Author's Notes: Hello everyone! Sorry for the late update. I have been busy with college admission and such and I will be starting college soon. Updates will be a little slow after this but I won't be abandoning my writings. (Though ReGenesis takes priority).
Chapter 6: OCs
Without realizing it, it has already been a week since I joined the Renaissance. It is not that eventful, I might say. Training session goes by without any real progress on songs. Funny thing about the clarinet section is that our training session must end with everyone panicking or fighting with each other. It was fun nonetheless though I still can't understand why Shafiq need to stop me every time I play. What is so wrong about my playing?
We did an ensemble section just yesterday. Like the first one, it ended in a huge disaster. Naz stopped Aizat a few times to fix the music but in the end, he gave up and grumbled alone in his seat. I smiled in victory to see him agitated like that. It was indeed a satisfying treat for me.
After the ensemble yesterday, Dan gathered up the committee members for a surprise meeting. Since I was not a committee member, I just don't give a damn but it piqued my interest to see all of the committee members came out from the room with absolute horror written on their faces. Unfortunately, my interest didn't overcome my lack of care given towards them.
The next day however, I found out the reason behind their terror.
"Gather around, you little chickens!" Dan ordered the orchestra as soon as Aizat dropped his baton down.
"Hey, we are not chickens! Have a little respect!" cried Liza in retaliation.
"Shut it, woman. This is important." Dan didn't bat an eyelash at Liza.
"Why you…" Liza was interrupted by Yeck's hand of her shoulder.
"You should know the dire situation we are in now, listen to our leader." Yeck said in a serious tone, something that is rarer than Pau's calm days.
I was baffled to see the rebellious, talkative machine gun Liza to be silenced by Yeck's statement. What kind of situation we are having that brought upon to this remarkable event? Even a heavy duty duct tape can't shut Liza up.
"What had just happened, Yeck?" I tugged her sleeve.
"Shut it and listen." Yeck hissed, prompting me to let go of her sleeve in fear. The ever warm Yeck had transformed into a hissing serpent. What in the world had just happened?
Dan and Yeck took their seats in front of the whole orchestra. Dan interlocked his fingers in front of his face with a very serious expression that I had never seen before. He took a deep breath before addressing the orchestra.
"We have a situation here."
The whole orchestra tensed. I swore that Syakirah and Arvin twitched at Dan's words. They were the committee members who attended the meeting yesterday. What did Dan told them yesterday?
"As you all know, we will be departing to Bukit Merah in a week time for a big show for our biggest and only sponsor." Dan said.
"Because of that, the success of this show is given a highest priority as it reflects our image in front of our sponsor." Yeck continued.
"And in order to control and oversee the quality of our performance…" Dan clenched his fist.
"The OC is coming tonight."
With that statement, the whole orchestra burst into a panicked chatter.
"What the, they are coming tonight?"
"We are doomed!"
"Check the scores! Make sure everything is settled!"
"I'm going to get screwed again…"
Dan slammed his fist against the desk.
Instantly, the orchestra went silent.
"Keep calm, and prepare…and we will survive…" Dan said solemnly.
Afterwards, the orchestra was disbanded to prepare for the arrival of the OC. I tried to ask Syakirah about the OC but she just shrugged me off and continued her work of auditing the instruments. I obviously don't like this attitude and became pissed at her and walked away. I watched in frustration seeing everyone frantically recording, arranging, ordering and cleaning while I stand at the corner staring blankly. I am still new and haven't been assigned to any management department so I'm free. The only one who is free asides from me is the juniors.
Time passed by and the night training came. Dan came extra early today. The boys who had a record for always being late are astonishingly early today. Liza, the tardiest among the girls was also early. What kind of power didn't this OC has? He or she practically shifted people's personality even when not being here in flesh!
The whole orchestra got prepared in a jiffy. In ten minutes flat, the whole orchestra had already been set up for practice. A record, I tell you.
Aizat shifted position on his podium. Fresh sweat appeared on his forehead. He seemed to be nervous today with no sign of narcissism anywhere. I shot a glance at my rival, Naz. He too, didn't have his aura of confidence today. He eyed his reed analytically before fidgeting slightly. It seemed that there are some problems with his reed. Out of curiosity, I leaned forwards and asked him, forgetting my grudge towards him.
"Your reed, is there any problems?"
Naz jumped slightly on his seat. Wow, he is really nervous today. He turned around to face me with an annoyed look; his brow creased and mouth pouting.
"Damn it, you scared me." He sighed. "This reed is already too old. It will be slightly out of tune, especially in the higher register."
"Heh, serves you right. Now, I can stop you from playing because you are out of tune." I laughed at my own joke.
Naz narrowed his eyes. "My intonation problems can be fixed by a simple modification but your obnoxious playing can't be fixed even by the best tools."
