20.385.The School Medley–Part 2

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 385
“The School Medley–Part 2”

The day of the school medley arrived, and several children came to school that day with their parents in tow, La-Iin and Mit-Sun among them.
“You should have called Dami,” La-Iin said.
“No. Even if I had, there’s no guarantee he would have made it out here in time, so there was no point.”
“But now there’s not even a chance.”
As students neared the school, parents were instructed to enter the reception room. “It’ll be a long time before anything starts, mind you,” one said. “You would’ve been better off coming later if you ask me.”
“You don’t come to a protest fashionably late,” the mother of a Class A student sniffed. She tossed her head back before entering the school behind her daughter.
“Don’t complain to me if you get bored,” La-Iin said to Mit-Sun after overhearing the ordeal.
“Don’t worry, I won’t. I brought a book to read. Hopefully things aren’t too loud.”
La-Iin blinked at her once before focusing on the path ahead. All around her students came to school with family and friends. Fer-Shi was with her parents, and likewise with San-Kyung, though Dosa-Mina was nowhere near him. Instead, he was walking at the edge of the crowd, all alone.
“I’m going ahead,” La-Iin said, mostly to herself. Mit-Sun nodded, and then La-Iin took off. She stopped next to Dosa-Mina, who noticed her right away.
“Hi there, La-Iin,” he said casually.
“San-Kyung’s Mama and Dami ask you to stay away? I can understand why they’d say that.”
“Nooo, I didn’t even walk to school with San-Kyung today, and I didn’t want to intervene. San-Kyung likes his parents too, if you remember, and I don’t want to hog all his time. It’s gotta be more than a little difficult when there’s only three people you like.”
“What about me?” La-Iin said, an edge to her tone.
“Almost forgot about you,” he said, patting her head. “After all, it hasn’t even been a year since you and San-Kyung became friends.”
“We’ve hung out a lot since then though, stupid rival-boy,” she snapped. “So, where’s your Mama and Dami? I know they exist.”
“They’re coming later, but it might only be my Mom. I’m not sure if Dad’ll get off from work soon enough. And if I’m being honest, I’d prefer it if neither of them came…” Dosa-Mina’s eyes took on a faraway look for only a moment before he blinked. “So, walking to school with me because Fer-Shi won’t do?”
“I’m not walking to school with you, I’m mocking you.”
“Says you!”
Before she could make a rebuttal, she was distracted by a Vampire family she noticed out the corner of her eye. She wondered if the family belonged to a student from another class until she noticed Ai-Reia walking alongside them.
“Did you have to bring Ca-Miela?” Ai-Reia complained. “If she cries, she’ll mess the whole thing up! Nobody else brought babies with them!”
“Do you know that for sure?” A Vampire man, whom La-Iin assumed was her father, said.
“We all wanted to go, Ai-Reia…and we can’t just leave Ca-Miela home alone…”
Ai-Reia began to look incredibly frustrated. La-Iin noticed the baby strapped to the front of a tall Vampire boy, who looked to be about San-Kyung’s age. ‘I wonder how old he really is.’ The baby was cooing and bouncing in her straps, and the Vampire boy gave an amused chuckle.
‘I wonder if I could get to her using that baby…’ La-Iin hadn’t thought about her plans for Ai-Reia in a while, but seeing how she seemed to feel about the baby, she thought it could possibly be plausible.
She closed in on the school. When she noticed she was still standing close by Dosa-Mina, she walked away.

