Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

Two Types of Tunes

A group of boys carrying instruments and music equipment came looking defeated out of a club around midday on a Saturday. They walked up to a van parked in front of the building. One of the boys who was carrying an electric guitar knocked on the window of the passenger side, and stood back as the window rolled down.


“How’d the audition go sweetie?” Asked the woman in the driver’s seat, tucking a strand of dark hair back behind her ear as she turned to greet them.


“Eh, it could’ve gone better...” The boy who carrying the guitar replied, glancing at the others. They all rolled their eyes. One of the other boys walked around to the back of the vehicle and opened the hatch. He hefted the amp he was holding up into the back, and then turned to the first boy.


“Could’ve gone better? Nolan, it sucked.”


Nolan flinched at the harshness of these words. “Okay, that’s not true Landon. We didn’t suck. We just weren’t what they were looking for.”


“Yeah, and we’re never what they’re looking for,” Landon argued. Another one of the boys who was texting somebody, most likely a ride home, looked up. “He’s right. I was talking with one of the staff members, and she said that our music wasn’t original enough. That everyone comes in with pretty much the same stuff.”
Landon raised his eyebrows and looked at Nolan. “See? Miles sees it. We’re not getting any- where like this. The only gig we’ve ever had was at Wyatt’s ten year old cousin’s birthday party! And let’s be honest, does that really count? No offence Wyatt.”


“None taken.” Wyatt said while loading up the other amps and drums in the van with Miles. “If we ever want to get a gig, we’re going to have to change something.” Landon declared. Nolan sighed. “Okay yeah, you’re right. But what should we do? The songs we have are good.”


The boys stopped and thought for a bit. Then, out of nowhere, the woman in the car piped up. “You could try finding new sounds to interpret into what you already have...” Wyatt nodded. “That would be cool. Something no one’s heard of...”


“Yeah, thanks Mrs. P!” Landon said, smiling. “Alright then. Do we all agree that this is our new goal?” Nolan asked. Everyone agreed and then continued to load up the van.


After that, everyone parted ways. Nolan got into the van with the woman. “That was a good suggestion, mom.” Nolan said as the car came to a stop at a red light. “Thank you. I hope I wasn’t butting in too much. I know it’s your band and all.” Nolan shook his head. “No, no. It was good. I just hope we’ll be able to figure something out.”


The light turned green, and they turned left. “I’m sure you will sport. You’ve gotten this far. It’s only a matter of time.” Nolan chucked. “I hope you’re right.”


When Monday came, the boys decided that they would meet in the music room during lunch and ask their music teacher, Mr. Green, for advice. Landon and Wyatt made it there first and were waiting just outside of the music room, when suddenly, the two heard the sound of strings coming from the music room. Curious, Landon and Wyatt made their way into the classroom, and searched for the cause of the sound.


That’s when they saw her. There stood a girl playing the violin for Mr. Green, but it was unlike any music they expected to find from a violin. At first thought, they would have expected the violin to produce a very classical piece with slow, calm movements. This was not at all what they heard. With quick, light movements, the girl was playing very intensely. The boys wondered how one could play with such agility. I was quite a sight to behold.


“Wow. How is she doing that? I had no clue a violin could be played like that.” Wyatt said in amazement. “She’s fiddling. That’s like an entirely different type of playing. She’s really good.” Landon added. Then he went quiet with thought.


“I know that look Landon. What are you thinking?” Wyatt asked, only slightly wary. “Hmm... Celtic rock.” Landon murmured. “What?” Landon looked at Wyatt with a gleam in his eyes. “Celtic rock. We may have just found our new sound!” With that statement, Wyatt began to grin. “Oh yeah! We better go find the others, quick!”


It was at that moment that Miles appeared behind them. “Hey guys, sorry I took so long- Ahhh!!!” Landon and Wyatt practically tackled Miles, and brought him over to where he could see the girl with the violin. Within minutes, Miles was onboard and the three of them went off to find Nolan who had not yet shown up. They eventually found him and dragged him to the music room.


“I’m telling you Nolan, she’s perfect!” Landon was saying along the way. “The way she plays, it’s incredible!” Miles added excitedly.


