Tighten up that embouchure!


He was thankful for this time when he could at least look at her. They were in the same clarinet section in the concert band even though she was a first clarinet and he was mired in being a second. The concert was coming up and very few things could distract them from their preparation except...

Mr. Forte entered the practice room and asked for all of the members of the dance committee for somewhat of an emergency meeting.Of course that meant that she had to go. He knew that she had a hand in the decorations and she would soon spend practically an entire night with her friends up on ladders and scaffolding to get the gym ready for the dance. He would join her save for the quartet rehearsal that he needed to attend. He stupidly signed up for it in a bid for some extra credit and he dreaded rehearsing knowing that he would miss the chance to be with her for such a significant amount of time. 

He imagined the fun that they would have together as he would find it hard to leave her side. Would he get a little too clingy or annoying as they hung the decorations? Would she have her fill of him and send him away preferring to be with her more “mature” friends? He would never know as she left and they began to work on the same line of the music for what seemed like the hundredth time. He was distracted as he thought about the dance hoping for a slow song at just the right moment for them to share. 

“Please, God…” he prayed. “It’s gotta happen, right?” he asked almost audibly wondering how she would receive his invitation at that special moment. It was one of those dances that were an informal affair where no one really "went" with anyone. It was a bit of an unholy mess at times with everyone hanging around waiting to be asked to share a dance with this person or that. Or, worse yet, everyone dancing as a group to a particularly fast song.

"Mark, Mark!" Sr. Anne Marie practically shouted. "You're flat. Tighten up that embouchure!" He sat up in his seat a bit taller to show her that he was trying his best, in her absence, to concentrate on the task at hand. 

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