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A Song For You
Author's note: I wrote this piece as a little tribute to how important music is in my life.
Those who dance look insane to those who cannot hear the music…that is probably why my family’s kingdom does not interact with anyone outside of it. My family, the royal family to all the land my father owns, does not tolerate the “noise” of music. It has been banished forever more. Well, in every society, there are the rebels who live to free the banished. I just need to find them.
Music has been banned since I was a little girl, but I still remember it. My father King James used to sing to me every night. Than, one night, he stopped. The music was gone from my life, and I never heard it again. Dad didn’t become king until I was ten. At the time, people thought it would be cool to have a young king, with my father only being twenty-six at the time. However, the first law he made was to banish music, and six years later, the kingdom is still silent.
“Princess,” my maid Kathleen said as she knocked lightly on my door. I walked over and opened it for her.
“Kathleen, how many times have I told you to just call me Dylan?”
“I’m sorry miss…um Dylan,” Kathleen nervously said. “Your mother needs your help. Turns out Princess Emily has not returned to the castle yet.”
Typical Emily. Emily is my little sister, and I love her, but she is as annoying as can be. For example, she waits until I get dressed in my standard princess gown, big puffy blue thing, to go missing. Thanks sis.
I cross the hallway to my mother’s room where she is sitting on her bed, crying nonetheless.
“Mom, relax. Emily is probably just wandering around the grounds like she normally does,” I say trying to calm my mother down.
“How could she just disappear at a time like this? You’re father’s big announcement is today. She needs to be here,” She said as she pulled another tissue from the box. Queen Katherine was known to be quite the drama…well, queen.
“She’s eight mom. She doesn’t understand when something’s important yet.”
“Can you please go find her Dylan?”
“Yes mom. I’ll be back really soon,” I said as I turned on my heel and left the room. I hopped down the grand staircase and out of the front door. Heading towards the forest seemed like a good idea. Emily always liked the forest. She, like myself, is terrified of water. The forest acts as a barrier to the ocean that borders the kingdom on all sides. It’s thick enough not to let any water in, but thin enough that you can still see the beauty of it.
“Emily? Emily,” I quietly whispered. I don’t really know why I whispered, but in case someone was out here, I didn’t want to draw a lot of attention to myself.
“Hey! You’re late,” a deep voice said from behind me. I jumped and turned to realize the man was not talking to me.
“Sorry dude. My mom tried making me go to the king’s big announcement with her. I just convinced her to let me miss it,” a guy said who was not as intimidating as the other guy seemed.
“Well come on, the band is almost finished getting set up,” the big guy said as he led the other boy through a break in the trees. I knew I shouldn’t, but I decided to follow them. They couldn’t have met ‘band’ as in the kind that plays music and everything. That’s just not possible, unless these were the rebels I was looking for.
“Ok, listen up everyone. We have about twenty minutes until we head for the castle to hear King James’ speech,” the boy said.
“Oh, look, Scotty finally showed up,” someone in the crowd said.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m late I know,” Scotty said. “Now, we don’t have a lot of time so I need you to play through this perfectly the first time,” he finished as he picked up a mic. “Hit the record button Paul.”
The big guy hit the button and pointed to Scotty. Music began to fill in the trees and the ocean. For the first time since I was ten, I heard music and I forgot how much I liked it.
“Dylan?” A little voice questioned from behind me. I spun around and saw my sister standing in front of me, covered in mud.
“Oh Emily, what did you do?” I asked, as I looked her over. Mother would be royally angry if she saw her like this.
“I was playing with some kids in the kingdom. We were playing soccer and I tripped in some mud.”
“Well, let’s go get you cleaned up before mom sees you. She’s upset enough as it is.” I turned her around and started for the castle.
“What was that noise?” Emily asked suddenly.
“I didn’t hear anything.” Emily wasn’t born yet when dad stopped the music in the kingdom. She was only two when it was banished from the whole kingdom. Emily never got to hear music, and I promised my parents that I would keep it that way.
“But there was—“
“We have to hurry. Dad’s announcement is soon,” I cut her off quickening my pace and heading towards the castle.
“Now Emily,” I addressed her after we got her cleaned up and dressed. “Today is a very important day fro daddy. We have to just stand by his side and smile.
Emily put a huge grin on her face and just looked at me.
“What are you doing?”
“Practicing my smile,” she said without removing the smile.
“Save it for the press,” I laughed as I took her hand and walked out of her room.
The announcement is to be held in the backyard of the castle. People from all over the kingdom were going to be there, even some people from the other Boventree kingdoms. What shocked me the most about the number of people coming was that no one knew what they were showing up for. This big announcement was kept a secret, so secret that I didn’t even know what is was about.
People started flooding in the yard. I caught a few glimpses before Kathleen shooed me away so I wouldn’t ruin my family’s grand entrance.
About twenty minutes after people had finished arriving, it was time for my family to step out onto the stage made for just this occasion. My father was first with my mother on his arm, than Emily and I followed hand-in-hand.
As soon as people saw my father entering, a large applause started. You could hear things like ‘Long live King James’ being shouted from various places. People were cheering and hollering like there was no tomorrow.
My father raised his hand, and all was silent again.
“My fair people, thank you for coming out today. I would also like to say hello to our fellow neighbors of Boventree,” a small round of applause was given. “Now, I know you all are probably wondering what exactly is going on today. Well, I have a big announcement to tell all of you. It appears that—”
Dad was cut off by something very unusual: the sound of a guitar. It was soon mixed in with the sound of drums and a piano. A voice started to sing to the music being played.
I quickly scanned the crowd and saw the boy Scotty standing on a bench holding a boom box over his head. As the crowd realized what was happening, gasps and screams of shock we’re let out. Guards quickly made their way to the group. I recognized a few more faces from when I was looking for Emily.
Everyone but Scotty ran away at the sight of the guards. Two guards quickly grabbed Scotty and another took the boom box and threw it on the ground stopping the music.
“I’m sorry everyone, we will reschedule the meeting for sometime next week,” my dad’s assistant, Joe said.
He quickly ushered my family off the stage as the guards brought Scotty over to my dad.
“Come on you two, let’s get back to the castle,” Kathleen said to Emily and I. Emily followed Kathleen without a question. I, on the other hand, stayed back.
“I’ll be right there Kathleen.” Emily and Kathleen continued to walk as I made my way towards my father who was talking to the guard that had smashed the boom box.
