Hear Me Out-Part 6

What I initially set out to be three hours of study in music theory quickly turned into an all-nighter.  And what I thought would take only one night to learn turned into thirty days! Such was usually the case whenever I would get heavily involved in something, but never before had something ignited a fire that set my soul a-flutter so brightly as music.  Just what is this thing, and how had I not realized its greatness before now?  Learning music theory went from being a curious interest to being a complete obsession of mine!  For the entire first month of school, I was consistently getting very little slumber due to falling head over heels in love with this thing. I still usually managed to get a firm four hours of sleep before I had to perform my daily reset: breakfast, school, homework, reading, and then staring at the ceiling all over again.  This particular morning, however, things were a little off-kilter.

“Izzy……you have twenty minutes to make it to class. Izzy?”

A hard knock greeted my door, along with a concerning reminder from my father that I was running uncharacteristically late for school.

“Uh…..coming.”

I quickly shoved my chubbiness out of bed and into the shower.  I, yet again, quickly turned on the water and immediately let out a sigh of relief as soon as I felt the harsh blast on my bare skin.  The super hot, steaming water from from the shower head provided a much needed shock to my system.  All of a sudden, I began to daze.  I dove off into a state of consciousness that I didn’t know how to describe.  Eyes firmly closed, I started thinking about the man that I had run into the day prior.  His mesmerizing accent, so-opposite-of-me/rock star aura and helplessly beautiful……..everything.

*Bang, bang, bang*

“Isadora!  What has gotten into you?  You are about to miss class!”

My friends (what are those?), let me tell you, I have not heard my mother yell like that in AGES!  But yet and still, I took my time in answering her.

“Uhhh, yes mother.  I………am coming.”

As soon as I turned off the shower, it was as if the consciousness switch in my head was turned back on.  I slipped on my towel, gargled, and got dressed all within what seemed like a split second.  Once I put on both of my shoes and messenger bag, I looked down at the watch on my wrist.  Five.  FIVE minutes until the opening bell rang for school!

“Darn it…..I’m screwing up.”

I muttered to myself, aloud.  It looked like today was just gonna be one of those days.  I bolted toward the school with cheetah-like speed, but elephant-like grace.  I managed to shuffle into my first class for the day a millisecond before the opening bell rang.  Fifteen.  It would usually take FIFTEEN minutes to get from my house to the school, but this time warp of sorts could only be explained as magical.

“Miss Isadora Manon (Ms. Reacher would always say my Frenchie last name incorrectly, no matter how many times I would tell her that it is pronounced ma-nohn and not MAN-NUN), it’s so unusual to see you barely make it in, but we’re glad to see ya anyhow!  Have a seat; we are taking a pop quiz.”

BBBBBBBZZZZTTT

Before I knew it, the fire alarm rang as the class was barely five minutes into taking the super long quiz.

“Alright class, this is just a drill.  Be civil and make your way toward the nearest doors.”

As usual, everyone else would immediately link up with their besties as the students of Joenby filed out of the school and into the surrounding grassy areas.  As usual, also (sensing a theme here?), I would try to blend in with the masses as so as to not look too awkward with my pocket-sized dictionary in hand.  I got maybe a few moments alone with my precious pack of words before a phantom set of hands swiped them from my grasp.

“Hmmm…….it’s all French to me.  I don’t understand a lick of it.”

I turned my head to see this tomboy-ish looking girl toss my book back to me.

“It….is French.  I am French.  Well…my parents were born there, but I’m American.  So…yeah.”

I muttered.

“Ah, so we have something in common.  My parents are immigrants also, but from Argentina.  I’m Jesse, by the way.  Nice to meet ya!”

Jesse gave me a firm greeting-pat on my back as I returned a shy smirk.

“By the way, I’ve never noticed that we had the same first period until today, and it’s been, like, over a month since school started!  I suppose you’re just the quiet type, eh?  That’s pretty cool.”

I could already tell that Jesse wasn’t the kind to put on a front; as real as real gets.  Plus, she didn’t seem to lament my quietness, but saw it as being rather admirable.

“Uh, yeah.  Just not one for conversation, but I like….learning….different things.”

“That’s pretty awesome, chica.  Hey, how about we sit together at lunch?  All of my so-called friends have since ditched me for other, more popular people, so….it’s just you and me!”

What took maybe three seconds to answer felt like an eternity as I took the time to process that someone actually asked me to sit with them at lunch.

