“Elaine Yang, please give me your history assignment for this week.” My history teacher Paul McDowell said in a bored voice. He had already taken the papers for about fifteen kids, and was quite beyond bored. I gave him the papers, and relaxed, knowing that School would soon end for the day. “Alright Class,” Mr. McDowell addressed us, “ your assignment for next week is on Henry Clay, it must be at least 1,000 words, and accurate.” emphasizing the word for the lack of accuracy in our last assignment he had graded. And raising a chorus of groans from some certain teens who hated researching.
“you may go now” he said with a wave, and the class exploded into chatter as we burst out into the halls.
As I walked out the door, I saw a girl, Katy Downing, a rich prissy violist who was just awful to be around, stretch her eyes to make them look Chinese, and stick out her tongue at me. I just looked down at the floor.
The reason why I was much quieter then most of the students, was because I was not originally from America, I was born in Beijing China. I moved here to America when I was 7, and got a was sworn in as a Citizen here when I was 12. That was two years ago. I grew up speaking Mandarin, so I never spoke much English if I didn’t have to, I liked Mandarin better. Besides I had to thick of an accent for most people to understand.
So I just looked at the floor, and kept walking, and then running, out of the building, and to the girls dorm. To the comfort of my Violin, and safety of solitude.
When I got to my room, I shut the door, threw myself on my bed, and buried my head in the pillow. I let my heart stop racing, willing the tears to stay behind my lids.
Eventually I got up, chiding myself for throwing a pity party, then my phone viberated. I looked at my phone, I had got a text from my mom, it read
“Love you much Lainy” in Chinese. My eyes welled up. I missed my family so much! But I had to stay at the boarding school until summer. Then I would go live with my family in Texas for the summer, and then come back here to New York for school. I texted Mom back:
“Love you too!”
And put my phone down.
I had to practice Dawn’s piece she’d composed for the Show in march. We were still trying to come up with a name for it, unsuccessfully so far, but I was doing good with the violin part. Me, Dawn, and Crystal were going to rehearse the piece together for the first time today at 4:00. I still had 30 minutes to practice, so I practiced, glad to escape from my life for a while.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“Hey Elaine!” said Dawn, from across the room. I saluted her playfully, then went to join her, Crystal, and Nat, by the pianos Nat and Dawn were warming up on. Crystal was over in the corner stretching. I walked over to her and silently gave her my old violin, and a brand new bow I had bought for her. She said
“thanks!” I nodded my you’re welcome. Then went to warm up.
Once we’d all warmed up, Nat said
“Okay girls, if we are all finally warmed up, then lets take it from the top.”
“K” I replied along with the rest. The we counted together “1, 2, 3, 4,” and the beautiful collaboration began.
It started with Crystal lip-syncing the violin part, the piece that Dawn had composed was gorgeous, even I had to admit that. Then Nat did a couple harmonic chords, and Dawn joined in with a harp like cadenza.
I don’t think I had ever heard anything as beautiful as that song we played, and it was going so well… until we all screeched to a halt. Dawn moaned
“oh come on! why did I write this stupid flourish!” that’s why we had stopped, Dawn had just given up halfway through the cadenza. Crystal giggled and Nat looked confused.
“Daaaaaaaaaawn, can’t we just get a move on already? It was sounding so good!” I rolled my eyes, annoyed.
Dawn’s hair bounced freely as she giggled “oh of course! If the plain Elaine Jane annoyed?” I just groaned and rolled my eyes again. I glared. “okay” she sighed, “I guess, I think I will have to practice that dumb flourish later though!”
We were just about to start, when I heard something. It sounded like some other group practicing…. But it also, sounded at least ten times better then us. It was so beautiful, and virtuosic at the same time! I held up my hand, cocked my ear, and said
“Does anyone else hear that?”
“Yeah…….” Nat muttered.
“Doesn’t that sound like…..’’ Crystal started, but was cut off
“OH NO!!” Dawn screeched “that’s our competition!!” we gasped. “oh no no no no no NO.” she sputtered “no way am I letting anyone be better then us! We’re trying to win!” we all looked at each other in panic, obviously we couldn’t win against people as good as this. Then I had a thought. what if we spied on who’s playing that song! it sounded wrong, but if sure sounded sneaky and fun.
“Hey, what if we went and spied on whoever is playing that piece, then at least we’ll know what we are up against.” I suggested.
Nat looked at the others, as a sly grin crept over her face,
“oooooooooh yeah, I am so in!” Dawn ginned even more devilishly then Nat, and wooped like an Indian.
“count me in!” she said enthusiastically. We all looked at crystal.
“I think I will sit this one out, but have fun!’’ She winked. So out we waltzed, into the hall.
“okay, I think the noise was coming from practice room 3b.” I Said quietly. We tiptoed over to the room, and peered through the glass. In the room, sat Katy, her boyfriend Tyler, and a whole orchestra. My eyes practically popped out of my head.
“I knew she was rich, but she hired a whole professional orchestra?!?!” I whispered.
“no joke! I mean my dad is like a millionaire, or whatever, but even I wouldn’t get away with this!” Dawn choked. Like me, she lived away from her adopted family at the school. The reason I say adopted is because her dad isn’t really her dad. Dawn said her adopted family found her and Crystal under a bridge when she was 5. The weird thing is, neither dawn nor Crystal could remember anything of their life before that. It was a mystery that had often bothered both of them.
I was suddenly catapulted out of my thoughts by the music again, Katy and her Orchestra were starting again. As we listened, our jaws dropped and our eyes popped out of our heads.
“okay. We need to do something about this. Or we. are. Going. To. Lose.” Nat whispered.
“OoOoOo! Sabatoge!” Dawn whisper yelled.
“no.” Nat rolled her eyes. “that would be too dramatic, besides, you know there are security cameras in here! I was thinking something different. What if, we stepped up our game?”
Dawn looked at Nat thoughtfully, and whispered back “ I think I could make some adjustments that would make our act cooler, it will be like waaaaay harder, but I know we can do it.”
“then let’s step up our game.”