***

All throughout school time, except when she had been outside, it felt like the school was much louder than usual. Mr. Chensu hadn’t silenced the students of Class D despite the chatter in the classroom before history class, and La-Iin couldn’t help but wonder if the noise all over was a reason.
“Did you bring your song?” La-Iin asked Fer-Shi one break time. Fer-Shi showed her a small, slightly wrinkled piece of paper. “It’s not that long, but that’s okay with me. I just wanted to write something short and sweet.”
La-Iin looked in her notebook. Her song was still a part of it, and she checked over it quickly, erasing a line with a pencil and re-doing it.
‘Now you’re perfect.’
She had wanted to take a chance during class to ask San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina about their songs, but hadn’t gotten the chance. She was curious as to what Dosa-Mina’s song was moreso than San-Kyung’s, if only because he was half-Siren.
‘I wonder if he just copied something he’s sung before,’ she wondered. ‘Not like anyone would be able to tell…’
On her way back into the classroom before the last class, she shot him a glance.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. You walked to school with me,” he said in response. San-Kyung stared at him with wide eyes.
“She did?”
“Oh, she just came up to me to ask a silly question, but it counts because we walked together, on the way to school, for a little bit. Don’t get jealous though, San-Kyung! She can’t stand me and even if we were friends, I’d never love her as much as you.”
San-Kyung gave him a quizzical glance, though La-Iin noticed his mouth twitching as if he were about to smile. She gave a snort. “Biased.”
“Who? Me or him?” Dosa-Mina asked.
La-Iin didn’t respond and went back to her seat.

***

Students piled into the reception room after their last classes and took seats nearby their parents, for the most part. A few seats had been crowded by other families, so students, mostly from classes aside from Class D, ended up having to sit elsewhere, though La-Iin noticed Yefu-Shenhao giving angry huffs when she noticed a bored-looking Catori woman sitting in the seat next to her parents.
La-Iin was able to take a seat next to Mit-Sun and nearby Fer-Shi and her parents. Fer-Shi waved to her when she noticed. Nearby, La-Iin could see the Molshei family, Dosa-Mina sitting nearby them. ‘If his Mama and Dami come, they won’t be able to sit next to him,’ she thought. ‘I bet he did that on purpose.’
“Hey, La-Iin–”
Before Fer-Shi could finish, the Principal took her place behind the microphone. Sharai stood a fair distance behind her, wearing what was obviously a dress.
“Oh, never mind, you can see now,” Fer-Shi giggled.
“Students of Malicerie and parents, siblings, family of students,” the Principal said, “welcome to Malicerie Public School’s very first School Medley. This event is credited to our vice principal, Sharai Teik-Kao, whom you are fully allowed to ignore right now as he is making a fool out of himself at such an important event.”
“So you say,” he said, before swaying side to side.
“Our students have, mostly anyway, written songs that are to be performed at this very school. Due to the fact that the songs wildly vary in length, I cannot give you an approximate on how long this event will last. We have over one-hundred students and the vast majority of them prepared songs or musical works, some short and some long. Our musical teachers will be performing the vocals on any songs that have them, and we have hired some of the best professionals in their field to perform the melody for these songs.”
“I’m so excited!” Fer-Shi squealed.
“We will be going in order of Class A, B, C, and D. The songs of the students in these classes will then go by a randomized order. You are welcome to leave after your song is done should you have to, for there is no prize from this save for any satisfaction you may feel after hearing your song performed. Now, let’s all get Class A over with, and prepare for the first song by Grade 12 student Bin Kin-Hon, entitled, “Protest!””
Before the Principal left the stage, Xao-Bu nudged her shoulder with his head. “Do I have to?” He sighed.
“Yes. You’re a professional. Act like it.”
Xao-Bu gave another sigh before taking a deep breath. The melody began as Protest started to play.
“It’s so bad,” La-Iin said. Fer-Shi had shut her eyes tight and covered her ears with her hands.
The students of Class A were mostly excited about the song and nearly dancing in their seats, save for some who were covering their ears and had their heads bowed with their eyes shut. The people around them could only wonder why they had done that.
Class A’s medley did not last long, but what songs did play, most in the room opinioned that they sounded exactly the same.
Class B’s medley began next, and their songs held more variety. The first song, by a Wingyrm student named Haeilye Zhin-Sho, was an upbeat and energetic song which most in the crowd seemed to enjoy. During that song, San-Kyung glared at the crowd, though Dosa-Mina bounced in his seat to the melody.
Class A had begun to look bitter and disperse, some going up to the Principal or their teachers before leaving with their families. A few got distracted watching the ordeal and ended up missing the song, including a girl who was the sister of a Class B student.
When Class B’s medley ended, Class C’s began, and the first few songs were all instrumental. By now, some younger students and relatives had begun to seem tired; Fer-Shi noticed that Shan-Zetsu had fallen asleep and tapped his shoulder lightly to wake him up, while Rini-Futo’s siblings were focused on the stage, though their heads and eyelids were drooping.
Deki-Tyunri was the most focused on the stage during Class C’s medley.
“Are you looking for something?” Lirako whispered.
“Murana is in Class C,” he said. “I hope she made a song. I’d like to hear it.”
“I bet she did. After all, she’s in the music Weekend class with you, right? Why wouldn’t she write a song?”
“What are you talking about?” One of Lirako’s brothers said. Lirako gave him a playful glare before messing up the fur on top of his head.
“Don’t be so nosy, Aeisho!” She giggled.
Deki-Tyunri’s eyes widened and he gaped when the Principal announced that the next song was by Murana Shin-Rei. The music began slow, but Deki-Tyunri was already enjoying it.
‘It sounds just like something she’d play,’ he thought to himself. ‘I wish she could play it herself.’ He looked for Shin-Rei in the crowd, but couldn’t find her. ‘I hope she stays for my song.’
He was surprised when Xao-Bu began to sing.

