Little Blue Vest

She walked into the music room, new to the elementary school. It was her third school in a year, and each change closed her off a little more.

The teacher waved her in. “Come, take a seat.”

She looked around the room. Other kids her age sat on the floor cross-legged. She felt awkward, joining class halfway through the school year and not knowing a single person again.

The teacher handed her a brown plastic recorder. “Don’t worry, you’ll pick it up.” She smiled at her new pupil.

The girl settled in quietly and looked around the room. Blue and yellow vests lined the wall on little hooks. The room was filled with some sparse decorations showing musical notes. The carpet was itchy on her chubby legs.

She wasn’t a remarkable person and no one would ever remember her. Each music day she’d sit, learn how to hold the little plastic music instrument and eventually even read some simple music.

The class would occasionally go on trips to play for audiences. Their uniform for performances included wearing those blue and yellow vests. But, she didn’t have one…the parents made them, or bought them, at the start of the school year.

“Don’t worry. We have a couple spares, you can wear one. Wade switched schools, you can use his.”

It felt like a hand me down. She was glad that one was available, but she felt like everyone was watching her every move as she slipped it on. She hoped it didn’t look too small with her little round belly protruding out.

The seniors at the retirement home always sweetly clapped at the end of their shows. She wondered if it was because they did a good job or because they were reminded of their own grandkids.

One rainy night the next school year, her class had another performance for the holidays. It was a hard night…people were running late and nothing flowed. When she arrived with her parents, the teacher discovered the vest loaned to her wasn’t there. Nothing was going right, and this little girl already had developed a need for perfection when it came to meeting expectations. Tears welled up in her eyes.

The teacher found another vest for her and calmed her down. A classmate she didn’t know had to miss the performance that night, so she was able to use his. She calmed down and dried the tears dotting her little cheeks. This was the first time he would save her from herself…and he didn’t even know.


The Stolen Kiss

10 minutes between classes, that was all she had to move between South and North Campus. That was all the time she had.

It was a good 7 minutes from the far corners of school on a good day. Today, she wore heels, so add a minute to climb up the stairs. She knew she needed to move quick to make it in time as she also needed something from her locker. There would be no time for lolly-gagging or chitchat with friends today.

She spied the clock and saw the time. Her books and notebooks were heavy in her Jan-Sport backpack, but safely stowed and bag zipped. The bell rang and she swiftly threw her bag over her shoulder, straightened her skirt and waved a quick bye to her best friend. They’d see each other in an hour, she’d explain then.

Click – clack – click. Her heels struck the cement sidewalk between campuses.

The side door to main campus was crowded with people, so she headed to the back of the building to the outside metal staircase.

Clang! Clang! her heels rang out as she bounded up the stairs.

Three quarters the way there, the top door swung open. She paused, and looked up. Oh, that smile. It melts her heart. She wondered if he knew the effect he had on her. She grabbed the railing a little tighter just to avoid losing her balance.

His light eyes caught her brown eyes and she felt her cheeks turn red. As he approached her, his hand reached for her cheek. He stepped on the same step where she stood and leaned in for a kiss.

The kiss felt like time stopped as they turned on the stairs. His soft lips caressed hers sweetly. Her free hand played with his blond hair as he stepped down a stair to be at the same height as she.

In the distance, they could hear the bell ring, signaling time to get to class. She wasn’t ready for the moment to end, but they both needed to go. As they continued on their ways to the next class, he stole her heart. She was heady with giddiness giving it away to him.

She found her way on up the stairs to the door. She knew she would be late, but it was worth it. Her cheeks were still hot as she slid into her seat and settled in for the next class.