What shall we call it? Part III

Chapter three

Jane Wantland, Features Editor

“Alright,” Stella sighed, “I’ll join you in this crusade.”

“Nice!” Tyler smiled but it was shortly diminished when Stella uttered the dreaded word,


“But what?” Tyler stopped playing the piano and trumpet duet with disappointment; rules had to be put in place in order for Stella to join him.

“We can’t let my mom know I’m doing this with you. If she finds out I’m playing jazz, she’ll flip.” Stella gave the black-mop headed boy a stern look. She glanced down at her watch; her breath hitched,”Yikes! I’ve got to go, 1st period is almost over,” She began to walk backwards around worn wooden tables covered in rings from the condensation of customers’ drinks. “I’ll see if I can find anyone to join us. Catch ya later Ty!” Stella yelled before bolting out the door and down the side walk to school. Before Tyler could yell back, “You too.” she was gone.

Tyler was eccentric about starting his own jazz band. Imagine it, The Bow Tyes going on a national tour. He’d get to see and do amazing things with amazing people. He and his band winning award after award for best whatever songs they might produce in the near future. Tyler smiled, closed the piano and jumped gleefully off the raised platform and placed his beloved trumpet into its velvet case.


Stella barely made it to the end of 1st period, breathing heavily and sweating like a dog. Her fellow students looked up at her in horror as they practiced a piece. Their teacher was caught off guard by her disheveled appearance and jogged over to check on her. “Ms. Jackson, are you alright? You seem a bit flustered this morning,” she bent down to her students’ level and placed a loving hand on Stella’s shoulder, a look of genuine concern on her face. Stella hastily sat down in her chair and threw her bag on the ground a bit harsher than expected. She heard a crack, something definitely broke. She spoke in heavy breaths, gasping for air as if she were under water; her eyes poking out of her red, steamy face.

“Oh, yes… I’m fine… thank you for… asking…” Stella  proceeded to get out her music sheet just as the bell rang. “Drat,” she then shoved her music back into her bag alongside the rest of the class. Her teacher stood there watching one of her best student run into class without an explanation and act like it was nothing then suddenly pack up again, ready to leave with still no explanation.

“Stella,” the teacher sat Stella down as she stood up to leave with a worried expression, “Can I speak with you for a moment?”

“Yes, is there a problem?” She happily replied, her hair sticking to the circumference of her face. The teacher scoffed at her nonchalant  attitude.

“Actually, yes there is. You came running into my classroom like a mad man and sat down without an explanation as to why you were late!” The teacher spoke to Stella as she gazed embarrassed at her shoes, “Is there something I need to know?” A gentle hand picked up Stella’s chin to make her face the teacher.

“Not of immediate importance, no.”

“But why were you sprinting into class?”

“I didn’t want to get a truancy, that’s all.” Stella shrugged the question off trying to get up out of her seat. The teacher stopped her and made her sit.

“Why were you so late Ms. Jackson?” The teacher gave an exasperated sigh, trying to dig out the answer herself.

“I was down at the jazz bar.”

“And why were you down there exactly?”

“I went to check on a friend.”

“About?” Stella got up and walked for the door.  Other students were flooding in for 2nd period. She turned with a bright smile, bright enough to melt ice cream, and spoke,

“We’re starting a band!” She ran out leaving her teacher to sit and wonder.

“What shall I call this?” she sighed and went onto teaching her next class.