All my life is lived in silence,
and I myself have no other choice
For I am one who was condoned to silence
Before I had the chance to take off

Some days I ask why I live life like this,
and question why I can’t be like
the people who are normal

But I only know what it’s like to live in silence
And frankly, it’s all I want to know.

All my life is lived in silence,
but though that was the case for many years
When I heard the voice of another calling out to me
It created a desire to be free.

I did not question my life all that often,
and I was fine with how things were before
The voice that called out to me instilled in me
A prayer for a change to come.

I am looking for the reason why this could change so fast
And why I’m so fickle when my emotions were intact
I kept a watch on myself for so many years
And because of one person whose voice reached my ears

I, wanted to change…
I, wanted to change…

“Deki-Tyunri?” Lirako whispered as the song came to an end. “…you’re crying.”
Deki-Tyunri gasped and began to wipe away the tears with his wings.
“I really liked that last one,” Fer-Shi said.
“Me too,” said Tei-Sheu. “That Murana girl is talented.”
‘I hope that Wingyrm man sings my song too,’ Fer-Shi found herself hoping. After hearing him sing so often she decided she liked his voice. ‘Had I known I would’ve asked if he could sing it! But maybe his voice won’t work for my song…’
Class C’s came to an end, and by then a few families had left the room, and nearly all of Class A was gone. Class D’s medley began with an instrumental and traditional piece by Kaersh-Cogyp.
“Good job, Xhephe! I didn’t know you knew music. I just wrote a ditty,” Xhen-Bei said.
“I wonder about that ‘ditty’ now…” Kaersh-Cogyp said, his tone uncertain. Xhen-Bei grinned.
Tenha-Gumo’s song came on next, and his mother’s ears went up high as it started. Tenha-Gumo looked down, as if ashamed, as a high-energy song came on.

Oooo, aaaa!
You’ll never understand life until you’ve lived it!
Oooo, aaaa!
Stand up tall, face your fears and don’t pivot!

“…is this the whole song?” Fer-Shi whispered after the chorus repeated a third time.
“Someone kill me,” San-Kyung groaned.
“We’re on the last class, San-Kyung. Don’t worry, it’s almost over.”
“Next up is a song by Grade 10’s Dslellullar Dosa-Mina, entitled ‘Memorium’.”
Dosa-Mina blinked and stared at the stage as the song began.