“What do you want us to do with the boy, sir?”
“Lock him up for now. I’ll decide what to do later,” Dad said with a hint of disappointment in his voice.
The guard walked to the other guards and Scotty. All four of them walked away.
“Lock him up? Dad, are you serious?” I don’t know why I was so angry, but that just seemed so wrong to do to that boy.
“Dylan, I know you don’t understand, but that is no reason to overreact,” he said as he started to walk away.
“Overreact? Dad, I don’t think I’m the one overreacting here.”
“He broke the law. People who break the law will be punished,” he said turning around.
“He played music. He didn’t kill someone dad. There was a time where you would have started to sing along.” This made him stop walking, but he still did not face me.
“That was a long time ago. I’m sorry Dyl, but my decision is final.” He started to walk away again, and this time, I let him.
Back in my own room, I had gotten changed into my ‘casual clothes’; a pair of jeans, ballet flats, and a nice sweater. Since the whole display at the meeting, I hadn’t been able to get Scotty’s face out of my mind. I didn’t know him, but it was still an unfair punishment. During dinner, I didn’t say a word to my father, and I didn’t say much to anyone else. I knew my father would not take back his punishment; he was a stickler for the rules. Well, if he wasn’t going to do anything, I was, I quietly left my room and shut my door. Everyone was already asleep, so as long as I was quiet, I would be fine. I walked down to the basement of the castle. I hated calling it the ‘dungeon’. It sounded so medieval, and I always expected a dragon to fly out of nowhere whenever I said it.
I heard Scotty before I saw him. He was humming some tune that I didn’t recognize.
“You probably don’t want to be doing that in here,” I said coming over to his room.
“Well, if I’m in here, I have to entertain myself somehow,” he replied avoiding eye contact.
I didn’t know what to say to him. He didn’t say anything that was so thoughtful that it left me speechless; I just didn’t know how to respond to him.
“I’m sorry. I should be addressing you properly. Forgive me, princess,” he said in perhaps the most non sincere voice I have ever heard.
Once again I didn’t say anything. I turned around and headed for the exit. There were about a dozen sets of keys hanging on various hooks. I grabbed the one that corresponded with Scotty’s lock.
“You don’t have to call me princess,” I said concentrating on just the lock.
“But you are a princess,” he said sounding a little confused.
“Only by blood.” I fiddled with all the keys searching for the one that would fit.
“I still see you as a princess,” I found the key that unlocked the door.
“If you go left up there, you’ll see a really old looking door. Go through it, it will get you out of the castle without running into any guards,” I told him as I walked back to place the keys on the hook.
“Bye,” he said picking up his coat.
“I’ll always see you as a princess and a queen, I suppose one day.” And with that, he was gone.
“Oh, thanks for risking your life to save my stupid butt, Dylan. Oh, anytime!” I mumbled to myself as I heard a laugh and a door shut. I hated people with no manners. They were all so rude.
Going back to my room, I guess I was still a little ticked off at Scotty because I wasn’t as quiet as I should have been. I stomped my feet while walking down the hallway, which I probably shouldn’t have done because all of a sudden, Kathleen was in front of me. She’s a light sleeper.
“What are you doing out of bed, Miss?” She asked sternly.
“I couldn’t sleep, so I just walked around for a little bit,” I shrugged as I walked towards my room.
“You’re not supposed to roam the castle at night princess,” Kathleen said as she tightened her robe and tried to match my pace. I turned around to face her and sighed.
“Kathleen, I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t have roamed around. I’m going to my room now, so just go back to bed,” I said as I left to walk back to my room without waiting for Kathleen to respond.
Sleep was the only thing I had on my mind when I got back into my room. And sleep is exactly what I did.
“What do you mean he’s gone?” I heard my father yell at what I assumed was a guard. The thing is my dad doesn’t really like to yell. He only yells when something incredibly bad happens. In this case, a young boy escaped from captivity and is now running free trying to spread music around the kingdom, and is telling the story of how he got away from the kingdom, supposedly. I guess that could be considered bad.
Getting out of bed, I pulled on my robe and threw my slippers on. I walked down the hallway towards my father’s office where I could actually hear him pacing.
“Is everything alright Dad?” I asked as I lightly pushed the door open.
“That boy escaped,” my father said in a huff.
“Well maybe that’s what you get for overreacting,” I mumbled to myself as I started to shut his door.
“What did you say hon?”
“Um…I said well maybe I’m going to go into town…ing.” I was a pretty good liar; I just wasn’t sure how much my dad had actually heard.
“Don’t be home late,” my dad said as he went back to pacing.
Walking back to my room, an idea cam to mind. Instead of going into town, I could find the people who played the music. Now, I’ll admit, it’s far fetched considering that I don’t exactly know where they meet, but I had to try. This kingdom has been silent for too long, and it was time to make some noise.
Dressed in more casual clothes (jeans, the only sweatshirt I own, and a pair of old Chuck Taylor’s) I stared in my mirror. Something didn’t look right. I still looked like me. More importantly, I still looked like Princess Dylan. That’s not exactly they type of person people would do illegal stuff with.
I walked straight back to the end of my closet where I kept the things I didn’t really need, but I didn’t want to give up. A few years ago for Halloween, I was the Disney Princess Belle. I wore a brunette wig to look more like her. It’s not the greatest disguise, but it would work for now.
After looking for about fifteen minutes, I finally decided to give up and check the one other place it might be.
“Emily, have you seen the wig I wore for Halloween a few years ago?” I asked as I walked into her room.
“Why do you need it?” She asked in the annoying voice that only little kids can master.
“My friend needs it,” I said in what I hoped was a casual tone.
“You don’t have any friends,” she told me raising an eyebrow. Yeah, like I had to be reminded of that.
“I have tons of friends.”
“Name one,” Emily challenged.
“David was your butler Dyl, and he doesn’t even work here anymore.”
She had a point there. David was a butler here for ten years. He left when I was six. His wife had dies and he wanted to take care of his son, who I use to play with around the kingdom.
He stayed in touch with the family for a while, but the letters because less and less until they eventually stopped coming all together.
“That doesn’t mean he’s still not my friend,” I said shaking myself back into the conversation.
“So, David wants to wear the wig?” For a little kid, she sure was the sarcastic one.
“Just give me the wig, Em,” I said losing my patience.
“Alright, alright, don’t have a cow.” She walked over to her dress up bin and pulled out my brown wig.
