Chapter 17: The Concert
As it turned out, they were almost late to the concert. They went directly from the parking lot to the administration building, which was the easiest building to reach from there, and still got there just before they started closing the doors. “I don’t think there’s too many seats left,” said one of the students at the door. “Good luck.”
Corrie looked out over the crowded auditorium. The house lights were still on, but she didn’t think they could count on their illumination for much longer. She could see a few seats near the front of the room, but they probably wouldn’t reach them in time. She and her mother both spied a group of five seats—two in one row, three in the row behind them—at the same time and led the rest of the group towards it. Just as they reached it, the house lights went down, and they had to figure out seating in the dark and whispering. They got the two grandmothers settled in the front two, then Corrie and Edie convinced their parents to take the other three seats. “I’m fine,” Corrie had to keep insisting in a whisper. “My legs are stronger than yours anyway. Sit. Relax.”
Once their families were settled, they hurried to the back of the room where they could lean against the wall and not be in anybody’s way. They didn’t quite make it before the music started. “Where do you think Annie is?” Edie whispered to Corrie.
Corrie cast her eyes over what she could see of the orchestra. “I have no idea,” she finally whispered back. “I don’t know the layout of an orchestra.”
“Well, I can see the cellos and a bass over there,” Edie whispered, pointing to the right, “so the strings must be on that side, right?”
“I guess so,” Corrie agreed. It seemed logical to her. “So Annie is either on the left or in the middle.” She squinted, but other than really big instruments like the tympani, she couldn’t tell what everyone was playing. This was, indeed, a big auditorium. At least they could hear everything pretty well. She couldn’t pick the oboe out of the group, either, but that was probably a good thing.
“Maybe the conductor is hiding her from us,” Edie whispered. “I give up.”
Corrie nodded. “Oh well. We can just listen to the music.” She leaned her head back on the wall and closed her eyes.
Unfortunately, while the music was lovely, it wasn’t something she understood well enough to follow. She listened to it, but her mind wandered. And it wandered back to the conversation she’d overheard this evening while they were waiting to order their dinner.
Why did people have to ask nosy questions about her father? She was very grateful to have friends who took the hint that she didn’t want to talk about him. Maybe she’d gotten used to it. People in high school had been nosy, too, but if they had made the mistake of asking about him while Corrie’s mom was around, she had shut them down quickly.
Of course, Edie’s mom hadn’t actually asked her. She’d mentioned it earlier, but she'd asked Corrie’s mom. Which made sense, since obviously she knew more about him than Corrie did. But it still bothered her that anyone had asked. She’d never met the man, and her mom had never had much to say about him. As far as their little family was concerned, he was nothing but a sperm donor.
But she knew he wasn’t really a sperm donor. He must have been more to her mom once, hadn’t he? So why did she act like he hadn’t?
She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment and realized that she hadn’t been listening to the music at all. She did her best to turn her mind back to it. The woodwinds were at the forefront now, so she must be hearing Annie play. She was a good enough musician that the faeries had stolen her for her music. Corrie should be paying attention to the music.
Her eyes wandered over to her mother, who she could barely see in the dim light, but who seemed to be sitting still and listening attentively. One day soon, she resolved, she would get over her fear. If she wasn’t afraid of kidnapping and murdering faeries (being honest with herself, she knew she was afraid, but at least she could face them), she shouldn’t be afraid to ask her mother to tell her about her father. Her mom had probably been waiting for her to do exactly that, in fact. She was always a proponent of having Corrie learn her own lessons, not having anything handed to her.
Yes. That is what she would do. Later. For now, she let her eyes drift shut again and just listened to the music.