“What does she play?” Nolan asked, uncertain. “I kind of assumed we’d be doing this ourselves...”
The others looked at each other, until Landon spoke up. “She plays the violin,” Nolan raised his eyebrows, clearly unimpressed, “BUT she plays it as a fiddle.” He finished. Nolan was silent. Then he asked, “You’re saying that there’s a type of rock music that uses the fiddle?”


“Yeah, and it’s really cool! Just try to keep an open mind and you’ll see.” Landon replied. Nolan sighed.

“Alright fine, I’ll listen to her play, but no major decisions yet. Okay?”
“Understood.” Landon replied.
“Yep.” Miles agreed.
“Got it.” Wyatt nodded.


They made it to the music room, but when they tried to open the door, the boys found that
it was locked. “Darn.” Landon muttered. “They must have finished. I doubt the girl’s here anymore.” Miles stated. Nolan looked at his watch. “Yeah, the bell’s about to ring anyways. Even if we did find her now, she wouldn’t have the time to play for us.” Landon sighed, exasperated. “We’ll just have to come back tomorrow then.”


The next day, the group quickly made their way to the music room and waited for the girl to make an appearance. Mr. Green was busy working with other students, and so they decided to wait before asking him about her. Finally, she entered the classroom, violin case in hand. She set her things down and pulled out her violin. The boys went up to the girl while she adjusted the strings on the violin, her back turned away from them.


Landon leaned forward and tapped the girl on the shoulder. The girl turned, and gave us an uncertain smile.


“Uh, hello?” she said, turning the simple sentence into more of a question. “Hi there,” Landon said brightly, “My name is Landon Anderson, and these are my friends Wyatt Murphy, Miles Wang, and Nolan Powell. Miles, Wyatt, and I heard you playing for Mr. Green yesterday, and we all thought it was amazing.”


The girl blushed. “Oh, thank you.” She said bashfully. “What’s your name?” Landon asked. “Primrose Collins.” The girl replied. Nolan coughed, covering up his snigger. Landon elbowed him. “I’m sorry, your name is Primrose?” Nolan asked, trying not to grin. Miles stomped on his foot, caus- ing Nolan to wince. Primrose cheeks became even more pink. She sighed and said, “Yes. My name is Primrose. Usually I just go by Prim...” Landon, trying to take back control over the situation, said, “Anyways. Prim, which is a lovely name by the way,” Landon glared at Nolan. “We were wondering if you would mind playing for us.” Prim stepped back in surprise, her eyes wide. “Uh... Why?”


“Well, we’ve started up a band called White Sparrow, and we’re currently looking for some new sounds to add a bit of flare to our music.” Landon declared. “Yeah, and after hearing you play yesterday, we realized that you are exactly what we need.” Miles added. A spark of interest entered Prim’s eyes, and it was clear that she was doing her best not to show too much excitement. “Wow, uh, I don’t know what to say... It’s flattering that think that but... What kind of band are you talking about?”


“A cel-” Landon started to say. “A celtic rock band!” Wyatt cried out eagerly, interrupting Landon. Prim looked as if she had been punched in the stomach. She averted her eyes, and appeared to be deep in thought.


The boys looked at each other in confusion. “Is something wrong?” Asked Landon, con- cerned.
Prim jumped. “No! Not at all. Everything is just fine,” she began, all the while laughing ner- vously. “Um... Yeah. I’ll play for you.”


The boys sat down in some of the chairs and Prim stood before them. She took a deep breath, and then began to play. However, this time, Prim wasn’t playing anything like what she had been playing the previous day. Landon, Wyatt, and Miles all gave one another confused glances. Nolan sat there, his face unreadable. The music was beautiful, but it wasn’t at all what they had been prepared for. When Prim had finished, Nolan stood up, thanked her, then marched his way right out of the room.


The boys and Prim watched him leave, feeling quite awkward. “Um... Could you just give us a minute? Please don’t leave!” Landon called out as he ran after Nolan, Miles and Wyatt only a step behind him. Prim was left standing there alone.


