A/N: Thanks to Raven Angel Storm for reviewing! Well, this chapter, Emily tells you a bit about her eighth grade summer meeting with her Band Director. The stories/events aren't going to go in any particular order, unless they're apart of a 'chain' of memories. I'll always put in which part of Emily's life they occurred. Thanks for reading, and I hope more of you review, it really motivates me.

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Summertime

Eighth Grade

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My eighth grade summer was filled with meetings with Trey Eriks, my assistant Drum Major. The two of us were together very often, or if we weren't together, we were somehow corresponding by e-mail… the funny thing is that I don't even know how he got my e-mail or how I got his. I guess it was just a mutual thing after we got all the fancy ceremony over.

My name's Miles Marshall, the Head Drum Major of Monroe Middle School band… blabbity schmabity. I was trained over the summer at a Drum Major camp at a nearby college… during which Trey's mom drove us and we proceeded to get lost…

Several times.

And please, tell me how in the world you get lost when your car has a built in GPS system? You know, the kind that whittles off instructions while you drive. Well, you tell me. But we wandered around for a good amount of time before we actually set foot in the darned college…

Anyway, after our fancy training, the two of us met one last time about a week before band camp so that we could arrange lesson plans. Well… what we wanted to be the lesson plan. Ms. Powers, our Band Director, would have to confirm our plans ahead of time… we were due to meet the day before Camp for her to approve and finalize the lesson plans.

I arrived early that day. I needed to pick up my school schedule and get my ID and books beforehand. Sooo I just wore my casual, non-drum majorly clothing consisting of nothing more than shorts, slippers, and a form-fitting shirt with some pretty awesome… okay, I won't discuss clothing.

Well, the Summers here in Monroe are pretty intense, and when I was done getting my schedule and stuff (I was pretty thrilled to find out I had the same Humanities teacher as last year) I set myself against a column, in the shade outside the multi-purpose room, sunglasses pressed tightly against my eyes.

I was looking at my chain marked hand, staring a bit at the lanyard tan on my neck (yeah… Drum Major camp was that fun that I had lanyard tan from where my lanyard hung all day… and a pole shaped tan on my arm from where my mace leaned against my arm) when Ms. Powers literally appeared out of nowhere.

"Emily, good to see you," she commented as I nearly died and jumped out of my skin with fright. Within moments I found myself in a crushing hug (awkwaaaard) and being interrogated on the whole of my Summer. Wooooo boy, sometimes Band Directors can be quite... thorough.

"…And we met last week to confirm lesson plans," I finished, whilst being grabbed by the arm and led into the multi-purpose room. My God, there was a room there… and I never noticed it. Now, when I think back on it, I forgot all about the little room she trapped me in.

Ms. Powers swiftly took out charts, whistling a march called Voice of the Guns. I stood in the corner of the room, staring blankly at the wall, waiting for Trey to arrive. And I would've gotten away with it too, until…

"Emily," Ms. Powers said, still not looking up at me, "please go to the closet where the stands and what-not are put away and bring the copy machine over here. Use the water wagon in there, would you?"

"Yes, ma'am," I said, exiting the room and running quite wimpishly toward the closet. I threw the key into the door, turned the knob, and nearly coughed as the door opened and the smell of seventh grade band flooded my nose. In a way, it was kinda homely.

I found the cart and copier almost instantly and looked sullenly at the ground for a moment. So this is what the Drum Major is reduced to… fetching copiers and wagons. What was the purpose of sending me to the camp if I couldn't make use of the lessons I'd learned?

Shrugging, I loaded the heavy, three decker copier onto the wagon, grabbing everything and pulling it toward the room, making sure to lock the door behind me. I happily whistled Pirates, a field show that Reagan had just done… at the time I was kinda interested in different methods of marching. By then I'd listened to Scottish style bands, multiple field shows (Phantom of the Opera, Fire and Ice, Geometry of the Heart… later in the year, Machine shop), and parade bands).

"Okay, Emily, I want it riiight here," Ms. Powers said, pointing to an empty spot on her desk.

Still whistling Field Show music, I lightly put the printer down, not minding a bit of lifting.

"Wait... here," she said, pointing to the other wall.

So I moved it again.

"No… it would be better here, closer to the plug."

MAKE UP YOUR MIND ABOUT WHERE YOU WANT THE COPIER! I DON'T HAVE THE PATIENCE OR STRENGTH TO JUST STAND HERE AND HOLD IT, LOOKING LIKE AN IDIOT… ohhh wait, too late, I already look like an idiot.

