Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Romantic


When I Was Anna - 17.1

by Carlito


Hello! If you're just tuning in or need a refresher, it's marching band season and Summer (drumline) has a crush on Micah (drum major), but she was too anxious to talk to him or tell her friends about it. She made a profile on Chat With Me (you can only talk to people at your school and the conversations can't be tracked) and they've been talking (except Summer is pretending to be someone named Anna). They've grown close, Micah wants to meet her, and Summer knows it's time to come clean, but she's terrified.

This is draft 2, and I'm more interested in big picture comments than sentence level/grammar comments. Thanks for reading! <3

___________________________

What am I doing? What am I doing? What am I doing? What am I doing? What am I doing?

It’s Saturday. It’s competition day. The day that Anna meets Micah and I have to come clean.

Before I have to leave for the school, I type a lame excuse about why Anna suddenly can’t make the competition and we’ll have to reschedule and I’m oh so sorry, but I can’t bring myself to actually hit send. I promised, and I’ve already let him down so much.

He told me last night that he was excited for today, sending another knife to my stomach. I’m sure he’s expecting fireworks and magic and some cosmic connection when our eyes meet for the first time and he finally gets to meet “Anna”. That’s what I would be expecting at least.

He’s not expecting Summer Rhodes saying SORRYSORRYSORRYSORRYSORRY.

May never did call me back so we could talk through a plan. I wish I had her moral support going into this, but this is a nightmare I’ll just have to endure alone.

My mom drives me to the school so I can suffer through seeing Micah at our pre-competition rehearsal. I’m completely silent, which I blame on being tired, which isn’t completely a lie because I stayed up most of the night ruminating about what I’m going to say to him today.

We’re allowed to stick around the competition after our portion is over to watch other bands and have a parent pick us up, or we can ride home on the bus. Micah told me last night he’s getting a ride so we can meet.

As we turn onto the street leading to the school, I imagine myself telling my mom that I changed my mind, she doesn’t need to pick me up because I’m tired and I want to ride home on the bus after all. But the words get stuck on my tongue, and I say nothing.

#

My mind is all over the place at rehearsal. The knowledge that it’s all going to be over in a matter of hours, coupled with the fact that he’s standing mere yards away, is enough to keep my head sufficiently out of the game. Usually when I strap my drum on, everything else leaves my mind and I’m focused and peaceful. Not today.

“What’s gotten into you?” Kaila asks when we stop for a water break. “Is everything okay? You’re not acting like yourself.”

I take a big swig of water and repeat the same lie I told my mom. “Just tired. Sorry.”

“Well try to get yourself together before Taylor notices and gets on you. You know how he gets on competition days.”

“And every day,” I mumble.

Too late. Taylor is already marching towards me, water bottle swinging in his hand.

“Good luck.” Kaila gives me a small smile and leaves to join her friends.

“You know what I’m going to say,” He says pointedly.

I do, so I go ahead and say, “I’m sorry.”

“I don’t need sorry, I need fixes. Or did you forget that we have a major competition today?”

Every competition is major to Taylor. “No, I know. I’m sorry. I’m just tired. I’ll do better, I promise.”

“Tired. Do I need to start instituting a curfew the night before competitions again?”

“Again? That was as thing?”

“It was when I was a freshman. But in any case, I know you’re shooting for section leader next year, and I honestly think you’ve got a good shot. I was going to put in a good word for you at the end of the season, but if you have too many more days like this,” He lets the sentence hang.

I stare at him for a second. I had no idea that I was Taylor’s choice for his successor. I know May had a big hand in choosing Taylor, so if he put in a good word for me, that would be huge.

“It was one bad rehearsal,” I reason. “I won’t let it affect our performance later. I’ll get myself together, I promise.”

“You better.” He gives me one final stare and then walks back to his spot in the field.

Leave it to Taylor to really boost your confidence.

#

As we move through our final warm-up before we take the field for our next competition, I will myself, command myself, beg myself, to put Micah out of my mind and not worry about the possible repercussions and outcomes of today. But the more I tell myself don’t think about it don’t think about it don’t think about it, naturally, the more it sticks in my mind.

All the way until we’re at the gate, ready to go on for our performance.

