November 5, 2008
By Jasmine McCain, Omaha, NE

The hallway bustled with sound. Inside the band room was the scatter of random melodies being played. Veronica shuffled to class in her brown Birkenstocks, that displayed her mismatched socks from behind. Her new ex boyfriend’s oversized black hoodie didn’t compliment well with her skinny figure, but the strangeness in her outfit was just another way to grab attention. Without a glance, she walked past Mr. Kennedy, who was holding the door. Of course, her head was turned over her shoulder and she was telling a completely irrelevant story to her best friend, Katie. Katie, being the willing companion that she is, except without the fur, kept her ears fully engaged in every word that Veronica spoke.

As Veronica entered the room, it was obvious that the mood shifted from comfortable to tense. She slammed her messenger bag onto the table, and went to her locker to retrieve her clarinet. Each set of eyes fixed on her at various times, most were rolled, and then turned away. She plopped down her case, put together her instrument, and began to play. Once she looked around, she saw Courtney, sitting in the chair next to hers.

“Where the heck were you? You always wait for me before this class!”

“Well, you weren’t in first hour, so I assumed you weren’t here,” she explained, frantically.

“Of course I’m here. When do I ever miss band?”

The drum major rose to the podium in the front of the room. Kristen was ready to direct the class through their marching band show. Unfortunately, it was hard to get everyone’s attention. Some people were bitter towards her since she was the only one to make drum major, and they felt as if they would have been a better choice.

“But I sure wish I could today!” Veronica continued. She said it in a yelling whisper, and added a chuckle. Courtney began to laugh as well. Kristen looked at her in the corner of her eye. It was obvious that she was talking about her. She decided to put Veronica’s immaturity aside, and get started.

“Band! Horns….are up!”

The entrance was sporadic, and frustrated Kristen. She sighed, put everyone to a halt, and started again. That time was no different. She hopped down from the podium, with a thump, and covered her face with her hands. Her body was beet red, and she assumed that the band had planned this to torment her. Kristen took slow, deep breaths into her sweaty palms.

Mr. Kennedy approached the front to save the day, with good ol’ “Dr. Beat”. He jammed the cord into the socket, and out blared clicks in 4/4 time. “Alright guys, you gotta learn to start working together. That’s what killed you in last week’s competition. You have to feel the beat in your feet! And you do that by watching Kristen’s hands. At the beginning of a phrase, you’re going to breathe when her hands are up.”

“Pssh. Nobody watches her. She’ll have us all messed up man!” Veronica mumbled to Courtney. They burst out in obnoxious laughter. Kristen and Mr. Kennedy glanced over at her, with raised eye brows, but decided to ignore her remark.

“Yeah, if she could conduct right, maybe we’d all be together,” Courtney intervened. The rest of the clarinet section kept quiet, but looked up at Kristen to show they were ready. Finally, she got them to start together, all except Veronica and Courtney.

The girls came in roaring, and sharp too, since they decided to skip tuning at the beginning of the hour, because according to them, they were always correct. The clarinets recognized the wrong pitches quickly, but kept the section together. Then, a trumpet from the row behind hollered for them to fix it. One by one, the clarinet players looked down, and adjusted if necessary. Courtney started to, but stopped when she saw that Veronica kept playing. The pitch problem went unfixed, and by the end of the first song, everyone had figured out whose instrument was erratic.

Veronica’s and Courtney‘s, of course.

Some how, everyone seemed to survive the period. The piercing sounds of clarinets rung in their ears. It was time to shut the two girls down, and a girl named Amelia rose to the occasion. She slumped to her locker, in nervousness, to put her clarinet away. As she pulled her arm back to shut it, Veronica nudged her, and walked away quickly.

Amelia deeply sighed. “That’s it!” she shrieked, slamming her locker. She strutted to the table that Veronica was leaning on.

“…and I was like what the heck were you thinking?” Veronica told Katie and Courtney. They had gathered around her, listening to her every word, with no expression on their faces. Veronica slowly turned her head towards Amelia. “May I help you?” she sassed.

“You know what? You can, actually! Look, I am so sick of your attitude. The number one thing that no one…I mean, no one can stand about you is the fact that you think you’re perfect and everyone else is crap. And that is bull crap, Veronica! Why can’t you open your eyes and realize that this world does not revolve around you?”

“Oh, yes is does!” she snickered. Her head swung backwards, and she noticed that Courtney and Katie were neither laughing nor agreeing. “Doesn’t it?” she asked. It was more of a demand than a question because her voice didn’t rise at the end.

“Oh…of course,” Courtney chimed.

“Yeah…duh,” Katie added.

“See! You’re the one who needs to open up her eyes, sweetheart. I am the definition of perfection.”

“No…you’re not. You’re completely and utterly insecure. You thought that your position as my best friend was threatened because I decided I wanted to make new friends. Look, I’m sorry that you’re so pathetic that you felt the need to “replace” me with two other people, when I still saw you as my best friend. I’m sorry that all of my time wasn’t devoted to you. And because of that, you became this. You hate me because I expanded my horizon. You wanted me to wait on your hand and foot, and listen to your every single word, and you can’t stand it now that I actually have a life!”

“Yeah right! My life so does not revolve around you. I couldn’t care less if you got new…what you call…friends. I’m sure they don’t like you any more than I pretended to.”

“Okay. That’s fair enough. You probably didn’t like me. You probably just liked the fact that I paid attention to you. But you know what? You are going to die young and alone because people like these two imbeciles,” she pointed to Courtney and Katie, “ will eventually realize just how fake of a person you are. They will realize that it’s not smart to associate with the devil. That’s what you are…the devil. So, I wish you the best in life. I hope that you learn to respect others around you, stop talking crap about everyone, and decide it’s better to actually be a good person. I’d be happy for you if you just attempted for one day!”

The bell began to chime, and Amelia headed out the door. “Oh whatever. I’m not worried about that little girl. I know that I’m amazing,” Veronica stated heading towards the door. She noticed that neither of her confidants had said a word.

“Aren’t I?”

“Yes, Veronica…” Courtney mumbled.

“Whatever you say.” groaned Katie.

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