She stopped playing the instrument, the last note tracing loop-de-loops into the air. Gripping the violin by the neck, she let it dangle by her side, the bow in her other hand. Her eyes found a spot on the wall to stare into, and stayed there.
The question deflated Violet's mood like needle to a balloon.
Not exactly on its own, but it did stir something inside of her mind that had been troubling her for a while.
The band sounded fine
, by any metric, but it didn't sound the right kind
of fine. It was adequate, but it wasn't really stellar, in Violet's own opinion. The brass section had their collective stuff together, sure, and the woodwinds felt like they had a decent grasp on what was going on, but this was only in terms of the sections as collectives. Take any individual member aside and you had a pretty good chance of hearing something a little odd coming from their instrument. It was the sad truth! Not really in her own class, but the underclassmen were, for the most part, a little behind the curve? She thought so, at least. There were the odd standoutsMilo Diaz played a mean tuba, for example, and for the most part the younger siblings of her classmates could be held to a similar standardbut for the most part they were all universally disappointing.
Nowhere could this be felt more intensely than in the string section. Why did a concert band even have a string section? She was unsure, but somehow Faust managed to make it work through his mystical powers of giving-the-strings-the-oboe-and-bassoon-parts, even though it probably wasn't going to last for much longer once this current class graduated. Violet's perception of her section was that very few of the people in it wanted to be there, for the most part. She couldn't count on them to be entirely with the music, with the exception of Ivy, and though she could tell that Ivy's heart was in it, she could tell that her mind wasn't really all too there. Distracted by some far off thought of some party happening later in the day, or the week. That's how she felt, knowing what she did.
Maybe it was time to move on. Time to join a youth orchestra somewhere and put her talent to work. The only reason she had stayed away from breaking away was because she didn't think she was good enough, and now it was almost too late. Here, she didn't feel like she could count on anyone. Could she count on anyone anywhere else?
She saw Beryl passing in the doorway waving to her, and waved back with the hand that had the bow in it.
Closing her eyes, she let out a deep breath, and put her violin down on a nearby seat as she rummaged through her bag. Her music folder was a little squished, awkwardly shunted in against a binder where it didn't quite fit. Her hands found an errant corner, and pulled. In her jumbled state, she found the folder a little hard to hold. She couldn't quite explain why.
"Let's take out Alligator Alley
," she said, after some deliberation, "I feel like I need to work on that one more."