“I wouldn’t have to have a cow if you would stay out of my room,” I grabbed a bag and shoved the wig in it. By the time my mother started to wake up, the front door was behind me and I was on my way to the break in the woods.
Before I got to close, I grabbed the wig out of the bag and put it on. I hung the bag on a low tree branch and started towards the break.
As I continued walking, I began to hear the music. I heard it before I saw the people playing it. When I finally reached the break in the trees, I froze. My brain was telling my feet to move, but they wouldn’t listen.
“Hey, you a newcomer?” I recognized the big guy from before as I turned around.
“Um…yeah, I am.”
“Well, follow me. You’re gonna love it here. Do you play any instruments?” He asked as we walked towards the beach. The more he talked, the more I realized that he was less of the scary guy and more of the big brother type.
“I…uh…use to play the piano and guitar when I was little, but stopped when I was around eight,” I said recalling the lessons my father put me through. He started me on the piano when I was four and the guitar when I was six. The lessons were fun, and I really enjoyed playing the music, but it all stopped when music was banned.
“The piano? That’s great! We need another pianist around here. Our old one broke his arm jumping off the dock…with a bike. Just don’t do that and we’ll be good.”
“Oh, no problem. I don’t like the water,” I said shrugging as I looked at the huge ocean surrounding us.
“You don’t like water?”
“I’m actually terrified.”
“Terrified of water? I guess an island isn’t the ideal place to live. I’m Paul by the way,” he said as he held out his hand.
“I’m Dylan,” I said shaking his hand.
“Like the princess?”
“Yeah, I guess. Shouldn’t you be like doing something?” I asked nervously. I didn’t even think about my name being a give away of who I was.
“Oh yeah. Hey everyone, let’s get this meeting started. First of all, we have a new member that needs introducing. This is Dylan. Dylan, this is everyone,” Paul said with a sweep of his arm towards the crowd. “Dylan plays the piano.”
“Really?” Scotty asked as he stepped out from the crowd.
“Well, not really, and I haven’t played in a while, so I’m not very good.”
“But you know the basic keys?”
“Yes,” I nervously said.
“Than welcome aboard,” Scotty said with a small smile.
“Thanks.” I couldn’t help but smile back.
“Alright, let’s get this thing started. Dylan, you can watch for now,” Scotty said before walking to pick up a few boxes.
“What are they setting up?” I asked Paul.
“Scotty over there is planning a talent show sort of thing.”
“Isn’t that illegal? Not only is there going to be music in the kingdom, but without the King’s permission, you can’t hold a public event,” I said instantly turning into the King’s daughter again.
“Oh, we have a goody two shoes in the club,” Paul said lightly nudging my shoulder. “Don’t worry; Scotty has thought it all through. He’s not going to publicize the event. He’s hoping that the music will draw people in. The whole music thing is still illegal, but you get what you get.”
“And you don’t get upset,” I blurted out almost routinely. I thought Paul was going to think I was crazy or something, but instead, he just laughed.
“Yeah, you’re right. I think you’re going to fit in nicely here.” And with that, he went to go help with the boxes.
The rest of the day flew by. I found myself singing along to some of the songs I knew and actually enjoying myself. The club, which goes by Shout Out in Silence a.k.a. S.O.S., was really welcoming and inviting. It was already six o’clock when I heard a very familiar voice.
“Dylan? Dylan, where are you?” Emily called out, as she got closer to the break in the woods.
How close her voice was completely distracted me from the conversation I was having with Paul about how S.O.S. cam to be.
“I’m sorry. I have to get home. My mom will worry if I’m not back by dinner,” I said as I headed towards the exit of the beach.
As soon as I made sure that no one could see me, I took off my wig and ran to where my bag was. After I shoved the wig into it, I threw the bag over my shoulder and doubled back to where I heard Emily’s voice.
“Hey Emily, you called?” I said from behind her and she jumped at the sound of my voice.
“Dad wants you to come home. He sounded angry,” She almost sang in her annoying little voice.
“Fine, let’s go home than,” I said as I led her away from the beach.
“Dylan? Do oceans make noise?” Emily asked out of the blue.
“Yeah, I suppose so. Why?”
“I heard the same noise that I did when you were looking for me. I really liked it.”
“Yeah, me too.” I said a little hesitantly.
“Did your friend like the wig?” She asked back to her annoying tone.
“She loved it. Now get back home, would ya?” I lightly pushed her forward and we walked home in silence for the rest of the way.
“I’m glad to see we both have the same definition of ‘late’,” Dad said as I walked into the house.
“Dad, it’s not even seven yet. I don’t think that counts as being late.”
“We have someone who broke out of imprisonment. I don’t want you wandering around town when it starts getting dark.”
“Oh she wasn’t in to-” Emily started to say before I covered her mouth with my hand.
“Emily, maybe you want to go help set the table for dinner,” I quickly said removing my hand from her mouth as she went into the other room. “He played a song dad,” I continued in a quieter voice so no one would over hear us. “Tell me what is so bad about that? Is he going to hurt my ears with sharps and flats?” I couldn’t help the sarcastic tone from creeping into my voice. Being with S.O.S. all day made me realize how much I missed music.
“I don’t enjoy the tone Dylan. Music is not allowed in the kingdom. He broke a law. You must be punished if you break a law.”
“Why do you hate music so much? You use to love it. There wasn’t a minute in the day that went by without some kind of music playing,” I said confidently as I stared him in the eyes,
I very rarely ever stand ever stand up to my dad. We use to agree on everything, so there was never a need to. My father’s face said it all. He was shocked that I just stood up to him. He looked at me for a second and then walked away. A few moments later, I heard the door to his office slam shut.
He didn’t come down to dinner that night.
For the first time since music was banned, I began to think that my father didn’t know why he silenced the kingdom after all.
Paul informed me that S.O.S. only meets once a week on alternating days to avoid suspicion. So, the next meeting would be held on Wednesday. Knowing this, I still found myself walking down top the break in the trees with my wig on, the next day.
For some reason, the fact that my dad didn’t know why he banned music made me think less of him even though he is my father.
After thinking about it a little more, I began to think a little less about myself too. I’m petrified of any large body of water, but I don’t have a reason. That sounds like someone I know.
Sitting out on the dock, I swayed my legs back and forth. Part of me wished I could just jump into the ocean, but I knew I could never do that. I just sat back with my head tilted towards the afternoon sun.
