Air - Chapter 3

I sat in music class, still glancing at my changed schedule. Apparently today was an early release day and music was my last class. I quickly zoned in to the teacher as she began to ask questions.

“Who plays an instrument? We have a presentation coming up for the faculty!” I almost raised my hand, but decided against it, not wanting to give the bullies another reason to make fun of me. Some others raised their hands, but I doubt they actually played. I looked at the girl that the teacher called on, listening intently. “Yes, Kate?” The teacher called out, ready to write on her vintage chalkboard.

“I play drums!” As if to accentuate her point, she drummed a pretty good beat out on her school supplies and her legs.

“Nice, Kaitlin. Anyone else?” A mousy girl raised her hand.

“Leah?”

“Guitar and mandolin.”

“Okay then. Arthur?” My breath caught in my throat and my mind stopped working. Arthur? I glanced at him, my cheeks turning red. He ran on the track team and was a skilled basketball player. He was also a heartthrob.

“I play drums and guitar. And mess around with some singing sometimes.” He ran his hand through his hair. The popular kids laughed and applauded. The bell rang and I practically dashed out of the music room. It’s best to avoid conflict when you’re outnumbered. I raced down to the music room and pulled out my notebook. Benjamin wasn’t here yet, so I didn’t have to worry about being late or anything. Last night I had decided on Adele’s Someone Like You (I just really like Adele), The Postal Service’s Such Great Heights, then left some time in case he wanted to sing anything in particular. I was careful enough not to choose any Christian music in case he wasn’t a believer. I am, and I sing a lot of songs in that genre.

“Hello, love.” Benjamin walked in and left his bag on a chair.

“Hi!” I quickly regretted sounding so cheerful, but I couldn’t help it! This could be a chance at a friend!

“Got any songs?”

“Um, yeah.” I showed him my notebook page with the songs written down. He studied it intently for a few moments then handed it back to me.

“Okay, let’s start with Adele.” I nodded, my fingers ready to play over the piano. I stopped right before I started.

“Uh, is it okay if I play the piano?”

“Do you know the song, love?”

“Yeah.”

“Then be my guest.” He smiled and my face turned pink in reply. I stared at the keys for a moment. “Let’s just sing it together and alternate verses, then choruses and bridges together in harmony. Ladies first. Simple enough?” My head was spinning. This guy was hardcore, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

“Sure.” I started playing the all-too-familiar melody, the music already taking me away to a place of relaxation, however weird that may sound.

“I heard

That you’re, settled down,

That you’ve

Found a girl, and you’re

Married now…

I heard

That your dreams came true.

Guess she gave you things

I didn’t give to you…” I trail off as the next verse begins. When Benjamin starts singing, it’s beautiful and deep, something that’s easy to harmonize with.

“Old friend

Why are you so shy?

Ain’t like you to hold back

Or hide from the light…” I glance at him to make sure that we are on the same page, then start dueting. Little did I know that we were being watched and photographed and video recorded.

“I hate to turn up

Out of the blue uninvited, but I

Couldn’t stay away

I couldn’t fight it

But I hoped you’d see my face

And that you’d be reminded that for me,

It isn’t over…” We sound beautiful together. His voice blows me away! Is it even possible for a boy to sing that well?

“Nevermind I’ll find

Someone like you

I wish nothing but the best

For you, too

Don’t forget me

I begged

I remember you said

Sometimes it lasts in love

But sometimes it hurts instead…” We’re interrupted by a loud chorus of laughter from outside. I stop playing immediately, and Benjamin walks over to the door. I hear some yelling, then he pokes his head in and speaks directly at me.

“I’m terribly sorry love, but I have to take these goofs back to their detention classes. I’ll be a couple minutes.” I nod as he walks out, yelling at someone the entire way down the hallway. I lay my head on the piano and lose track of time rather quickly.

“Hello?” I hear a voice, and my head rises off the piano. I’m greeted with the beautiful sight of Arthur, walking in shyly.

“Um, hi! Can I help you?”

“Sure, I was just looking for Benjamin, and some students told me he was singing in the music room.” My eyes widened, knowing all too well that it was Len and his goons. Juvenile delinquents, all of them.

“He left a minute ago. I’m sorry you missed him. He’ll be back soon, though.” I manage a smile laced with nervousness.

“Ah it’s fine. I’ll just talk to him tomorrow.” He turned and walked towards the door. “It was nice seeing you, Alexa.” He smiles and is greeted with a slap to the back of his head.

“Ben!” We say simultaneously as he walks in the door, holding a newspaper.

“Off with you. Quit causing trouble for this poor girl. She doesn’t like you. Off now.” He waves his wrist at Arthur and his eyes squint, then he walks out and slams the door behind him.

There go my chances of a relationship with somebody.

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