“Who wants to sing the next solo?” Mrs. Capezio asks, tapping the microphone on her chin. “It’s ok if you sing bad, don’t worry. What happens in this choir room stays in this choir room.
Nobody is going to judge, or gossip. This is the best place to practice a solo. Trust me.”
I’m not sure if most teachers are like this, but I felt like maybe I should try the solo. After all, what was the worst that could happen?
I could fail in front of all these popular girls that had actually started noticing me.
I could fail in front of my best friends.
I could lose my good reputation.
I could fall flat on my face.
I could breathe loudly into the microphone.
I could have a voice crack.
I could faint.
“Hey Mrs. Capezio… I think Clair wants to do the solo.” I hear a voice say. Turning my head, I see the culprit.
“Oh, Clair… that's very… ambitious of you. Come on to the mic.”
“No… I…” I glare at Grace who shrugs innocently. Sasha sticks her tongue out at me, and, I feel a pang of guilt, because I did steal Sasha's friend from her.
“Yeah… actually… um… I’ll just… uh…” I stutter, taking in deep shaky breaths.
I can’t let Grace down.
But I can’t let myself fail.
I can’t let Sasha have what she wants.
“Fine, I’ll do it.” I say, standing up. Daringly, I walk to the front of the room, and grab the microphone.
“Your ok Clair. You’re just fine. What’s the matter? Why are you freaking out? There is nothing to be worried about. Everything is ok.
” I tell myself, opening my sheet of music, and scanning the page.
These notes are way too high. I can’t sing this. My hands feel sweaty, and I wipe them on the side of my leggings.
“Um… are you going to sing already?” I hear Sasha whine, and remember the reason I’m doing this ridiculous thing in the first place.
… To get even with Sasha and not give her what she wants. Me to fail.
Opening my mouth, I start to sing the first notes.
“When tomorrow comes…”
“Oh. My. Gosh. What the heck is that horrible sound?” I hear Sasha say first, dramatically covering her ears. “Ow, ow!”
Grace looks at Sasha, and there must be a rule, that all best friends must do what their other friends do, because Grace too covers her ears, and yells “Ow, ow!”
The other wannabe popular girls start to yell too, covering their ears, whining “Ow ow” louder than Sasha.
I bite my lip, as Mrs. Capezio tries not to laugh. What type of teacher is this, who encourages people to try out a solo, and then laughs when the person is humiliated to death?
I bet she’ll come to my funeral, and mourn and say… oh such a shame she died. I enjoyed her presence in my choir class… but really, she’s faking it, and nobody will know but me.
Actually, except for me… since I’ll be dead.
I don’t know, but this is not ok!
I won’t cry I tell myself, as I bite my lip harder, and harder until I taste blood. Nope, I won’t cry.
I’ll just walk around like a big girl, with my head up, and a smile on my face looking confident. It’s going to be just fine after all…
I don’t know what happened next because it started raining all over me. Nobody else was getting wet, just me.
“Oh dear!” I heard Mrs. Capezio murmur, as she looked on me with pity. “Oh dear, dear, dear Clair! There is no reason to cry! You sang wonderfully now.” she shakes her head.
“Now do stop this nonsense and go to your seat at once!”
I shamefully place my head in my hands, and sprint out the classroom.
Away from Sasha, and Grace.
Away from mean Mrs. Capezio.
Away from it all.
Except for the most important problem.