It had to be at least thirty minutes later when I heard someone walk towards me and sit down next to me.
“Thinking about going for a swim?”
I opened my eyes and saw Scotty sitting next to me with a guitar on his lap.
“No. I’m sort of afraid of water. I didn’t know you played the guitar,” I said taking the subject off of the water.
“I’ve been playing for a while. My dad isn’t a whole fan of the ‘no music’ rule, so he continued teaching me after the law was made. Don’t tell anybody,” he added jokingly.
“Thanks,” he said sincerely.
“Anytime,” I said looking across the ocean.
“You remind me of someone,” Scotty said unexpectedly.
“Play me something.” My mind went straight to the worst. He knew who I was. I had to get his mind off of that.
“Um, ok,” Scotty said as he stared at me a little confused. He straightened his guitar, and sat with a thoughtful look on his face for a few moments. Scotty lightly started to strum a beautiful melody. It was like something out of a dream, than realization hit me.
“Stop!” Scotty looked at me startled.
“How do you know that song?” I asked seriously.
“My dad taught it to me. It was the first song I’ve learned in full on the guitar. It’s the only one that can help me through whatever. It really sounds like it was made for someone special. Like, listen to the lyrics,” Scotty said as he started to strum again. This time, he sang along to where the words belonged. When he started to sing, my thought was confirmed. Somehow Scotty knew my lullaby, the one my dad wrote for me.
I started to forget the shock I felt before and started humming along myself. Soon. I was singing the words I have grown up listening to.
It was not me that stopped the song this time, but Scotty. He looked at me with confusion and curiosity.
Now how do you know the song?” He asked.
“What do you mean?”
“My dad told me that only two families knew that song, and the other family stopped playing it a long time ago.”
“Who was the other family?”
“That’s not important. I just know that it is not your family.”
Suddenly everything started to click for me. He was right, there was one other family who knew that song. Scotty knew my song for only one reason.
“Is your father’s name David?”
“Yeah, how’d you know?”
“Did he work for the royal family up until around ten years ago?”
“Yes he did. How did you know that?”
“He sang that song to the eldest princess when the king couldn’t, right? The king wrote that song.”
“I’m not answering anymore of your questions till you answer some of mine.”
“Never mind, it doesn’t matter. I have to get home.” I quickly stood up and started to walk down the dock. I knew coming here was a very bad idea.
“Dylan, wait!” Scotty said as he grabbed my arm. “Just answer one question. How did you know the king wrote that song?”
I took a deep breath and tried to steady myself. I dug a while too big to climb out of this time.
“He wrote that song for me,” I said sitting down on a bench at the end of the dock.
“That’s impossible. That would mean that—but that’s impossible,” Scotty said mumbled to himself than to me.
“I am Princess Dylan,” I said shyly.
“You can’t be, you would have introduced yourself to us as Princess Dylan. All princesses take pride in their titles and show them off whenever they get the chance.”
“I’m not into titles,” I said recalling my conversation with Scotty when I freed him. I reached up and pulled off my wig seeing as Scotty still didn’t seem to believe me.
“I still can’t believe you are the princess. Why didn’t you tell anyone?” Scotty asked, his eyes wide with shock.
“Would you have let a princess join your super secret club?” I asked jokingly. That seemed to break up the awkwardness because Scotty started to laugh.
“No, I guess not. But, why would a princess want to join?”
“I miss the music. I miss having my dad write songs just for me. Music was the one thing that could make me feel better. I was picked on when I was little for being a princess, but my dad always had a song to make me feel better,” I said remembering the times before my dad was king.
“Princess Pea Brain,” Scotty said teasingly.
“You were always Princess Pea Brain.”
“Yeah, I know that, but how did you know?”
“I was the one who came up with it,” Scotty said smiling.
“You—no, that would mean—wait! You’re right. David’s son made that up and that’s you! I hated you so much,” I said in complete shock.
“I’m glad to see to see you don’t still hate me.”
“Oh, I think I do.”
“No you don’t.”
“Yes, I do. You traumatized me as a child. Do you know that I hate peas to this day?” I asked playfully hitting his shoulder.
“I couldn’t help it. You were always running around the castle in your little princess dresses talking about the song your dad wrote for you that day.”
“I did not.” I would never have bragged that much.
“Yes you did,” Scotty assured me. Ok, maybe I would have, but that was when there was something worth bragging about…and they were pretty good songs.
“I’m sure my dad would have written a song for you if you would have asked,” I said in a fake sympathetic tone.
Scotty started to laugh which made me laugh. I guess laughing really was contagious.
“Why did your dad ban music?” Scotty asked suddenly serious again.
“I wish I could tell you, but I have no idea.”
“My dad has a theory,” he said hesitantly.
“What is it?”
“One day, when he was working, he heard you’re grandfather yelling at your dad. Apparently he told your dad that he was not fit to rule the kingdom. He already disgraced the kingdom by having you at sixteen. He was never fit to be king in the eyes of his father. My dad said that it ended in an ultimatum. Give up music, or…give up you,” Scotty said quiet again.
I was quiet for a moment, but found my voice again.
“That doesn’t surprise me. Grandpa always liked Emily more than me,” I said shrugging.
If Scotty was right, which I didn’t doubt, everything would make sense. I thought that my dad suddenly lost the love he had for music, but that just doesn’t happen. My dad always cared about what my grandpa thought about him. I was a mistake, and to my grandpa, so was music. There wasn’t enough room in his kingdom for two mistakes, so one had to go.
“Well, if it wasn’t your dad’s decision to ban music, doesn’t that mean he still wants music in the kingdom. You can be the one who brings the music back.”
“My dad won’t listen to me. Trust me, I’ve tried before.”
“Well, you’ll have me this time,” Scotty said confidently.
“Yeah, one of the mistakes and the guy who broke out of imprisonment, that sounds like a winning team,” I said sarcastically.
“Hey, we are the ones most likely to do it. The music has been there all along, you just have to reach out and press play.”
“Now I remember you. You were always the cheesiest person,” I said finding something to laugh at.
“So how are we going to do this?”
“Join the talent show,” he said casually.
“How would that help anything?”
“Look, I’m not stupid. I know sooner or later, the king will know about the talent show and come down to try and stop it. If you’re the one singing, it may be a start at breaking the silence.”
His plan wasn’t that bad, and it was a lot better than what I thought of. I slowly nodded my head saying that I would sing in his talent show. A smile spread across his face and I couldn’t help but smile back. There was something about him that just made you believe that everything would be ok, and it helped ease away the worries you had.