The boys caught up with Nolan in the hallway just outside of the music room. Landon grabbed Nolan by the shoulders, and spun him around. “What the heck was that?!” Landon asked angrily. “Are you serious? Did you not hear her?” Nolan asked, annoyed. “That wasn’t what you told me she sounded like. She’s talented, I won’t deny that, but that’s not something that will work with our group.”

“Okay, so what you just heard was not what we heard yesterday. If you would just give her another chance, then you’ll see what we were talking about!” Landon begged. Nolan was about to ar- gue, but he was stopped by a familiar string melody. Nolan wandered back into the music room quiet- ly, and hid himself behind a bookshelf. He peeked around the corner and watched Prim play. Prim’s quick and lighthearted playing had returned and she was playing on the instrument, maneuvering her fingers along the neck in an almost effortless manner. Some would most definitely say that she was in fact fiddling with a fiddle.
Nolan turned back to Landon, Wyatt, and Miles and face palmed. He slid his hand down his face and sighed. “Okay fine. She’s in.” The others beamed. “Come on then.” Wyatt said, strolling back to where Prim was. The others followed suit.


Prim stopped playing when she saw the boys coming her way. She began to tug nervously on some of her long auburn hair. “Sorry about that,” Landon said apologetically. “Everything’s all good now. So the thing is, we kind of want you to play more like how you were playing just now. Classical is nice, but we’re looking for something more non-traditional. Would you be willing to do that?”


Prim bit her lip and looked at the ground for a minute, before looking up at the others with a sense of determination in her eyes. “Yes. Yes I would.” Landon turned back to look at the others, and they all nodded. “Alright,” Landon said, turning back to Prim. “You’re in. We plan on having our next practice Thursday after school. Does that sound good?” Prim smiled. “Okay, great! I’ll send you an email with the address and any other information you’d need.”


The bell then rang, and it was time for everyone to head to their separate classes.


It was finally Thursday, and it was time for Prim to find a way to escape her home. Prim hadn’t told her family about the band, and she wasn’t planning on doing so anytime soon. In her family, any music that wasn’t classical simply wasn’t permitted. Her mother had made it clear how she felt about other genres of music, especially anything resembling the celtic folk variety. That was why Prim only played that kind of music for Mr. Green. But now, Prim was taking a risk she had never imagined herself taking. She feared the consequences that came with it, but she had made up her mind. Prim enjoyed playing all sorts of music on her violin, and if her mother could not accept that, well then she didn’t have to hear it.


Now the only thing was to find a good excuse to leave. When Prim wasn’t keeping up with her school work or her mother’s strict violin practice schedule, she was often in her room reading. Unlike her older brother, Pierce, who was in all sorts of school clubs and sports teams, Prim didn’t really have any reason to go out. Pierce was popular, Prim was not. It was as simple as that.


Prim picked up her violin case and contemplated. After figuring out her escape plan, Prim pulled a large duffel bag out of her closet. She carefully laid the case in the bag, it barely fitting. After that, Prim shoved a large hoodie in and tucked it around the case. Then she threw in a few school notebooks and pencil cases for good measure.


Prim made her way down the stairs and into the kitchen. There, her mother was drying dish- es. She looked up and smiled.


“Hello dear.” Prim’s mother tilted her head when she saw the duffel bag. “What’s that?”

 

“Oh, um, it’s for a school project that I’m working on with Lucy. I’m supposed to go to her place now.” Prim said, doing her best to not have her voice falter. Her mother’s eyebrows’ creased slightly. “Oh. It’s rather last minute, isn’t it?” Prim shrugged. “Yes, it is. Sorry.” Prim’s mother crossed her arms. “Is your other schoolwork done?”


“Yes, it’s all done.” Prim answered. Her mother relaxed a little. “Alright, you can go. Don’t stay out too late, and after dinner you’ll make sure to practice the violin.” Prim went up to her and kissed her on the cheek. “Thanks mom. I’ll see you in a while.” Prim headed to the garage, and al- most tripped over Scout, Pierce’s cat. The cat hissed in indignation. Prim rolled her eyes, and con- tinued on. “Stupid cat.” Scout practically worshipped Pierce, and hated anyone who wasn’t him. The way Prim saw it, Pierce didn’t really need that extra little ego boost.


In the garage, Prim carefully put the duffel bag in the basket on her bike. She pressed a button to open the garage door, kicked up the bike stand on her bike, and turned off of her family’s driveway onto the street. She continued to pedal until the street split into a fork in the road. To turn right would lead Prim to Lucy’s house, while turning left would take her to Wyatt’s house, where the rehearsal was being held. Seeing that there was no going back at this point, Prim went left, traveling deeper into the lie.


Prim found herself parked in front of a blue bungalow, kids toys strewn across the lawn. She walked her bike up the driveway and left it leaning against the porch. Prim walked up the steps timidly, and stopped at the door. Before she chickened out, Prim pressed her finger to the doorbell. Her breath caught when she heard someone begin to unlock the door from the other side.


The woman standing before Prim was small, and had long blonde hair tied back into a messy bun. Although she looked quite tired, every bit of the woman’s face read joy and content. Prim was standing before the embodiment of pure sunshine.


“Hi there! You must be Primrose! Or do you prefer Prim? I’m Jane, Wyatt’s mom.” She reached out and shook Prim’s hand. Jane spoke a mile a minute and Prim had trouble keeping up. “Hi. Prim is fine. It’s very nice to meet you.”


“Come right on in.” Jane ushered Prim inside. “Wyatt and Nolan are downstairs. Landon and Miles should be here any minute now, but you go on ahead. Just past the kitchen you’ll find the stairs. I’ll bring down some snacks in a bit in case you all get peckish.” Prim found the stairs, and headed down, still processing what had just happened. Prim wondered how Wyatt’s mom had managed to fit any breath in that stampede of sentences.


Prim stood at the bottom step and looked around. The basement had been turned into a full on rehearsal space and recording studio. There was a full drum set in the corner and music equipment everywhere. It was a musician’s dream.


There was also an area reserved as a lounge, with a couch set up in front of a T.V. That’s where Nolan and Wyatt were relaxing, waiting for the others to show up. Nolan looked over his shoulder and Prim could’ve sworn that he blushed a little before quickly looking away. Wyatt turned and got up. “Hey, Prim! Welcome to the headquarters of the White Sparrow!” Prim walked towards them, duffel bag in hand. “Thanks for having me.” She began to plop herself down on the couch next to Nolan, but hesitated when she noticed Nolan tense up.

Nolan scooched over a bit and Prim placed herself on the couch gently. Prim unzipped the duffel bag and took everything out of it. “Uh, what’s all this?” Nolan asked, uncertainly. Realizing the strangeness of what she was doing, Prim quickly came up with small fib. “Oh, it’s just in case I needed to take notes.” She said, quickly pulling out the bundle of hoodie and replacing it with the notebooks and pencil cases. “And this was just for if I got cold. Thought I might as well keep it all in one place, ha ha.” Prim unwrapped the case and took out her violin.


“Hey guys, What’s up?” Called Landon from the stairwell. He and Miles came down the stairs and joined the others in the lounge area. “Hey, Prim, did you find your way okay?” Landon asked, making Prim smile. “Yes, thank you.” Nolan frowned a little at Landon, before jumping up and clapping his hands. “We should probably get started! So Prim, we’re going to try playing one of our pieces, and we want you to just try improvising little bits to add in as we go. Sound okay?” Prim stood up. “Oh, okay. I’ll try.”


“Good, let’s get to it then!”


The boys set up their instruments, and after everyone was tuned, they began. Prim awaited her turn nervously, watching in wonder at the group as they played. They were good, and they knew how to work together. Prim felt a bit like an outsider. She wouldn’t let that stop her though.


Finally, Landon made eye contact with Prim and nodded, giving her the signal to begin. At first it was a little rough, but Prim quickly figured it out. She would add little bits here and there as background sound, until suddenly she was matching the melody with Nolan’s guitar. The boys eyes went wide in surprise, but then they smiled and kept on going. It became a full on rock session, and everyone was having a great time.
When the final chord rang out, they were all silent. Then they all looked at each other, grinning. Laughter erupted from the group, and they all began whooping and cheering.