I can’t watch the future from where I’m standing
At the moment they call “now”, all I know is the past
I recall all those things, good and bad, I have survived through
And I wonder if my luck will last.

Where do I go from the point I am now?
Have I gone all the right ways, or did I get stuck somehow?
Is there any moment I sabotaged a chance I could have taken?
Or is it something else, and I’m just mistaken?

The truth is,
only such a thing as the past exists
Whether we regret it or relive it, it’s all that’s there
The future is never set in stone, all despite the years
And the moment known as “now” is only fleeting

Your past can define just who you are.
You can leave it behind or move on
Whether you regret or relive it
You can’t go back, so take what you’ve been given

Pave the way to make your later past a better memory

I can’t watch the future from where I’m standing
Because the future won’t take any shape until it happens
For every moment we call one thing or another
All that I know exists is the past that never leaves us

San-Kyung was still focused on the stage as the song ends.
“Um…”
“Good job,” he said quietly. “Though it would’ve been better if you sang it.”
“You’d have fallen asleep then,” he whispered.
As the Principal took the stage again, Dosa-Mina noticed two people heading toward him out the corner of his eye and gaped.
“We made it in time to hear your song!” Elai-Riya said. Orlin-Aesth mumbled something.
“At least it’s not Spring this time,” she said. “Good job, Dosa-Mina.”
Dosa-Mina began to feel flustered. “Thanks?”
“….Sanhuun Fer-Shi, called “Happiness.”
“That’s mine!” Fer-Shi gasped.
“Let’s see how you do,” La-Iin whispered. “I’ll be judging you.”
Fer-Shi stared down, wide-eyed, as the song began.

All around the world, there’s a lot of happiness
It’s drowned out by the sound of sadness
Living in a place where we are worry-free
We don’t hear the ones who are without glee!…

OH!
Can’t change the world with happiness alone they say!
All around us, despite our good, nothing but evil prevails!
We live in a world where people are bundles of conflicts and contradictions
Put yours down on the list and contribute to the corruption!

Any day you think you’re innocent, well think again, you’re not
Our world should run on happiness, but instead, thanks to you lot
We’re full of corruption, conflicts, contradictions, those big C’s
Are the reason why this world no longer matters to me!

OH!
Can’t change the world with happiness alone they say!
All around us, despite our good, we’re the ones who ultimately pay!
We live in a world where people are bundles of conflicts and contradictions
Put yours down on the list and contribute to the corruption!

Fer-Shi’s face had turned a bright red by the end of her song. As a musical piece by Shuera-Kaizima began, La-Iin tapped her friend on the shoulder.
“I know, it’s not like me!” She squeaked.
“I liked it, but it could’ve used a little less good,” she whispered. “But are you sure you don’t want to be my evil sidekick?”
“Yes, I’m sure!” She yelled, a little louder than intended. Nearby adults shushed her, to angry glares from her parents who promptly did the same.
Songs by Kim-Koou, Ilhe-Anra, and Voi-Ehst came on next, and La-Iin was impressed by none of them.
‘So generic,’ she thought of Kim-Koou’s love song. ‘And she’s obviously forcing that randomness,’ she thought of Ilhe-Anra’s. ‘This song is so annoying. What’s with all the s-words?’ she thought of Voi-Ehst’s.
After theirs, the next one was Xhen-Bei’s.

Do do-do-do!
Can’t wait to get a bite of that
Do do-do-do!
Groundiser-brand
Do do-do-do!
Strawberry ice cream
Do do-do-do!
With lots of sand!

