Listen to Your Heart

Page 7


I was still on my feet but I didn’t move as the rest of the class stood and jostled around me. Nobody said anything as they made their way to the list. Not even Alana. Something lit a fire in me and I pushed my way through the class.
“I really think you picked the wrong student,” I told Ms. Lyon when I reached her. “I only got the idea for this topic because Alana gave some great advice to my cousin. Alana is good at advice. I’d like a different assignment, please.”
Ms. Lyon shook her head. “Kathryn, the harder you fight me on this the more I realize it’s exactly what you need to do. You obviously applied to this class for a reason.”
Was Alana forced me to a reason she would understand?
“But I wanted to learn about behind-the-scenes stuff,” I explained. “Maybe the hosts can switch after two weeks like the rest of the jobs do?”
Ms. Lyon shook her head. “Sorry, but hosting has to be consistent for the listeners. You know it’s the one job that doesn’t get to switch. But you’ll learn about every element of podcasting in class along with the others.” She glanced past me. “Now, it looks like Victoria already has your binder. I need you two to get to know each other so you can work well together on air.”
There was something about Ms. Lyon’s stance and the firm set of her jaw that let me know I wasn’t going to talk my way out of this.
I slumped and turned around, catching sight of Alana. She had her binder and was sitting next to Frank Young. Did that mean he was her partner? This was getting worse and worse.
I rushed over to my best friend. “What did you get assigned?”
“I start with marketing,” she said, flipping through the binder.
“With him?” I asked, under my breath.
“He has a name and you know it,” Frank said.
Frank was the kind of guy who might have been cute if not for his personality. His blue eyes looked sleepy in a laid-back way and he had one of those dimples in his chin. His nose was larger than average and crooked, but that gave him a rugged look. He wore his brown hair short around the ears but long and full on top.
“I try to forget your name daily,” I said.
“It’s the name that’s going to be on your marina soon so it will be easier to remember.”
My insides boiled. “You wish.”
Alana held up her hand. “Stop,” she said. “Yes, I’m paired with Frank. Did you see this lovely contract in the binders that we have to sign? It basically says that even though Frank is a jerk, I have to get along with him.”
“I’m the jerk?” he said, narrowing his eyes.
Alana scrunched her lips to the side as if actually thinking about that question. “Yes.”
Frank had proven his jerk-hood many times. But fighting over this in class wasn’t going to get any of us anywhere, so I swallowed my words like I often did to keep the peace.
“Marketing?” I said instead.
“We’re in charge of the podcast’s social media accounts and trying to get people to call the phone lines while we’re recording,” Alana explained.
“You’ll be good at that,” I said.
“Thanks,” she said.
“I’m sorry.” I knew that despite her smile, she was disappointed. “You know I don’t want to host.”
“I know. It’s okay, though. You’ll do a good job.”
“I’ll do a horrible job and we both know it.”
She let out a little laugh. “You’ll be fine, Kate.”
Frank scoffed beside her.
“Shut it, Frank. She will,” Alana said. Then she turned back to me. “You better get over there before your partner has a coronary.” She nodded her head toward Victoria.
I looked over to where Victoria sat, holding up the binder and waving it at me. “If I could give you my job, I would,” I whispered to Alana.
“I know. But there’s nothing you could’ve done. Go figure out how you’re going to work with Victoria and I’ll stay over here and try to figure out how I’m going to work with this.” She smacked Frank’s arm and he looked up from where he had disappeared into his phone.
“What?” he asked.
Alana rolled her eyes at me. “Wish me luck.”
I scrunched my nose. “Me too.”
I didn’t know much about Victoria aside from the fact that she was a senior, that she’d studied every episode of past podcasts, and that she apparently binged other podcasts all the time. So she was basically an expert. I sat down in the desk next to her.
“Finally,” she said.
“Hi. I’m Kathryn.”
“Kathryn? Hmmm. We’ll have to work on that.”
“What do you mean?”
She pointed at the first page in the binder. “We need to come up with a catchy name for the show and after the name we always say, ‘with your hosts, Victoria’ ”—she pointed at herself—“ ‘and’ … you.”
“I think ‘Victoria and Kathryn’ is too much of a mouthful. We should shorten your name. ‘Victoria and Kat.’ ”
“I don’t go by Kat.”
Mainly because people couldn’t help but add “kitty” before it. “I’m just not a Kat personality. I can do Kate if you’re looking for one syllable.”
“ ‘Victoria and Kate,’ ” she said, trying it on for size.
“ ‘Vic and Kate’?” I offered.
“Ew. No,” she said, dismissing that idea with a flick of her hand. “Victoria and Kate. That works.”
“And what should the show be called?” Victoria asked, jotting down a note. “Maybe something like ‘Bring Us Your Problems.’ ”
I felt overwhelmed. “I didn’t think this idea would even be picked!” I blurted. “I mean, what qualifies us to solve anyone’s problems?”
Ms. Lyon must’ve been standing close by because she answered my question. “Absolutely nothing. In fact, you’ll need to read a disclaimer at the beginning of each show explaining how you’re not licensed therapists, these opinions are just opinions, etc., etc.”
I nodded.
“Ms. Lyon?” Victoria asked. “What do you think of calling the show ‘Bring Us Your Problems’?”
Our teacher tilted her head to the side. “I think it can be edgier. Shorter.”
“Like ‘Not My Problem,’ ” I said quietly, offhand.
Ms. Lyon pointed at me. “Yes, I love it. That’s it.”
“Oh. Um, okay,” I said, surprised. I’d never intended for any of my ideas to be so popular.
Victoria curled her lip. “Won’t that discourage people from calling? If we tell them it’s not our problem?”
“You’ll figure it out,” Ms. Lyon said, and walked on to a different group.
Victoria tapped her pen on her notebook while staring at me and I realized she was waiting for me to figure out the conundrum I’d created with my title.
“What if we ask the listeners what issues they have that have been greeted with the words ‘not my problem’?” I suggested.
“Good idea,” Victoria admitted grudgingly. She jotted down another note. I realized I should probably be taking notes as well, and I grabbed my notebook from my bag.