Hamilton's Sing Along of Love!
This is my entry for The Dares Challenge! Please enjoy! I own nothing, and thank you Swingdancer23 for making an awesome forum of dares!
I watch my father waddle into the classroom with a guitar case in his hand. He has a big smile on his face, and I can feel the stares of my fellow classmates goring into the back of neck. All the kids in my class are around the same age. All of us are just about to graduate from this school, marry each other, start reproducing and get their careers on track. We all have one semester left, and looks like my father has decided that our elective this semester will be music.
When I was young, around pre-kindergarden age, my mother would use that guitar for a daily class sing along. They would be the most simple songs, such as the alphabet song, twinkle twinkle little star, which by the way have the same tune. She would also sing about the colors of the rainbow, and how important it is to get along with one another. Simple songs.
In the corner of my eye, I spy Angela looking at me from the next desk over, smiling at me. I turn my head and she jolts back to her notebook. I smile at her cheeks turning red. Everyone on Waffle Island knows that she has always had the biggest crush on me. And, the truth is, I have developed some sort of attraction to her. She catches me staring at her, and smiles up at me.
"Gillford!" I feel myself tense up at my father. "Would you mind telling the class what your favorite song was when you were younger?" He asks, noticing that I was not paying proper attention. He smiles at me, knowing what I feel for Angela.
I stand up and face my classmates. Angela is wide eyed, the only person who is actually paying attention to me. My best friend Chase is doodling recipes in his notebook. Maya is staring at Chase, no surprise there. Anissa is staring out the window, where she can get a clear view of the clinic where her boyfriend, Jin, is working. Julius and Luna are whispering about the latest fashion trends, and Candace is reading a book she has hidden under her desk. Luke, Owen, and Toby are whispering amongst themselves, most likely about their jobs or their girlfriends. Selena, Kathy, and Renee are whispering on the other side of the room, whispering about, you guessed it, their boyfriends.
Are all girls obsessed with guys at this age?
"I uh...my favorite song when I was little...was called...'My Favorite Teddy Bear'" I say, staring down at the floor. I look up to my fellow classmates full attention, some even letting out a few chuckles and giggles. I feel myself sit back down in my spot next to Angela. I look to her, and she beams with a smile on her face. It isn't until now that I feel my cheeks turn on fire.
"Oh, Goodies! I'm so excited that you remembered! When you all had just started school, Mrs. Hamilton used to teach you by singing songs, and making dances! These next few weeks, we are going to return to our childhoods by singing about our feelings about growing up, and going into the real world! Won't that be fun! Maybe some of you can truly confess in front of the whole class about your feelings about a special someone, or you can announce any job offers you have, or any goals and dreams that you plan to achieve! Won't it be fun?" He says, rambling again. Chase raises his hand.
"What if we don't know, or care, about any songs?" He asks, slumping in his chair. Maya is beaming at him, the poor girl. The whole class knows that Maya is going to try and serenade him, even though everyone knows that he has a thing for Angela's older sister, Molly. She graduated about three years ago, so Chase still might have a chance with her.
"Why wouldn't you want to participate? It's going to be a thrilling experience! Right class?" He gets no reply, as he sits down the floor, with the guitar in his lap.
"Alright now, class! Shove everything out of the way so we gather round." We do as he says. I watch my classmates start sitting on the floor. Luke sits right next to my father, and whispers in his ear. Father chuckles and hands the guitar to Luke. I sigh, because I know my father wishes Luke was his son instead of me. Luke, so outgoing and loud and obnoxious. Me, sarcastic, rude, hardworking. I guess the reason I've always pushed Luke's attempts at friendship is because I was jealous.
Jealous that my father preferred him to me.
I sit down in between Chase and Angela. I look over to Chase who is smiling like an idiot at me. He knows that I have certain feelings for Angela, and he wants us to end up together, whatever means necessary. He does this weird thing with his eyebrows and I just sigh. I hold my breath when Angela looks at me.
"What's up? Don't wanna sing your 'Teddy Bear' song?" She giggles playfully. I try to give her a sneer, but I can feel the corners of my lips turning upward into a smile.
