Together in a middle school band class, there were two girls: a strange girl called Juno, and a funny girl called Ceres. Juno constantly had her hair in her face, seemed to have a bad attitude all the time, and was the object of continuous malicious comments from the others at their school. Ceres, however, was bright and outgoing, naturally attracting many friends. It wasn't as if she was the most popular girl in school, or always had someone to talk to, but nearly everyone liked her; Ceres was something of a magnet to affection and good thoughts, much like the sun. Now, the girls were in entirely different social groups, but had more than was often realized in common: both were incredibly smart for their age; one of them was sure to be valedictorian, come their senior year. Juno wasn't thought to be very smart, in fact most people saw her as a rebel that was heading nowhere in life but the streets, and cared for her "bad-girl" image like, admittedly, the majority of the school. But they never took the time to look at the list of people on the "Honor-Roll" (receiving "A's" and "B's" only.) Aside from grades, both had equally good hearts, though no one was willing to see about Juno's. Not only that but, as I've already told you, they were both in the school's band. This love for music that they shared, though they wouldn't know it for some time, was to be the connection, the force that ended up driving them together like no children had ever been drawn to each other before.
Near the end of fifth-period seventh- and eighth-grade band class, Juno began playing her clarinet alone. The trumpets behind her were to join in after two or three measures, but they never did. These particular trumpeters had little to no respect for the band, and never worked to help the others out. They weren't playing because they weren't paying attention, like usual. The band director sighed and lowered his hands. It was a week before the concert, and the trumpets still wouldn't play.
"Trumpets. You're off the part. I can't have this at the concert."
The trumpets seemed, to an extent, relieved, but bored all the same. Next to them, Ceres pulled her saxophone from her lips and asked, "Can I have it?"
Juno jerked her head up and back, looking sharply, searchingly at Ceres. It wasn't as if she disliked the idea, but, though it wouldn't have seemed such a big deal to an average girl of their school, Juno had never played a duet (though this wasn't written as one) before. Moreover, neither, she was certain, as they had gone through sixth- and seventh-grade in band together, had Ceres. These were not children that regarded their music easily. A duet was, to an extent further than that of much else, a bond between two people. A bond, in fact, that touched the listeners near-equally to the degree it touched the musicians. This was a struggle being fought between: the two of them on one side, who only had each other, and the army opposing that was, to put it in the words of the girls, screwing it up. A duet could be the most important thing in the world, the highest honor to one playing it. And if it meant that much to their fellow, the musician alongside them would feel it was a success.
Of course, the director agreed. A duet between the two best players in the band was something to be prized, which any true director would understand. Not to mention, the part would be beautiful on an alto saxophone, even if the composer was expecting a somewhat harsher trumpet. After Ceres finished transposing the part on a piece of empty staff paper, he raised his arms.
"Measure 74 again… One, two, three, four"
Complimenting each other perfectly, the sweet, smooth notes of Ceres's saxophone overlapped Juno's clarinet's dense, deep, dark ones. The music that was made was of the most beautiful things the children remembered hearing. And they made it. Together, in an awkward way, they handled it in the regard that parents handle their firstborn. This was their music, completely, through and through. Their duet. After it was over, and the director cut them off, Juno, silently begging for more, turned her head around and for the first time, smiled to Ceres.