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March 28, 2011

Us: Part 1

It was the summer of 2004. (What an awful and snotty way to start a post)

I was, seemingly, on top of the world.
I was going to be a senior. The upper classman of upper classman.
My time was split between marching band practices (don't judge me), choir rehearsals where I was the female soloist, and my college boyfriend. We had been dating for about 3 months.
He was a talented actor and handsome in the non-traditional way. His curly blonde hair and rockin'.... voice caught my attention during the summer musical. (me = in blue standing. D = only male in picture............. No comment)
Everything changed when I went to band practice one day. We were all rushing around, grabbing instruments and running into parade block in order to march, in formation, down to the practice field. (anyone reliving their glory days right about now? No? Just me? Damn.)

I fell into line with Bestest behind some saxophone players, my marching french horn resting on my hip bone. I followed instructions to come to attention like a 3 year old. I continued to talk and marched, in step, with my horn on my hip. I felt like a rebel. After a few minutes everyone else was as relaxed as I was, and talking about their summer.

In front of me I heard snippits of conversation about Ozzy Osbourne and his family's TV show. I butted in, like I do, to offer my opinion on how the show was good and that I adored how real it felt in comparison to other TV shows (naive, I know). I was an upper classman. A senior. My views and opinions held more weight than the year before. I wanted to talk to someone, and with Bestest involved in a conversation with a fellow clarinet player behind her, the juniors in front of me seemed like good candidates.

The 2 male saxophone players turned to include me into their conversation. I preened on the male attention. Even if it was received due to my shameless eavesdropping. One of the boys was a boyfriend of one of the field commanders who graduated the year before. The other was his best friend, a handsome, young, Jacob.

My mind stopped working while I participated in the conversation and laughed with them. This was the kid whose saxophone case I had made a teasing habit of shoving, from under his seat, through his legs, to 2 rows in front of him? (I thought it was hilarious and that I was charming... I'll have to ask Jake about that) This sexy guy, who walked slightly pigeon toed throughout our conversation due to being almost fully turned around while marching, was laughing at my sarcastic jokes? WHAaaaaa? My mind kicked back into gear once we made it to the practice field and were dismissed in order to put down out music binders and take our opening chart positions. Must have more Jake... Jake = water of life. Jake's attention = air to me....

Of course I wasn't consciously thinking that, but all of a sudden my college boyfriend seemed like a distant memory. (I'm exact center horn, covered by flag girl. Jake's saxophone is pictured, but he isn't, far right)

All throughout practice I kept noticing how close the saxophone section was to the horns... Every chart that got marked in our set book, I measured to where the saxophone section was. Ever water break I, conveniently, found someone in line for the water jug that was close to where he was. It was unconscious.... OK, maybe not so much.

But after finding out that Jake was dating a girl from a different school I decided that the flirtation was harmless because we were both attached elsewhere.

The season continued and our flirtations drew questioning glances and some not so quiet comments from friends in the band... Particularly the loud mouthed ones I tended to enjoy hanging out with. (Much love, but we know it's the truth... and we love it.)

To make a uncomfortable story short and to the point, college boy was way more into our relationship than I was and as an older male, expected more out of the relationship than my 17 year old self could grant. In a definite set down I broke up with him and sent him on his way... After 2 creepy phone calls and a few unsettling fears of retaliation later I declared I was done dating guys I hardly knew. I shared the brighter side of the story with friends.

After such an event I started hanging out with the saxophone boys more and more. Bestest was all for male attention, so we decided that the 2 boys would humor us and have to deal with our attention as well. Bestest for the joy of male friends who didn't pay attention to the petty stuff, and me for the chance to be with Jake more (even though he still had a girlfriend.)

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