Chapter 1- Trombone Cases and British Boys

I tried sitting on my suitcase as a last resort, but the stubborn thing wouldn't budge even if someone had dropped an elephant on it. I knew that my facial expressions must have been highly attractive as I tried to squeeze in the one last shirt (who cares if I already had 27 other tops inside of the suitcase? The poor thing had just been pleading with me to bring him along) and I rushed over to the top of the staircase outside of my room to holler at my mother.

"Mom! The suitcase won't shut!" I told her this because I figured that somehow, she would be able to close it, because mothers had some sort of super power where they could do anything or find anything you can't. For example, last week, even after I searched through my closet about six times, and came up with nothing, I couldn't find my favorite shirt and so I asked her if she had seen it and viola- within five seconds, she had found it, right in plain sight.

She quickly came upstairs and saw my half closed suitcase, sighed, and shook her head. She simply pressed down on the top and magically closed the suitcase. "I will never get used to that," I said in awe.

"It comes with children. Closely related to the eyes in the back of your head thing," she said, laughing.

"I told you we should have gotten two suitcases for this," I told her, looking down at the old, blood red suitcase.

"Nah," she said, squeezing my shoulder in a half hug. "It's got one thing those other newer, fancier suitcases never will have: character! That thing will now be traveling half way across the world!" she said, trying to laugh but I could see the tears stinging her eyes.

One bad thing about being the only girl and the youngest out of three siblings- my parents were extremely overprotective about me. The only reason I had been allowed to go to the prestigious band camp all the way in England was because my mysterious Uncle Simon had been elated when my parents told him I was avid in my band program back in Texas. I had almost made the All- State band this year but came one chair away from making the cuts, and when my parents told him that, he simply needed to bring me across the pond for two weeks.

He had quickly pulled some strings and gotten me into the international band camp. Normally, when people picture band camp or just band in general they see this: half the band making out in dark corners of the band hall, while a clarinet with a dent the size of my fist was thrown carelessly on the ground fifteen feet away, and when it came time to play, they made these sounds that came out of their horn that were worse than a dying cat. Scratch that, a dying cat giving birth.

The reason my Uncle Simon had been able to pull some strings was that he owned some record company, but I had just assumed that they never actually signed anyone worth listening to. (Well, unless The Floating Flamingos are your cup of tea.) However, he must have been sort of popular over in the U.K., because he was ultra-rich. Rich enough to be able to pay for every last dime in my expenses, which, I checked, was more than a few thousand, without even batting an eyelash.

I reached over and wrapped my arms around my mother. "I'll be fine, I promise!" I said to her, trying to be comforting. "It won't even be like I'm gone. You can FaceTime me, remember?" I had tried to teach my mother the ways of the iPhone, but I wasn't sure if it had sunk in yet, so I tacked on, "Or, if you get confused, just email me."

It did seem to have calmed my mother down a little bit. "I know. It's just that you're growing up so fast!" I didn't want to hear another round of 'you are so old now! Almost a college student!' so I just nodded and let my mom spill all of her worries about me. She sighed.

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