“Scotty?” A voice yelled closer to the forest. I realized the voice belonged to Paul.
“Put back on your wig,” Scotty whispered to me as Paul got closer to us.
“Having a secret meeting, are we?” He asked suspiciously. “Hey Dylan.”
“What’s up man?” Scotty asked Paul.
“Your dad wants to see you. Apparently someone let it slip that you almost spent a night in jail. He sounds very disappointed,” Paul said sounding like he was trying to hold in laughter.
“You told?” Scotty asked starting to sound a little angry.
“It slipped. You should know that I am not very good at keeping secrets.”
“You suck, do you know that?” Scotty asked getting up and walking past Paul. “Bye Dylan.” Scotty walked towards the forest and quickly disappeared.
“So what were you two talking about?”
“Oh nothing. Scotty just wants me to be in the talent show.”
“You should do it. You seem very comfortable here.”
“Thanks. I should be going. But I’ll see you Wednesday Paul.”
“Alright. See ya than.”
I decided to just go home. I didn’t know if I was going to ask my dad about what Scotty had told me, but I knew I needed to think. My room would be the best spot to think and not be bothered.
“But if you hear something, it’s there,” Emily said. She has been going on and on about the ‘noise’ she has been hearing from the forest.
“Than you must be crazy,” I sighed.
“Dylan, I am being serious here. There is defiantly something in the forest making those sounds.”
“Emily, I just want time to myself. Can we please continue this amazing conversation later?”
“Fine. I don’t even really care about that noise anyway,” she said as she stomped out of my room.
“Hey Emmy. How are you doing today?” I heard my ask Emily from outside my door.
“Good, but I wouldn’t go in there if I was you. She has a little bit of an attitude.” All I could do was roll my eyes. Little kids can be so annoying.
“Thanks for the warning hon,” my dad said as he knocked on my door. “Can I come in Dyl?”
“Sure,” I said even though my mind was saying no. I realized that I really don’t want to talk to my dad after all.
“Everything ok, bud? Kathleen said you didn’t come down for lunch. She even made your favorites.”
“I guess I just wasn’t hungry.” I was trying to avoid eye contact, but that only seemed to tell him that something was wrong.
“Nothing, I just want to lie in my bed. Something doesn’t have to be wrong to do that.”
“Well, that face is not your ‘everything is fine’ face, that’s your ‘something’s wrong but I won’t tell you’ face.”
“It has to be something.” Why do parents not get the fact that you just don’t want to talk? It wasn’t like it was something life threatening that he needed to know.
“Come on, you can tell me,” he said, his voice breaking through my thoughts.
“You gave music up because of me.” I meant to say this as a question, but I was so sure that what Scotty had said was right. It came out as a simple fact, like I was talking about the weather.
“Grandpa told you that music had to go, or I did. That’s when you took music away.”
“Dylan, that’s insane. Why would you think that?”
“Because it’s true. I know that grandma and grandpa don’t like me as much as Emily. Emily has been doing so much more than I did at her age because she’s not a ‘disgrace’ to the royal family name,” I added with air quotes.
“You must hate me right now,” my dad said confirming that Scotty was right.
“I don’t hate you, because even if what grandpa says is true, I still loved the life I grew up in. Dad, you did everything for me.”
“You’re not mad?”
“Why would I be mad? I should be happy you kept me. Can I ask you a question?”
“Why don’t you just bring music back? Grandpa can’t stop you now. You hold the throne, not him.”
“I made a promise to my kingdom Dyl. I don’t intend on breaking it,” he said seeming a little uncomfortable. It was like he shifted from my dad to king right before my eyes. I hated when he did that. It made me feel like I couldn’t talk to him anymore. When I didn’t say anything, Dad took it upon himself to break the silence.
“I’m sorry. We all have to go through things we don’t like. When this is your kingdom, you can play all the music you want.” His voice was still a bit harsh, bit I ignored it. I knew he didn’t mean to be harsh.
“Kathleen will call you for dinner,” he said as he got off my bed.
“Alright. See ya than.” Dad tried to offer me a small smile, but it just wouldn’t form across his face. He turned and left the room without another word. Getting music back into this kingdom was going to be a lot harder than I thought.
“He’s gonna remember you, don’t worry,” Scotty assured me as we walked up to the front door of his house.
He thought it would be a good idea to start writing my song for the talent show as soon as possible. Working on the beach wasn’t exactly the safest place, so we decided to work on it at his house.
“He hasn’t seen me since I was six, he’s not going to remember me.”
“My dad has a good memory. It’s not like you’re wearing your wig or anything, you’ll be noticeable.” He opened the door and walked in. There was stuff everywhere. It didn’t make the house look messy; it just made it look as if people actually live in it. “Dad?” he called out.
“In the living room,” a voice called back.
Scotty started to lead the way through the piles of their belongings. I lost my footing on what appeared to be a lonely roller stake, but he grabbed my arm before I could hit the ground. He just smiled and took my hand as he started towards the direction the voice came from. I just hoped we had to walk awhile since I could practically feel the redness creeping onto my face. If luck were on my side, my face would be back to normal by the time we reached David.
“Hey dad, I have someone who wants to say hi to you,” he said to the back of a chair. It slowly started to turn around.
“Who wants to say hi to me?”
Scotty stepped to the side and I saw David for the first time in ten years. Besides for the graying hair and the skin that started to crease in some places showing the signs of aging, he still looked the same to me.
“Hi David,” I waved awkwardly.
The same smile I remember started to spread across his face.
“Dylan? My little Dylan? This can’t be. You’ve grown up so much.” He came over and spun me around. It was like I was six again and we were just goofing off in the palace. “What brings you to our neck of the woods?”
“She is gonna sing in the talent show I was telling you about,” Scotty answered for me.
“Oh, right, right. Well, Dylan, you can go straight downstairs into Scotty’s recording studio. Scotty, can I talk to you for a sec?” David asked.
“Sure, I’ll be right down,” he said to me.
I made my way down to their basement. When I got the lights on, all I could do was stare at the relatively small room. There was just about every type of instrument you could think of. I reached out and ran my hand across the keys of the piano and looked at the walls. There was not a spot where the actual wall showed through. It was all covered with album covers and signed pictures of what I assumed were his favorite artists and bands. The picture right above the piano is the one that caught my eye immediately. It was a picture of Scotty when he was little kissing a little girl on the cheek. The girl’s back was turned to the camera, and it looked like one of those pictures that are in the frames when you first buy them. I just couldn’t get the thought out of my head that I knew that girl.
