Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Romantic

When I Was Anna - 9.2

by Carlito

Hello! If you're just tuning in, it's marching band season and Summer (drumline) has a crush on Micah (drum major), but she's too anxious to talk to him or tell her friends about it. Summer learned about an app called Chat With Me (you can only talk to people at your school and the conversations can't be tracked). They've been talking (except Summer is pretending to be someone named Anna) and in their last conversation Micah made it very clear that he thinks it's weird that they're talking and he doesn't know who she is. Summer just opened up about having alopecia (no hair) and how that's impacted her and Micah opens up about having Crohn's disease.

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


A full week without May has been an adjustment. Despite her promise that we can still talk whenever, she’s been so busy with moving into college and drum clinics, we’ve only been able to talk for ten minutes.

Her final audition was this morning and she texted me right after saying that she thought it went well and she should hear by this afternoon. But by the time I show up to the stadium for our Friday night football game, I still haven’t heard anything. I can’t comprehend the thought of her not making the cut. She has to make it. She’s the most talented drummer I know.

“Any word from May yet?” Bryn asks as we get dressed in our uniforms.

“Nothing.” I hang up my garment bag and try not to think about my phone.

“I’m sure it’ll be soon. I mean, she has to make it. She’s May.”.

Taylor overhears our conversation. “She hasn’t heard back yet? Man, if she doesn’t make it I’m screwed. She’s twice the drummer I am and I want to go to Purdue next year too.”

Kaila playfully pushes Taylor’s shoulder. “Oh relax and don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s no use worrying over it now. It’s not going to swing the odds either way. Let’s focus on what we’re doing. In case you forgot, we’re doing our full show tonight.”

This seems to wake Taylor from whatever downward thought spiral he was in because he straightens up and calls us to order. “Right. Team! Heads together. Focus. Kaila’s right, we have a job to do, so let’s get it together.”

But I can’t clear my head. I just managed to rattle everyone where Kaila was able to keep everyone focused. Too much more of that and Taylor will be recommending her to Mr. Murphy for section leader next year.

I keep my phone firmly in my hand while I finish getting ready, just in case. I do think it’s a little weird that she hasn’t said anything yet. Not even a “we’ll know in an hour” or “I’ll let you know as soon as I know”.

Phones aren’t allowed while we’re in uniform, so I tuck it away in my bag in the band trailer when it’s time to line up for the National Anthem. I decide that if she hasn’t texted me by the time halftime is over, I’ll call her.

Kaila is all smiles through our first quarter pep band, and Taylor maintains his laser focus as he prepares to give us our pre-show pep talk. Whatever feelings they had about May earlier have long been forgotten. As for me, while I listen to Taylor’s speech about doing our job, there’s still a part of my mind focused on the cellphone sitting in my bag.

I’m more tense than usual when it’s time to line up to take the field. Kaila rubs my left shoulder and I rub the shoulder of the person in front of me. I’m confident that I’ll do my job on the field and play my part perfectly and hit every dot. I just want to know what’s going on with May.

We assemble in our arc on the field, and Micah rushes past me to get to his spot on the back sideline. Not exactly the most helpful way for me to clear my head and focus. I’ve been replaying our conversation from last night in my head all day.

I shake my head, shake all of the unnecessary noise out, and take my spot on the field. Stella leads Micah and Walter through the hand signal to show we’re ready, they count off, and our opening snare roll leads into the opening chord, and I’m locked in.

All of the swirling thoughts from the last few hours is instantly overshadowed by the pure joy and exhilaration of being on the field and doing this show. Everyone applauds at all of the right places. No one crashes and burns and ends up on the wrong side of the field. No one, at least to my ears, forgets their part.

We hit the final note and freeze, the crowd cheers, and Taylor leads the rim shot clicks to march us off the field onto the track in front of the bleachers. I remember that when I go to change and have access to my phone again, there either will or won’t be a text from May. She either got in or she didn’t.

