Chapter Four

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Chapter Four

That place had been the closest thing to a home that I would ever have. I was not going to go through with this little musical reminder. It was just a mistake. They probably messed up my schedule with someone elses.

That was it.

I found my way to the Instrumental Room to figure out this schedule mishap. It was a painful five minute search.

I walked in just as the orchestra was finishing tuning. Every single student looked up to see who the unwelcome intruder was; I was provided with a particularly crude glare from the cello section.

At least they did so in unison.

"Can I help you, ma'am?" I near jumped out of my skin as a voice prodded from behind me. I hadn't noticed the thirty-something-year-old woman sneak up behind me, bow prominent in hand.

"Uh..." I stuttered. "I...well, I'm new. Orchestra seems to somehow made it onto my schedule..." I trailed off efficiently.

"Well, what do you play?"

I stared at her, dumbfounded by her question. What could she possibly mean?

Then it hit me. This woman didn't know my past. She had no possible way of knowing that I didn't play anything. Anymore, at least.

"That's the thing," I began feebly. "I don't. I mean, I used to. Violin. I guess Brenda found out that I used to. I don't know. This is all really just a mishap."

She stared deep into my eyes, not wavering when I returned her gaze. "I'm Julia." she said. "There's an extra violin in the back. Grab it and we'll see what you can do."

She didn't give me the time to protest, just shoved me towards the room to not-so-subtly inform me that I'd be stuck in this class.

The room was cluttered, full of sheet music, rosin, and extra strings. Even so, the case was still relatively easy to locate.

I opened it up to find an instrument much like my old one, save a bit more wear and tear. Still, it felt good to hold music in my hands again. I felt like a missing piece of that puzzle Evan kept trying to figure out was finally jammed back into place.

I did a quick tune job and rosined the bow. I struck the strings, noting that despite its condition, the instrument had a clear, crisp tone. The sound brought a smile to my face, one of those genuine ones. I'd been away from this far too long.

I rejoined the group in the main room. All eyes were focused on me. I felt like that hippo in a tu-tu. Which, oddly enough, tends to be quite the uncomfortable feeling. Julia directed me to the front of the room, and as I slowly walked, I noted all eyes were on me.

"So..." Julia began. "I'll do a few easy sight-reads to see where you are." She pulled out a few sheets of music that were god-awfully easy. The look on her face, and my fellow peers for that matter, told me that they didn't quite expect me to be able to play them.

Proving them wrong, I played every single piece she sat in front of me, all twelve. None of them were all too pretty, and when put together, the notes sounded choppy. But, nonetheless, I persevered through them.

When I was finished an awkward silence settled around the room. Finally, Julia spoke. "Well, well. I thought you'd be pretty shit, to be quite frank. Considering that three or four year break, and all. But you just played those with enough skill to knock my first-chair out of the park." She winked at the girl sitting in the first chair violin seat.

There was maybe ten minutes left in the period and nothing had been accomplished. Correction, nothing would become accomplished. So, Julia, being quite the gracious teacher, let everyone pack up early.

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