So after I moved it and she finally had her mind made up, of course I have to plug it in and make sure it works. And in the middle of making copies of the band order, who walks in a few minutes late? Mr. TREY Eriks.

"I'm sorry I'm so late, Ms. Powers," he said, scratching the back of his blonde head nervously. "But I had to get my schedule and books."

It made me literally want to scream: WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS MOVING THE COPIER AROUND THE ROOM AND DOING AN ELECTRICAN JOB?! But no… I restrained myself. Emotion control was the one part of being a Drum Major that I was exceedingly good at. Suppression was my specialty.

I left the flashy, fancy, trophy winning moves to Trey. Between the two of us, he was probably the better Drum Major. He could spin exceedingly well… better than I ever could. And by Drum Major standards in spinning, I was considered one of the best in the camp, especially because I had such great control over a mace.

Unlike a midget like me, taller people have more control since they use less strength to get the mace even going. I had to use my whole body to get the mace spinning, the fact that I didn't rock or follow the mace was considered a hard feat, especially because the mace was standard size and not cut down to accommodate my shortness.

"It's okay, Trey, have a seat," Ms. Powers said, seating herself in a rather comfortable looking swivel chair. I took a seat across from her, right next to Trey (which kinda made me feel a bit better, surprisingly… I guess Drum Majors bond a little bit) and sat back, tapping my pen lightly against my purple folder.

Trey pulled out papers, several of them that we had worked on together while we were at his house. They were all neatly typed game ideas for the kids to play. The two of us did so much web surfing together; it was a miracle that we didn't have internet on the brain. In fact, in between we managed to sneak in some… band geek quizzes. Hey, just because we were Drum Majors, that didn't mean we couldn't have fun!

"These are several ice-breaking games that Emily and I dug up during a meeting," Trey said, handing the paper to Ms. Powers with a flourish. "We were hoping that you would approve some of these. Some of them are from our Drum Major Camp."

"I personally don't approve of some of the games," I said, crossing my arms and closing my eyes, "but Trey and I wanted to leave that up to you to decide, Ms. Powers."

…And that was when the uniform relay came up, Ms. Powers' idea all the way.

"So Emily, your game will be the Uniform Relay, then," Ms. Powers said. She turned to Trey, nodding to him. "And Trey, yours will be the inventing game from Drum Major camp. Each of you must go gather the materials… Although, Emily, I do think we should get your materials right now."

I gulped. Was that a wicked look in Ms. Powers' eyes? Or was I just being my normal paranoid self? My brown eyes flickered to Trey for a moment, catching his in a helpless plea.

He simply shrugged, frowning slightly as Ms. Powers got up again, taking up her keys and motioning to me.

"Emily, come with me. Trey, I want you to go with us, then check on the Band Room progress, alright?" Ms. Powers said. Without another word, we sauntered off and out of the multi-purpose room.

Now you have to understand, I was probably the sanest of the little trio that day… well, I'm not so sure about Trey, because he hardly spent any time around us that day. But let me tell you, in comparison to Ms. Powers, I looked like a regular, common little girl who had a bad case of stunted growth (darn Asian genes from my mother… then again, Dad's not the tallest guy in the world, either).

That's why, when we got to the former choir room, all littered with band lockers way tall over me, sousaphones, and other band paraphernalia, I didn't like what Ms. Powers' idea of getting materials was leading to. As far as I could see, there were no uniforms within a three mile radius of this nuclear bomb site.

"Uhmm, Ms. Powers… where are the uniforms?" I asked, looking about, squeaking as I was almost done in by a French Horn case.

"I'm afraid that they're somewhere in that general direction," Ms. Powers said, nonchalantly, pointing a ringed finger toward several stacks of instruments and a locker.

Wait… so then… the uniforms were behind the lockers and instruments… how were we going to get them?

"Ms. Powers, if they're behind the lockers, how are we going to get to the uniforms?" Ohhh, poor, poor young Miles. You naïve, simple minded little child. If only you had never asked, it might've been avoided.

Because at the exact time those words left my lips, Ms. Powers smiled pleasantly at me… or what appeared to be pleasant. Her eyes told another story; the storm blue glinted with amusement and humor… sick humor. And at that moment I caught on…

'Like Hell I'm climbing those lockers to get the damned fifteen year old marching band uniforms!' my mind screamed. And suddenly my fight and flight senses were on full-throttle, straining my muscles to get me to leave my Cheshire cat grinning Director to save my own skin.

And then she said the words that were going to confirm my suspicion of her evils.