“Oh, uh, yeah!  If you want to, I mean, uh, yeah.”

Although I sounded rather reluctant, I was actually quite excited to be able to not eat in the restrooms this time around!

Since our school was so small, everyone had lunch at the same hour, but that still didn’t stop people from dashing to the cafeteria like a herd of cattle, come lunch time.

I tried not to look too much like an outcast as I sat at an open table, patiently awaiting the arrival of my new best friend  acquaintance.  I was in the process of taking my thermos of hot noodles out of my lunch bag when, suddenly:

“Hey there, chica!  Sorry I took so long, the cafeteria is serving grilled chicken today and virtually everyone and their mom was here to grab a bite.  They’re sold out now, but you better believe I managed to scoop me one!  Want a bite?”

This Jesse character was quite the character, indeed.  Although we were around the same height, she was considerably more athletic than me, and even though she claimed that she had never noticed me before that day, I had always sort of admired her from afar.  She was everything I wish I could be: energetic, confident, stylish, and an absolute genius.  After all, she was a part of the Prestige program also, so most of us were considered “upper crust”, although I considered myself to be of a lesser breed.

“Uh, no thank you.  I’m sure it’s good, though.  Is the lunch room always this crowded?”

I accidentally dropped a hint of my in-restroom eating.

“Uh, yeah.  I suppose.  I mean, you’ve eaten in here before, right?”

I had to save face.

“Uh….oh, yeah!  It’s just that I…uh…usually spend my lunches in the libr..”

“Oh, wait! I totally forgot that freshmen are allowed to eat outside in the fall.  It’s pretty sunny out there.  Wanna come?”

Thankfully, Jesse was much more forward-thinking than I was.

“Oh, sure!  I love the sun! (since when?)”

We transferred our belongings to one of the very last tables available outside.  It was a park bench of sorts, complete with a bright red umbrella running through its middle.  I felt much more at ease being surrounded by less people.  Not to mention, our bench was situated in its own little nook away from the other tables; I felt like royalty.  We finally got to munching on our lunches when Jesse decided that it was a fine time to bring up more of what was on her mind.

“So, are you a member of any clubs here at school?”

“No, I don’t really want to join any.”  I replied.

“Oh, well, what things do you like doing?”  She further inquired.

“Um, well, I do like music.  I mean.  I’ve been trying to learn how music works and everything, although I don’t own any instruments.  Weird, I know, but I’m hoping get some lessons soon.”  Not wanting to give too much away about my exact aspirations.

Honestly, though, I could have gone on and on with my answer as Jesse didn’t seem to be having any of it.  She was too busy being entranced by this man who I had never seen before that day.  He was quite a striking fellow, decked out in dress pants with a dress shirt on and his sleeves rolled up his forearm.  He had this kind of foreign, sort of pacific islander look about him.  All he was doing was casually taking a stroll back into the building from what I could only assume was his lunch break, but all eyes were on him.

“Hey, girls!”  He said as he walked by our table, smiling widely.  Once he was out of earshot, Jessie let loose, her chin resting pleasantly upon her open palm

“He gives me like…..such an endorphin jolt.  If ya know what I mean.”  Jesse was never one to hold back about her thoughts.

“Yeah.  I can’t help but think that he looks kinda familiar.”  Although that was my first time seeing him, I couldn’t help but feel like I had seen him before.

“You know who that is, right?”  Asked Jesse.

“Um, no. Not really.”

“Seriously?  He is Mr. Parata!  He’s the new head of the music department here.  He’s originally from New Zealand, which is why he has such a cute accent.”

“Ahhh.  That’s explains it.”

There was still something about his face that I couldn’t shake from my mind.  My fixation with his familiar looks, however, was cut short by Jesse’s continued chatter.

“So, what was this again about you liking music?”

“Oh, nothing.  I just said that I wanted to learn more about music and, perhaps, take some lessons.”

“Ah, that sounds pretty cool.  I’ve always wished I could do something musical, but my parents always pushed math and science on me.  I mean, I see why they do that as they came to this country for better opportunities for me and my little bro, but I kinda wish I could just….ya know…do me.”

Jesse’s sentiments sounded an awful lot like mine: immigrant parents with aspirations of math and science for their first generation children, but personally wanting more out of life.

Suddenly, Mr. Parata made another appearance, this time carrying a stack of cards and going from table to table.

