First period lets out and I'm walking to my locker. The hallway's noisy and packed, just like always. People are bumping into me. My bra strap's kind of twisted up, so I'm trying to fix that while I walk, trying to be all casual about it, probably failing. So that's what I'm doing when I see the sign thumbtacked to the wall.
Piano player seeks guitarist, bassist, and drummer to play at the North Sycamore High Follies.
Contact David Nelson if you would like to try out.
I know this will sound weird, but almost as soon as I see this poster, it just seems... important. It feels like it was put there for me.
Ridiculous, right? But that's how I feel, standing here in this crowded hallway, looking at this little homemade sign.
See, here's the thing... my mom played bass. And we've still got it. The bass, I mean. And, sure, I don't really know how to play it, but still... I've got it. And I used to watch her play it. She always looked so cool. So rockin'. So much cooler than anyone else's mom.
And then, God help me, my eyes start to fill up with tears, right there in the hallway. It's humiliating and I wipe them and probably nobody's even noticed, but still... crying over some stupid sign? Awful. I thought I was past this. It's been six months, for Christ's sake.
Just then, my friend Becky shows up. I don't think she saw me crying.
"Ohmigod, Maggie. Have you seen what Vanessa Gordon's wearing? The same shirt as me. This exact same shirt. We look like idiots. I think I'm gonna have to go home at lunch and change. I may go now. What's this?"
She reads the sign and gets super-excited. "Oh, David Nelson!" she says. "He's got the same lunch as me. You know him, right? He's that new kid? Just a sophomore? Totally hot? Totally hangs with the popular kids. God, he's gorgeous. You know who he is, trust me."
I try not to roll my eyes too much. Yes, I do know who David Nelson is, and, yes, he is totally hot, and totally hangs with the popular kids, but, unlike Becky, I don't care so much about that. What I'm wondering is if I could actually do it. Actually make the band.
Down at the bottom of the sign are these dangly things with a phone number, so I rip one off, then we head to Math.
"Ohmigod, I should go, too!" Becky is saying. "I should tell Ginger and Patty. I don't care about the band thing, I just want to meet David Nelson. What do you think his house is like? I bet it's nice. God, he's so fine! I bet all the popular kids will be there."
She keeps talking, but I'm not really listening. Becky and I used to be best friends but I don't feel as close to her these days. Not as close to anyone, really. Not since Mom died.
Could this band give me that? Give me something to care about again? Something fun? Something new? Lord knows, I need something.
As we walk down the crowded halls, Becky jabbering on about who-knows-what, all I can think about is that little slip of paper in my pocket. The rest of the day, through Math, Science, lunch, whatever... I sleepwalk through it all, completely zoned-out on thoughts of rock bands, my mom's bass, and David Nelson's phone number.
Do I have the guts to do this? Call him? Teach myself bass? Audition for a band?
Mom would want me to do this.
I don't know.
And Dad? God... who knows what he wants anymore?
But I want it. I know this without any doubt. I want it. So, God help me, I'm just gonna have to find the courage to do it. Starting now.