My Lucky Bow

"Are you nervous?" Kaoru asked, playing a short pizzicato ditty on his strings before looking up at me. I looked into the familiar eyes and shook my head solemnly. He laughed, "Yes you are!" I firmly held the neck of my violin and playfully punched his shoulder.

"Well you're going after me, so anything I play will sound fantastic," I giggled watching his mouth gape.

"Hey!" he yelled, smiling widely at me with a toothy grin. "But you're going after Natsuki," he giggled in response. I frowned at him. He did have a point there. Natsuki was incredibly good at violin; chances were that he would win the overall competition. I'd get third, like I always did. Natsuki would be first, Kaoru second and me, faithful, consistent third.

"Why the sad, yet very cute face?" Natsuki asked, coming over by me and resting his elbow on my very short shoulder. I smiled up at him helplessly. I couldn't hate him for being better than me; he happened to be my best friend.

"He's nervous," Kaoru jibbed, poking his finger through the air in my direction. I stuck out my tongue and turned around to practice my piece. My bow glided across the strings, creating a rich, deep noise. It was so intense, so passionate that I could feel the violin's vibrations in my arm.

"That's a shame. He's always getting nervous though, isn't he?" Natsuki quipped, twisting the general tuner on his violin. Natsuki was very good at speaking before thinking. Sometimes I swore he said everything that came to mind. However, he did manage to consistently get away with it. I closed my eyes and played the next line, hoping it would bring my mother to tears as it always did.

"It's because he doesn't want to lose again," Kaoru mumbled, his chin folded in the chin rest of his instrument. Lose?

"I got third!" I yelled. "That's not losing!" I shouted at him over my shoulder. I watched Kaoru throw his hands up in surrender.


"Shh…" the stage manager demanded, giving us three boys a dirty look. I turned back around and started over. I continued playing ferociously until my finger began to bleed. Not long after I'd drawn blood it was time for Natsuki to go on. I was still too angry with him to wish him my customary "good luck".

After Natsuki's seven minute piece began Kaoru slowly crept closer to me, hoping to apologize so that at least he could get an encouraging "good luck." He tapped my shoulder and in response I drew my bow back to hit a high note, nearly elbowing him in the gut.

"Syo?" he whispered, pawing at my shoulder. I let out a loud sigh, fuming in the rage I felt at him and Natsuki for their mocking words. I drew the bow across all the strings angrily, managing to snap the hairs; my lucky bow was entirely useless.

"What? Kaoru, what do you want? Haven't you done enough?" I pushed, my bow dangling from my hand in a water fountain of hair.

"Your lucky bow," he sighed, looking almost as disappointed as I was beginning to feel. My fuming anger at him slowly dissipated into sadness. My hard gaze melted into tearful hopelessness. I began to cry silently to myself as Kaoru leaned down to pick up the hairs and splinters to hide them in his violin case. He hurriedly came up to me.

"Syo," he stated urgently. "Syo, you're up next. Pull it together," he muttered, holding my face in his hands. He stared into my eyes willing me to regain composure.

"But, my bow!" I blubbered. "I've never broken one before! I didn't bring another. I can't play," I said defeated before I even had the chance to get third place again.

"Don't worry, I have an extra," Kao said smiling. I made a teary grin back at him. He always took care of me. From the moment we'd learned of my weak heart my younger brother had always been there for me. Kaoru always worried about me, it was a sort of love that couldn't be faked. Sometimes I acted as though I didn't need his constant doting, but to be honest, I loved having him worry about me.

Once I'd shown that I had accepted the broken state of my bow he let go of the tight hold he had on my chubby cheeks and went to retrieve his new one. The stage manager took this time to hold up a finger. It was one minute until I was on. Kaoru returned and handed me the bow. He straightened my bowtie, flattening down my vest. He looked at me with watery eyes as though he were about to begin crying with pride and kissed my cheek.

"Good luck," he whispered, looking me over like a doting parent. I blushed under his gaze, forgiving him for his hurtful words. After my eyes had cleared from their teary haze Kaoru ushered me forward. I stood in the wings watching Natsuki take his bows. He caught a rose and exited the stage, blowing a kiss to the audience. When he came off, he patted my shoulder encouragingly.

Natsuki quickly set his violin down and ran to my brother to confess all of his wrongdoings. It had always been Natsuki's way to memorize all of his mistakes just so he could boil over how he could have done better. He looked at every performance so critically; maybe that was why he was so much better than Kaoru and I.

"Kao I missed—"

"And next up is Kurusu Syo." I took measured steps out to the center of the stage and stopped suddenly. I pulled my violin up to ready position. I held it tightly and looked out into the flood of blinding light. Kaoru's bow felt long and heavy in my fingers, but I drew my elbow up, doing everything in my power to keep the bow from falling. I took a deep breath and began to play.

Kaoru had given me good luck and a bow. With those, my mother wasn't the only one to cry. I didn't get third place that night.

Hope you enjoyed it, I hope to write more for this story, let me know if you liked it :)