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“Climbing into Someone Else’s Skin”

By , Park Ridge, IL
I waved goodbye to my mother as I walked into John’s house. He was waiting for me at the door with his brother Demetri. John introduced me to his brother. “Hi. I’m Christina. Nice to meet you”, I said and shook his hand.
He responded with a nice smile and a firm grip, “Hey. I’m Demetri. Nice to meet you too.” They then showed me the way to the family room. On the way down the hallway, I looked around as I walked. I made my way towards his mom. “Hello. My name is Christina. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you too. So you guys are going to work on John’s English paper? That’s nice. Thank you for helping him out. As you know, he missed two days of school, so he has to catch up a little. John? Before you two start working on your homework, do you want to show the girl around? How does that sound Christina? ”.
“Okay”, I said. I didn’t really mind. It’s a pretty interesting house. In the family room, they showed me some art pieces they’ve done. “Wow! These are amazing! I never knew you were an artist?” Demetri was holding up a couple paintings that he made in eighth grade. “Oh wow! These are really good!”
“Thank you. Aren’t you an artist too?” he asked.
Then his brother cut in. “Of course she is. Christina’s a great artist. She won a book mark contest last month.”
I didn’t like to brag too much, so I simply said, “Yes I did. Thank you.”
John’s brother then adds in after a short pause, “Why don’t we show you the instruments we play.”
“Oh yes. That’ll be nice. John already told me you guys play a Greek instrument.” So I followed them, this time Demetri leading the way into the living room.
He pointed out as he named each one. “These three are part of the same family. First the biggest one the bouzouki, second the tzoura, and the third and smallest the baglama. These here are the guitar, violin, and accordion.”
“And you both play all of these? That’s so cool!” I said in astonishment. At first I didn’t believe it. So I asked Demetri to play the accordion for me.
He looked at me like it was no big deal and said, “Sure”, there was a pause. He looked at me as he was thinking. “Don’t you, I mean do Romanian people play the accordion? You’re Romanian right?”
“Yes, and yes they do, and that’s why I like it so much. Can you play me a song?”
“Yep”, and he started playing a nice Greek song. He saw me smiling, so he smiled at me, and then John smiled at both of us. When he was done playing, I applauded for him. “That was nothing, really”.
I stared at him like he was crazy. “You kidd’n me?! That was awesome!”
“Yes it was. But we have to go do our homework now. Don’t worry, we’ll play some more later”, said John in a hurry. I could tell he really did want to play more, but at the same time, he looked kind of worried. He wanted to finish his paper.
“Um, ok. If you say so”. So we went into the dinning to do our homework. After about an hour, it was time for me to leave. I thanked his mom for having me over and I went back to the living room where John and his brother were waiting to play a final song for me. I asked if I could try the accordion. I couldn’t manage to play it because it was so heavy. The only experience I have in music is a little piano in the past. But that’s it. Demetri took the accordion and John took the bouzouki and they started to play a really nice song. I don’t know the name of it because it was a Greek song. They finished just as my mom pulled in to their driveway. “Thank you guys so much. I really had a great time. You guys are awesome musicians. John, good luck on your paper and I’ll see you both tomorrow. Bye and thanks again.” I got into my mom’s car and waved back at John and his brother as we reversed out of the driveway.





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