Sonata-A specific musical form where each movement differs in tempo, rhythm, and harmony but is held together by a common theme or subject
Exposition-the first section of a movement written in sonata form, introducing the melodies and themes
"Why did I have to choose the bass clarinet again?" my best friend, Alicia, demanded. "This case is as big as I am."
"Mr. Hoover wanted one of you clarinets to switch and you had the best tone on trials," I reminded her.
It was a funny sight. We were in eighth grade and where I was five foot five and could carry my flute case on a single finger, Alicia was only five foot one and hauled her bass clarinet around like a conjoined twin.
We were waiting outside of the band room for our parents to pick us up along with all the other kids involved in the spring musical. Rehearsal had let out ten minutes ago and with nearly half of the school involved in Bugsy Malone, the parking lot was packed.
"I have a doctor's appointment, my mom can't be late," Alicia moaned. "Urhg, she probably had to deal with Evan again. He's such a dweeb."
"At least you have a sibling around," I commented. It was an old argument of ours. I had siblings, technically, but they were all a lot older than me and half-brothers. I hardly ever saw them so it was like I was an only child. I didn't really remember John since he was at college before I was in kindergarten and both Scott and Alan were gone the same way by the time I got to third grade. That's about when Mom moved us to Virginia to be closer to my dad. His son, Stephen, I've never met.
"Yeah, well, I wish I were like you. Oh, there she is, gotta go, see you tomorrow!"
Alicia went flying through the other cars, bass clarinet case bouncing with her.
I was left waiting for my mom who had promised she would leave her shift at the hospital on time to pick me up. Go figure, she was turning into my dad. My dad, the FBI agent, who wasn't home half the time and distracted half the time he was around. Everyone always thought it was so cool, whenever they found out what my dad did. It almost made up for the fact that my parents aren't married which always gets me looks. Not like they had been married and divorced, but they had never even bothered to get married even after I had been born.
Whatever. I spend a lot of time at home by myself which is cool. Not like I throw wild parties or anything and Mom always asks our neighbor, Mrs. Rectoris, to check on me, but I'll eat popcorn and ice cream for dinner. I can practice for hours without anyone complaining or commenting and neither of them are around to yell at me when I let my cat Hannah up on the counter to lick my bowls and plates before putting them in the dishwasher.
"Rachel! Over here!"
I looked up and my jaw dropped. Dad was there, in his huge black SUV, waiting next to the open door. Next to him was a tall, skinny guy who looked like he was a college student and a really nerdy one at that. Great, Dad had brought along his little rookie for dinner.
I shifted my back pack to my other shoulder and gripped my flute case tighter. Dad only came over for dinners on weeknights at random. He has his own apartment even though he's with Mom and me half the time he isn't working. Dad told me once it's so that he doesn't disturb us when he comes in late or leaves early since his cases can call him in 24/7.
"Where's Mom?" I asked, slipping into the back seat. I could see Dad shake his head as he got into the driver seat and Reid the rookie get in next to him.
"Sonia at work is sick so your Mom is covering her shift for a few hours."
"Did she say when she'll home?"
"It'll be late tonight. I'll stay until she gets home."
"You don't have to, you know," I protested. "I'm a big girl, I can stay home alone for a few hours."
"I want to, Rachel."
"Fine, whatever," I muttered. I pulled my iPod out of my back pack and stuck the headphones in my ears, cuing up Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. Five.
Dad parked in the driveway at home and I beat him to the front door with my key. He and Reid looked at each other behind my back, but I saw them in the window's reflection. Reid is only, like, twenty years old, but Dad recruited him to the FBI almost a year ago. He's this super genius and has three doctorates already but he's really dumb when it comes to normal stuff. Mom says I'm too harsh on him, and he's okay, really, but I always feel like Dad wishes that Reid was his kid and not me.
"How much homework do you have?" Dad asked before I could escape to my bedroom.
"History reading, algebra worksheet, French vocabulary, and write a paper for English," I rattled off. My math homework was half done already, I didn't need to study French any more, I could always read history in my study hall the next day and I just needed a rough draft for the paper. But I like to tell my dad I have more than I do so that I get some space.
"Okay. Want to help me make dinner later?"
I stopped and finally really faced my dad for the first time that day. I sighed and bit my lip, knowing that for all that he did to annoy me, it was mostly accidental and he did love me.
"Can we make tacos?" I asked, smiling.
"Oo, with that fresh guacamole?" Reid asked excitedly. He's been over for dinner a lot.
Dad beamed at both of us and I almost felt like Reid might as well be another adult brother for me. "Whatever you want, sweetie."
I left Dad and Reid at the dining room table, pulling out the chessboard. For all he was genius boy, Reid can't beat my dad. Well, I can't either, even though Dad's been teaching me since I was five. Dad's not like most parents; he's never let me win.
I camped out on the living room couch, with only one ear bud in, and tackled geometry first. Mom hated when I did homework away from my desk, but Dad never commented. When I made it through my history chapters, I spoke up.
"Hey, Dad. Do you know why the French soldiers would cut off the index and middle fingers of the English archers they captured?"
"The English archers were the best of Europe during the medieval era," Reid said without looking up from his chess pieces. "With those particular fingers cut off, the archers couldn't draw their bows any more. It's actually the origin of our hand gesture with the middle finger. The English archers on the field would show off their intact fingers at the French to antagonize them."