We added some new effects this week that should look really cool if we can execute everything well. But as I stand at the gate, my back turned away from the band finishing up on the field, instead of running through the show and all of the recent changes in my head like I’m supposed to be doing, all I can think about is what’s going to happen after we leave the field and put our things away and everyone disperses to go back home or watch more of the competition. And all that does is make the pit in my stomach twist and writhe.

We take the field with my mind still firmly on Micah and what’s going to happen this afternoon.

We set up our warm-up formation, Micah makes his trek to the back sideline, and I’m thankful that we’ve done this warm-up enough times that my brain can turn off for a second and operate on autopilot.

We get set in our first formation and I look up at him standing on top of the ladder positioned on the 50 yard line.

I think back to all of our long conversations and all of the times I felt so safe and happy talking to him about things that I can’t even talk to my friends about. He made it so easy to be Anna. And it could all end today. He may never talk to me again because I was Anna.

I don’t hear the Mr. Beat clicks from the front sideline. Micah counts off.

The opening drum roll starts. Without me. I missed it.

For the first time in my life, I missed the entrance. Because I was thinking about Micah.

I stand momentarily frozen. I can’t come in late because it’ll be obvious, but just standing here would also look pretty obvious if a judge were to talk by.

Before I can work out what to do, it’s time to start moving and I’m a half second late to leave my dot, which matters. It’s enough for a judge to potentially notice and knock points off, and that would be entirely my fault.

I have to get my head focused on what’s important right now. Micah can wait. He has to wait.

Do your job do your job do your job.

Poor Unfortunate Souls goes better, but every time I have to turn around and I see Micah on that back sideline, my brain starts to spiral again.

I can’t believe myself. My mistakes. My failures.

Not only will Micah cease to be mine after today, I can probably go ahead and kiss section leader good bye too. I don’t deserve it after this. Section leaders have to be able to block everything else out and focus on the task at hand and I can’t manage to do that for ten minutes.

I make it to my final spot and play the last hit, and I immediately want to cry. I can feel the rest of the drumline’s confused stares on the back of my neck. They obviously heard every single one of my mistakes.

I wish I could run off the field and hide. I don’t want to face the wrath of Taylor, the sympathy of Bryn, or have to look at future section leader Kaila. I just want to go home and cry. But I can’t, because now it’s time to come clean to Micah.

Once we’re clear of the field, Taylor practically growls at me. “We’ll talk later when I’m less irritated.”

I will myself not to cry. I’m right on the edge of completely losing it. I might have cost the band major points that could be the difference in our place today. Just because I couldn’t get my mind off of Micah. Just because I have to tell him the truth. Just because I had the nerve to be Anna.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
1122 Reviews


Points: 4075
Reviews: 1122

Donate
Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:48 pm
View Likes
Elinor wrote a review...



Hey Carlito!

AHHH things are crashing and coming to their conclusion and it's exciting! I really appreciate how you've invested me in this story.

I like this chapter conceptually, as Summer feels more and more anxious for what's about to happen. I will, however, echo my comments from my previous chapters and say I wish there was a way that the stakes were raised in this chapter in particular. Right now it feels like filler and I think at this point in the story we need to feel like the stakes are high.

Take this, for example:

The opening drum roll starts. Without me. I missed it.

For the first time in my life, I missed the entrance. Because I was thinking about Micah.


I love this moment, but I don't feel it in the way that I should because you tell instead of show. Overall, I liked this part a lot, though. You have a really nice writing style that's easy to get invested in. Can't wait to read more!

Catch you at the next part!

Cheers,
Elinor




Carlito says...


Thank you so much!! I get in a bad telling habit so I'm really glad you pointed that out <3



User avatar
292 Reviews


Points: 18209
Reviews: 292

Donate
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:40 pm
View Likes
Liberty wrote a review...



Hello, Carli!

Hope you're doing well today or tonight, depending on what side of the world you're on, obviously. I'm here to give you a review for RevMo, so let's get started! (I'm super excited.)

Also, I'm gonna review as I go along the the story, so yeah. Like, read, review, read, review, etc. Let's start for real now.

I promised, and I’ve already let him down so much.


