#36 – The Tale of a Bad Day – Part 2

If you missed it, you can read the exciting introduction by clicking here: The Tale of a Bad Day – Part 1

Once upon a time, in a world where music usually brought joy to people, lived a girl named Emily Crumbert. Emily practised​ her clarinet for one hour every evening (just like her school music teacher had instructed her to do) and had found that she was becoming quite skilled at both reading and playing the music in front of her. In fact, Emily had improved so much over the past year that, today, she was auditioning to be part of the Greenvale School Orchestra. Emily had wanted to be a part of the School’s Orchestra since she was in third grade, so today was one of the biggest days of her school life.

Emily woke up after a restless night’s sleep feeling nervous about the day ahead of her. She rolled over and checked her alarm clock. 7:46… 7:46? “Not today. Not today,” she mumbled to herself as she rolled out of bed. Her audition for the orchestra was scheduled for 8am and, if you were a minute late for Mrs Spicer, then you could forget any chance you had of ever getting into the orchestra. Just as she was feeling a little overwhelmed, her mother knocked on her bedroom door and came into her room. Emily stressed to her mother how important today was. “Oh Emily, I completely forgot, otherwise I would have woken you up earlier,” she said. “Let’s get your music uniform ready and get in the car as quickly as possible.” Emily went over to her dresser but could not find her uniform.
“It was right here!” Emily said. The two of them went through her draws and found all of the pieces of her music uniform. They were crumpled, but they were there. There was no time to iron them so Emily got dressed while her mother went to get her breakfast ready.

Emily walked out into the kitchen tightening her maroon tie. “Oh dear,” her mother said. “Seems your dad must have left the milk out last night, honey. Would you like some toast?” Emily hated toast more than any other food so she shook her head and continued getting ready. She hurried to put her black shoes on and then went to the bathroom to brush her hair and clean her teeth. Typical, she thought as she spent the next few seconds trying to squeeze as much toothpaste as humanly possibly out of the tube and on to her toothbrush. This was by far one of the worst mornings that Emily had ever experienced, and it was about to get a lot worse.

Emily lived so close to the school that she would usually walk, but, this morning, Emily’s mother was dropping her off at the front of the school at 7:58am. Emily had two minutes to rush to the music block, which, of course, was at the far end of the school. Emily heard her mother say something as she left the car but she couldn’t make out what it was because she was already running. Some teachers asked her to slow down and walk but Emily couldn’t stop. At 7:59 and 43 seconds, hungry and with a crinkled uniform and semi-terrible breath, Emily ran through the door to the Greenvale School Music Room. Mrs Spicer saw her and looked at her curiously. “Perfect timing, Emily. Now, where is your clarinet?” Emily looked down into her empty hands. She stood still for a moment and then closed her eyes in disbelief. The tears started immediately and there was no way to stop them. Emily turned and ran out of the music room. She ran all the way to the big tree at in the middle of the school oval and sat at the bottom, unable to bring herself to face her classmates. She thought about faking being sick but that just meant that her mother would have to pick her up early and she didn’t want that. She sat at the base of the tree, playing with the cocoons and sticks which had fallen out of the tree, wishing that she were a butterfly. They would have much simpler lives, she thought.

It took Emily a long while to be calm enough to stand up, dust herself off, and face the rest of the day. Technically three minutes late, she knocked on the door of her classroom and entered at 9:03am. Her teacher was yet to mark the roll so Emily casually moved towards her desk ​when she noticed that some of the desks in her classroom had changed around. Emily never understood why her teacher did this, but she scanned the room and saw her desk next to Michael Shamrock’s. Emily slumped into her chair and got her books and equipment ready. “You look terrible,” Michael said. She tried to ignore him by grabbing her pencil and ruling some margins in her books but her pencil was broken. “Bad morning, huh?” he asked. “Here.” Michael got out two new pencils from his pencil case and passed them to Emily.
“Thanks,” she said with an ever so slight smile.
“You know, sometimes it takes the bad things to make us appreciate how good some things can be.” Although Emily wasn’t really in the mood for advice, what Michael said did make her feel a little better for a moment.

The rest of Emily’s school day was still a struggle; she had forgotten to pack her lunch, her class had a 30-minute math test and Mrs Spicer had broken the news to her that she was not able to join the orchestra this year but that she should keep practising​ for next year. However, every time something didn’t go her way, she found herself thinking about what Michael had said. After the school bell had gone, Emily was crowding under the covered area at the front of the school with several other children. A storm had broken out and she faced a choice about waiting or walking home in the rain. Again, thinking about what Michael had said, Emily chose to walk home while remembering the times she had enjoyed being cosy​ and warm.

Drenched but smiling, Emily walked through the door to her house at 3:36pm and was greeted by her mother. “Oh, hey honey. How was the rest of your day?”

THE END

My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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