"You've never had a favorite song as a child before?" I say, raising my eyebrows at her. I feel my heartbeat growing louder. I wonder if Angela can hear it too.
Suddenly, the whole class looks up to Luke, playing the guitar like an idiot, dancing around and singing random words such as 'potato' and 'chopping' and 'Selena' and 'feathers'.
"I like potatoes! I like chopping! I like Selena in a feathery dress!" He sings out loud, and out of tune, as the classroom howls. Selena's face is blood red from embarrassment. Angela is laughing hysterically. Once he is finished, he sits back down in his place between my father and Owen.
"Did you write that yourself, Luke?" Angela asks, smiling.
"Yup! Did you like it, Selenie-Bear?" Luke asks, as Selena sends him a look so mad, I thought only the Harvest King could make. Luke has a huge smile on his idiotic face. He really is an idiot.
He made my Angela laugh.
Wait a minute, since when did she become, 'Your Angela?' I ask myself.
"'Cause you got that One Thing" Owen sings. I realize I had fallen into my thoughts, and I wasn't paying attention to the One Direction wannabes. Owen actually has a decent voice, so I guess it isn't that bad. His voice croaks at the high notes, but other then that he's fine. All Kathy can do is smiling at him as he sings. Her eyes are glued to him throughout the entire song.
Maybe I could sing a song like that to Angela...but which song...?
The school bell rings, and we all get up from the floor to retrieve our book bags from the crowded desks. I find myself reaching for Angela's bag off the floor and handing it to her. I feel Chase's eyes staring at Angela and I.
"Thanks Gill. Or should I say, 'Gilford?'" She giggles again. I sigh, but I can't help but smile. I regain my composure, and walk up to the desk where my father is gathering his things. The classroom slowly empties out, each student talking with friends about which song they should sing for tomorrow's class. I'm staring out the window, looking at Maya trailing Chase all the way up to the hill where he lives. I chuckle a little bit, knowing how annoyed my friend probably is right now.
"Gilly, you ready?" I hear my Father ask. I nod, and start heading out the door with him. I grab 'A History of Waffle Island' from the Town Hall Library before we head down the stairs. My father and I wish Ellie a good afternoon, before we exit the Town Hall.
Usually on our walks we talk about the islanders, the sales going on at the shops, or who fancies who. Typical gossip. But today, I notice we both are being unusually quiet. That is, until my father clears his throat.
"This is the exact kind of thing your mother would have done, if she was still here." He says, keeping his eyes down at his waddling feet. I nod in agreement.
"She loved music and singing. That's one of the things I loved most about her." I say, feeling my voice crack.
"I wanted to use music as your final class because I felt that we both needed a sense of closure. It's been four years, but it still feels like yesterday was the day she got sick." He says, ignoring the fact that both of us have tears streaming down our faces. Luckily, we've arrived at the house.
"Why now? Why do we need closure now?" Is all I can ask, as I fiddle with the lock on our house, trying to get it open so that nobody can see me break down. I'm not good with people seeing my emotions, one of the reasons I tend to hide away from people. As we enter the house, I turn around and face my father, feeling my face tense up, and my blood boil.
"Why not the year she died? Why not last year, why not last month, last week, yesterday? Why?" I yell. I watch him just stand there in the closed doorway. He's not crying anymore, but the light from the open window illuminates the wet spots on his face where the tears were.
I don't know why I'm angry right now. Maybe every now and then I just need to yell. Maybe that's what everyone needs once in a while. To yell.
"Because you're growing up. You will be graduating this year. You'll be getting married to Angela, which is something we all know, you'll be inheriting my duties as mayor. Everything will soon be changing for you, as for the rest of the childre-young adults in your class." He says in a simple calm voice I rarely hear him use. I can't stop the tears now, which results in soft sobbing, in the middle of the living room in the middle of the house I was raised in. The house that made me who I was. I watch my father start to leave the room and walk up the stairs.
"Dad...wait..." I say, turing to him. He stops, and slowly looks over to me.
"Will you help me...pick a song to sing to Angela?" I ask, my voice still cracking. He smiles.
"Look through the scrapbooks on top of the fire place. I'm sure you'll find a few ideas." He says, smiling. He takes another step up the stairs.