Glad you realized. >-<

He told me last night that he was excited for today,


Aww, how much cuter can Micah get? <3

He’s not expecting Summer Rhodes saying SORRYSORRYSORRYSORRYSORRY.


Definitely not. If he does get it, man, he'll get so darn disappointed in you, man! Don't do it.

Usually when I strap my drum on, everything else leaves my mind and I’m focused and peaceful. Not today.


Oh no. That's no good. This is a huge sign that everything is gonna go down.

“Tired. Do I need to start instituting a curfew the night before competitions again?”

“Again? That was as thing?”


Lol, what...? XD

Leave it to Taylor to really boost your confidence.


XD This part really made me laugh, lol.

And all that does is make the pit in my stomach twist and writhe.


NOOOOO. Summer stop thinking about that damn boy!! Band is more important, so focus on that! Not a boy!

He may never talk to me again because I was Anna.


You realize that now. Not when you made the account. (-_-)

For the first time in my life, I missed the entrance. Because I was thinking about Micah.


Tsk tsk. This ain't good, Sum. Stop with Micah! Micah stop making Summer think about you! YOU'RE MAKING HER LOSE HER FOCUS!

I stand momentarily frozen. I can’t come in late because it’ll be obvious, but just standing here would also look pretty obvious if a judge were to talk by.


If a judge were to talk by or walk by? (And yes, it'd be very obvious and you might as well get kicked out of the band because of *cough* Taylor's *cough* over *cough* strictness *cough*)

I wish I could run off the field and hide. I don’t want to face the wrath of Taylor, the sympathy of Bryn, or have to look at future section leader Kaila. I just want to go home and cry. But I can’t, because now it’s time to come clean to Micah.


Sends hugs. Run if you want to. <333

Just because I couldn’t get my mind off of Micah. Just because I have to tell him the truth. Just because I had the nerve to be Anna.


*sobs* This is so saaaaaad!!! *sniffle* What's Micah going to think of Sum when he finds out the truth? What's he gonna think of himself? What are all their friends going to think? Oh my gosh, this is just so insane!! So many questions. So less answers. But I will figure it out in the next chapter, right?

And a very huge pat on the back from me for keeping me hooked the entire time. :smt023

...So far.

I'm done with my review, and I hope this helped in some way. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me whenever!

And as always...

Keep on writing!

~Liberty




Carlito says...


Thank you again for all of your thoughts <3 I'm so glad I've kept you hooked this whole time!!



Liberty says...


Not a problem!



User avatar
373 Reviews


Points: 61354
Reviews: 373

Donate
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:20 am
View Likes
EternalRain wrote a review...



Hi Carlito!!!

Okay, wow. I really liked this chapter. Well, it's not even a full chapter haha. But I LIKED IT. The band scenes in the previous chapters haven't been that intriguing to me, but this one was So Good. It's by far my favorite: everything always goes great in band - but not this time! I wanted to cry right along with Summer. I think this was such a good way of showing how Summer's preoccupation with Micah is really getting to her - besides her constantly worrying about it in her head.

I also like this bit:

May never did call me back so we could talk through a plan. I wish I had her moral support going into this, but this is a nightmare I’ll just have to endure alone.


It's pulling Summer more out of her comfort zone - away from the safety of her sister, who was always there to provide advice. The fact that Summer is alone in this is so, so scary but I think so, so crucial as well. Especially since the May/Summer relationship has been a big part of this book - particularly, Summer's reliance on May. I like how we're seeing Summer be more independent.

I mostly just have good things to say about this chapter?? This may be one of my favorite chapters yet. It was so hard for me to read because I almost couldn't bear reading about Summer missing the count or joining in late, but it felt so, so real. I feel like in the past, Summer's worries have been just flying around in her head, but here we see it crumbling down - and I really, really feel for her.

This part was the bit that really got me:
I make it to my final spot and play the last hit, and I immediately want to cry. I can feel the rest of the drumline’s confused stares on the back of my neck. They obviously heard every single one of my mistakes.


This emotional build-up to them meeting is stressing. me. out. I'm so nervous to see how Micah is going to react.

I don't really have to say anything else! Mostly just good things right now. :)

~ EternalRain




Carlito says...


Yay!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much <3




You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.
— J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan