called to me. "Chloe,
"Yes?" I asked. "Chloe!" He breathed leaning closer.
I woke up and groaned. There's something about dreams that I don't understand. Why the hell do they have to end right at the best bit? I'll never get to kiss Orlando, even in my dreams.
"Chloe!" Mum called again.
"Coming!" I yell back. I got up and the cold air hit me. I put on a bathrobe and groggily moving toward the bathroom. When I got to the bathroom, I peered at my reflection… and I almost died of shock. My hair was at 90 degree angles with my head.
Note to self: Never, EVER wash my hair just before going to bed again.
Rubbing my tired eyes I reached for the hairbrush to help decrease the damage. Ugh. This morning was not starting off well.
I trudged down the stairs to the kitchen.
"Morning sweetheart," Mum chirped. There is a difference between my mother and I: she's a morning person, I'm not.
"Morning," I mumbled and reached for the milk and cereal. After one bite, I discovered the crucial thing which makes a breakfast was missing:
The milk was room temperature.
"How long has the milk been out?" I asked Mum.
"Well, I put it back after I used it," She replied. "Your father probably left it out." Grrr… stupid father.
"Morning," Dad said briskly. He was out the door faster than I could say Dad, you've left the milk out… but such is life. I sighed and trudged through my breakfast.
Parentals. I think they're designed to drive you nuts.
Finally I finished breakfast and I rushed toward the bathroom, aka heaven. I stripped and stepped into the shower. When the water trickled over me, I felt halfway human. By the time I had cleansed and exfoliated, I felt revived. When I got out of the shower, de-fuzzed, dressed and clean, I felt ready for anything. Then I took off my shower cap and saw my hair.
I winced. I really needed to do something about that.
I also needed to do something about my teeth too and that milk after-taste. Liam probably wouldn't want to kiss a girl with a bad case of camel breath. Besides, the hair straightener had to warm up. For the moment, the hair would have to wait. I reached for the hair straightener and plugged it into the razor only plugs (hey, they're the only ones in the bathroom. Anyway, I've never had any problems). I gave my teeth a long clean (to get rid of the camel breath of course) and spritzed my hair with liquid silk (for results maximus with the hair straightener). After almost giving myself third degree burns, I managed to tame my hair. Well, enough so that it could be put into a pony-tail.
Hmmmm… time for the over-all check….
No pimples or skin defects – check.
White, clean teeth – check.
Bags under eyes not visible – check.
Uniform looking good – check.
All non uniform regulation hidden – check.
Hair tidy – … good enough!
"I'm ready when you are Chloe!" Dad yelled from upstairs. Translated it means: Chloe move your ass, we're late!! Looking at my watch, I realised he was right.
"Ready Dad!" I yelled back. Thirty seconds later he hopped down the stairs tying his shoes. I rolled my eyes.
"Ok," He said, grinning.
"Ready when I was huh?" I mumbled. I grabbed my bag and followed Dad out to the car. He was pretending to be a Space Shuttle. I say it's a second childhood. Mum reckons he never grew out of his first. To make matters worse, he hooned down the street deliberately trying to look silly.
And oh yeah, nearly got us killed in the process. When we got to school, my nerves were shot.
"Bye Dad," I murmured, shaking and scared shitless.
"Aren't you forgetting something kiddo?" he asked. I turned cautiously. He was holding up my flute. I sighed with relief. Ok, I admit it. He can be good for some things.
"Thanks Dad," I said. "You have a good day."
"You too," he replied. "Bye."
"You're late Miss Taylor," Our accompanist, Henry McDonald, accused. He was mockingly glaring at me and I giggled.
"I'm earlier than Mrs Raphael," I protested innocently. Henry rolled his eyes. He's harmless really, and hilarious. He's guilty for randomly coming out with 'Land of hope and glory' in the appropriate key during warm-ups, without warning.
It's hard not fall over laughing.
But speaking of which… we needed to start warm-ups. I mean, hello. Looking around, it was chaos. Steriogram was blaring from the music room stereo. The boys were jumping around on the floor with air-guitars trying to impress the girls, the sopranos especially. The girls, in particular, the sopranos, were completely ignoring them. We had more important things to consider like, what happened in the 16 hours we hadn't seen each other.
"Do you want me to start warm-ups?" I asked. He paused, to feigning thought.
"All right, I suppose so," He replied with mock exasperation.
"Morning everyone!" I called. "Can we start warm-ups? Staccato and legato arpeggios?" Henry started playing. It's amazing how it can shut up 27 rowdy teenagers.
"Good morning my angels," She trilled. "I'm sorry I'm ever so late. Have we started warm-ups this morning?"
"Yes Mrs Raphael," I told her
"Oh thank you Chloe, my doll," She chirped. "I'll take over from here now, petal." I shrugged and sat next to Laura Manning. Laura's my best friend and is a total sweetie. She's always pretty without trying with long ebony brown hair and blue eyes. She's also highly intelligent and funny. With Laura though, it's hard to be jealous. She's just so sweet.
"Morning Chloe," She said. "Have you heard?"
"Heard what?" I asked.
"Don't get too excited," She began. "But we've got a new tenor." I squealed.
"Who?!" I wanted to know.
"I have no idea," Laura replied. "Um Chlo?"
"Yes?" I asked.
"You might rip my blazer to pieces," She pointed out. "What did I say about not getting too excited about a new tenor?" I let go sheepishly.
"I get excited about new tenors," I said indignantly. "We don't have many of them."
"You're such a choir geek"
"I am not!"
"Ahem!" Mrs Raphael cleared her throat loudly. "Without further ado, I'd like to introduce our newest tenor. But…" she paused. "… he's not here." Then, the door opened and in hobbled Ryan Wearby on crutches. I frowned. What was he doing here?
"Morning Mrs Raphael," He mumbled.
"Oh helloooo Ryan!" She trilled. "Everyone, this is Ryan Wearby, our newest tenor."
My mouth nearly hit the floor. Ryan Wearby? A tenor?
"Hey," He mumbled.
Hahaha. That's actually quite funny. He's so never going to hear the end of this from his mates.
After all, to those guys, you're only half manly or whatever for being in the choir. You're even less manly if you're a tenor. It's the highest male voice part). Ok, once upon a time, the tenors might have got all the girls. But since tenors gained the stereotype of pretentious, insecure pretty boys, they lost massive popularity.
"Anyway my cherubs," Mrs Raphael continued. "We have a new song to start today, our classical piece for Choral festival. Kelly dear," She nodded to Kelly Richards. "Hand out the music please." Kelly gave her this scathing look. I can't blame Mrs Raphael for picking on Kelly. Kelly Richards can barely sing a note in tune and never pulls her weight. She walked past and practically threw a copy of Jesu, Joy of mens' desiring by Bach in my face. I glared at her.
"Don't worry about Kelly," the girl next to me (I couldn't remember her name for the life of me) told me nonchalantly. "She's pissed off over some guy"
"O..k…," was my dazed reply. She like, never talks to me. I think she's even friends with Kelly the bitch-a-zoid.
"Emma Jameson," She informed me.
"Chloe Taylor," I told her in return. "Or Chiquita. Whichever."
Emma shrugged. "I know. You go out with Liam McKenzie, aye?"
"Yeah…" I said warily.
"Cool," She replied. "Oh well. I see Ryan Wearby's a tenor."
"Yeah, can you believe," I agreed offhandedly. Man, this was a surreal conversation.
"What a guy will do for the girl he loves," Emma remarked.
"Huh?" I asked, confused. "He's joining the choir because of Kelly," Emma informed me. "Isn't it romantic?"
"Are you sure it's just not a dare?" I asked, getting suspicious of Ryan Wearby's (not to mention Emma's) motives.
"No way," Emma replied, as if captains of the first fifteen joined choir every day. "I'm surprised Kelly's pissed off over that," I scoffed. "I'd be delighted."
Emma snickered. "Yeah… it's crazy." I looked at her quizzically. Why did I get the feeling she was hiding something?
"Ok, flowers," Mrs Raphael beamed. "Let us have a wild sight-read of this piece. As you know, this is for Choral Festival in June."
"Cool beans," Laura muttered sarcastically.
"Oh Ryan, sweetheart," Mrs Raphael cooed. "I'm sorry that we aren't able to provide you with a folder. I'll get one to you soon." I rolled my eyes.
So-o-o not likely.
Mrs Raphael will forget.
"That's fine," Ryan replied. He looked incredibly dazed and confused. Probably too much for his smashed former rugby brain to take.
"You are a star," Mrs Raphael cooed. I was still in shock.
How did Ryan go from manly man captain of the first fifteen to golden choir boy in a matter of minutes? What the hell?
He's come to his senses. Why am I worrying? Maybe I'm in shock…
"Now darlings," Mrs Raphael continued. "Some of you might know this song. It's a personal favourite of mine."
Oh god. Please God, don't let her say not 'I Feel Pretty'…
"'I Feel Pretty'," Mrs Raphael said. My heart sank. Oh no. "Was my first choice, but there were no arrangements that I liked." Yes! "… so my angels, we will be doing 'All you need is love', composed by the wonderful John Lennon and Paul McCartney."
"Who?" Some guy, who was a bit slow off the eight ball, asked.
"The Beatles!" Half the choir yelled at him exasperatedly.
"Oh," He said. The poor guy (I think his name is Thomas) is always a bit slow of the eight ball.
"Now, let's have a wild sight sing!" Mrs Raphael enthused. She even clapped her hands together, like a cheesy member of the Brady Bunch. Very scary. Mrs Raphael motioned at Henry who started with the opening bars. He was in his element.
Love, love, love… love, love, love…
"Ryan, a solo please," Mrs Raphael called over the music.
I'm sorry but what?! A solo on his first day?!
He must be the shit for Mrs Raphael to have even considered it.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
There's nothing you can say that can't be sung,
All I could do was blink in shock. Had I entered a parallel universe or something? Was I dreaming? Rugby guys just don't sing!
There's nothing you can do,
But you learn how to be you in time
Black spots were covering my vision. This just wasn't good.
All you need is love…
"Chiquita, are you ok?"
"Oh my god…"
I can't say I remembered much after that.