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Jimmys Path Towards Happiness

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 9 months ago

"But mom I don't want to go to school and I don't see why I have to go. We aren't learning anything anyway." These are the words of Jimmy Jones, a fourteen year old freshman at the most respected prep in the city, but you wouldn't know it by his demeanor. He took a completely apathetic perspective towards his opportunity to grow his mind and himself in this completely open and free flowing education structure. Jimmy, to make things exponential worse, he struggled to make friends and normally broke the rules and put on the bad boy facade in an attempt to impress the wrong people. In reality the punnett square and right triangles and run on sentences that for some reason were acceptable intrigued Jimmy, but he would never fully understand them because he was too worried about being cool and noticed to pay attention to all factors of these topics. The white walled, square classrooms with either tiny, uncomfortable desks or long brown card tables should have been his forum for speaking out for what he believed in, but instead became his dungeon. His main objective was to change who he was in middle school, the kid everyone went to for answer instead of friendship. The shy kid who was too smart for his own good and felt intimidated by his peers. This drove him insane as he imitated the popular kids, wearing the tight solid polo shirt with ripped jeans and brown thong flip-flop and grew his hair out to the surfer length. Acting like they did putting on the facade of confidence, walking with more of a strut and the occasional hair flip and listening to repetitive rap and singer song writer pop music. He lost control of who he was as a person, a kid born after his time with a strong belief in peace and love equality, not caring about what people think of him, and had no idea how to get this happy kid back. His grades were slipping and teachers were talking about him as a disrespectful person with no concern for anyone else or himself and was more worried about party instead of school, as opposed to a student in the halls. He had trapped himself inside this fraud and had no way; no release from the confides of his mind and no medium in which to let loose these fantasies and ideas running around in his head.

One wednesday, Jimmy's most stressful and boring day, as he walked slowly down the long, thin and colorless music hall singing the lyrics to Mr. Jones under his breath on his way to the school's butterfly garden, the only place where ones imagination could run free, his normally spot to skip class, he passed the chorus teacher, a large, tall, old man with large round glasses. Noticing his pure singing voice the chorus teacher stopped him and asked his name. Jimmy, assuming the teacher just wanted to yell at him for skipping class ran down the hall replacing the sound of music with the sound of his flip-flops clapping on the tile floor and out the nearest clear glass door to the butterfly garden and dove behind an iron bench. The chorus teacher followed at a slow, soundless pace and eventually walked through the glass door leading into the butterfly garden, a beautiful garden filled with roses and sunflowers, a far too calm environment for the hostile discussion that was about to ensue.

"How the hell did you find me?" Jimmy asked extremely confused.

"I'm not here to yell at you, hell I honestly don't care if you skip class, but I do care that you are wasting your beautiful baritone voice. A section that happens to be lacking in my chorus"

"What are you talking about?"

"I hear you in here singing everyday this same period and am wondering why you aren't in a chorus class if all your going to do during school is sing anyway?"

"Look man no offense to you or the chorus program, but I'm not interested in singing with a bunch of gay guys, sorry."

"Ok," said the teacher with a smile on his face like a poker player who knows the exact cards in the other players hand. "I'll make a deal with you, either you join chorus or I tell Ms. Roper where you have been during 4th period for the past two months. If my math is right thats about four months of detention. And if you join chorus I can get you out of Ms. Roper's class."

"Damn, alright you win I guess," Jimmy said in a voice that wasn't all too disappointed. Jimmy loved to sing, but was always afraid of what others would like. Mr. Coleman had just given him a reason to join chorus that would be acceptable in the eyes of the popular kids.

The first day of class came after weeks of struggling to get out of Latin, a class Jimmy absolutely hated, and into chorus and Jimmy showed up late and slowly walked to the back of the class to the corner, sat down on the elevated stairs and leaned his head against the wall, the perfect sleeping position. This class, however, took a different turn at this point than any class he had been in before. Mr. Coleman was yet to arrive and the students, already settled into their chairs, got up and sat by Jimmy trying with questions ready to be posed. This took Jimmy completely off guard, "people actually want to talk to me and get to know me," he thought to himself, "weird." They formed a tight circle around him and started to introduce themselves one by one, names he probably wouldn't remember and instead would replace with nicknames that were easy to associate with their physical stature. There was the preppy girl, who would be named bubbly, the devoted singer, who would become Madonna, the goofy guy who was a little to open, who would become honest Abe, and the jock who was there to simply to fulfill an art requirement and try to get some action out of either bubbly or Madonna, his name would be Falco. Coleman had been telling the class about Jimmy everyday since the run-in in the butterfly garden and the class was set on finding everything out about Jimmy they could so they could pass their judgement on him as a person and a singer as soon as possible, to make sure he wasn't just another Falco. They asked the typical questions, what year are you, why are you taking chorus, are you single, do you play nay instruments, all of which Jimmy tried in answer in the coolest way possible, if there is such a thing, mostly to impress Bubbly who caught his eye the second he walked in the room with her long blonde hair, bright baby blue eyes, and astute fashion sense. Right after Jimmy answered, "No, but I really want to pick up guitar someday," Mr. Coleman walked in, fifteen minutes late, and told everyone to sit in sections. Jimmy, not know what section he was in or even what sections were, simply stayed put, sitting on the floor up against the wall with his legs stretched out in front of him. Mr. Coleman, unable to see Jimmy behind the row of chairs that sat in a line one stair in front of him said, "I guess that kid Jimmy thinks he can skip my class too," and left the classroom letting the door slam behind him, apparently going to check the butterfly garden and probably intent to flip over every bench until he found him.