“Oooooh, pick us!!!”  Whisper-shouted Jesse.

Sure enough, he made his way over to our table.

“Good morning, ladies.  I was wondering if you or anyone you know would be interested in taking some guitar lessons!  I give group lessons right after school in room 313 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they are free for Joenby students!  Would you girls like my card?”

Jesse and I both looked at each other in amazement, but I let her do the talking

“You are speaking our language, sir!  We will be there for sure!”

“Great!  Looking forward to seeing you two there!”

As Mr.Parata walked away, we finally took the time to process what had just happened.

“Oh, what am I kidding, I doubt my parents will let me do this.  I suppose I will just keep this card around just so I can say that I’ve touched something that he’s touched.”

I actually let out a visible chuckle at what Jesse said as it took me by surprise.  Nonetheless, I was feeling oddly satisfied.  I mean, I was already aspiring to enter a music apprenticeship for the organ, so what difference would adding guitar lessons be.  Plus, these were free.

“I see what you mean, Jesse, but just look on the bright side.  Perhaps, something amazing could arise out of this!  What if your parents sensed your enthusiasm for the guitar and let you do it?  Just think.”

“I suppose you are right, Izzy.  I’m just letting things get to me.”

We carried on our lunch munching for a good little while.  Today was starting to take a sharp turn for the better.

Then, we heard the gunshots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hear Me Out-Part 5

I finally made my way to the library about thirty minutes prior to closing.  They usually stayed open until around nine in the evening, but there was a special event going on this particular day, granting me less time to peruse the stacks.  Also, it wasn’t until I arrived there that I realized that I had practically been sprinting from the church as I was completely out of breath and dripping with sweat.  I managed to pull myself together for the sake of not appearing suspicious and walked in.

“Hello.  Welcome to the library.  Are you aware that this branch will be closing in thirty minutes?”

As soon as I walked through the automatic doors, a rather drained-sounding voice croaked out the above dialogue.  Those words belonged to a bored-looking teenage girl who was situated behind the check-out desk, appearing as though she wanted to be anywhere but the library.

“Um, yes I am.  Uh, thanks.”

I started skimming through the juvenile section first.  One by one, looking at just about every book on the shelves brought back memories of reading from when I was even younger.  Before my parents converted to Buddhism and became rather subdued, I would sit between them every night and read a favorite book of mine aloud.  These days, however, I had tried to improve my tastes as so to prepare myself for adulthood (as if I could learn that from a book).  With that in mind, I started toward the adult fiction section.  Or at least I was until I saw a rather eye-catching sign that stopped me in my tracks:

Attention! Attention!

Are you a young musician looking for 

the chance of a lifetime? A renowned Russian organist

is offering up the chance to audition for two organ apprenticeship spots! 

Sign up down below before October 30th!   Hurry, hurry!

In an instant I was able to recognize that this sign was what the organ man at the church was talking about.  I believe that it is fair to say that prior to seeing the concert earlier that day I had no real desire for music.  My parents never really exposed me to it in the midst of their religion-hopping or world traveling, despite being around many creative types.  However, I personally compare my musical awakening to a previously-dormant volcano finally erupting and alerting the world of its presence.  Music was here in my life and it was there to stay in my heart forever.  Seeing that sign just brought back all of the emotion that I had felt from the concert right back to my senses.

“I’ve got to get into this!”  I actually said to myself, aloud.  The only problem?  I knew nothing about how to play music.  I knew how music made me feel, and I wanted to make others feel the same way, but how would I accomplish that?  Feeling flustered, I did something remarkably out of character and actually went to search for another human being on purpose.  That other human being none other than a librarian, of course; a most hip and sprightly lady who anyone could tell probably spent her leisure time getting high off the smell of books.

“Um, hi!  Are you a librarian?” I uttered, surprisingly with little trepidation.

“Why, yes ma’am! [I always seemed to attract the loud and bold kinds] My name is Mrs. Joenby and I would be happy to serve you should you have any questions, comments or concerns!”

All of a sudden, I realized that her name had struck a chord.  She shared a name with my new high school!  Going off the out-of-character high I was on, I prompted further.

“Mrs. Joenby?  Are you related to the person for which the high school was named?”

“Why, yes ma’am, I am, I am, I am!  Well, I married a terrific cowboy who is his great-great-great nephew, but still, lil missy, IT COUNTS!  As a matter of fact, you are more than free to just call me Miss J.  How’s about that?”

