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3.24 Day Fifteen: Lizzie

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My fingers danced along the piano keys. I hummed the melody stuck inside my head. Sometimes, I could hear music, the way some catchy songs could get stuck inside your head, but my song wasn't one that existed. Not yet, at least. Not until I breathed life into it.

Mr. Burka sat at his desk, absentmindedly listening and answering emails. Every now and then, he'd speak up and give his advice.

"Try..." he mimed the piano key movements and sang, adjusting his voice as he tried to nail the right key, "that again, but slower."

I did and the sound made my skin tingle.

Turning around, I grinned nice and wide to show my appreciation.

He smiled back. "I know. I'm a genius."

Playing the melody again, I burned the arrangement into my memory and the feeling it gave me. The squirmy feeling of having a crush. The sweet fluttering feeling of getting excited. And the gooey feeling of my knees going weak. A sigh slipped between my lips as I played it again.

"I don't know what's going on," Mr. Burka said over my music. "But you seem happier lately."


"And since you're in a good mood, I thought I might ask you to maybe waste your summer away by being an intern for me at the Rosewood Symphony?"

My hands tripped and I slammed a horrible crashing sound against the keys. "What?" I asked past my heart crawling up my throat, desperate to say yes, desperate to take the opportunity and run. "Are you serious?"

"It's unpaid," he warned. "And you'll need your parents' permission."

"I'll get it," I said, not knowing how, just knowing that I must. This time, I was going to look my mother directly in the eyes and tell her what I want. Dreams don't just happen. Salons run by a Drag Queen don't just open up its doors and let you in. Nobody walks on stage and gets the leading role. I had to make my dream happen... or I was going to do something that really drove my mother crazy like getting a tattoo or changing my name to Caramel Macchiato.

Then, interning for a symphony won't seem so bad.

"Hey? Is Lizzie—" Andrea appeared in the doorway. The moment her eyes landed on me, she motioned me out of the room. "Lizzie! Can you follow me? Like now?"


Andrea's eyes widened behind her glasses. "Now. Now."

I snatched my bag off the floor and stumbled to get out from underneath the piano. Running out of the room, on Andrea's tail, I yelled back to Mr. Burka, "See ya later! And thank you!"

This period was my lunch period, but I didn't have any friends that had it too (mostly because I had like one friend and one fake girlfriend), so I hung out in the band room. I knew for a fact Andrea was supposed to be trying to stay awake during her Econ class. "Hey, aren't you in class, right now?"

"Yeah, but I wanted to go to the bathroom, but I can't because your girlfriend and Camille are going at each other's throats in there."

"What?" I gasped and started running for the girls' bathroom, hearing their echoing shouts clearer, the closer I got. My stomach twisted at the sound the way I cringed hearing metal scrape against my teeth.

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