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Because of a Trombone Part 3
The week went by. Melanie and I were great friends, but I sort of felt pushed away by her “partner-in-crime.” So I started hanging with that Brad kid. He’s actually a really sweet guy. He’s got this long, curly brown hair that’s piled on his head, but it doesn’t look like an afro. His hazel eyes light up whenever he sees me or when he laughs. Already I’ve learned that he hates the feel of jeans and that he’s a major runner.
After that first lunch period, he followed me out of the cafeteria and we compared schedules. I was relieved that we had 7th and 9th periods together. We walked to Honors English together, talking about our lives in general. He knew what I was talking about since he had moved here two years ago. Brad remembered the awkwardness of being the new kid, exactly how I had been feeling that morning. The only difference was, he’d been in the band beforehand and met all of his friends here through the program.
Every day at lunch after that, we sat together at lunch, discussing miscellaneous topics and laughing along with the rest of the group. Everything somehow related back to the band, and Brad had to explain some of the inside jokes to me. More than anything at this point, I wanted to join the band program, something I never would have thought about doing back in New Jersey and my old home. Hey, new school, new start.
The morning of the meeting finally came. I came into school early, which I knew I was going to have to get used to, and ventured into the cafeteria to the lunch table I sat at every day 6th period.
“Hey, Nina,” Brad snuck up on me.
I turned around. “Geez, way to sneak up on me. Don’t do that!”
He showed me his pearly whites. “Oh, come on. I wasn’t that discreet.”
“I was daydreaming, so I wasn’t exactly paying attention to my surroundings,” I said exasperatedly.
“Sorry,” he said with a small smile. “What were you thinking about?”
“Just the band and how I want to be in it already.” It was half the truth. I didn’t want to tell him what else was on my mind.
“You’re really excited, aren’t you?”
“Yep. Hey, what instrument would you recommend for me to take up?”
“I don’t know.”
“Okay... Well, what’s your favorite instrument?”
“I’m biased because I play saxophone.”
“Really?” Out of everything we had talked about, he hadn’t mentioned this. Trust me, we had talked about a lot. With all the band stuff, I’m surprised it hadn’t come up.
“So if your biased,” I grinned while saying that, “you can’t tell me which one I should take up?”
“I mean, we’re short on low brass this year...” he kept going. I couldn't help but to stare at him. His hair was so perfectly crazy; his eyes held mysteries that I desperately wanted to unravel. He was tall, but not so tall that I felt extremely short next to him because I was on the smaller side height-wise. I only came back to reality when I heard him say that I should play trombone.
“Trombone? Really? Why?” I wanted to know.
“Did you hear anything I just said?” He looked at me like I was loony, which is not what I wanted to see. I felt awful.
I looked down at the floor sheepishly. “I’m really tired, I guess. I zoned. Sorry.” I peeked at his face and saw that he wasn’t buying my lie. Crap. My eyes slid to the ground again.
Then he surprised me. “No, it’s okay. I do that a lot.” I lifted my head to find his hazel eyes staring straight into mine. He looked away first, his cheeks slightly coloring. I stored that in the back of my mind for future reference.
At that very moment, Mr. Tayrok decided to appear and start the meeting. He welcomed the old members back and greeted the new ones, introducing himself and explaining the program. I knew everything that he was talking about already because of my friends, so I let my mind float off into space.
Before I knew it, Tayrok had ended the meeting. I went up to talk to him.
“Hi, Mr. Tayrok. I’m new here this year, and all of my friends have been telling me how awesome the program is. I wanted to join the band, but I have no prior musical experiences. What options do I have this year?”
He smiled warmly at me. “Great to hear. We’re always on the lookout for new members. Did you have an instrument in mind?”
“That’s the thing. I heard that you were looking for more low brass, whatever that is.That’s all I know.”
“We definitely are in need of low brass, that’s for sure. Have you ever thought about playing trombone?”
I thought back to my missed conversation with Brad. “Nope,” I lied. “Never even crossed my mind.”
“Then why not try it then?”
“That I will.” I felt great: I was joining the band program. Finally. Tayrok’s voice brought me back to reality.
“Do you know how to read music?”
My heart sunk. “Um... not really.”
“That’s all right. While I teach you how to play notes on the trombone, I’ll ask someone to help you.” He scanned the room quickly until his eyes settled on someone. I followed his gaze, and my heart sped up.
“Brad?” I questioned.
“You know each other already? Great, that’s even better. He plays piano besides the sax, so he’s an expert. I’m sure he’ll have you reading in no time.”
I smiled at Tayrok. “Thanks a lot. When do I start?”
“How about during your lunch period? I can give you the best help then.”
“Great, see you then.” I thanked him. I walked away as my band teacher got into a conversation with Melanie and Lisa. I heard him burst out laughing at a joke one of them had told as I went off to find Brad.
In a way, I was really happy about Tayrok telling me to work with Brad. It meant that I would get to know him better. Spending time with a guy like him never hurt. On the other hand... after what had happened between us today, I really wasn’t sure where it was going. So I sucked it up and went over to talk to him. He was in the middle of a conversation with another band buddy, but when he saw me, he ended the conversation and came over to talk. “What’s up?”
“Well, I went over to Tayrok and asked him about joining band. You were right: he wants me to play trombone.”
“Am I good or am I good?” he teased. “So, what’s the next step?”
“He wants me to come down at lunch so he can start teaching me the notes. But...”
“I don’t know how to read music.”
“This concerns me how?” he laughed.
“He wants you to teach me.”
“No prob. When would you like to start?”
I stared at him in amazement. I didn’t know how much convincing this was going to take. Apparently none. “Um... how’s at lunch sound? Do you mind coming down with me to the band room?”
“No problemo. I’ll meet you there.”