“I have to say,” Landon said, out of breath from all the laughing. “That, was awesome!”
“That was so good, Prim!” Miles announced from the keyboard. Prim blushed, looking at her feet. “Thanks.” Then she looked up excitedly. “I can’t believe that just happened! It was incredible!”

 

Nolan unslung his guitar and set it aside. He walked over to a table where he had propped up his phone.

 

“You better believe it, ‘cause I got the whole thing in recording.”
Everyone gawked at him. “Dude, you recorded that?!” Wyatt yelled. Nolan walked back over to the group, phone in hand. “Yep! I didn’t count on the first run being usable, but I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m going to submit this to the people running the contest at that club we tried to get into. With this, we might just get in!”


“A live performance? At a club?” Prim asked, not believing a word she was hearing. Landon cut in. “Yeah! If we win, then we get to play at the club for a couple of evenings. Cool right?” Prim’s jaw dropped. “Oh my gosh, yes! That is so, so cool!” She was jumping up and down like a child getting excited about a present. The others began to laugh, enjoying the display of enthusiasm.


“Alright then. I’ll send this to them tonight, and we’ll see what happens. We should probably take a look at some of the other pieces.”


That evening, Prim lay on her bed, imagining what it would feel like to play in front of an audience, the rush of joy she would feel as she played her heart out for them. Prim smiled to herself. Some secrets were worth keeping.

 

White Sparrow continued to rehearse, and the band continued to wait for a response from the club. Prim also continued to find ways to get away from home. Sometimes it was a study group, and other times it was going to a friend’s house for a ‘project’.


“They sure are giving out a lot of projects...” Prim’s mother remarked one afternoon. “Yep, but don’t worry. I’m staying on top of things. No problem.”


She felt bad for lying to her mother, and she felt bad about not telling the band about the issue, but it was necessary. At least it felt that way to Prim.


If she told her mother about what she’d been doing for almost three weeks, she’d never be allowed near her own instrument, let alone the band. If she told the band about her mother, they might not let her play with them anymore. Prim could not risk losing the only freedom she felt she had. And so, it all remained a secret, growing bigger and bigger with every passing practice.


The group had started to lose hope that they would ever hear from the club, until one day, Nolan ran into Wyatt’s basement with a crazed look in his eyes. “Guys! We did it! We got in!” Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at Nolan.


We did?!” Landon cried, leaping off the couch. “Yeah! Apparently there were a lot of groups that entered, so that’s why they took such a long time to respond, and we tied first with another group! So the arrangement is that we’ll play some of the nights, and the other group will play on alternating nights.”


“Wow. We did it. We got in!” Miles whooped.


“Yeah, it may be half of what we originally going for, but that’s fine by me!” Wyatt said, while doing some sort of victory dance.


“Lady and gentlemen,” Nolan announced. “We officially have our first gig!”


The group practiced like crazy, arranging their repertoire. They also started thinking about things like outfits, posters, and transportation. Prim began to feel more like she was part of the group. Even Nolan, who avoided her at first, started to turn around. In fact, lately, he’d been especial- ly kind to her. They worked on posters together, while the others went out looking for outfit ideas.


While Prim was sketching out a design, she decided to ask. “So why White Sparrow? Nolan looked up. “Oh, right, we never explained it. Sorry. White sparrows are supposed to be magical in russian folklore, and in some ways were seen as good omens. They also link to things like teamwork, protection... and love.”


The two were quiet. Then Prim looked at Nolan. “I think that’s really cool. I like it.” Nolan gave Prim a small smile. They continued working until Nolan stopped and turned to Prim. “Hey, I want to apologize for the way I acted before. I was being a jerk. I’m sorry.” Prim put down her pencil and turned to face Nolan. “Yeah, you kind of were,” Nolan laughed. “But I think I could forgive you. Apology accepted.”


Nolan sighed, relieved. He bit his lip, and then asked. “Do you think that maybe we could hang out outside of band sometime? I don’t know, a movie maybe?” Prim felt her face go completely red. “... Like a date?” She murmured. Nolan started to panic. “Ahh! Nevermind, forget I said anything, I don’t know what I was thi-” Prim held her hand up to stop him from babbling. “Stop,” she said, with a smirk. “A movie sounds nice.” Nolan said nothing. He appeared shocked. Then he beamed at Prim.


