This is a one shot about me and my friends at Marching Band. It's supposed to be very heartfelt and I would really like some comments telling me what you think of the story :)
I hurriedly threw my hair into a messy ponytail and then checked myself in the mirror. I hated having my hair up, and with no make up on my face I felt exposed. Even if it was just a tiny bit of cover-up that I didn’t really need, it made me feel more secure.
I grabbed my instrument and water jug then ran out to the car where my mom and little sisters were already waiting. I jumped in and put my shoes on as we drove to pick up my friend for
practice. It was a quiet car ride, my friend decided to play ‘Yellow Car’ and I knew that I was going to have bruises from it. When we reached the school my mom all but kicked us out then drove off with my little sisters. Sighing, I walked towards the high school.
Walking into the band room I groaned. It was still covered in water from the day before; we had been outside practicing when it started to rain while we ran. When we finished running the
drum majors were yelling for everyone to grab their things and go inside. Seconds later it was raining so hard that I had to put my water jug under my arm in an awkward position so I could clear the rain out my eyes. I couldn't even see ten feet in front of me by then, and I almost fell a few times. The road was already pretty flooded, even though it had been raining less than a minute and once inside we just practiced music while dipping wet.
I came out of my memory of the day before grinning and sat down. As much fun as yesterday was, I didn’t want it to rain today.
I talked to my friends a little bit before practice started. Tacaria of course tried to butt in, but we tried to be as nice as we could. She didn’t seem to understand how annoying her and Jodie
Then the drum majors came in the room and took out the Beast. The Beast is a tall metal structure that the director stands on to watch us from. It takes four people to get it standing. I watched with a sigh as my brother and Zach took it outside with two people right behind them. I followed, wanting more than anything for Zach to turn and smile at my…or maybe even wave. I was in the same section as him so of course I got to talk to him a lot, but I wanted him to act like I wasn’t just another little kid he had to take care of.
I had been crushing on Zach for almost two years now, it hadn’t been so bad last year, it was my rookie year and he was so nice to me while everyone called out every mistake and made me cry at night. Zach was different, when he could tell I was close to tears he would do something funny that made everyone laugh. I always felt better when he was around.
That’s about when I realized I had a crush on him. I started to dream about him all the time and I realized I would watch how his muscles stuck out more as we did our warm ups. I thought I had gotten over him during the school year, I never saw him which helped me
‘get over’ him. Then the spring rehearsals started and I knew that I still
liked him. I tried to help get over him by reminding myself of the fact that
not only was he four years older than me, and five grades ahead of me, and a
senior in high school while I was only an eighth grader, but he was also really
good friends with my brother. None of it worked and over time I felt like I was falling in love with him each and every day.
We stopped at the side of our makeshift field to set down our stuff then set up block. I was only two people down from Zach, which I appreciated, because then I would always be in his line of site, but he wouldn’t have to actually see all my mistakes. We warmed up
then went running, we ran around the entire parking lot which is pretty far, I
kept up with Zach for most of the run even though by the end I couldn’t breathe.
“Are you okay?” He asked me, he sounded worried and I tried to remind myself I was just probably getting on his nerves with how loud my breathing was. I took a big drink of water before
“I could probably do two more laps before I would be tired, it’s my breathing… I don’t have asthma but I still get really out of breath for no reason.” It was true, sometime I could run the mile
in gym no problem with my breathing, and other times just walking down the hallway at school would leave me gasping for air.
Zach just nodded, but I saw him looking at me every thirty seconds or so until my breathing quieted down. I felt my heart speed up and I blushed a deep red, looking at the ground. Finally our break was over and we got back in block. Everything was fairly simple
today. Then I felt a raindrop on my arm. Then another. Within seconds I
couldn’t see or hear anything but the rushing rain. I reached my arm out next
to me to grab Brandon and Kyle who had been closet to me but there was no one.
Suddenly there was a hand on my shoulder, I jumped and screamed but it was just
“We’re going inside.” He yelled, I could tell he was yelling but I barley heard him over the large boom of thunder. I started to run inside as I saw lightning hit the metal bleachers on
the soccer field less than a hundred yards away. The thunder was now so loud,and close together that I felt like I had gone deaf.
