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Suzie’s House 511 : Fan Service

“It’s him!” One of the older girls in Justin’s band class said it in a very loud whisper while leaning toward another.

Justin couldn’t remember which instruments they played, but he couldn’t mistake who they were talking about. He was the only one standing in the direction they were looking – behind the kettle drums.

The best thing about playing drums for orchestra was that no one expected him to provide his own kettle drum. All he had to do was walk up and pick up the mallets. Maybe, once in a while, he would have to stop and tune one. But mostly, they were ready when he was. So different from playing in the marching band where he had to pack around his snare drum just like the poor schmoes in front of him who ere getting their cellos out of their cases.

Or like when he played with Maliprop where everything he played he had to haul around himself.

Lately the pile of things he needed in order to play had gotten deeper and deeper. It was his own fault. He worked hard to come up with creative ways to add rhythm and flesh out the workman like way Kate approached the kit drums. Now he had to haul around everything from spoons, to a bull-roar, to an old wind chime. Most of it fit into an old tin trash can that he like to think he used to good effect. He was starting to feel like someone from Blue Man Group.

“Him? No way!” The girl with a red, plastic butterfly in her straight blond hair answered her friend. They were still staring at him. Were they even a part of this class?

“Ask him.”

“You ask him.”

The first chair violinist ran through a pointedly loud arpeggio while glaring at the girls. They giggled, then headed for seats at the back of the second violin section. Justin immediately lost interest in them, then reminded himself it wasn’t good to be a snob. He preferred to surround himself with more talented musicians because he’d consistently gotten along better with them. But he didn’t want to be condescending about it like the rest of his family.

Still. What were they talking about? Yes, he was the only drummer in orchestra this year. That could make it a bit rough, but he thought he could handle it. How else would they know of him? It wasn’t like he’d pulled any practical jokes or otherwise done anything notable in the week and a half since school started.

Class ended without him thinking of anything. As soon as the teacher put away his conductor’s baton, the two girls were out of their seats and headed his way. He barely had time to put away his mallets before they were on him.

“Is this you?” The first girl said. She held up a smart phone.

At first he had no idea what she was talking about. Then she pressed the play button in the middle of the screen. The song ‘Brother’s Keeper’ started playing.

“Oh! Hey! You’ve seen the video.” He glanced at the hit counter. They were already well over two thousand views. “That was fast.”

He could probably have gotten even more views. He’d been through the promotion routine with his brothers and his mother before. To get the really high hits, you had to get the attention of the pro reviewers on youtube. People who had at least a hundred thousand followers could get you started. Short of that it took a miracle to go viral. But he wasn’t about to go stomping all over Kate’s deal. There would be plenty of time to contact his connections later.

“So that IS you!” The girl nearly dropped her phone. She and her friend squealed and wiggled like there was some reason to be excited.

“Do… do you have a girlfriend yet?” The red butterfly girl asked.

“Yes. Right here.” He pointed at the smart phone. “I’m dating the drummer.”

“Oh.” Both girls sounded bitterly disappointed.

Justin grabbed his backpack. He excused himself with a nod, and left. Though he felt a little ae was glad he’d gotten that cleared up. In a better mood, he headed for his next class.

“Hey!” One of the girls shouted at his back. “If you ever break up, I’m available.”

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