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Baby Grand

A Story of Ambition

By Omar Al-MahmeedPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Baby Grand
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

The punch he had delivered to the greasy-haired heir of the multi-million Jameson estate sounded like suctioned spam breaking from its tacky aluminum packaging. Splat. It resounded dully in the capacious hall of the lower Manhattan penthouse Mr. Jameson; Sr. had lent grad student Oakleigh Scott. The space was meant for work on a four-part symphony in Jameson’s name. The showcase was scheduled for February of next year. It was now December 2018, and he was only halfway through the third movement of the piece. The piano had fallen into resting silence these last two days, unattended to and gathering a thin layer of gray dust whose motes clumsily circled the air with no music to guide their steps in the hollow of the room. The piano’s cover was left open three-quarters—exposing the steel and brass strings to the elements that surrounded the room in a quiet despair—untouched, cold, and alone—just as twenty-eight-year-old Oakleigh Scott felt in his current state after the news he received from his commissioner’s son.

The dread of his action began to sink in after the blow he had administered to the porky cheeked Theodore Jamerson. He had told him that Mr. Jameson was lying in a hospital bed for the last week due to heart complications and that it did not seem his father would be around much longer.

To add to the injury, the smarmy prick had also expressed that Oakleigh would no longer receive the Jameson Art Commission next year due to Theodore’s interests to invest the money elsewhere. A heated argument followed soon after. Words were slung viciously between the two men like bulky catapults looking to swing at each other’s egos, each one raising their voices with every demolishing delivery, trying to break one another down with words. Most people would say that they were just in a blind rage. That they “saw red” and just swung unconsciously, but Oakleigh knew exactly what he was doing when he balled up his fist and swung. He was upset and that seemed like the only plausible outcome in this situation to relieve his apprehensions.

Theodore stormed out then, slinging a couple more vicious words at Oakleigh’s pride as he backed out into the penthouse’s elevator.

All he wanted was to get to Carnegie Hall one day, but now he felt as if everything he had worked at was being pulled out right from underneath his piano stool, and he was the one that had helped Theodore tug at his sturdy foundations.

He had practiced relentlessly for his upcoming recital to show Mr. Jameson just what he was working on. Jameson was always very enthused by Oakleigh’s ability to make a piano sing. “Like Liszt!” he would proclaim, but now he found himself sitting in the room’s darkness on a soft velvety, red ottoman placed precariously away from the sleek, black baby grand piano.

The waxy, golden Yamaha stenciled onto it glistened in the soft darkness in a futile attempt to entice him for his caressing touch once again. He slumped forward in his sitting position, a lowball glass gripped in between his hands and swirled the potent amber liquid of a Jameson Scotch Whiskey—neat, as he usually drank it—while the worry that the grants he had accumulated this last year would not continue into the following one.

Mr. Jameson—Albert, as Oakleigh called him—was a generous and loving man now seized by old age and disease. Currently, Albert was lying in a hospital bed at the Lower Manhattan Hospital in critical condition. He had had a heart transplant about two years before and was prone to violent fits of coughs. Theodore never understood his father’s infatuation with the classical music scene—or his infatuation with Oakleigh, either.

Left alone in the massive condo, Oakleigh released a deeply held sigh and looked out towards the still Manhattan night.

“Things are about to change again,” Oakleigh whispered.

Short Story

About the Creator

Omar Al-Mahmeed

Omar Al-Mahmeed is a bi-cultural, dual national Bahraini-American currently living in Houston, Texas and a graduate of the University of Houston’s English Literature department. He enjoys writing fiction, playing D&D, and reading edits!

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    Omar Al-MahmeedWritten by Omar Al-Mahmeed

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