This interaction provided such a strange jolt to my system that I vowed to just make use of the library’s computer catalog to conduct any future searches.

“Uh, okay, Miss J.  I wanted to know if you all had any how-to books for music.”

“Well, do you want to learn how to play a certain instrument, missy?  We’ve got plenty o’ music books!  If you would like, I can show you the section where we store ALL of our music-related books!”

“Oh, great!  That would be perfect.”

She sashayed her way to the 700-somethings and showed me a goldmine.

“Welp, here they all are, hun!  We’ve got everything from Bach to Rock and clarinets!  Get ‘er dun, hun!”

“Oh, okay.  Thanks!”

She had seemingly sashayed away in an instant (thankfully).  I knew that I only had about ten more minutes left, so I skimmed through the section to get a feel for what might best suit my interests.  The guitar books were first, then classical, then piano.  When I was about halfway through the section, I stumbled across a few books about music theory.  Although I knew nothing about music, I figured that a book talking about the theory behind something drew parallels to the scientific theories I had studied;  ya know, the “juice” inside of the already-born fruit.  I chose a fairly comprehensive course that came with a few CDs, checked it out at the front desk and made toward the comfort of my home.  I had only a little under two months to discover another planet and I was going to make my efforts count.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear Me Out-Part 4

Sometimes I wished I could just turn off my mind and pause my thinking.  My mind, oh what a tangled web.  Thankfully, this little tangled web of mine allowed me to peacefully persevere through the first day of high school.  It seemed as though 1:45 came to pass in the blink of an eye as I, sure enough, found myself walking to the little town library.

“Bonjour, Mademoiselle!  Nice-uh to zee you again!  Would you like ze free pastry for zee first day back to ze school?”

‘Ol Frenchie was at it again, this time with a cream-filled croissant that was just too gorgeous for my mouth to resist.

“Uh….oui, monsieur!”  This time with more gusto.  “Merci! Uh….Mr…..?”

“Jean-Claude!  Call me Jean-Claude, petite madame.  And we shall be ze best of frands!”

“Uh, sure!  I am sure I will be back.  Bye.  Thanks again!”

At times, my awkwardness was so thick that you’d have difficulty cutting through it with even a butcher’s knife.  I always made mental notes to someday work on curing myself of my shyness, but this day was not going to be that day.  Alas, I continued to trot along the historic streets of my little town, gnawing on my fluffy pastry.  I was deep in a sugar-induced trance of sorts when I passed by the same church I had just entered earlier that day.  I had almost made it about half of a block away from the Episcopal building when I started to hear muffled, but familiar chords trickling from the church’s cracked doorway.

“Who is that?”  I said aloud to myself.  Although I was adamant to still make it to the library, I just couldn’t help but follow my curiosity, yet again.  Licking what was left of the croissant off of my little fingers, I crept back toward the church, peeking one eye in to catch a glimpse of the action.  At first, I did not see a thing.  Not only that, but I noticed that the music had suddenly ceased playing once I started to get my peek on.

“Can I help you?”

A grave, and yet, well-meaning voice followed by an actual person walking up out of nowhere immediately jolted my senses, sending my rear to the ground and my glasses flying off my face.  The world around me immediately became fuzzy without my extra pair of eyes.

“Oh!  I’m so sorry, dear.  I didn’t mean to startle you.  Let me help you up.”

The blurry figure helped me to my feet, but I was still trying to catch my breath.

“Here, let me clean these for you.  Thankfully, they fell without a scratch!”

The blurry figure proceeded to pick my specs up off the ground and clean them with what looked like a handkerchief from his pocket.

“There you go.  All better now.”

The blurriness slid my glasses back on my face, revealing itself to be a smiling, lanky young man donning a band t-shirt, black jeans, and bare feet, one of his arms entirely covered with tattoos. He was a confusingly precious sight to behold (Getting sappy now, are we?).

“Oh my!  Thanks so much!  I….I didn’t mean to bother you.  It’s just that I…..I heard really beautiful music coming from here and wanted to see who was playing.”

I was completely frozen in his presence, but still managed to spit out the truth.

“Oh, my dear.  You did not disturb me at all.  It’s really me who should be apologizing to you!  I just thought you were here to audition for the musician apprenticeship program.  My teacher has been putting up notices for this everywhere, but still no takers.  Other than myself, I guess.”

