Tweet, Little Bird
As I enter Ms. Nesmith’s classroom, at once I notice the change in the appearance. Last class, the desks were in neat pairs, those pairs in rows. Everything was organized as if we were partnering up for something. Today, the desks are in a semi-circle. Ms. Nesmith’s desk closes the circle off and in the middle is a piano and its bench.
This is some kind of a group project, I think. We did something like this in my NJROTC class. The only difference is instead of a piano, it was a person, and instead of a desk surrounding the person, it was your platoon, standing at parade rest, waiting for their command.
I move to the desk closest to the back of the classroom. I slide into my chosen seat and sit my binder on the desk.
Laughter erupts from the center of the room as Tyler mockingly plays the piano. I roll my eyes at them. I pull out my journal and flip to a blank page. I look to Tyler and the piano again before I start drawing. The bench appears on the page first, then the piano. I draw someone sitting at the piano—someone unrecognizable to me. His mouth is open, as if he’s singing, and there are tears springing from his eyes.
Another burst of laughter from the center of the room makes me huff in annoyance. The next thing that appears on the page is four dark figures. They too don’t have a face, but they’re laughing. The ringleader is standing slightly ahead of the other three as if he’s asking for their attention. Friends are overrated, I write within the picture.
Someone puts their books on the desk beside me and I pause. The person sits down. “Is that Tyler?”
I look at him—Kristian. He’s looking down at my journal. When I don’t answer, he looks back at me. Those damn eyes…
“Um. I guess?” I answer, quickly sliding it back into my binder.
A slight blush creeps across my cheeks. I look down, making my hair block him from me.
Luckily, Ms. Nesmith walks in. Her eyes are weary and red as she puts her bog on the desk. I look over at Kristian but he’s looking at Ms. Nesmith in concern.
“What’s wrong with her?” I ask him, leaning a little toward him.
“She and her girlfriend got into another fight,” he explains with a small sigh.
My eyebrows scrunch. “How would you know that?”
His face turns a bright red and he looks away. “Ms. Nesmith is close to the family.”
When I look at Ms. Nesmith, she’s searching her purse for something. She’s muttering under her breath. Ms. Nesmith looks up and meets my eyes. Quickly, she looks back down, continuing her search.
“How close are you two?” I ask Kristian.
“Um…” he shrugs before answering, “We’re pretty close I’d like to say,” he looks at me with a soft smile, “like a sister to me, actually.”
Matching his smile, I say, “It’s nice to have someone in your corner, isn’t it?”
His smile freezes. It slowly slides off of his face as he looks away. Shit. Did I just mess this up?
Before I can say something—anything—to clear my mistake, Ms. Nesmith starts talking. “Okay, class. Would someone like to tell Adeline May—”
“—Just Adeline what she’ll be doing at the end of the month?”
Hands began shooting up in the air. I lean back in my seat and cross my arms. Kristian sneaks me a glance as I raise an eyebrow at him. He raises his hand, adding to the ones already raised.
“Kristian—” Ms. Nesmith is cut off by the classes’ groans in protest, but she continues, “—since you’re Adeline’s tour guide and partner, I’ll give you the honors.”
I look at him expectantly.
“Since you’re new, you’re going to have to sing a song of your choice.”
I roll my eyes. “And…”
“At the Spring Dance and Talent Show.”
I laugh. My head goes back as my laugh sounds throughout the room. Others start to laugh with me, filling the air with their joyous sounds, somehow matching my fallacious ones. Out of my squinted eyes, Kristian looks at me.
Through my laughs, I say, “There is no way in hell that I am singing at some hippy talent show for a bunch of hippies.”
I hear a slight scoff from Kristian as he looks away. “Hippies,” he mutters under his breath.
Fuck. I did mess it up.
“Well, singing for a bunch of hippies is thirty percent of your grade,” Ms. Nesmith resorts, to which I scoff. “But since I’m in such a good spirit, I’ll help you practice. Please join me at the piano.”
Suddenly, the laughing spirit is washed away. As it goes away, a burning feeling sparks in my chest. I shake my head as an answer to her request.
“This too is grade, Just Adeline.”
“Well,” I slap my hand against the desk, “you can go ahead and throw that zero in the grade book, Ms. Nesmith.”
She makes a tsk sound before choosing to move on. She dismisses everyone to do whatever before stalking toward me.
“Your father told me you sing, just like your mother did. This project shouldn’t be that hard, then.”
Her mouth is moving, but I can’t hear her anymore. She just brought up my mother. Why did she just bring up my mother? My eyes start to sting. I watch as Ms. Nesmith’s expression morphs from smug to questioning. I offer her a fake smile before asking, “Can I go to the bathroom?”
She turns unsure and I raise an eyebrow. I simply gather my binder and pull my book bag over my shoulder. I see Kristian looking at me in concern, but I ignore him. Quickly, I walk out of the room.
There goes my mood.
adeline’s first mood change… why do you think that is?
hint: read back a few chapters.
~xoxo, maya cyns