"Hey Jimmy, baritones sit over there," said Bubbly as she pointed to the front row of chairs on the left side of the room. "You should probably go sit down before he gets back so the he doesn't give you detention, cause from what I've heard you have a knack for racking those up."

"Thanks,"Jimmy replied with a half smile and took the seat closest to the wall.

"So Jimmy, how did he get you to join the class," asked honest Abe, and Jimmy told them the story and threw in a couple extra details and changed his words a little bit, adding some curse words and describing some harsh body language to make the story sound more rebellious.

Coleman walked back into class, clearly out of breath and said surprised, "Oh Jimmy, you're here."

"Yeah I couldn't find my seat so I laid down in back. One of your altos helped me find my seat once you left."

"Ok, well we don't have enough class to actually sing today so just relax today, but tomorrow we start singing. Oh and Jimmy don't expect everyday to be like this." Mr. Coleman wasn't kidding they sang everyday without a break. Chorus soon became his favorite class, not because of bubbly, that crush ended quickly, but because he finally had a release that would change him forever.

Over summer Jimmy went to a camp called NSLC to get away from the chaos in his life, but this summer would be different than any other.

As he stepped off the plane my heart leapt out of my chest with excitement. Jimmy was finally back home, his home away from Florida and away from his family, in D.C. he had been going to D.C every summer for NSLC; a camp where he felt that he could truly express myself and was comfortable with these complete strangers who soon became my family.

As Jimmy walked down the terminal all the signs brought back memories of walking through the memorials in awe and staring out at the green and brown Platomic and watching the rays from the sun change the highly polluted water into a master piece. When he arrived at the baggage claim he saw her, the girl who would take his heart and change everything about me. She was tall with long red hair and curves like an hourglass, she was Perfect and when he was around her he felt beautiful. The person she turned him into was a person I could respect and look in the mirror, a person he had not been in a number of years a whole other than chorus took him. She introduced herself and he rambled and mumbled minor mentions of who he am while trying to think of something funny to say, but nothing came, she had rendered him speechless.

The camp was two weeks long and a couple days into it Jimmy knew that she was the one that he wanted to be with, she made me laugh and smile and ponder things that I had never thought of before, like whether he was leading the right life. One day as they walked through the hall Perfect asked what days Jimmy had free period, he could tell what she was thinking but not didn't want to jump the gun Jimmy told her and she said in an excited voice like a four year old girl who just gotten her first doll, "Me too, so do you want to hang out while all the other groups are in T.A.?" Jimmy's answer was obvious by the stupid grin he had on his face but trying to act cool and a little disinterested he said, "Sure sounds like fun." 

The day came and Jimmy met her in the lobby and she took his hand and said, "I found the most gorgeous garden in the middle of campus. Come on let's go." Jimmy followed with the same stupid grin on his face. They walked in to what looked like the Garden of Eden with tulips, roses, tall trees, and topiary bushes. They found a bench and talked for what seemed like days letting out some of their most trusted secrets and stories and then mid sentence he stopped and said, "I'm sorry I just have to," and leaned in for a kiss. The second that their lips touch his world started to spin and it felt like the bench was soaring through the clouds, it seemed to last forever but also no time at all. When the moment ended she smile and said, "What took you so long?" Jimmy laughed and stared into her eyes he had fallen deeply in a consuming pit of love. Like quicksand the harder he fought to convince himself he wasn't the more consumed by her he became.

As the camp went on our love grew and grew like an oak tree, it soon towered over all the trees and was the most solid tree in the forrest that is their lives. They watched the sunset over the water from the Jefferson memorial and walked through the mall hand in hand talking about nothing and everything as they watched the squirrels play tag. She was truly amazing, but sadly everyday seemed to get faster until that inevitable day came, the day they had to leave. They sat on the same bench all morning as Jimmy tried not to think about the fact that in a few hours he would be thousands of miles away from the girl would now held his heart. his bus was scheduled to leave first, which was a blessing and a curse at the same. He wouldn't have to spend time at camp without her, but he would also have to go through telling her it wasn't goodbye forever - in his heart he hoped it wasn't.

Jimmy went upstairs, packed his things and checked out as quickly as possible so that he could spend as much time with her before he left as possible. They sat on the bench and waited for his bus to come and take his away from the only truly love he had ever found. When the bus pulled up Jimmy had to struggle to let go of her hand and end what appeared to be their finally kiss for maybe years. He eventually was able to let go and get on the bus. After that everything was a blur until he was on the plane. Jimmy shoved his ear buds in his head to attempt to drown out the sorrow. The song Plane by Jason Mraz came on and all Jimmy could think of is that if he were to die that very moment he would die happy because he now knew the wonders of love. "If the plane goes down, damn, I remember where the love was found. If the plane goes down." Music had changed his life and now it was keeping him from crying over losing the best thing ever had, because at least he had something to miss.


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