“We didn’t always hate each other,” Scotty said, scaring me as he came down the stairs.
“That picture, it doesn’t look like we hate each other. I could be mistaken though. I’ve heard you are quite the actress,” he replied smiling.
“That’s me…and you?” I ask looking back at the picture again.
“Sure is. It was actually taken on the last day that my dad worked at the palace. Rumor has it, you weren’t facing the camera because you were crying,” he said as his smile was replaced by a cocky smirk.
“You shouldn’t believe everything you hear.”
“I didn’t hear it. I was there, I saw it.”
“Oh, well…um, is everything ok up there?” I asked quickly trying to change the subject. The truth was, he was right. I remember that day. I was in tears since the moment my dad told me that David would be leaving. I couldn’t believe it. That meant that I would lose two friends in one day. When David was packing up all of his stuff, Scotty and I just watched him from the doorway. The picture was taken right before they left. David said that he wanted a picture of “the two greatest friends on the whole planet”. I wouldn’t face the camera. I didn’t want anyone to see me crying, but like always, Scotty knew something was wrong, and he wanted to make me feel better. The picture doesn’t show anything of that memory, but nonetheless, the memory is still there.
“Yeah, my dad just wanted to make sure that you really wanted to do the talent show,” Scotty said bringing me back to reality. “He thought that Paul and I might have forced you into doing it although you really didn’t want to. So, are you ready to write this song or what?”
“Sure, let’s get started.”
-----------------------------------Hours passed and we still didn’t really come up with anything. We ended up talking more about ourselves than the song.
“I like this room. It feels different than any of the other rooms you’ll find in the palace,” I stated looking around the room.
“Well, it is the only room with a full recording studio in the kingdom,” Scotty jokingly said.
“You know what I mean. This room doesn’t make you hide anything. It’s like when you’re in here, you can do whatever you want. You’re finally free.”
“What did you just say?” Scotty asked suddenly sitting up in his chair.
“Um…you’re finally free?” I repeated a little confused.
“I think we have your song,” Scotty excitedly said.
“What? Are you serious?”
“Yeah, ‘I’m Free. It’s a great topic for your song. People are gonna love it because they can put it anyway they want. They can make it be about whatever they think needs to be freed.”
“I like it,” I said suddenly as excited as Scotty. “But can we talk about it tomorrow at the meeting? I have to go home. My dad’s been in a bad mood lately and I don’t want to make it any worse,” I said standing up.
“Alright. I will see ya then,” Scotty said also standing up.
Somehow, that room went from being the most amazing room I’ve ever been in. to the most awkward.
“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow.” And with that I was up the stairs and out the front door.
“Where have you been going everyday?” Emily asked me for the billionth time since I woke up that morning.
“I told you, I’ve just been going into town.”
“Dressed like that?” She asked in a disapproving voice. “You’re a princess, you shouldn’t be seen in public with those clothes.”
I looked down and saw the clothes I was wearing. I was dressed in a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and my sneakers. Not exactly a bad look.
“Walking around town in heels and a big puffy dress is a lot more work than it’s worth Em,” I said as I stepped past her and out of my room.
“Take me with you,” she said following me.
“What? No. I am not lugging around my little sister all day.”
“I can watch myself. I don’t think that counts as ‘lugging’.”
“Emily, you’re not coming with me.”
“Fine be that way, I’ll find something else to do.” She walked away stomping her feet as I headed for the front door.
-----------------------------------“Hey Dylan,” John, a guy from S.O.S., called out. “Scotty told us that you’re in the talent show. Congrats.”
We were all spread out during one of the breaks at S.O.S. I was sitting on a dock post with a few other people. Scotty and Paul were still setting up down at the end of the dock, but everyone else was enjoying the break from rehearsing.
“Heads up,” someone from the football game yelled.
What happened next was a bit of a blur. I saw the football soar towards the dock and I felt the guy run into me. In just a few seconds, I was off the post falling into the water.
“Dylan!” I heard Scotty yell before I crashed into the ocean.
I was going to die. I knew this was it. I didn’t know how to swim and I wasn’t sure if I really heard Scotty screaming, or if it was just a figment of my imagination. Oxygen was starting to leave my body as I felt my heart rate slow down.
Black spots began to cover my vision when I felt a tug on my arm. The ocean was taking me with its current. As I thought before, this was it.
Air started to come back into my lungs. It was all over. I died and now I was all better, I quickly assured myself.
“Dylan? Dylan wake up! Please wake up.” I thought I heard…but how could…it couldn’t be…Scotty? I told myself that all I had to do was open my eyes to prove that Scotty was not actually there.
The sun blinded me as my eyes flickered open. Once my eyes got use to the light, I started to see where I was. Not only did I see Scotty’s face but I also saw Paul’s, John’s, and just about every other member of S.O.S.
“Oh thank God,” Scotty said as he pulled me into a hug while I was still in a bit of a daze.
“Ok everybody clear out, give the girl some space. Don’t make me start rehearsal again.” Paul dismissed the crowd until I was only with Scotty and Paul.
“You can’t swim?” Scotty asked.
“I am terrified of water, of course I can’t swim,” I said still trying to catch my breath,
Scotty started to laugh as he and Paul helped me up.
“I’m going to go find you a towel,” Paul said.
“So, you probably don’t care right now, but I finished your song last night,” Scotty said after Paul walked away.
“What? How could you have finished? We just got the idea right before I left.”
“I was inspired,” Scotty shrugged. “Here, these are the lyrics,” he said as he pulled a piece of paper out of his bag on the dock. “Good thing I didn’t put them in my back pocket.”
I laughed as I took the paper from his hands. At the top of the paper in large lettering were the words Finally Free. I scanned through the song and I loved every line.
“All the lines are things you said yesterday, give or take a few words,” he said as I continued to look at the paper. I was going to say something, but a phrase caught my eye.
“You put my lullaby in this?” I asked as I looked up at him.
“Uh…yeah. Well, that was a last minute idea. If you don’t like I, we can take it out. No big deal,” he nervously added.
I stared at him with then the paper and back to him again for just a moment. Then, I wrapped my arms around his waist and waited for him to hug me back. When he did, I smiled and said, “I love it. We don’t need to take anything out.”