There was a loud groaning noise, Zach and I looked over to see the Drum majors podium falling on top of Kailey. I wanted to scream but I knew we needed to help her. I ran over and tried to lift the podium off her. Zach tried to also but it wasn’t budging. I was trying to figure out why it wouldn’t move, usually it only took one or two people to set it up, and with two people it should be easy to lift off Kailey. That’s when I noticed the twenty foot pine tree laying on top of it. I started crying, though the monstrous rain washed it away at once. Kailey was my best friend’s sister. I had known her for a while, gone on a week long vacation with her once. Zach hugged me and buried my face in his shoulder. I would have normally loved such close contact, but I hardly noticed. Brian Martini suddenly ran up and tried to help us. At once me and Zach were there too, pulling the pine tree off and trying to lift the podium off Kailey. There was a large flash of
lightning and I jumped, but I was getting used to it. We finally pulled Kailey out and tried to feel for a pulse. I was supporting her back with my hand when I noticed that the wetness coming off her shirt wasn’t ice cold like the rain. I stared in horror as I took my hand away and watched the dark red blood sliding off in the rain. Zach and Martini had noticed and had walked over to take a closer look at her back. There was a large circle of blood that seemed to be getting larger. I lifted the back of her shirt to see a giant gouge mark. Looking at her shirt, I noticed the giant rip in it for the first time.
“Protect her back! The rain isn’t clean and the pressure will hurt the injury!” I yelled, Martini looked stunned that I would know this, but Zach just did as I said. Zach and I carried Kailey as Martini keep his hands on her back to try and make the bleeding stop. Then
all the sudden something caught my foot and I fell onto the ground.
Looking down, I saw a large burn mark on the ground, and my friend Amanda’s pale lifeless face. I put Kailey on the ground and went to feel for a pulse. I sighed in relief as I felt the rush of blood and Amanda’s shallow breaths.
“Amanda, you get her, Zach and I got Kailey!” Martini screamed over the howling wind. I nodded and put Amanda on my back, this was one of the times I was glad I gave her piggy back rides all
We walked in silence for a minute or so when I saw Zach stop. We had run into the fence surrounding the soccer field…which was the opposite way of the school. We turned and began to walk back from the direction we had come from when someone ran past screaming. It
took me less than a second to see that it was Jaylen.
“What is it?” I yelled, he just pointed and I turned to see no less than a mile away, a large swirl of wind. I had seen enough movies and ‘Storm Chaser’ episodes to know that this was at
least an F3. I screamed and took off running. There was another flash of
lightning and within seconds we could see the school.
The school was alight with dancing flamed that seemed to be lovingly caressing it. I looked around helplessly, there was no where to go now, our best chance was the houses across the street. We ran for it, Jaylen had fled but Zach and Martini were still behind me. The
first one we tried was the Arnold’s house, the Arnold’s were a family of adopted children, their mother had been a foster parent but had fallen in love with all the kids and adopted them all. We tried the front door but it was locked, three of the Arnold’s had of course been at band, but one of the others should been home. We tried their neighbors then, and then their neighbors. None of the house were unlocked, and no one answered.
We kept a close eye on the tornado, but it seemed to be thinning a bit, and it looked like it might be a few feet off the ground like it was shrinking back into the sky. We decided to sit on a
porch that was very tall and therefore only slightly flooded. I took Amanda off my back with great relief, her eye lids fluttered but she remained unconscious. I then went over the help with Kailey. The bleeding had stopped, which could be good or bad. Her pulse was very weak due to the lack of blood and her breathing was very shallow and wispy. Martini, who hadn’t been feeling well all week, suddenly paled and turned to vomit on a lawn chair. I knew that it was the cold rain that was causing it; we all had to have caught some type of cold by now. I tried to look through the mist that now hung around us from the cold rain hitting hot pavement. The rain had died down, but not much so I couldn’t see very far in front of me. I did however notice the absence of the tornado. I went back to tell Martini and Zach the news when I saw Martini slumped over on a table. I looked at Zach and he pointed at the pool of vomit and I understood. I went and felt Martini’s head and snatched my hand away, he defiantly had a bad fever and had apparently passed out.
Groaning, I went over to where Zach sat and ungracefully sat down on the porch.
“What are we going to do?” I asked him, he seemed to think for a minute before answering.
“I’ll go back to the school while you stay and take care of everyone,” He began, I tried to object but he cut across me, “You seem to know what you’re doing medically and to be honest if
Kailey gets worse you might have to expose the wound more.” He seemed reluctant to say that I would have to remove her shirt, which I understood.
“What are you going to do at the school?” I asked him.
“I’m going to find help, or a cell phone to call an ambulance. With all that lightning and the fire I bet there’s already someone there.” He explained, I nodded and he took off running. I sat
down and let the tears that had been threatening fall down my face. I had tried to act brave in front of Zach, but the truth was that I was scared. I was four years younger than him, so of course he probably thought of me as a little kid, but I tried to hide any signs of my age around him in hopes that he might even flirt with me, just so I would know we might have had a chance. I heard a quiet moan from next to me and looked down the see Kailey open her eyes and blink, confused.
