If you're just tuning in: Summer just finished band camp and is on the drumline. She has a crush on Micah, a drum major, but she's too anxious to talk to him or tell her friends about it. Summer saw her drumline rival, Kaila, dancing with Micah at the band camp dance. Summer confided in her sister, May, who encouraged her to try and talk to him before she leaves for college.
This is draft 2, and I'm more interested in big picture comments than sentence level/grammar comments. Thanks for reading! <3
I psyched myself up all weekend to talk to Micah on the first day of school, but when the day arrives I feel mildly nauseous. May helped me pick out my first day of school outfit last night - purple floral short sleeve dress and tan sandals. We’re not marching today, so I can afford to put a little more effort into my appearance. Micah saw me in t-shirts and athletic shorts all summer, and I’m hoping this will be a new, good impression.
I check my wig about ten times to make sure it’s securely fastened to my head and that’s it’s positioned correctly. I know it looks natural, and no one at this school has ever said anything about it looking suspicious, but every year I worry that this will be the year everyone finds out. I know wearing a wig isn’t the worst thing, but if people find out it comes with questions, and attention, and people thinking I’m contagious, and I don’t need that.
My dad drives me to school and drops me off outside the band room. Technically, I could drive myself to school because I got my license over the summer, but May is taking our spare car with her to Purdue.
I start my day off with band, and I’ve already decided I’m not going to try and talk with Micah first period. If it doesn’t go well, I don’t want that to ruin the rest of my day.
The band room is already filling up when I slink in. Taylor is warming up on his drum in the back of the room. No surprise there, I’m sure he got here a half hour early.
I don’t spot any of my friends or Micah just yet so I put my stuff down at my band locker along the far back wall. None of us bother to put our stuff in our regular locker because it’s way more convenient to use the lockers where we store our instruments and music. I’m not even sure I could find my regular locker.
Kaila walks up beside me and says, “Hey girl! What’s new?” Her locker is two away from mine. She’s wearing jean shorts and a flowy blue top, her makeup is all done, and she looks 10x better than I do.
“Oh you know,” I shrug. Just trying to muster up the courage to talk to the person you so effortless hung out with at band camp.
“I hate that summer goes by so fast. I can’t believe we’re already back in school!”
“And a year from now we’ll be seniors! Crazy!” She says as she collects all of her equipment.
“Crazy,” I parrot.
She and I set up our drums on stands in the back of the room near Taylor. During the band hour we practice our music, and then after school we rehearse on the field for three hours. Wednesdays are our days off, and Friday’s we don’t rehearse if we have a football game. On Saturdays we either do another three hour rehearsal or a competition. It’s a great time of year.
Camilla finds me as I set up my music on the stand.
“Cute dress!” She exclaims.
“Thanks, you too!” She’s wearing a white cotton dress and a jean jacket. She always looks effortlessly cute.
“Coffee shop after school? Katya already texted back yes, and I haven’t been able to ask Bryn yet. We haven’t been able to hang out since camp and I have Fernando updates!”
Since it’s the first day of school and we just finished band camp a few days ago, our directors are allowing us the afternoon off.
“Yeah, I’ll be there.”
Bryn comes in the door and Camilla skips off to invite her. I warm up on my drum and ignore Kaila warming up beside me. She almost immediately starts to play something she must be working on with her private instructor and I wonder if she’s trying to psyche me out or something.
The first bell rings and Micah still hasn’t arrived. I try to focus on my warm-up and not stare at the door. Surely he won’t be late on the first day. He’s a drum major.
But sure enough, by the time the final bell rings and Mr. Murphy steps on the podium to direct each of the section leaders to report whether or not anyone in their section is missing, Micah still isn’t here. I glance at Kaila to see if she looks concerned or not, but she’s casually putting her music away and doesn’t seem to notice that he’s not here.
Halfway through the section leader’s reporting attendance, Micah comes in and whispers something in Mr. Murphy’s ear before taking his spot beside Walter and Stella. Mr. Murphy doesn’t even look mad, which surprises me because everyone knows that attendance policy. Early is on time, on time is late, and late is dead.
Taylor leads us into the hallway for our section warm-up while the band warms up in the band room. The hallway is a terrible place to warm-up because the sound reverberates around us and it’s impossible to hear, but we pound out rhythms anyway. I’m sure I’ll have hearing damage by the time I graduate high school.
We file back in once the band finishes their collective warm-up. Stella takes her place front and center, Walter stands to her right in front of the pit, and Micah stands to her left. The band stands in two large arcs with the woodwinds in the inner arc and the brass on the outside. The drumline stands in the back, center right, positioning us on Micah’s side.
As we move through our rehearsal and I’m forced to watch Micah as he keeps our side of the room on time with the music, the more nervous I become with the prospect of talking to him sometime today. What on Earth am I going to say? Everything I rehearse in my mind just sounds dumb. I don’t know if we have anything in common other than marching band. I think talking about marching band or our show would be lame, but I can’t think of any other rousing conversation topics.
I know I’m overthinking and May would tell me to stop and not think about it, but that’s easier said than done.
When Mr. Murphy dismisses us approximately twenty seconds before the bell rings to put our things away, I deposit my drum and music in my locker, grab my backpack, and meet my friends at the door so we can all walk to our first class together. I lose track of Micah in the crowd, not that this would be a good time to talk to him anyway.
“My next class is literally on the other side of the school,” Camilla laments. “And Algebra 2! I mean God, what a way to start the day.”
The four of us join the herd going from the fine arts building to the main academic building. I actually don’t mind math. I took Algebra 2 last year and didn’t think it was too bad. I’m taking Pre-Calc this year and plan to take AP Calculus next year. I’m trying to get into a school with a great pre-med program.
“Honestly, it’s all about the teacher you get,” Bryn says rationally. “Like, Mr. Palmer is funny, and Mrs. Johanson is nice and explains everything in simple terms, and Mrs. Gibson has really hard tests.”
“Thank God I have Mr. Palmer!” Camilla says.
I had Mrs. Gibson last year and I didn’t mind her at all.
“I have AP French, wish me luck.” Bryn smiles when we reach the foreign language hallway. Bryn is a senior, so she’s already advanced to the top level of French.
“Yeah, time to see how much German I forgot over the summer,” Katya deadpans.
Camilla and I have Spanish together later.
The warning bell sounds as soon as they turn down the language hallway. Camilla power walks so she won’t be late to Algebra. I’m starting my day with AP US History, which isn’t my favorite. I’m hoping that Micah will be in at least one of my classes so I’ll have a casual excuse to talk to him.