When I pulled out of the hug, Scotty was smiling too.
“So, when is this whole big show?” I asked.
“Friday,” Scotty replied calmly.
“As in the day after tomorrow?” I asked, panicked rising in my voice.
“Actually no,” Paul said coming back over to us with a towel.
“What does that mean?” Scotty asked.
“Well, thanks to someone’s little show at the King’s press conference, which I did not approve, the meeting has been rescheduled to Friday.”
“Does anyone know what this meeting is about?” Scotty asked more to me. I could just shrug my shoulders and shake my head ‘no’.
“Bo, but man, if I were you, I would be worried. My idea is to put the talent show before the meeting, just in case it has to do with the music.”
“The only day in between now and Friday is tomorrow.”
“Well than, get everyone to perform tomorrow,” Paul said. Without waiting for an answer, he turned and walked back to the majority of the group.
“At least the talent show isn’t the day after tomorrow anymore,” Scotty said trying to lighten the mood.
“Tomorrow? Scotty I haven’t even learned the song yet!”
“Well, we can learn it today.”
“I don’t know. Maybe this whole thing was a bad idea. I’m not a singer Scotty,” I said as I wrapped the towel around me and started to walk off the dock.
“It’s not a bad idea. You’re going to be great,” Scotty said walking beside me.
“I’m not some kind of music guru. I can’t learn songs like that!” I said stopping and turning to face him.
“It will be easy, trust me. I made the whole song go in the melody of your lullaby.”
“Trusting people is not one of my strong points.”
“Handling rejection is not one of mine,” he said as his trademark smirk made it’s way back onto his face.
“Well, it sounds like someone’s gonna have to give in,” I said trying very hard not to break eye contact with him.
“That’s what it sounds like to me.”
“How do we decide who gives in?”
“I think I have a way,” he said as he leaned in and kissed me. When he leaned back, I swear I was seeing stars. “Trust me yet?”
“Ok, fine, I’ll give in.”
“Good, cause I was not making ‘handling rejection’ one of my strong points,” he said jokingly.
“Shut up,” I said as I hit him on his arm and started to walk away. He laughed but followed me anyway.
“Dylan, I need you to do something for me,” my dad said as soon as I walked through the door.
“What’s up dad?”
“On Friday I will be holding the reschedule meeting. Tomorrow, I need you to run through my notes with Joe. He needs another opinion and your mother was no help,” he said sounding stressed.
“I wish I could dad, but I sort of have something that I need to do tomorrow,” I said nervously. My dad doesn’t really ask for favors often, and this is the first time that I ever said no to him.
“Ok, well, I guess it is your decision. I’ll just tell Joe that we have to keep the notes as they are,” he said as he began to walk away.
You know that little voice inside your head that’s supposed to tell you right from wrong? Well, it’s times like this where I wish it would just be quiet.
“Wait, dad. I’ll review the notes with Joe,” I said.
“Well, I don’t want you to miss what you have planned,” he said knowing that he had already won.
“No, no. It’s no big deal.”
“Thank you honey,” he said as he kissed my forehead and walked back into his office.
“Anytime,” I responded to myself as the realization of what just happened hit me.
-----------------------------------When I woke up on Thursday, I quickly got dressed and headed towards my father’s office.
The talent started at one, which means that I could review the notes with Joe for about four hours and than head straight over there. That should be enough time to review the notes to just one of dad’s speeches. Heck, I might be out of his office in less than an hour…
…Or not. When I walked into the office, I came face to face with three very large stacks of index cards. I couldn’t even see Joe sitting behind them and I wouldn’t have known he was there if he didn’t speak.
“Ah, Dylan, glad you could join me,” he said from behind the cards.
“Hi Joe, are all these cards for Daddy’s speech tomorrow?” I asked hesitantly.
“Of course not.” I sighed audibly. “These cards are the facts about the island. We have to decide which facts your father is going to mention tomorrow.”
My face visibly fell. Those stacks were going to take more than four hours to really sort through.
“Well, I feel like the only way to really sort through these is to just do it at random. I mean, how do we know what issues matter the most to the people of this kingdom? It seems very unfair to do it any other way,” I said completely lying through my teeth.
I started sorting through cards making two separate piles. One was the ‘talk about’ pile, and the other one was the ‘forget about’ pile. When I was making the piles, Joe just looked at me completely appalled.
“Here,” I said handing him some cards to be sorted. “You try.”
Even though he still looked disgusted with what I was doing, he began to sort. Once all the cards were sorted into two rather large piles, we had to sort again because the piles were too big.
Joe said he only wanted about five cards for the speech, but he wouldn’t let me just pick the first five cards off the pile.
So, we spent three hours sorting the cards into the two piles, and each time they were sorted, the pile became visibly smaller. Joe stood up when we had about ten cards left in the good pile.
“Are we done?” I asked excitedly.
“No, now you can read these ten cards and decide which five your father will talk about at the meeting this afternoon,” he said sternly.
“But we’ve been doing this whole thing at random. Why change now?” I pleaded.
“Because we have been doing all of this your crazy way, and now it its time to do some stuff my way,” he said as he placed a large stack of papers in front of me. “This pile is more research on the topics on the remaining cards.”
“Joe, my bubbah, my amigo, old buddy old pal, doesn’t this seem a little ridiculous to you?” I asked pretty much doing everything but getting on my knees.
“Not in the slightest,” he said heading for the door.
“Well, why don’t you take five and I take five?”
“Because I have to go make sure your father’s actual speech is ready. It is not that hard to read a few pages Dylan. You might want to get started,” Joe said before leaving the room.
I could handle a few pages, but the packets were about five pages each, and there were ten of them!
Now, I know you’re probably thinking why I didn’t just pick five and get it over with. I made a promise to my dad and I intended to keep it.
Well, I intended to keep it that is until I realized that I only had ten minutes left till the talent show. Out of the eight packets I have read, I picked five and placed them on Joe’s desk.
Back in my room, I grabbed the wig and changed my clothes. I was out the door in five minutes.
I got to the break in the trees and heard the music of what I assumed was the first act. Scotty told me that I would be the second act to go on. The first song was to get the attention of the guards, and hopefully my dad, and they would be there to beak up the show, see me, and realize that music should be back in the kingdom.
“We were afraid you wouldn’t show up,” Scotty said coming up from behind me.