"And Father...Dad...?" My voice croaks once more. He looks at me once again. "I love you." A phrase, I haven't said in who knows how long.
"I love you too son. More then anybody, I love you, with all my heart." He says, with our eyes both attached to each other.
He takes mores steps up the stairs, and I let him go this time.
I wipe my face with my handkerchief, as I make my way to the fireplace. I take out the one that I remember making with my mom when I was just starting school. I flip through the pages randomly, until I stop moving completely when I see the picture of my mom holding a guitar, her eyes shut, and her mouth open, Serenading my father on the steps of the light house. I look at the lyrics written in purple ink, on the other side of the page. I read them out loud.
"'Will you stay Awake for me, I'll give you my heart on a string, I just don't want to miss anything. I will share the air I breathe, I just don't wanna miss anything, I don't want to miss anything.'" I smile as I review the story of how my mother captured my father's heart. She snuck into his backpack when they were teenagers, after he had accidentally left it at school the day before she arrived to school early. She saw that he had a CD of Secondhand Serenade. That Friday evening, she learned the first song on the album on guitar and memorized the entire song by heart, perfecting it. The next day, she saw my father standing at the lighthouse, and she ran to Colleen, her best friend at the time, and told her, jokingly, to get the camera ready. My mother then ran as fast as she could to her house to get her guitar, tuning it on the way back to the lighthouse. Luckily, she caught her just before he was about to leave and return back home. She strummed the first chord as he turned around and she started singing her song. A song that would someday become their song. I think my father once mentioned that 'Awake' was the first song they danced to as man and wife.
I put the scrapbook back in its spot on the fireplace. I run up the steps and head to my room, grabbing the guitar on the way. I know the words from memory, and as I learn the guitar part, I try to figure out why I wasn't thinking of this song earlier...oh well, somethings I guess we'll never know.
I practice until midnight, trying to perfect the piece, just like my mother did all those years ago. As I play the song over and over again, I start to realize that my father never preferred Luke to me. He never once wanted Luke to be his son instead. Maybe Luke and I can be friends, if he ever starts to mature a little...
I wake up, with my alarm buzzing in my ear. Looking at myself in the mirror, I realize I fell asleep with my clothes on, without brushing my teeth or anything. I double check the time, and in shock of how late I am, I grab my bag and start running towards the Town Hall. I ignore Ellie's 'good morning' and run up the stairs to the classroom. Out of breath, I open the door to the classroom. All eyes are on me as I enter.
"Sorry I'm late...I overslept." I say, taking a seat on the floor in between Chase and Toby.
"It's okay, Gilly! It gave me enough time to show the class your baby pictures!" My father says, which makes everyone laugh. "Would you like to present a song to begin today's class?" He says, with a sparkle in his eye.
"Uh...okay..." I say, standing up. I place the guitar in my hands, and ready my hands to move swiftly. I finally lock my eyes on Angela, and I can't help but stare at her as I clear my throat.
Do you ever look back on a embarrassing moment in your life, and it's one of those moments you would do anything, anything in your power to change what said or did?
Luckily, this wasn't one of those moments.
I play the introduction, and I sing the first few words of the beautiful song. I watch Angela's eyes grow wider and wider, as I carefully step closer to where she is sitting.
"I can hardly remember the last time I felt like I do, you're an Angel disguised." I sing as my shaking, sweating palms move across the strings. I smile as more and more words come out of my mouth. I suddenly remember I'm singing everything I feel for the girl I love right in front of all my friends, all of her friends, and my father. Suddenly, I feel vulnerable, but then I look back to Angela, and for some reason she makes everything alright.
I let the final chord ring out, and Angela squeals with excitement. She jumps up and holds me. I put my arms around her, and hold her tighter then she holds me. Around us, the classroom of kids are clapping, Chase whistling, and all the guys are whooping and hollering.
I watch my father smile proudly as he takes a picture.
I can feel my heartbeat grow, just like yesterday, but today it feels like victory. I won the girl. But not only that, I closed a chapter in my life. A chapter I knew I had to close. And the best part of that is...
I got to close that chapter, with my father.
D'aw, I like that ending. Thanks for reading!