Short Story #21: Sing the way you Live.
By Brandon M. Bird
List of Words:
Words given by someone on DeviantArt.
“Cut it out, guys! Give it back!” A young girl, around the age of seven called out to two young boys, age eight and nine, who were tossing her violin case back and forth over a mud puddle that remained from last night's rain. School had just let out and the two boys noticed Darlene Crabtree carrying her violin case as she walked out the door.
“No way! This is fun!”
“No it isn't! You're mean!”
One of the boys gave out a long gasp. “I'm gonna tell the teacher you called us mean!”
“The teacher will get you in trouble!” The other boy interjected.
The first then spoke again. “You'll get in so much trouble, your parents will be told and then your parents will get you in trouble too!” As he said this, he had looked briefly to Darlene, and as he did, he missed the violin case, which resulted in it crashing into the mud. “Oh well, was fun while it lasted. Let's go, Timmy!”
“Yeah, was fun, let's go Tommy!”
The two boys ran off, leaving a sad little girl crying as she knelt beside her violin case, which had a violin in it. As she cried, and students in the distance were going to their parent's cars, or the older ones who were walking off of school grounds to walk home, one person noticed little Darlene there with her treasured instrument case in the mud. This person was a teacher, one that students had come to respect or fear, depending on their and their friend's interactions with said teacher.
“There there, little one, don't fret, it isn't ruined.” The teacher picked up the case and let the mud drip off back into the mud puddle, the puddle itself now looking like gravy on mashed potatoes that had been disturbed by a spoon that landed in it and was then pulled back out.
Darlene looked up to the teacher and sniffed. “It's ruined!” She began to cry even louder, her hands covering her eyes.
“No it isn't, look, see?” The teacher pulled out a special bottle and sprayed it onto the case where mud remained. It was not long before the extra mud began to slide right off.
Darlene took her hands from her eyes, and through the tears, she saw what seemed like magic. “Wow! How did you do that?!” She grabbed the violin case and held it out in front of her and looked at it, then at the teacher, then back at the case. It was almost like a brand new case.
“Well, I'll tell you, but can you promise not to tell anyone?” Darlene nodded and had her fingers act as if she was zipping her lips and throwing the key away. The teacher then leaned down to whisper in her ear. “It's magic!” The teacher then quickly returned to her previous position. “But don't tell anyone. If they knew I had magic, everyone would want me to help them with everything.”
Darlene tilted her head as she held the violin case close to her. “You don't want to help everyone?”
The teacher shook her head. “I love to help people. But a person can only do so much. If everyone wanted help with everything, I would die from exhaustion because I could never sleep. Sleep is important, isn't it?”
Little Darlene looked like she was thinking about it, then shook her head. “Yes. My mommy reads to me every night when I lay down to sleep. She sings to me too sometimes! I wish I could sing like her. That's why I got the violin!”
The teacher's head tilted slightly. “Why did you get the violin?”
“So I could play music for my mommy's singing! I want to be a musician one day, and go on stage to play while my mommy sings for everyone to hear!”
“I see. That is a great idea.”
“You know what else?”
“When I sing, my mommy always reminds me to sing how I live.”
“She is smart.”
She nodded her head in response. “I asked her one time how I live, and she said I live free, that people died to fight for my freedom. I want to play my violin for those people too, like daddy. Daddy fought for our freedom too. He's gone now. I miss him.”
A honk sounded, followed by a woman's voice. “Darlene, time to go!” The woman had leaned her head down a bit to see out the window and waved to the teacher.
Darlene turned to see her mother, then quickly turned back to the teacher. “That's my mommy! Thank you for helping me! I got to go! See you!” She quickly turned around and ran to her mother's car, opening the door, climbing in, and closing the door. She then began to buckle herself in as the car drove away.
The teacher watched as some of the words the little girl said rung through her mind. 'Sing like you live; free. I like that. I think I know someone who needs to hear that.'
The teacher then turned to head on to their car to drive home. Many thoughts ran through their mind that evening as memories of times past came up, as well as thoughts to the very near future. When they were much younger, they were made fun of by many for something that, at this point, people did not seem to mind anymore, at least not people of their age. But the words of one individual had cut them more than any other ever could. That individual was a long past friend whose words broke their friendship. Lately, the teacher had been thinking about that friend a lot, knowing some of that incident was not only their friend's fault, but both of them had a part to play in it, and an apology was needed, even if it had been many years. Even if their friend would not forgive or apologize in return, they wanted to have closure in this matter of their life, feeling as though it would help them live a little more freer than they had been for most of their life by now. It was time to make amends for the past so that the future could become brighter.