Kaersh-Cogyp gave him an astonished glare. Xhen-Bei chuckled and his ears went down.
“What the hell is wrong with him?” San-Kyung said.
“Oh, he’s weird.” Dosa-Mina said. “But you shouldn’t be asking me. I barely know him.”
Mi-Kou, Gen-Reiya, and Nemi-Hikla’s songs were next; aside from Nemi-Hikla’s, those songs were all instrumental.
“You did an instrumental?” Mali-Ana asked him during his.
“Hey, be quiet,” he whispered. “But yeah. I couldn’t think of any lyrics and I wanted to prove you wrong about that whole love song business.”
“I bet the first draft was a love song, huh?” She grumbled.
“No, actually it was death metal. But that’s really not any of your business!”
During Nemi-Hikla’s, a baby in the crowd began to cry, and nearby people flinched away from the smell coming from that direction. Ai-Reia wore a look of humiliation as Reuf-Bu and her mother left the room, Ca-Miela’s shrieking fading into the background. Nemi-Hikla glared in that direction, and added to Ai-Reia’s shame.
‘One day, I’ll get revenge…’
Zae-Mia, Im-Dei, and Rini-Futo’s songs came on next.
“Is this a love song?” Rini-Futo’s mother asked. “…there’s a reason for this, isn’t there, Rini-Futo?”
Rini-Futo shied away. She spotted Mr. Chensu bobbing his head out the corner of her eye and smiled.
“I liked your usage of Nyapponese, In-Dei,” Shuera-Kaizima said to him during Rini-Futo’s song.
“Thank you. I was a bit worried about it. And I’m glad most of Class A left before it came on!”
“This next piece is by Grade 10’s Molshei San-Kyung, and has no title.”
“Lame!” A Class B boy called out.
“Couldn’t come up with a title?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“No, I didn’t even want to write it. I just did it because I had nothing better to do.”
La-Iin listened closely as the guitar player started in a solo before other instruments joined in. It was soon clear that San-Kyung’s song was a rock song, and La-Iin was thoroughly enjoying it.
“Is this his taste in music?” Fer-Shi said to herself.
Almost everyone in the crowd flinched near the end of the song, when Xao-Bu let out a shriek.
“…is that a part of the song?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“Yes.”
“So wonderful,” La-Iin sighed at the end of the song.
“You have weird taste in music,” Mit-Sun said.
Song-Jpinne, Yefu-Shenhao, and Shan-Zetsu had the next three songs. Song-Jpinne’s ears turned a bright red when his song came on, and a few glanced at him.
“Sounds like this barely made it past the Principal’s strict standards,” Nemi-Hikla said.
“I actually had to tone it down from the first draft,” he said. Nemi-Hikla’s eyes widened.
“Wish I could hear my parent’s opinion,” Yefu-Shenhao snorted.
“I like your song, Shan-Zetsu!” Fer-Shi said. He grinned. “Thanks!”
Deki-Tyunri’s song came on after that.

When you dream of things you could never have,
a feeling might just stir in you
A feeling of loss, a feeling of desire

Whenever you daydream of things you could never have,
does that make you feel pain?
I feel the same

Something about things being out of reach
Makes the heart yearn for them more
That is the feeling I get from personal experiences

I wonder why it goes like that,
That our psychology would go in such a way
That causes us great pain
And we can’t avoid it

Most people will someday understand the meaning of what I say
But until you don’t, I leave you with these words–
“Always be prepared”

“Where’d that come from, huh?” Lirako said, nudging his wing. Deki-Tyunri sighed.
“The next song is by Grade 11’s Sanyaow Lirako, and titled “Pumpkin Pumpkin Goodness”.”
“Uh-oh,” Dosa-Mina said.
“It’s your turn, sissie!” Her brothers yelled.

Pumpkin, pumpkin goodness!
So yummy in my tummy
Pumpkin, pumpkin goodness!
Oh, so very nummy

I love just most every kind
From the seeds and to the rind
Pumpkins are a delicacy!

I love pumpkins so much, I want to marry an animated one
Someday we’ll have cute children, who always smell like yum!
I’m not one for cannibalism, but I can say
Pumpkins are just so great, prepared in just any way!

Pumpkin, pumpkin goodness!
So yummy in my tummy
Pumpkin, pumpkin goodness!
Oh, so very nummy

I love just most every kind
From the seeds and to the rind
Pumpkins are a delicacy
And I wish to leave a legacy
Where I am known

As the girl, who, loves, them, moooooost!

