I remember when I was younger, maybe four or five, my mom would take me with her to the studio. She’d set me up with her manager’s daughter and tell me to draw something while she recorded her song. That sort of became the norm for me. Mom would push me into a rolling chair, hand me my crayons and tell me to behave myself. It was also around the age of four and five thar she stopped, I don’t know, being that I’ll-Check-On-You-Every-Five-Minutes-To-See-What-You’re-doing type of mom.
I missed that mom who hovered a little too much. I wanted her to recognize me for the things I accomplished. I learned how to sing, how to play multiple instruments, but clearly, she could care less. It’s kind of like my dad—she noticed, but she didn’t notice me.
That’s when I gave up and taught myself to draw. That earned me a lot of respect. My mom, Laila V. and her daughter, Adeline May Ramos. Mom had the notes, and I was the muse. The magic duo.
I also learned to draw because my therapist told me to find a coping method. She said that music was my mom’s thing. I, quote unquote, ‘need to find my own’. Lately, I’ve been drawing the girl in my dream. The memory of her is a little hazy, making my drawings look out-of-focus, if that makes sense. I almost want to dream about her again just to see her. I already know what Tanya would say if we were in session: Do you actually know this girl or is she a fragment of your imagination?
A loud ringing sound comes from the intercom, signaling the end of lunch and the start of our next class. I grab my backpack and slide out of my seat. I walk the short distance to the doors before exiting.
I keep my eyes on the ground as I make my way to Renee’s classroom. The sound of laughter and chatter fills my ears and somehow it calms me. The noise, the commotion, the chaos…
See, that proves that I’m crazy. I was just complaining about chaos, and now I’m describing the beauty of it.
I hear the familiar sound of Kristian laughing and I look up. He’s standing at his locker, I’m assuming, with his friends. The girl he’s laughing with or at rolls her eyes and crosses her arms. I find myself smiling, too. I look down and continue walking. I can feel his eyes on me as I walk into Renee’s classroom.
She’s sitting on top of her desk, looking at her computer screen when I walk in. She looks up and smiles at me. I walk to my seat towards the back of the classroom. My eyes move toward the door, waiting for someone to walk in.
Seeing my expression, Renee says, “There is almost ten minutes between each bell.”
Ah. “Why?” I ask, looking away from the door.
“You’ll have to ask the principle.” Renee laughs.
I give her a smile and turn towards the window. Who needs ten minutes to move from one class to the next? All that time—for what? A quickie in the bathroom? I roll my eyes.
“What’s your favorite song?” Renee asks, looking back at her computer screen.
“I’m assuming you have one.”
“Uh, no, I don’t.”
“Well, what’s the most recent song you’ve listened to?”
I stare blankly at her until she looks at me.
“Just check your history,” she sighs.
I roll my eyes and make an effort to show I really care about this. I click on the YouTube icon. Opening my history, I mouth its loading to Renee. The song that is on top is Naked by Ella Mai and I tell her that.
“Is it new?” She asks, her eyebrows scrunching.
“It came out in 2018, so…”
“Huh.” She turns away. “Never heard it.”
“Really? You’ve never heard this song before?” my shock and curiosity shines through my voice.
Renee starts typing on her computer and I scoff. Call me weird but how can you start a conversation and then completely ignore it? And I thought I was the bipolar one. I open my mouth and what comes out is the first line in the second verse.
I may be a bitch in the morning, so catch me at night time
She pauses but doesn’t turn around.
Some of my friends think I’m moody but I think I’m just fine
As I continue to sing I find my eyes closing. I’m floating away from my body and I’m going to that place where it’s just me, my pad and my mom. I’m seeing bright colors, and dark colors, and swaying hips and dark eyes and small lips and pixie hair and the color red and—
“Damn,” I hear from the doorway.
I pause mid-note and open my eyes. Kristian stands at the door with one of his friends and they both stare at me in awe.
Renee claps her hands ad laughs. “There’s that voice I’ve been waiting to hear.”
I look away from Kristian’s gaze and back to Renee. She smiles at me. The bell rings for class to begin. I look up at the intercom.
Well, I guess those ten minutes were needed.
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