Song 29 ♪ Take Off

10.3K 1.1K 136

I had to put on the brakes at the very last second to avoid colliding with Mother Superior Evangeline. While I felt like I'd just had a heart attack, she looked at me with her usual expression that was a cross between a resting bitch face and acceptance of fate. I knew it was wrong to think of a nun in those terms, but I couldn't help myself.

"I'm sorry," I said, panting.

Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly. "Were you running in the hallways?"

I was panting. Half of my face was covered with hair that had escaped my pony tail. I held a binder that was falling to the brink with scribbled on papers. Papers that didn't contain any homework.

I couldn't look guiltier.

"Running to meet your expectations, ma'am." I felt my face burn. Like the flames of hell were licking closer to my skin for having said that. Yet, I pressed on. "The shorter my commute, the better I can use my time to not let you down."

She snorted and shook her head. "Too much internet seems to give kids these days an answer for everything."

I flashed all my teeth into as wide a smile as I could manage. "Does that mean I can go?"

"Sure," she said, and my feet pivoted away from her. But she stopped me next by saying, "Before you go, answer this one question for me, Vera."

A myriad of scenarios passed before my eyes. In one, she asked me if I was focusing on my studies. The answer was, nowhere near as much as I thought I would. In another one, she asked me if anyone was giving me any trouble. I'd give her a whole laundry list for an answer, starting by a certain boy whose last name evoked the coldest season, yet, whose eyes were as warm as the summer ocean.

Yes, lots of trouble.

I squirmed as she asked, "Are you enjoying music?"

That was unexpected.

I blinked. My mouth opened, as if about to tell her everything that had happened in the past few months. I only realized it much later, after I kept running to the music room and burst through the open door that I'd said yes with a wide smile from ear to ear that for sure had shown my dimples.

Ashton looked up from tuning his guitar and saw me come in.

He lit up. It came from somewhere within him and spilled all the way out from his body. He sat straighter, matched my smile and set his eyes on mine with no hesitation.

"Thanks for coming in early," he said.

Yes, okay. I wasn't precisely running over to put my new jogging skills to the test. He called me and asked to meet him before band practice, said he wanted to show me something. I fixed up my hair as best as I could with an elastic band that was so stretched out, it could barely hold my endless bushy hair, and glided over to sit next to him as he patted the empty chair.

"Did you do your homework?"

I answered his question by pointing at the binder full of loose sheets of paper. I'd been so far removed from any kind of rock for my entire life that I had a lot to catch up with. My new homework had been to study some classics. Ash and Link gave me some recommendations but encouraged me to find other bands outside of those, and tell them what I liked best. I spent about a week stuck at '60s and '70s classics until I whined and moaned to them that I really didn't like those. This almost gave them strokes, but they let me move on to the following decades. My favorite so far were late '90s and 2000s. I could definitely identify with the general notions of not belonging, wanting something else, being mad at the status quo.

And so as I listened to the songs, I began to daydream. Wouldn't it be nice if I could tell the world how I felt? Inadequate, small in the ways that mattered, big in the ways that shouldn't. Like I didn't matter.

The Rich Boy in a Rock BandWhere stories live. Discover now