“So what are you doing after school?” Mark asked during lunch.
“Going home” Thomas said quietly.
“I’m starting music lessons. I want to learn how to play drums and stuff” Mark said as he played imaginary drums. Thomas just smiled and looked away.
“You should join me” Mark said.
“I can’t play any instruments” Thomas replied.
“That’s why it’s called music lessons” Mark said teasing.
“I don’t know” Thomas said.
“Com’ on! It’ll be fun!” Mark said smiling and nudging Thomas.
“What would I play?” Thomas asked.
“You could play the guitar. We could start our own band!” Mark answered and started playing air-guitar. Thomas had to laugh at the sight.
“Once we’re good enough, of course” Mark added smiling.
After school Thomas walked over to his mother in the kitchen.
“Mom?” Thomas said to get her attention. Elisabeth turned around and looked at Thomas.
“They’re starting music lessons at school, can I join, please?” he asked.
“When is this?” Elisabeth asked.
“It’s an hour after school Mondays and Thursdays. It’s at the school, so you don’t have to take me anywhere. Please, can I join?” Thomas pleaded.
“If you keep out of trouble and do your homework properly” Elisabeth replied and Thomas’ face lit up.
“Thank you” he said and ran to his room.
Monday after school Mark and Thomas went to the first music lesson. They were told to find an instrument they wanted to play and Thomas took Mark’s suggestion and chose a guitar. Thomas had never tried playing an instrument before. The only music he really had was whatever was on TV and what his parent listened to every now and then.
As the weeks went on Thomas got better and better at playing guitar. He progressed more than the other kids in the music lessons, because this was one of the first things Thomas really enjoyed. He felt all the stress and problems disappeared as he played. The slaps were distant and he could stay in his own world.