He had a really interesting accent, one I had never heard before in my life.  It sounded British, but not British.  British with a southern accent or something, I don’t know.  However, after the initial shock of……encountering his being wore off, I realized that there was room for my response.

“It’s no big deal, really.  I really should just be on my way.  Have a nice day!”

I scurried off, as I usually do to avoid further awkwardness, to the library.  It took me another ten minutes from the church to get to the library, and in the time it took to get there, I couldn’t shake that man’s eyes out of my recently-re-renewed vision.  Although he had a very calm and friendly disposition, he also had a sort of sense of longing in his gaze.  Anyone, not just my highly-observant self, could easily recognize this.  And hearing the music again. Oh, the music……………

 

 

 

Hear Me Out-Part 3

I mentioned before that I would often drift around Smithfield in my down time, but that’s virtually all I would really do: drift.  Seldom could I have recognized any of the town’s landmarks other than the library, but this particular church would occasionally lurk around in the back of my mind.  This completely brick, pristine, episcopal church had such a magnetic allure to it that I figured I’d sooner or later step foot inside it, but for what?  Although my parents followed Buddhism, I had essentially created my own religion of sorts, an amalgam of the many world religions I had read about, so I wasn’t exactly faithful to one path of belief.  To me, all pointers pointed in the same direction, so why bother just picking one hand?

When I stepped foot into that church, it was as if time had ceased to exist.  My eyes and ears were treated to an elaborate gathering of people who had come together for a noble cause.  The cause, as I quickly came to realize, was homelessness.  The church foyer featured three rows of long, wooden tables and many of the church personnel scrambling to put out pots of food with some of the most sinfully blissful aromas I had ever whiffed in.

“Sweetie, would you like a plate?  There’s plenty to eat.”

An incredibly sweet old lady, someone who clearly belonged to the church, basically invited me to throw down with everyone else.  Who was I to turn her down?

“Oh. Uh…..yes, ma’am.”

I took the paper plate from her aged grasp and loaded a small amount of food upon it, mainly for the purpose of not looking too greedy to those who clearly needed it more than I.  From the buffet, everyone who had food in their hands was directed into the main part of the church.  Practically all of the pews were filled to the brim, my fluffy self being the very last person to be stuffed onto the end of the final row.

“Hi!  I’m Koa! What’s your name?”

This tater tot-sized little gal who was seated beside me decided to spring up a conversation.

“Oh. Uh, my name is Izzy.  Nice to meet you!”

My introduction to her seemed to be enough as she simply smiled and then resumed chomping to her heart’s content.  I also couldn’t help but notice her accent.  It was something that I had never heard before, so foreign and sweet.  Just as I was about to take another bite into my corndog,  I was, again, swiftly interrupted.

“Hi there!  My name is Valerie!  I see you just met my son, Koa.  He’s a feisty little one, eh?  Hey, did you come here for the concert? I am sure this is going to be the best one yet!  I heard the musician is top-notch.”

I admit I was taken aback by this revelation.  I suppose I just wasn’t used to seeing little boys parading around with hair down to their knees; I suppose I just suspected “her” to be a tomboy.  Still, I had some small talk to keep up with, so my mind raced back.  Not to mention, she, too, had this marvelous accent that I wanted to hear more of.

“Hi, Ms. Valerie. Oh, yeah, your son.  He’s very sweet!  Um, but the concert.  I can’t say that I knew.  What kind of concert is this?”  I asked.

“The church website said that a world-renowned organist was going to perform!  Oh, how I love the sound of organ music!  Oooh, look!  He’s setting up to perform!”

Just as I had turned my head away from her focus and directly to the performer, a loud crash of melody erupted throughout church, a deafening chord.  The organ had suddenly become the main attraction, gratuitously featuring the talents of a mysterious young man.  His back was facing the crowd, his frame enveloped in a grey, suave suit, his head adorned with a charming bowl cap, his entire being devoted to the beast of an instrument before him.  Measure by measure, the melody appeared to pour out of him like a merciless rainstorm; this young man was the thief and we, the audience, were being held captive by his power.  His performance was over just as fast as it had begun, and the entire church erupted into applause, myself included.

