Discussions of music...
Mom backed the car in the garage and shut off the engine. I got out and walked around to the trunk to grab the five bags that were in there. I carried them up to to my room before heading back downstairs.
“What’s your plan if the school says you can’t play because of your medical issue?” Mom asked as I entered the kitchen. I opened the fridge to grab a bottle of water and looked at her.
“What would be their reasoning?” I asked, not sure where she was going with this…
“Well,” She started as I sat down at the table. “They might see you being transgender as having an unfair advantage over biological girls.” I looked at my arms, they were thinner than Rachel’s. There was little to no muscle on my arms.
“Have you seen my arms?” I asked. “I’m lucky I can pick up this bottle of water…”
Mom laughed so hard that she snorted. “I know that, but it may happen. I do like the idea of you playing a sport of some sort, but I want you to have a backup, just in case.” I thought for a second.
“I seem to have an ear for music…” I said. “Maybe try taking up playing an instrument… Clarinet or something…” Now mom looked thoughtful.
“Why not strings?” she asked.
“I think I’d do better at a clarinet than a string, but I’m willing to give it a shot…” I knew that Mom had played the violin when she was younger.
“That’s my girl,” Mom said with a smile. “I doubt your sister would take up an instrument, she’s not patient enough, besides, if you go with a stringed instrument, I can help you.”
“Hmm….” I thought for a few moments. “True. How hard would it be to get me a violin so that I can start to learn how to play.”
“Well, first off,” Mom started. “You need a slight introduction to how to read music, and probably a music teacher. Has Abby said anything about learning an instrument?”
I thought for a few moments. There was a piano in their living room, but that didn’t mean that she played. “Not that I can recall, but that doesn’t mean anything.”
“I’ll have Daniel talk to her about it.” Mom said. Inwardly I wondered how long it would be before we moved into the five bedroom home that Daniel, Abby and Nicole lived in. “Also, Daniel said something about wanting to take you girls to the zoo tomorrow. Maybe you can wear that teal dress that we got you today.”
The dress was a teal skater style dress that had metallic dragonflies on the fabric and a tie to adjust the fit. I had tried it on in the store and had fallen in love with it and had found three more dresses in a similar style, one white, one pink and a purple striped long sleeve variant of the short sleeved dress. “I wonder what Abby’s going to wear…” I let the thought trail off. Something about dressing like sisters seemed right.
“I don’t know,” Mom said. “We’re going over for dinner tonight, why don’t you ask her?”
“Good idea.” I replied. “Can I use the iPad to get on the internet and learn about various instruments and to start trying to learn how to read music?”
Mom laughed again. “Yeah. I think you’d do good on a stringed instrument. You seem to have the grace that a feminine violin player would have. I can see you playing one with ease…”
“Can I at least try the clarinet?” I asked, standing up to go get the iPad.
“You can,” Mom said with a chuckle. “Woodwinds are hard to pick up though.” I wandered into the den where the iPad was charging.
Abby opened the door after I had knocked, and let us into the house. Mom and I walked in and met Daniel, Nicole and Rachel in the kitchen. I glanced around the kitchen which led into the family room. The far wall had a fireplace that looked like it had seen some use. There was some soft classical music that I had heard previously heard but couldn't place. The smell of roast cooking filled the air.
“Hi Mr. Jenkins,” I said seeing him standing in the spacious kitchen.
“Emma, you can call me Daniel, it’s ok…” he said, letting the thought trail off.
Abby walked back into the kitchen after shutting the door and grabbed my arm, dragging me away from the kitchen and up to her room. “Dad said he wants to take us to the zoo tomorrow…”
“I know, mom told me earlier.” I replied, plopping down on the four poster canopy bed adorned with a pink and white checked comforter. ”I got a new dress that I think I’m going to wear tomorrow.”
“Oh?” Abby said, her eyes lighting up. “Do tell.”
“It’s a teal color with metallic dragon flies on it, hits just above the knee.” I replied, falling backwards on the bed. “Mom and I were talking about me playing soccer or tennis earlier and she suggested that I have a have a backup plan in case they don’t allow me to play on account of my ‘medical condition’”
Abby snorted as she burst out laughing. “I like the phrasing of that…” She said between giggles. “So, what is your backup plan?”
“Playing an instrument…” I replied. “I don’t know between a clarinet or something like a violin.”
“Hmm…” Abby said, raising her right hand to her chin. “I can play the piano a little bit, it’s been a while since I’ve really practiced, but I could probably pick it up again easily,\; I can also play the clarinet. I played last year in orchestra.” She looked at me for a second and then opened her closet. It was full of dresses, but on the shelf was a small black box with silver trim and latches. She pulled it out and sat it on the dresser, opening it, and starting to assemble the various pieces of the clarinet. She finished by sliding a piece of wood in the mouthpiece and then put the instrument up to her lips. She took a deep breath from her nose and went through the scale of notes from low to high. Smiling, she handed me the instrument. “You try.”
I took a deep breath and held the clarinet to my lips. Abby came over and helped me hold my hands in the correct position. I gave a blow of air through the mouthpiece and had the reed tickle my lips ever so slightly. The sensation distracted me and the only sound that came out of the clarinet was something that sounded between a duck quacking and a goose honking. Abby and I looked at each other and burst into a fit of giggles. “I’m not sure that a clarinet is the right instrument for me…”
“If you guys could put the goose outside and come down to dinner, your sisters would appreciate it!” Abby’s dad shouted up the stairs. The two of us burst out in giggles again as Abby disassembled the clarinet and placed it back in it’s case. The two of us left Abby’s room and headed down stairs to eat.
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