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A Pianist's Agony

a short story about one

By Kenisha WidyaPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
A Pianist's Agony
Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Her hands glided across the black and white keys—hard, fast, emotionless. To her audience, listening to her painful melody, and to herself, who blocked out the sound of the music. Her heart wasn’t set on playing her very best, she wouldn’t mind being stopped.

She closed her eyes, imagining herself to be back home with the Nordic smell of her mother’s perfume wafting in the air, the distant chatter of her two younger siblings playing toy trains on the wooden floor. She hasn’t seen the home in a few years, wondering what they were doing at these exact moments she’s playing her instrument. They were probably being tucked in bed by their mother, whose lively singing could put anyone in trance to sleep, kissing their foreheads, and lighting their night light in their shared living room space. Or have her siblings grew up to be businessmen? Had they still been in their last years of school? She can’t really remember, in the midst of the arising music that she hears, she can’t quite possibly remember the last time she visited home.

She, however, did remember her mother’s scent of jasmine and lavender, also the aroma of her mother’s chrysanthemum tea when placed in the finest of china cups. Her mother loved flowers, planting them sporadically and wildly around the fields of their house, answering questions of their rigid structured neighbors whimsically if asked about them, though always with a laugh or a hint of an uncertain smile. She wished she had more time to spend with her before her departure.

Leaving home was hard, she realized. There were things she didn’t think about before moving like laundry, buying food, change of clothes. All her time in the ward in front of the black box, wasting her time playing the beloved instrument, forgetting to eat, to sleep, to take care of her basic needs. She would like to exceed her late father’s expectations of her, memorizing a standard-sized man with brown dull hair, a scowl always etched on his scornful face decorated with thinly wired rimmed glasses. She remembered playing the said instrument with him when she was younger, her tiny hands pressing the ostensibly large white keys while he guided her, led her into a melody of the Mozart classics. He recognized her uncanny talent in creating music, playing beautifully then, sending her off in the best schools with the finest music programs ever created. He was such a contrast to her very lively mother.

The song she’s playing turned into a softer tune, descending from its hard-passive rhythm to a lax melody, quite sweet to the ears. She could feel herself relax a bit as she played the keys she memorized in heart, still refusing to hear herself play. It reminded her of the night she first debuted as a soloist. Her best friend supported her in the stands, hearing each note, each figure, hanging on the alluring harmony of the waltz she executed. She recalled her best friend cheering from the stands, the floras she gave her reminded her so much of the ones her mother used to chain as a crown for her long hair. It long wilted, and their friendship lasted as long as those sad dreary flowers did.

She had no one these days, no one to call on for a remedy, no one to speak to but her self-deteriorating mind.

The music took a large turn of pace, roaring with anger. Mad, she thought, she was absolutely livid. Outraged to her family, who counted on her to make the sole money on her earnings, while missing them terribly. Fuming at the death of her father, who had been a drunk, startling the people around him (including herself), staggering to his own death in the streets not far away from her childhood home, but thanking his abusive nature that shaped her into who she is today. Irritated at her best friend, who had befriended her over the course of her career, learning each other’s secrets, cherishing the moments they had together, then again blaming herself for not being able to keep her only friend with her for the rest of their lives.

She opened her eyes, willing herself to get lost in her own rage. In that moment, she decided to let her feelings go. She forgave her mother, for being the sole breadwinner who depended on her to take care of her very much younger siblings, save for the cost of her to go back home. She forgave herself for cutting ties with her so-called best friend, as their friendship with each other could cause such toxic reactions, too much dependency on each other, and she was glad she could have a chance to find herself in the midst of her career. She thanked the big black box which had been a great part of her quarter of a life.

In the end, she heard the resonance of the music that she had been playing. She was panting, tired from her act, and her fingers felt like they gave all their energy after the performance. She stood up from the stool she was sitting on, holding up the ends of her designer gown, looking at the audience, who must have found how she played the classical piece revolting, and gave an unusual farouche bow.

Once the applause died, red roses were thrown at her, leaving her still ostensibly surprised, even until the curtains closed down for the night. She looked up to the red chiffon lining in front of her, a small frown curling up her angled face.

She still had amends to do after her stunning performance.


About the Creator

Kenisha Widya

digital creator, i think that's what i want to be called. I like to think I'm quite creative. I dabble in YouTube to edit videos, and I babble in Vocal writing about the intricate messages in my day. Search for me on YouTube and subscribe!

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