For Weddings and Funerals

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Its a connection. That is the key that unites a melody, with a man, with a stranger. In a simple classroom two children discover what it truly means to connect. That single moment, that sharing, will change a thought. It might just change a life.

Submitted: October 02, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 02, 2013



What are you listening to?” the boy began leaning towards the cynical girl with the head phones. He puckered his lips intuitively as his face approached from over her shoulder. Adjusting himself he waited for an answer. He had time to kill. Class didn’t start until thirty after eight, and his friends had not yet arrived. “Hey did you hear me?”

The girl sighed and pulled the tiny white bud from her ear closest to the boy. She let it drape by the wire down across her white collared shirt, and come to rest on her flat chest. She seemed so stiff in her metal and ceramic chair that the boy immediately wanted to worm about. As if his movement might loosen up her tiny frame.

“Yes I did.” She answered, “what is it to you?” the boy obviously took her stride remark as annoyance, but something in the back of his soul felt hot. The image of an ant being examined by a giant with a magnifying glass came to mind. It was like she really wondered in all honesty why he cared. He quickly pushed these thoughts away, for they were not of his nature.

“I don’t know.” He admitted with a laugh. The answer seemed to appease her suspicion, and she threw him a half glance with a flash of her gray-blue eyes. She rotated to face an interesting half way point, between him and the empty path that was used to exit the room. He imagined her trying to escape if she felt the conversation going sour. That she would arise with great elegance and promptly leave his sight without the slightest bob in her step.

“Bach.” She stated simply.

“I know of him.” The boy smirked with pride. He felt pleased with his knowledge and recognition. He knew how Bach had composed a couple pieces of music, and really what else was there to know?

The girl perked with sudden interest. Her eyes were lit by cold fire. Passion had somehow been painted into them. The pale marble of her face showed to the boy underneath the florescent light fixtures. The gleaming made him uneasy. He could feel his heart race as a heart often does when discovered. He once again thought of the getaway path he had observed before.

“You know of Air then? Would you like to listen with me?” she held out the unused plug.

“I uh,” he stumbled, “am actually unfamiliar with that work specifically.” His fingers began to fidget nervously half wanting to accept her offer, and half expecting the offer to be retracted. He waited for her to disappear into the atmosphere.

She did not, however. She simply sank back into her chair solemnly with a type of understanding the boy himself did not understand. Her gaze fell back upon him. Those eyes seemed so much older than they ever could be. He felt the wrath of her kind and gentle voice.

“Well if you want to listen I will tell you about it. I can tell you some stuff about Johann Sebastian Bach too if you like.” She held out the ear bud once more; leaving the boy astonished. She had not even called him out. She had only offered to enrich him.

“Sure.” He said noticing the messy way her black hair dropped unceremoniously around her face. He placed the thing in his ear and came in close to share the space with her. She started the song over with a push of a button on her music player.

The music was serene and lyrical. Somehow the swirling melodies, which were all played by stringed instruments, managed to sound different in their composure. They collided and melted together flawlessly. The deeper notes held up the higher ones. The higher notes came and went carelessly. It truly was a single irregular beauty.

“Bach was German. In his time he was not considered a great composer, but he was considered one of the best organists in all of Germany. He married twice and had ten children live to adulthood. He was a godly man and often worked for the church. He composed every type of musical work known to the Baroque period except an opera. He never made one of those.” She spit out information like an encyclopedia. All of the words were meaningless over the soft moan of a viola. She did not care to convey and the boy was lost in the story before him.

“Air is from his 3rd orchestral suite, and is the 2nd movement. A suite, by the way, is a group of musical movements each inspired by a certain type of dance. Air isn’t inspired by a dance though. So I guess it’s the exception to the rule. Funny that the first time you hear one you hear the exception.” She looked at the floor.

“Is that so?” the boy said doing his best to pay attention. His friends had come into the classroom, but he pretended not to see them out of interest for his current endeavor.

“It’s often played at weddings and funerals while seating guests.” She stated without looking up. She let a faint smile grace her lips.

“Is that so?” the boy fixed his thoughts on her. Such a beautiful faint smile that corresponded with the beautiful faint music, it was as if she moved with it. She had always moved with it, while he sat ridged in his chair. It was like she might get up and walk down the narrow path that led out of the classroom and into a church. She would glide down the aisle with a white lily placed perfectly in her gorgeous black hair, the silky material of her white dress hugging the mature curves of her body.

He had sat behind her all this time. Why had he never talked to her?

Then her smile faded to a look of restful concentration as she counted the passing measures. The boy thought of the sorrow. That one day a face so stoic might actually come to rest, in the same church with the same music. That beautiful serenity that had claimed her in life would claim her in death. A black lily would lie in her soft black hair. The black dress she would wear, tight against her unmoving frame. Those old eyes closed forever. The thought shook him. It was not in his nature to think like this.

“I’ve been to a wedding once.” He focused on.

“Have you?” She didn’t seem to be listening.

“Yes, my mom’s to my stepdad. That was only few years ago. I don’t think they played this.” She ignored his comment on the music.

“What happened to your father?” The basses crept on steadily, leaping up and down octaves with the best clunk a string instrument could manage.

“Well, he died.” The boy and girl met with level eyes.

“You didn’t go to his funeral?” her voice came with a cold type of curiosity that only intellectuals can have. Somewhere in the back of his soul the boy burned. It was as if she was asking in all honesty, pure and innocent in intention. He had not realized the impact of what he had done up until this point. What type of horrors, what type of pain had those gray eyes witnessed? A pain that hid behind the trilling high notes of a violin, a pain he now shared.

“I was too young I guess,” he worded in a chaste tone, “what is it to you?”  The girl seemed to recognize the connection now. Her white cheeks flushed a slight shade of pink while she brushed her hair behind her unused ear. The boy licked the salty flavor of guilt from his lips.

“I don’t know.”  Silence ensued. The boy looked up to see the teacher preparing to address the students. Free time would soon be over. He felt as if there was something more to say, but the words would not form in his mouth. He reached until he had to settle. He pulled the music from his ear and smiled kindly at her.

“Lesson is about to start.” He said simply. She took back her head phones and thanked him for his company. Then she turned without a glance back as lecture began.

The class came and went. The girl did not acknowledge the boy. After class she cleared out hurriedly, no goodbyes to speak of. She had become the oxygen that filled his lungs. He had been unaware of her before, yet now he was reminded.

As he fell back into his normal routine he thought of her. He ate and joked with his friends, but still she remained. The day concluded and he walked to his home alone with his heavy books hanging from a broken bag on his back. He felt much older now. He wondered of his own eyes and how they must look. Each step was a group of four, and the screaming of various school children sounded like some pitchy instrument. He could almost hear the air.

© Copyright 2019 NatelinJean. All rights reserved.

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