"Make sure you get plus sizes… you never know how much the kids have grown over the summer." Ohhh, how evil was this? How ironic was it that the Head Drum Major was the one who had to scale lockers to get to uniforms? Wait, is she blocking the door?! Darn! Now I had no choice…

Gulping, I removed my slippers, rubbing my hands together as I stepped on top of an old tuba case. My fingers gripped the narrow, cool bars as I climbed quickly up the face of the locker, sighing in relief as I reached the top.

Until I saw the drop to the other side.

"Ohh brass," I muttered, eyes widening at the long drop… well, might as well do it now. "I love band way too much… I must be out of my mind…"

I bit my tongue, stifling a scream as I fell quite ungracefully on top of a box of… wait, are these Colorguard shields?! Whoaa… I thought only the band stuff was being kept in here, but apparently not…

I looked around at my legs and arms, glad to see I'd made it out of the fall unscathed. I had to thank the Colorguard later, those boxes saved me a trip to La-la land. Dusting myself off, I proceeded to look around, coughing heavily as summer-old dust flew around me. I guess my landing wasn't very graceful.

I narrowed my eyes, pulling off my sunglasses and giving them a thorough wiping of ancient dust before I replaced them before my eyes. I sang the Zebrah (the unity group Trey and I were kept in Drum Major camp) theme song as I casually strode over to the uniforms, stacking several across my sorry back and hopping onto a case filled with… well, I just don't know what those cases were filled with.

Not like I cared, my demonic Band Director had sentenced me to near death with that little fall. In fact, I think I stomped a little bit on those cases as I threw the first pairs of uniforms over. I hope it was something valuable… Hahahaha! Yes, I'm that evil!

"We are the Zebraaahs!" I whispered, busily throwing over more uniforms, hoping that some of them would land on Ms. Powers' head and stifle her with dirt, "Miiighty miiiighty Zebraaahs……Zebrahs! CHICKEEEN!" Yeah… that was our random shout. We couldn't come up with anything better, so we shouted whatever we'd had for dinner or breakfast that morning. Sometimes it was 'Pizza!' or my favorite… 'ORGANIC TOFU DOGS!'

I heard a door opening somewhere in the room as I straddled the lockers and concentrated on returning from oblivion. I think I heard a 'Ohhh shit' and a sigh of relief as I sat comfortably on the top row, staring down at Trey and Ms. Powers.

"Heya Trey, what's up?" I asked innocently, smiling like I scaled crappy band lockers everyday and there was not a thing wrong in the world. "How's it goin'?"

"Emily… why are you… on top of a locker?" He cracked, eyes widening as he stood beside Ms. Powers for a better view.

"Ohhhh, I was just getting my materials," I said, motioning to the heap of uniforms (darn it, none of them landed on Powers… ohhh well, I WILL have my revenge eventually… patience… patience…), "And this was a nice little detour. It was quite… diverting."

"Diverting… riiight…" Trey muttered, flinching as I landed square on my feet, dusting my hands off as I stuffed them into my pocket. "Errrr… Need help getting those uniforms over to th-."

"Yep, sure could use the help," I said, cutting into his speech as I shucked on my slippers once more. Ignoring him, I grabbed a chunk of uniforms and headed out the door.

Soooo then we returned to the little room, now heaped full with old Marching Band uniforms. I hummed as we shook hands with Ms. Powers and proceeded to leave for the day. However, just when I thought I was home free, Trey grabbed my arm.

"Sooo Emily…" he began in that cracky little voice of his… Ohhh God, this isn't good… "My Mom and I were thinking that maybe we should have a theme for Marching Band this year."

A theme??? A godforsaken theme?! What do you want, an awards banquet too? Ohhh yeah, you already got that in the cards, ehhh Trey-o-boy?! NO, I DON'T WANT A GODFORSAKEN THEME FOR MY MARCHING BAND!

"Sure, what'd you have in mind?" …I'm way too soft. Get a backbone, Marshall!

"All for One and One for All."

…What sorta cheesy…

"I like it."

…Way to sell out again, Marshall.

"And could you... could you make a big poster of tomorrow's schedule?"

NO! I'M THE ONE WHO HAD TO CLIMB LOCKERS! HOW ABOUT YOU MAKE ALL THE PEPPY STUFF WHILE I RELAX AND TAKE MY MUCH DESERVED REST AFTER SUFFERING FAR MORE THAN YOU!?

"Sure, I'd be more than glad to."

Before he could dish more on me, I gave a faint smile and wished him well. I made the excuse that my Mom was there (well she was, so it wasn't a lie) and swiftly walked off…

Ohhhh boy, what had I gotten myself into?

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