Pass It On — KK

D Major. F sharp minor. G major. A major.

“Shoompa shoompa shoompa DING!”

D Major. F sharp minor. G major. A major. As if I’d forget. What if I forget?

“It’s the Lord, Noah.” Beat. “RIIIIIIGHT!”

The kids howl. Kevin is killing his Bill Cosby routine. He does it every summer at camp.

And I sing. D Major. F sharp minor.

Up here in the mountains, even the girls who won’t talk to me at school ask me: you’re singing at the talent show, right? You have such a pretty voice.

“What’s a cubit?” Kevin’s profile is sharp in the light of the sinking sun. I am waiting my turn by the side of the mess hall, across from the girls’ barracks. I peek around the corner to watch their faces, laughing, bored, sending a hundred secret messages with their eyes to one another.

It takes a moment to realize that Andrew has seen me, that he is looking right at me.

“Who is this REALLY?”

Andrew slowly, slyly, opens his mouth and lets his tongue hang out. And I can see that Brenda and Mark are smiling too, first at Andrew, and then directly across the crowd. Right at me.

I back up behind the corner of the hall, too fast. My face is on fire.

“HOW LONG CAN YOU TREAD WATER?” Everyone is roaring.

Other people know. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Applause and cheers.

Kevin is standing in front of me. “Hey, wake up!” He holds the music in his hand, he elbows me forward. He heads to the crappy old piano. My feet walk me out in front of my fellow Lutherans.

Here we go.

D Major. F sharp minor. G major. A major.

“It only takes a spark to get a fire going…”

Sighs of recognition. People love this song.

I know Christine and Martha will sing the descant. I know all the girls and Kevin will yell “Hey, world!” I know we will all briefly, even sincerely, feel like friends up here, before we return home.

I don’t know that Andrew will continue to stick his tongue out at me all year at school, in algebra class, in the hallway.

I don’t know that I’ll keep singing.

I don’t know that I’m on the way to learning what to display, and what to hide.

G major. A major. D major. D major.

Pass it on.

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