a major reason why I can’t keep friends. Aaron looks annoyed with me, and I don’t blame him. The guy just told me I was all these great things, and now I’m showing him every reason I’m not any of them.
“With all due respect, Mols,” Aaron started out. Mols. He never called me by a nickname before. “I don’t know what assholes you have or had as friends, but I actually really like you as a friend. I like spending time with my friends, and you so happen to be one of my friends. So I guess liking you as my friend is my motive.” I felt like shit after hearing Aaron say what he said. For fuck’s sake, Mol, not everyone is trying to fuck you over.
“Sorry,” I quickly said as I looked back down at my sheet music, flipping through the pages. Aaron placed his hand on top of my pile of sheet music. I stopped in my tracks and slowly looked up at Aaron. He was reaching from the other side of the table to place his hand on my papers. He looked at me directly in my face and smiled. I would be lying if I said it didn’t bring me some level of comfort knowing he was still in this study room and wanting to hang out with–
“Mols?” Aaron asked.
“Hmm?” I went back to focus on Aaron.
“Show me how to really sing this damn Mozart’s Requiem,” he said as he went back to his seat to get his sheet music.