It’s very rare that I ever find myself overcome with emotion, especially to the point that I cry (even more especially to the point of showing it in public), but I just had to let my tears do their thing.  One by one I could actually feel each tear slowly make their way down my face, over my puffy lips, and drop from my chin.  It was a slow and deliberate cry, as if each teardrop was telling me, “It’s alright.  You needed this,” over and over again.  It wasn’t soon before I felt a comforting arm wrap around my shoulder.

“It was beautiful, wasn’t it?  Just unbelievable.  Even if I never see another concert again, at least I can die happy knowing that this one was my last.”

It was that good, folks.  I’m really tellin’ ya.  I shook my head in agreement, silently trying to tame my emotions.  Before I knew it, one of my tears made a heavy splash down onto my watch, prompting me to check the time.  Although it felt like an hour had passed between the time I first walked into the foyer and the end of the concert, only fifteen minutes had gone by!  This was one of the most surreal sensations I had ever experienced up until that point.  Although I still had enough time to make it to school without being late, I was going to have to haul it.

“Oh my!  I’ve gotta get a move on and get to class!  It was nice meeting you, Ms. Valerie.  And you too, Mr. Koa.”

“Yes, indeed.  Nice seeing you…uhhhh…”

“Izzy!  Call me Izzy.”

“God bless, Izzy.  Have a nice day!  I hope that it’s already been made, I know mine has.”

As I waved buh-bye and made my way to Joenby, I couldn’t help but feel as though I had just experienced the encounter of a lifetime.  Something about that church, the people, the performer.  I immediately wanted to hold on tight and never let go.

 

 

 

 

*New Story Series* Hear Me Out-Part 1

You can always choose to catch more flies using honey than vinegar, but that’s the catch: it is a choice!   I suppose I’m not at all alone in feeling like my life isn’t interesting enough to make a story out of, but then again, you would have to question why I am writing this to begin with.  I’m Izzy, short for Isadora, and I live in a place that I’ve come to see as magical.  Although, my view of this city had to earn what it’s worth as it used to have an ant-sized reputation in my mind.  Setting the scene, I’m fourteen; afraid to love, a friend of being.

School has never been my strong point, but I’ve rarely made anything other than A’s.  School, oh why even bother to mention that thing?  I was just about to start high school at Joenby High, the newly-renovated and only high school in town, situated only about two blocks from my place.  Even worse, I was coerced into being placed into the school’s “higher end” program, the Prestige, by my mother and father, both of whom were wooed into doing so during a parent-teacher conference with my patronizing science teacher, Mrs. Tora, from last year:

“Little Miss [four foot ten] Isadora!  She’s SUCH a peach! [I never say anything!]  She has never received anything less than ONE hundred percent! [All I do is complete every assignment, woman.  Like I’m supposed to?]  I would LOVE for Isadora to attend the Prestige; her future is science! [Bleh…]”

Attending Joenby seemed like a real nightmare as I could practically see it from my bedroom window.  I had been living in Smithfield, Virginia for three years at that point, but still never managed to get a feel for the people there.  Interestingly enough, if you knew anything about this town you’d realize that it managed to be a very charming, diverse, and thriving community despite the fact that it barely has eight thousand residents; a small town that is very accommodating to foot traffic, at that.  Luckily, the city’s easy accessibility (and safe reputation) allowed for me to be able to slip out of my house without a moment’s notice, drift around town for a few, and be back in my room before anyone knew I had ever left.

“Little Isadora.  Izzy.  There is a plate of food on your mat.  Be sure to nourish your cells before our session.”

I know what you may be thinking:  no exclamation points; cells?  Well, my parents are anything but typical.  Both being strict followers of the Buddhist faith, they seldom raise their voices over anything.  Elders (including teachers) come first and obedience is held in the highest respect in this faith.  I suppose this actually explains why my grades are high enough to make it into the Prestige, ye olde Tiger parents!

I managed to stuff my moderately chubby self into workout clothing and scurried down as fast as I could to my yoga mat and chowed down, situated between my parent’s mats.  Our living room had no chairs or couches whatsoever, so we had space to stretch for days.  It was like clockwork that I would perform this every weekday.  I had always wondered why my parents made me do yoga alongside them as it clearly wasn’t working on my body, mind, OR soul, but seeing as I was the child and they, the parents, I knew to keep my mouth shut.  Our session was done and I bowed to my parents, ran up to my room, changed into my pajamas and hopped into bed.  Tomorrow was day one of the rest of my life.  High school, I mean.