“My dad made me help Joe out this morning and it ran a little longer than expected. How long have they been performing?” I asked looking towards the stage.
“Just about three minutes. And it looks like you got here just in time,” he said as he grabbed my waist and starting pushing me through the trees.
“The guards,” Scotty whispered as he led me to the stage.
I looked back and saw a few guards sweeping through the trees. As I looked farther back, I could see my father’s horse coming towards the beach.
The song from the first act ended just as Scotty and I made it to the stage.
“Ok, now let’s welcome to the stage the newcomer, Dylan!” The crowd applauded as Scotty handed me a mic and picked up his guitar.
This is the time when the nerves set in. Scotty started playing and the nerves went away. I began singing, and the nerves did not come back even as I saw my dad enter the beach. Guards started to spread out and tried to break up the crowd. For the most part, the crowd stayed strong, but there were still some people who got scared and started to flee as the guards got close to them.
My dad looked like he was going to start interfering, but stopped and he just stared at me. I looked over towards Scotty and he nodded towards my head. I looked at him for a second and than got what he was trying to say. As I got to the part in song where he put in my lullaby, I reached for my wig and pulled it off and continued to sing.
Maybe she will learn to fly
When she leaves us all behind
But this lullaby will never be
Hard for her to find
The voice was worse than someone yelling at us and I instantly stopped singing. You could hear people whispering through the crowd wondering if I was really the princess.
“Dylan, come here now,” my dad spoke again. I hopped off the stage and walked slowly towards him.
“Hi dad,” I said hesitantly.
“What are you doing here?” My dad wasn’t yelling so he couldn’t be that mad.
“I wanted to show you that people still need music in their lives. When you took away music, you took away part of them.
“Dylan, these people are your age. They probably don’t even remember the music.”
“I remember music, and it was gone from the house long before the rest of the kingdom. And they all have parents who could have told them about music. Scotty’s dad is David,” I said pointing to Scotty who was watching us from the stage. “He grew up with the same music I did, except it was never taken away from him.”
“Look, I had to make some tough decisions when I became king. I was just twenty-six years old; I was bound to make mistakes.
“But you’re not twenty-six anymore dad. You can undo some of those mistakes. Grandpa can’t give you an ultimatum this time.”
“I will see you at my meeting Dylan. No exceptions,” he said after a moment of hesitation.
After he and the guards left the grounds, Scotty walked over to me.
“I honestly don’t know. But it looks like you can have your talent show in peace. I’ll talk to you later,” I said as I started to walk away.
“You can’t just leave now,” Scotty said walking behind me.
“I have to. My father’s meeting will be starting soon,” I said without turning around.
“Well than, I’ll go with you.”
I chose not to reply to this and I just kept walking knowing that Scotty would still be following me when we reached the castle.
“People of Boventree, will you please direct your attention to King James,” Joe said from the stage in the backyard of the castle. The crowd erupted into applause. Scotty and I were pushed into each other as people started jumping around to catch a better glimpse of my dad and the rest of my family
Being on this side of the crowd was very different. For the first time, I saw what my family looks like to everyone else…royal.
“Hello everyone,” my dad said as he took his spot behind the podium. “I have a bunch of note cards that I wanted to talk to you about, but I don’t want to do that anymore,” he said as he ripped up the cards. “I just want to talk to you about one thing today… music.”
The gasps in the crowd were numerous. My face turned to one of shock as Scotty squeezed my hand excitedly.
“As you all know, around ten years ago I banished music from this kingdom. It is time that you all know that this was not my idea. I was given a tough decision that I had to make. It made me realize that music was not the most important thing in my life. But now, the most important thing in my life is pretty much telling me that I’m a jerk who made a huge mistake.” I couldn’t help but laugh a little at that. “I realized she was right. So, Dylan, consider this a new song for you. From this day forward, music is hereby reinstated into the kingdom.
The round of applause was deafening. I looked over to Scotty who was grinning probably about as much as I was.
“You did it,” he said excitedly.
“I had some pretty amazing help,” I said as I stood on my tiptoes and pressed my lips against his. When I leaned back, he smiled once again and picked me up, spinning me around. He put me down and I looked at the stage, but my father was not standing there anymore. The crowd began to part as I saw my dad walking towards me.
“How’d I do?” He asked as he came over.
“I worked really hard on those note cards,” I said as I looked down at the floor with a disappointed look on my face. But when I looked back up, I was smiling. My dad smiled back and pulled me into a hug.
“I’m so proud of you Dylan,” my dad said still hugging me.
I pulled out of the hug and looked back at him. “Why are you proud of me? I didn’t do anything.”
“You did everything.”
“I had a little bit of help,” I said motioning to Scotty.
“Yeah, I think I owe you an apology. My judgments of you were unfair before. I guess it was just another thing I should have listened to Dylan about.”
“It’s not a problem sir,” Scotty said shaking my dad’s hand.
“So, you’re David’s boy?”
“Yes I am.”
“How’s he doing?”
“Good, he’s here somewhere.”
“I’m going to see if I can find him. I’ll talk to you two kids later,” my dad sad disappearing into the crowd.
“Well, you’re pretty much the hero of the kingdom, so what do we do now?” Scotty asked.
“There’s one more thing I think I have to do,” I said.
“Dylan, where are you taking me?”
“Em, can you please just trust me,” I said as Scotty and I led her through the break in the trees.
“Are you sure about this? I mean can you do it?” Scotty asked me a little worried.
“It doesn’t matter if I can do it Scotty. I have to do it.”
The three of us were up on the dock now. I slowly removed the blindfold from Emily’s eyes. I knew she would have freaked out if she saw where she was going.
“What are you doing here?” Emily started to panic and hid behind me.
“Emily, look at me and tell me why you are afraid of the ocean,” I challenged her.
“I don’t know, but I am.”
“Not anymore,” I told her.
“I can’t just stop being afraid of water Dyl.”
“You have to try Em,” I said as I motioned to Scotty to take her other hand.
“On the count of three?” Scotty asked.
“On the count of three,” I confirmed. “Start us out Em.”
“One,” she said hesitantly.
“Two,” Scotty said after her.
“Three,” I yelled.
We all jumped off the dock and into the ocean at the same time.
I use to think that this kingdom was silent without the music, but I found my rebels and realized the only thing that was silent was me. All I had to do was speak up, or better yet sing out, to make a change. So if something you loved is banished, go after it. Chances are, it will turn out not to be so hard to break free.