The others came in at that moment, and as if they had been electrocuted, Prim and Nolan retreated away from each other. “Hey guys, how’d it go?” Nolan asked, fiddling with his sleeve.


Landon had a severely annoyed expression on his face. “The shopping part was fine. We got what we needed, but guess who we bumped into at the mall? Pierce Collins.” Nolan groaned, and the others rolled their eyes. Prim froze. “Pierce?” She asked. “Yeah, he’s a guy in our grade. He hangs out with the jocks, and he’s a real jerk. He’s been mocking and making fun of our band for years.” Nolan informed her.


“What’d he want?” Prim inquired. “The same old thing he always wants. To make us suffer and look like complete fools.” Landon replied. “Yeah. We were looking at some clothes, and they came up from behind us and started making jokes and poking fun at us.” Miles muttered angrily.


“He’s had it out with Miles ever since middle school.” Wyatt explained to Prim, who was stunned by Miles’ sudden anger.


“But we showed him, didn’t we?” Landon asked Miles, nudging him playfully. “What did you do?” Prim asked, now quite concerned for both her brother and her friends. Landon got excited. “We told him about the club and, now he’s going to come this Friday see for himself that White Sparrow is not a failure!”
“WHAT?!” Prim practically screamed, making the others jump in fright by this reaction. “Oh no, oh no, oh no...” Prim quickly got up and started packing up her stuff. “I don’t think I can play with you guys.”
“What? Why?” The boys asked in unison. “I’m sorry!” She raced to the stairs, but Nolan grabbed her wrist and stopped her. “Prim what’s going on? What’s wrong?”


Prim was silent. Then she began to sob. Nolan dropped her wrist, afraid he might have hurt her. The others looked at each other, unsure of what they were supposed to do.


“I’m sorry,” Prim said, sniveling. “I haven’t been telling you guys the truth. The way I’ve been playing with you, it’s forbidden in my family. My mother hates any music that is not classical. Her father was a musician, a fiddler who played folk music. He would leave for long periods of time, and when he was home he would get drunk and... It wasn’t good. She’s separated herself from that part of her life, and I’m only allowed to play the violin as long as it’s classical music.” She wiped tears off of her cheeks. “Pierce is my brother. Pierce Collins, Primrose Collins. If he catches me playing in a club of all places, he’ll tell our mother, and I won’t be able to play anymore!”


Nolan stepped toward Prim, and wrapped her in a hug. “I’m sorry. We had no idea.” Prim snorted. “Well, I never gave you any reason to.” Landon walked up to them and reached into the bag. “I guess it’s a good thing I bought these then.” He held up a masquerade mask. “Oh, you’ll get to play alright, don’t you worry. We’ll make you look unrecognizable.” Prim and Nolan let go of each other and stared at the mask. Prim grinned.


Friday arrived, and it was show time. The band was dressed up in all black, with custom jean jackets that they, with the help of Landon’s dad, had painted to look somewhat steampunk. They also

wore steampunk top hats they had found online as well as the masks. Prim’s hat and mask were blue, Nolan’s purple, Landon’s red, Wyatt’s orange, and Miles’ green.


As they were setting up, Prim saw her brother enter with some of his friends. They sat at a table near the back. Pierce had told their parents that after basketball practice, he wanted to go out with some friends. It was Friday, so he and Prim didn’t have to worry as much about homework until the weekend. Prim had told their parents that she also wanted to go out with friends. No lying on ei- ther of their parts. Just leaving out some important details. Like how they were both going to a club.


Prim looked to the others, apprehension in her eyes. They all nodded encouragingly. “Everything’s going to be fine.” Landon whispered as he passed by her.


Finally it was time to start. Everyone got into position and waited. Wyatt then counted them in, and the show began.


After they had finished playing, the band brought their stuff out to the front. The perfor- mance had been spectacular. The people loved them. The audience appeared a little confused at first when Prim had begun to play, but they were soon clapping along to the beat happily. The band had even received an encore.
Everyone was in bright spirits, until they saw Pierce and his buddies heading their way. Prim hid behind the others, trying to be discreet.


