Standing Up To Life Chapter 28


The next week and a half passed by quickly, and the next thing I knew we were showing up at the school at 7am to travel to a school in Albuquerque for our band competition. We were supposed to warm up at 8:45, so we were leaving early enough to get there. Mrs Remar said it would take about 45 minutes to get there. I got on the bus and sat down next to Nikki. We were all dressed identically, both the guys and girls, when we got on the bus. Everyone had on a set of black slacks, white button up shirt, black bowtie, and a royal blue vest. A couple of students had complained about the uniform, but everyone was wearing it since she wouldn’t let you go if you didn’t. We were all fairly excited when we got on the bus, but within about 20 minutes the bus had quieted down a lot. Nikki and I kind of dozed off only to be woken up by Mrs. Remar standing up at the front of the bus. “Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re getting close to the school where we’re going to perform. There are a few things that we need to take of before we get there though. When we get off the bus everyone’s shirt will be tucked in, and their bow tie’s on. Though you will not get off the bus until I tell you to do so.” “Anyone that has long hair will need to put their hair up into a ponytail with some of this ribbon,” she was holding up a roll of thick royal blue ribbon, “before we get there. I know some of you ladies have already done your hair into other styles, but I want everyone to have their hair the same for longer hair. Any questions?”

   She seemed to be looking at me as if I was going to put up a fight about my hair. I looked back respectfully and she said, “then I will come down the bus with the ribbon, please help each other get you hair the way it should be. Thanks.” Did that apply to me I wondered. Nikki answered that for me, “Brandon can I do your hair?” I was kind of flabbergasted. I was going to get to have my hair the same way as the girls and not get in trouble for it - and it wasn’t my idea too! I couldn’t believe this was happening again to me. “Umm… I guess if I have to?” I put on kind of an annoyed face though as Mrs Remar handed me a piece of ribbon. She handed one to Nikki too. “This needs to be tied into a bow around your ponytail. Nikki, if you can do Brandon’s hair, and maybe Jessica can do yours.” “Okay Mrs. Remar,” Nikki said. When she had walked back a few seats Nikki giggled a bit. “I’ve wanted to see you with your hair in a ponytail for a while now! This’ll be fun. Do you have a hair brush?” “Yes,” I replied. “Then get it out and turn around.” She ordered. I grabbed it from my backpack and turned around so she could do my hair. Several of the girls that were nearby all started to help Nikki fuss with my hair. Before I knew it I could feel that sensation of my hair being held up in the air by something. “here,” Jessica said as she handed me a mirror. I looked at myself and couldn’t tell the difference between me and the girls on the bus. Could life get any better. “You look cute.” Nikki said. “Umm… Thanks.” I replied.

   The girls did Nikki’s hair, and then they started pressuring me a bit. Brandon, you have to let us play with your hair on the way back home!” Jessica said. Nikki said, “Yes… Please!” She said with that puppy dog expression that the little bit of guy left inside me couldn’t resist. “Alright… I guess… But you can’t let anyone give me a hard time about this, alright?” They all nodded and agreed that they would make anyone who picked on me for their fun pay dearly. As I sat there quietly for the last few minutes before we arrived I was thinking about what to do about the bathroom situation. I looked more like a girl than a boy right now. Going into the boys bathroom could be rather dangerous. I decided I didn’t really have a choice though, and decided that if I went in with some friends I might be okay. When I looked around the bus I did realise that there was one other boy with hair (longer than mine) that also had his hair tied up now. Maybe I could be okay?

   I didn’t really have much time to ponder any of that when we got there. She let us have 3 minute trip to the bathroom really quick (I was in and out before any of the other boys around even had a chance to think about a girl going in the boys room), and then we had to get our instruments out. Once we had our instruments out of the cases we lined up to go inside the warm up room. Mrs. Remar smiled at me when she saw me, she whispered in my ear, “Brandon you look cute.” And gave me a wink. That kind of surprised me - was she really human? I’d always assumed she was some sort of alien cyborg! We walked to the warm up room together, and after playing for what seemed like 10 seconds we were walked over to the stage. I think we all were pretty nervous, but we played really well! The performance ended and we walked over to another room that was setup for us to ‘sight-read.’ For this part of the contest we had to play a piece that we had never seen before - ever. I can’t say that it was a performance to mark the calendars with, but we managed to stay together to the end, and for the most part there was a melody… We then went to another area where we took a group picture and were given the option to purchase the photograph. My mom had driven the second bus that had the top group of the middle school and she appeared at that point. “Brandon do you want a picture?” “Yes, if we can.” I replied. Suddenly aware of my hair. “That should be fine,” she filled out the paperwork and walked with me back to the bus.

   “Nice job sweetie, you guys played really well!” She gave me a sideways hug at that point. Then she looked around to make sure no one else was around, “I like you hair this way, it’s cute!” She gave me a wink and batted the back of my hair like a cat would a toy. “Well don’t mess it up!” I said in a playful whining voice. We both laughed a little and then I separated from her to go meet up with Nikki. Once we put our stuff up we were called into a circle by Mrs. Remar. “First of all I want to tell you all how proud I am of the way you played - you did great job! I just got the scores from the judges and we received Superior Ratings from every judge in our performance, and the judge in sight-reading.” We all cheered and Nikki and I gave each other a hug. “We can’t leave until I get done with the Advanced Band in about another 2 hours. Once we get done with them we’ll go to the mall for a bit so you can get something to eat and shop a little. Until then, you are to find a seat in the auditorium and stay there. You will be a polite audience…” Lots and lots of rules… “Once the advanced band performs there will be one more band for you to listen to. When that band finishes come back out here to the bus, Okay?” We all nodded. “Okay, go have a seat. Stop by the bathroom if you need to on your way in. Remember, stay in pairs.” We walked into the auditorium via a bathroom and watched the rest of the performances until it was time to leave. The Advanced Band had been good, but I didn’t know if they would get a superior too or not. I figured they were being judged a lot harder than we were. After the last group we were supposed to listen to we stood up and went out to the busses to go to the mall. I was kind of looking forward to hanging out with Nikki and the others at the mall - ‘who knows what the girls might drag me into!’ I thought.

oldgrumpy oldgrumpy
51-55, M
Sep 21, 2012