“Thank you,” Lirako whispered.
“Lirako!” Deki-Tyunri exclaimed.
“I’m going to f@%king wring that bitch!” San-Kyung yelled.
“Keep your composure! There are a lot of people around here. Don’t want the cops called on you, do you?”
“The next song is by Grade 1’s Vampiris Ai-Reia.”
“It’s your turn now…” Her mother said.
‘Yes, it is, so if you so much as cry, Ca-Miela, you will be sorry.’

I’m not asking for much
When I make a plea for freedom
It’s all I can do
To make my voice even cry out the words

Whenever you doubt me, I falter
Whenever you get in my way
I stop believing in myself
And I end up stopping mid-way

You have been the greatest obstacle
In my path to self-assurance
I want you out of my way

All I pray
Is that the day I have freedom will be recognized soon!
I can’t take any more of this life
They say over
But I’m under the moon!

The longer minutes pass that I have to live this way
The more I pray, the more I pray
That this will all go away!

You can’t stop me from wishing it
You can’t stop my from wishing it
My hope will be placed in that fact
I’ll put it on the line for just a chance!

“Are you sad about something, Ai-Reia?” Zih-Amo said. Ai-Reia blinked.
“No, this…it was just all I had an idea to write, that’s all.”
The next song was by Fei-Zhust, and aside from whispers La-Iin couldn’t hear over the music, it too was instrumental.
“It’s taking too long to get to mine,” she complained.
“Did you turn yours in?” Mit-Sun asked.
“Yes.”
“And now–” La-Iin looked up. “For the last song of the day, Grade 1’s Cahongyun La-Iin, whose song is called “Dreams”.”
“Dreams?” Mit-Sun questioned as the music began.
“You’ll see.”
La-Iin’s previous frustration had ebbed away by the time the singing began.

You’re living a life you might think is great thus far
But I have another future to show you
The future most would cry out and try and avoid
Is the future you faced, for you overlooked a simple thing

So show all this world
What you believe is the meaning of life
I’ll find it, take it, and destroy it where you stand

When your life is confined, you can only blame yourself
All the steps for avoidance, and you glossed over them
While you were being lazy, there was someone working
And she has prevailed, the world is in her hands

So, tell me now
Is there anything that you can still say that you care for?
The moment you utter a word, she will rain destruction on it
And yet you see her face, and you never take her seriously
Oh, the future for you can’t seem hopeful, can it?

If her heart wavers weak, you expect to see that
But your eyes will never be opened
Your last day and moment has arrived
And she shall show you no mercy

Nobody cares, because the sick delight she enjoys so much
Is the feeling of a pain so deep you just want to end your life
Someday, we’ll all be so deeply immersed in such a pain we can never escape
And time after time, you will learn to enjoy it

So tell me now, is there anything you can stay you still love?
When she takes your despair upon herself, that’s the only weakness you’ll ever see

Ah, throw the world to shit!

“You let that pass!?” The Principal hissed after the song.
“I forgot to cut it!”
The Principal scoffed and took her place behind the microphone once again. “Ahem. We hope you enjoyed the School Medley. Thank you all for coming. For the students, we have recordings of all your songs for you to take home. Anyone who left early will get their recording sent to them later.
“Thank you all, and have a good night.”

—–
Nobody cares, because the sick delight she enjoys so much
Is the feeling of a pain so deep you just want to end your life
Someday, we’ll all be so deeply immersed in such a pain we can never escape
And time after time–

“La-Iin?” Mit-Sun said. La-Iin turned around.
“What?”
“Oh, it’s nothing. I just wanted to see you.” She blinked, staring at La-Iin’s CD player. “I guess you’re proud of yourself.”
“Of course. The song is about me.”
Mit-Sun blinked. “…you’re not going to have that playing all night though, are you?”
La-Iin grinned. Mit-Sun sighed.

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