“Well, well, well. Look at what we have here.” Pierce said, beaming. He looked up and down at Miles’ outfit. “Love the getup.” The other boys snickered. The band tensed up. “Relax. I just came to congratulate you. You didn’t suck, and you actually seem to be going somewhere. So good job. Maybe I’ll even convince student council to let you play at the next dance.”


“Is this a joke?” Landon asked suspiciously. Pierce sighed. “No, actually, it’s not. I may not like you, but even I can admit that you’re talented.” The boys stared at each other in astonishment.


Pierce continued. “But before we go, I want to talk to your violinist for a moment.” Prim started to panic. The others didn’t know what to do without seeming suspicious. Pierce walked around the group and took her by the hand gently. “Just one second guys.” He said to both his friends and to Prim’s. “We’ll be right back.


As she was being pulled away, Prim took one last glance in desperation at the others. Their eyes were as wide as saucers.


Once they were a good distance away, Pierce turned so his back was to the rest of the group.


“Primrose, what are you doing?” He asked, exasperated. He crossed his arms. “You don’t have to pretend anymore.” Prim stared at her older brother, astounded. “How did you know it was me?” She asked, defeatedly. “During one of your pieces, I heard you insert some of that music mom’s been having you play for the past two weeks.”


Prim gaped at him. Her brother responded by rolling his eyes. “Yes, Prim, I was able to differentiate the types of music you played. I have some musical talent, it’s not all just sports.”


“Now, we’re getting off topic. Why shouldn’t tell mom that you disobeyed her, and joined a band that plays at clubs? Hmm?”

Prim tried to find something good to say. “Um... Because it would be a nice thing for a brother to do?” Pierce raised his eyebrow and shook his head.


Prim sighed. “Okay, look. You have every reason to tell mom, but please just try to see this from my perspective. I like playing the violin, but I don’t want to be forced to play only one kind of music. I love all kinds of music, but the only way I’ve been able to enjoy them is to keep them to myself. This is how I finally get to express myself. These are my friends, and I love to play with them. I don’t want to stop.”


Pierce looked at Prim’s desperate eyes and groaned. “It’s not okay that you lied to mom, but I get it. All the expectations. It can be hard. When I saw you up on that stage, I saw a version of you I’ve never seen before. You have this sort of fire in your eyes. I don’t want to be the one who put that fire out... Look, here’s the deal. I won’t tell mom anything, under the condition that you will. You’ll tell mom how you feel, and I’ll be there, ready to defend you if need be. How does that sound?”


Prim wrapped her arms around him and squeezed him tight. “Thank you.” She whispered. Pierce hugged her back and then let her go. “Alright then. We have a deal.” He began to walk back to the group, when Prim grabbed his arm. “Oh, and one more thing,” Prim had a stern expression. “You have to be nice to my friends. No more jokes, no more mocking. You don’t have to be buddies, but just no more being mean. Got it?”


Pierce made a long, dramatic sigh. “Fiiiine.” He said with a smile.


As the two made their way back towards the others, Prim asked. “So what’s the deal with you and Miles? Apparently you’ve been a jerk to him for a while.” Pierce got a surprised look on his face, but then quickly covered it with a smirk. “Eh. Let’s just say that in middle school, he caused me misery by being so attractive. I was forced to retaliate.” Prim stopped short. “Wait, are you saying you like him? Like, like him?”


Pierce winked at Prim. “I won’t tell your secret, if you won’t tell mine.”


Pierce and his friends departed, leaving Prim and the rest of the band standing there, dumb- founded by what had just occurred. “It’s strange, isn’t it?” Prim asked the boys. “It’s strange how the most unlikely things can happen.”


“What, you mean like how a violinist can join a rock band?” Asked Nolan.
“Or like how foes could become friends?” Landon added.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t go that far.” Wyatt stated, shaking his head.
“Who knows, maybe Landon’s right...” Miles remarked, deep in thought. Prim shrugged.
“Anything could happen.” She said with a smile. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”