Reid finally looked up when Dad and I sat in silence. I kept my face blank as he looked back and forth between us. "Uh, sorry," he stammered. He was always so easy to ruffle.
I laughed until Reid and Dad smiled. Secretly, I loved it when Reid would suddenly babble about anything, whether it was related to the current conversation or not.
"Reid, can I name you in my bibliography instead of Wikipedia?" I asked.
"Well, there is a direct interview model for APA, MLA, and Chicago based bibliographies," Reid started.
"Reid, she was joking," Dad interrupted.
"Sort of," I added. Reid probably knew more than Wikipedia and was more accurate.
"Any way, getting hungry yet?" Dad asked.
I closed my text book with a definitive thump and jumped to my feet, racing my dad for the kitchen; he was putting one of his CD's into the sound system. He kept a record player and vinyl discs at his own apartment. I grabbed the avocados, tomato, onion, lime and cilantro while Dad started with the ground beef. Reid followed us and watched, handing me kitchen tools when I asked.
Dad taught me to cook as early as he taught me chess. Mom hardly has time or energy, especially now that she's in charge of a new treatment center for cancer patients, but Dad sees it as relaxing. Dad would put an apron on me and lift me up on a chair so I could see over the counter. I learned how to mix, stir, measure, dice, chop and sauté until I was almost as good as he is. When Dad and I are cooking together, that's when we're at our best.
And because I love it when I know how to do something Reid doesn't, I explained what I was doing as I was doing it, like I was his teacher.
"See, if you cut the avocado in a cross-hatch pattern while it's still in its skin, then all you have to do is squeeze it out and it's practically mashed up already."
Reid always seems to enjoy it, too, even though he's being schooled by a fourteen year old. He handed me the microplane next while I told him to cut the tomato into a fine dice. I squirted the lime juice over the avocado so it wouldn't brown.
"Come taste this, Rae."
I left Reid to mix up the guacamole and took the spoon Dad offered me.
"More chili pepper and salt," I told him. "My tongue isn't even twitching yet."
I practically heard Reid gulp behind me. I like things spicy.
Dinner was actually kind of nice. Dad and Reid talked about the other agents they worked with without ever talking about their cases. Dad never talked about cases around me and not all that often with Mom. He always wants to separate work and family, except for bringing Reid over.
I told them about my classes and band practice. With Dad being tightlipped about his work and Mom always worried about doctor-patient confidentiality, I've gotten really good at stretching out my own stories to fill the empty silence. And since I don't see Dad every day, there's more to talk about.
Dad and Reid cleaned up while I took the rest of my homework to my bedroom. I was fleshing out my paper outline when Dad came into my room.
"I'm going to drive Reid home and then I'll be back until your mom comes home, okay?
"Really, Dad. I'm fourteen years old, I think I can spend a few hours on my own," I pointed out. But Dad just kissed me on the forehead and repeated, "I'll be back."
I rolled my eyes at his back and then shouted good bye to Reid. Once they were gone, my cat Hannah finally crawled out from under my bed. Hannah is a gray tabby cat that Mom bought for me as a bribe when we moved six years ago. She said it was just as much because of the job offer at the hospital to be the head for the new treatment center, but why else would she have been looking in the DC and Virginia area if she hadn't wanted to be closer to Dad?
Hannah is really shy and hides whenever it's more than just me and Mom around. How she knows it's safe, I have no idea, but she's always happy to leap into my lap and cuddle whenever she can. I grabbed a Tamora Pierce book and settled in until Dad and Mom got back.
I woke up when Mom came in to kiss me good night.
"Where's Dad?" I asked, still half asleep. I didn't remember hearing him come in.
I couldn't see Mom's face since she had already taken my book away and turned off the light. "He got called on a case, sweetie."
Dad never told me when he left on a case. He'd call Mom as he was leaving, but I always had to hear from her.
"Fine," I muttered and burrowed deeper into my pillow.
"Good night, Mom."
After a pause, Mom replied, "Good night, sweetie. I love you."
"Love you, too."
After she closed my door, I got up and changed into my cotton drawstring pants and tee shirt in the dark before climbing under the bed covers. Hannah stayed with me and settled against my hip with my hand over her body.
None of my friends who thought it was cool that my dad was FBI knew about the nights I would lay awake, frustrated and worried. They never saw past the glamour of the badge and gun, not realizing they were necessary when chasing criminals.
And they didn't know what it was like, to expect your dad to be there and half the time he wouldn't show up. Birthdays, holidays, parent/teacher conferences, concerts. Yeah, I've looked and I've waited for a train that didn't come enough that it doesn't even surprise me anymore.
So I stared at my ceiling for half the night, wondering when I would see my dad next, and how bad the damage had been this time.
Notes: I was trying to have the entire first season, or first movement if you will, done before I started posting, but I decided to chance it and hope that I have enough time to write the last four chapters before I get caught up. Here's hoping.
Some useful information for you—Rachel's mother is Sarah Jacobs who we see in the season two finale and then it is mentioned that Gideon had met her in college. Eventually, I will explain how Rachel came to be (in practicality, not biologically which I hope everyone reading knows anyway) and other things about Gideon and Sarah's relationship.
I'll leave notes like this at the end of chapters when I think they're necessary, but feel free to ask me any questions and I will try to answer or just tell you to wait because the answer is revealed later on.
I hope that you have enjoyed and will come back for more. I'll plan on posting every Sunday. Thanks for reading!