Once Mr. Murphy dismisses us to change, Bryn walks beside me and we help each other take off our gear like normal. I wait until I’m fully back in my regular garb before I grab my phone out of my drawstring bag to check for a message from May.

New message from: May Rhodes

May: I GOT IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5TH SNARE. :D :O :D :D *DYING* *SCREAMING* *FAINTING*

May: Sorry I didn’t say something sooner! Today has been CRAZY! As soon as they put the list up the rest of the snares took me out to celebrate and I’ve been out ever since. I’ve barely had a moment to breathe BUT I DON’T CARE!!! Call you soon <3 <3

I squeal loud enough for Bryn to whip around and Taylor to come running. The rest of the drummers in the vicinity turn to see what’s going on.

“She got it!” I yell to no one in particular.

Bryn screams. Taylor jumps in the air and does a fist bump, yelling, “Yes! I knew it! Yes!”

Within thirty seconds the news that the legendary May Rhodes, our fearless, flawless, perfect former leader, has made 5th snare at Purdue has swept through the drumline.

“Tell her congratulations from me!” Bryn beams.

“From all of us!” Taylor yells. “This is amazing! We knew she could do it!”

“Yeah, tell her we’re proud of her,” Kaila adds.

“I will guys.” I smile. People from other sections slowly hear the news and pass on their congratulations too. My sister May. Who I somehow have to live up to.


Summer: I mean, it’s no surprise!! We all knew you could do it!! <3 The entire drumline says CONGRATULATIONS WE’RE SO PROUD OF YOU!

Summer: Full show went off without a hitch tonight! Miss you loads <3

“Are we getting food?” Bryn asks once the well-wishers for May appear to have settled down.

“Yeah.” I shove my phone in my pocket and smile. “I wanted to tell May congrats from everyone.”

Camilla and Bryn find us near the band trailer, having already heard the good news through the grapevine, and the four of us take our spot in line.

I considered messaging Micah and telling him that my sister made the marching band at Purdue, but I thought that might be a little too obvious considering everyone is talking about May right now.

Out of my peripheral vision I see Micah approaching the concession line with Ethan and Kaila. I try to pretend I don’t notice. I also pretend not to care that Kaila is with them. It could mean nothing. It could mean everything.

I notice that they aren’t walking towards the end of the line, they’re coming directly towards us. I pretend to read the list of items for sale, even though I’ve had the concession menu memorized since last year, so I don’t have to think about why they’re all walking over here.

“Hey Summer,” Micah says and my stomach completely turns over. “I heard about May. Tell her congrats from me!”

I have a mild heart attack, but manage to smile and say, “Thanks! I will.” I hope the heat I feel on my cheeks is just my imagination.

“Hey Katya,” Ethan says.

She barely glances at him. “Hi Ethan.”

“What are you getting?”

“Twelve hot dogs,” She deadpans.


“We’ll see you guys later,” Kaila says and the trio walks to the back of the line.

My brain is absolutely spinning and I wait to see if anyone, Camilla mostly, wants to process this little encounter, but no one says anything. Katya has a little smirk on her face, but that’s all.

We buy our food, Katya only buys one hot dog, not twelve, and we choose a spot to sit. No more than three minutes later, Fernando walks past with his friends, looks at Camilla, and she immediately stands up to join him.

“Going somewhere?” Katya asks.

“I told Fernando I would sit with him. I’ll see you guys later.”

Katya rolls her eyes. “I thought you didn’t want to be seen in public with him because your parents might find out. Unless of course this means you told them about his existence.”

“No, we’re just going to sit near each other and with his friends. They’ll have no reason to suspect anything.”

“Right. Well have fun then.”

Camilla lifts her chin. “I will.”


She walks away, joining Fernando and his friends five tables away.

“Anyone else tired of her ditching us for him every chance she gets?” Katya asks.

I exchange looks with Bryn. It’s not ideal that Camilla left us to go hang out with him since the four of us don’t have a lot of time to hang out, but I’m not nearly as frustrated as Katya.