Sup! A huge flaming arrow of insult pierced my heart. His statement infuriated me.
"Why you…" Before I could straggle him with my hands and choke him to death, Dan clapped his hands.
"Everyone silence!" he bellowed.
"He is coming."
The air tensed up. Everyone sat still. Following their actions, I sat still too and wait. Seconds passed seemed like an eternity, as cliché as it sounds. I glanced at my section mates. They had a focused look on their eyes, a look that I haven't seen before in their eyes.
Then, I heard the sound of the rusty doorknob being twisted from the outside. The brown door swung open with a creaky sound from the rusty hinges. A large man stepped into the room, wearing a loose brown T-shirt and baggy slacks. His spectacles shone from the light, obscuring his eyes. His short beard decorated his smug face, giving the image of an arrogant man. He scared me. He looked like an evil politician who stole money from the people then spend it on his large collection of porn under his hilltop mansion filled with maids, playboy bunnies and cute kittens.
"Stand up!" Dan ordered. Everyone stood up almost simultaneously. I frantically got up from my seat too, confused on the level of formality the orchestra had shown towards this person.
"Good evening, Abang Jasmi." Dan greeted the person.
"Good evening, Abang Jasmi." The whole orchestra followed his suit except for me who is still confused at the turn of events.
"Sit down." The large man said, prompting the whole orchestra to sit. He proceeded to sit on Dan's place in front of the orchestra. An awkward moment passed before he took a deep breath.
"Dan, come here." He said in a cold voice.
Dan made his way towards the large man sitting in his usual place.
"How are the preparations?"
"Going well." Dan said solemnly.
"I see…" The large man rubbed his chin slowly as to make the whole situation more dramatic and tense. He eyed everyone in the room. His eyes made contact with me. I felt a cold shiver down my spine. Man, he was scary.
Suddenly, he stood up from him seat, making the chair to screech backwards and startling me with a minor heart attack.
"So, how are you all doing?" The cold large man said enthusiastically. Gone with all the tension and cold attitude, the man on the podium was beaming and smiling and radiating a warm aura around him that would make sunflowers dance.
"Waa, it has been a while and honestly, I miss every one of you!" he clasped his hands in a warm gesture which further baffled me. What in the world has just happened?
I leaned in towards Raj who was sitting next to me.
"What has just happened?" I whispered.
"He is happy so we should be happy and grateful. His unhappy mood is worse than a girl on PMS, so usually we are prepared for the worst."
Ah, it makes a lot of sense now but still, this sudden turn of events baffled me.
"And it seems that we have a new member here. Where is he?" the man turned his head around to search of the new member.
"Hm…abang, it is actually a she." Aizat said.
"Oh, doesn't matter. Where is she?" the man continued to search the room with his eyes.
I raised my hands. "It's me."
The man turned to me with a huge smile on his face.
"Oh, welcome to the orchestra, where we are a huge family who strives to be the best while having tons of fun! What is your name?"
"Uhm…Syazana Eliana." I muttered. Damn it, why I am becoming timid? This man's enthusiasm scared me too.
"Oh, that is a nice name! I'm Jasmi, the Orchestra Consultant or OC for short. I assist the orchestra in the welfare and management department. Nice to meet you and welcome aboard!" I merely nodded at him.
He clasped his hands again.
"Okay, time for the serious business, about the Bukit Merah trip." Jasmi sat down on his chair and cleared his throat. His serious demeanor returned.
"The show will be in a week time. We will depart on Monday morning. When I say morning, I meant very early in the morning. Take note of this, Hafiz and the sleepyheads." He eyed Hafiz.
"The night before, I want all the instruments labeled and scores arranged. Got it, Liza and the gang?" he eyed Liza. Liza nodded.
"But don't forget the original song they requested. Nate, can you compose a simple arrangement by the day after tomorrow?"
"Orait, abang!" Nate saluted for some reasons.
"Saxes! I need a simple solo performance because apparently, the CEO of the sponsor is a saxophonist."
Zati groaned as her junior patted her back in sympathy.
"And the best part is, you guys can skip school for three days!" Jasmi grinned. The whole orchestra cheered.
"Then we can samba after the show!" he stood up and did a weird dance of sort.
Laughter filled the room. I can't help myself from laughing too. Weird, this is the first time I laugh during orchestra meeting or practice. They are a nice bunch. I enjoyed my time here. This year will be a blast with them.
"Hey, let us make the new kid our new 'game mate'!" Someone said from the orchestra.
Jasmi snapped his fingers.
"That is a good idea!"
I let many eyes pierced through me menacingly. I gulped. 'Game mate' seemed like an embarrassing thing.
I take that back about enjoying my time here.
Author's Notes: I apologize for the less stellar chapter. I am struggling to battle off my writer's block.