“Whoa, what happened?” She asked, I went into an explanation, glancing towards where Zach had disappeared every few minutes.
Kailey winced in pain as I helped her sit up.
“So Zach is going to get help?” She asked
“Hopefully.” I answered; she looked at me for a minute and then blurted out
"You like him.” I felt my face turn bright red and I wanted nothing more than to hide, she smiled and looked more like herself. I ignored her and looked back towards the school, hoping that Zach would come back, hopefully riding shot gun in an ambulance smiling and trying to cheer everyone up. Then the harsh rain began to pick up again, and at least thirty minutes later there was still no sign of Zach. I sighed and got to my feet.
“I have to go find him, something bad happened I can tell.” I told Kailey she nodded, and I saw her eyes drifting closed. I though fast and brought Martini and Amanda over near her, then covered all three of them with Martini’s jacket. I groaned and hoped it would work until we found help as I took off running towards where I had last seen Zach. I couldn’t run for very long though, the street was completely flooded now and had a very strong current. I fought against it, and it took me almost ten minutes to cross the four lane street. Once I got to the parking lot, I stood on a boulder that stuck out of the lawn and looked around. It suddenly hit me that Zach might have passed out like Martini crossing the street, I tried to see his orange shirt in the water, but there was nothing. I decided to continue on and look for help so I jumped off my boulder into the frigid water that went up to my hips. I shivered and moved on. It took me another ten minutes to make it to the school, or what was left of it. The fire had burned down most of the front and gym, but the band room and theater were untouched. I breathed a sigh of relief and ran inside. I saw at once that many people had made it through the foggy mist and rain right away; they were the driest and the most tiered looking. I walked up to the nearest person, a high school kid I didn’t know.
“Have you seen Zach?” I asked, he shook his head and walked away, I sighed angrily, and walked into the band room, there were probably twenty people out of our eighty seven person band in the room. A lot of people were pretty scraped up, probably from running inside. A few people though looked battered, and a lot had burns. I walked up to the nearest person and asked about the burn victims.
“Lightning, some people got hit and some were near trees that caught on fire.” She told me, I nodded and then was hit with a sudden thought, what if Zach was missing because he had been hit by lightning or been struck by a falling tree? I shuddered at the thought and ran outside. Thankfully the parking lot was a little bit higher up that the streets, so the water level was a lot lower. I trudged through the icy waters and pouring rain until I reached the bit of grass. It was one of those little islands of life in the middle of the concrete and cars. I was about to keep
walking when I heard a quiet moan. I was instantly crouched down, looking for the source. To my horror I found a tree that was half burned on top of a still body. I easily moved away the tree, and looked to see who was under it.
It took me a minute to recognize the face it was so badly burnt. I knew it was Zach though, how often had I memorized every feature of his face? I knew it was him by the shape of his lips, and the rolling muscles in his arms. His hair was dripping wet and singed but I could still tell it was a warm brown.
I carefully listened to his pulse, it was weak but there. I breathed a sigh of relief. I began to look around for something to carry him in so I could get him inside. Like a bag that the color guard used that I could unravel and drag behind me. But there was nothing. I looked to realize I had walked about twenty feet away from Zach and I made to walk back, but I slipped on something and fell to the ground. I screamed out in pain and realized that my ankle was twisted a funny. Groaning I limped over to Zach and sat down next to him. I suddenly realized how tiered I was. I lay down and closed my eyes, trying to block out the images from the past few hours.
* * *
I awoke with a start to see that the rain was completely gone and the sky was a pale pink color. It must have been about six in the morning. I shiver and rolled over, closing my eyes at the onslaught of memories from the day before hit me. I felt a warm arm wrap around my waist and my eyes snapped open. Zach was still asleep, or unconscious, but his arm was wrapped around my waist. I giggled and untangled myself. I stood up slowly, testing my ankle and then grabbed Zach by the arm, putting it around my neck and leaning his boy on mine.
We limped back to the school this way, well me limping and Zach being dragged along. When we were about twenty feet away I saw an ambulance coming, then two and three. I sank onto the ground in relief and breathed deeply. Zach stirred and then opened his eyes. I helped
him sit up slowly and carefully.
“Good morning sleepy head.” I joked, he smiled and I warmed to see such a sweet and normal thing.
“Hmm, I see someone doesn’t listen very well.” He joked back, I grinned and then it disappeared as he leaned in, I had never been kissed before but I knew the signs. I felt my heart speed up and my cheeks grew hot but I didn’t pull away. Slowly, our lips met and I knew that
everything was going to be fine.