“At least she spent a little time with us?” Bryn shrugs.

Katya rolls her eyes again.

“I get it,” Bryn continues. “It’s new and fresh and she wants to spend every waking second with him. It’ll mellow out soon enough.”

We all start eating again. Micah, Ethan, and Kaila end up choosing a table in-between ours and Camilla, and I have to stop myself from glancing over after every bite. I feel like Micah and I got somewhere yesterday, and the fact that he spoke to me today makes me optimistic that all of this will somehow work out in my favor. I just have to keep this momentum going.

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?



User avatar
426 Reviews

Points: 17068
Reviews: 426

Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:36 am
View Likes
Tuckster wrote a review...

Hey there Carli! Tuck back for a review, making slow but steady progress here :)

I loved the general energy between the band members, especially after Summer announced that May had gotten the position. It shows that they're tight-knit and that they're a family, which makes sense considering the hours they spend practicing together and the camp and all the other friendships and relationships that form within the community. I think you did a good job showing that in this chapter especially, with the way that they interact with each other and through their care for and about each other, even during moments of drama. It's really heartwarming to see the way that they all care for each other and the solidarity within the group.

One thing I did notice about this chapter is that the pacing was much slower than per usual, and it was easier for me to get distracted during this chapter. There wasn't a lot happening that advanced the plot, and besides the way that all of the interactions worked to shape the feel of a tight-knit community, there didn't seem to be a lot of relevance to the particulars of their interaction. I think you could have shortened this and cut out some of the banter; not a significant amount of it, but left enough for the reader to get the feel of the community and the continued on with the main story.

Overall, my favorite scene from this was the celebration after Summer told everyone May's exciting news. It showed how close this community is in a special way and that May is still a part of the family even though she's away at college, and it brought the main characters closer together. The writing was pretty solid, and the characterization was well done throughout. I hope that my comments have helped you, and, as always, if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them! Onward to chapter 10!



Carlito says...

Making slow and steady progress on getting caught up on feedback :)

Thank you so much, yet again!! Very helpful as always <3

User avatar
370 Reviews

Points: 23675
Reviews: 370

Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:50 am
View Likes
Liberty wrote a review...

Hiya 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. Let's get started, now, shall we? This piece doesn't deserve to be sitting in the Green Room.

Alright, so I can see things developing now. May had passed, which is incredibly great news! Congrats from me too!! <33 And, Micah has talked to Summer! YEEEEE!! That's great news too. But ya know what I really wish? To see this Anna/Summer/Micah/Micah-realizing-Anna-is-Summer-thing to start already!! But I'm rushing things. You're keeping things at a prefect speed which makes it all the more realistic, ya know?

Okay: very miny things, but you need to watch out for punctuation stuffffff. Like periods and commas. I know you didn't want reviews like this, but it's kinda my thing... Lol. ;)

Alright, so I'm done with my review and I cannot wait to see what happens to Micah and Summer! I'm really hoping to see more in person conversations.

Also, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me anytime!

And as always...

Keep on writing!


Carlito says...

Thanks again Liberty!!

User avatar
1158 Reviews

Points: 6640
Reviews: 1158

Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:01 pm
View Likes
Elinor wrote a review...


As always I've enjoyed reading your chapters, and I am very much invested in these characters and this story that you've created. I love that Micah spoke to Summer as Summer and not as Anna, which is a plot point I figured should happen at some point and I'm glad that you included it. This did make me think though that I wish they'd had an additional conversation earlier on, before Summer begins to Catfish that she would strike as dismissive. But Micah does seems like someone who is too nice for his own good, so I can definitely envision something that Summer would misconstrue even if Micah is not interested.

I like where it's heading and I can't wait for the next part! I'd be curious to see if they have any more in person conversations either way, and how long it will end up taking Micah to put two and two together.

See you in the next part!

Carlito says...

Again, sorry for the late response!! Thank you so much for your review as always <3

There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way, and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it.
— Christopher Darlington Morley