Ethan clenched his saxophone with a death grip.
“Relax,” said his teacher.
Frustrated with the sour notes, Ethan’s eyes filled.
“I can’t,” he mumbled.
For two weeks, Ethan practiced in secret at his friend Jack’s house so his mom wouldn’t hear. She cried every day since the officers delivered the news. “Friendly fire,” they said.
At the funeral, soldiers in white gloves folded the flag and presented it to Ethan’s mom. When the bugler lifted his instrument, Ethan stood.
“Wait!” he shouted.
He took his saxophone from Jack.
“This is for Dad.”
He then played taps without a single sour note.