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Black Keys

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“Amy! Amy! Over here!” a guy from the paparazzi shouted. Amy flashed her perfect fake-smile and even a pose. Amy Witherspoon was a famous pianist and singer. Half of the paparazzi loved Amy, and the other half loved her boyfriend, the popular singer and actor, Jason Smith.

After several poses and fake-smiles toward the cameras, Amy managed to make her way home without being trampled.

At home, Amy settled in to her piano, hoping to write a new song. Instead, the phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Amy? It’s your mother,” Amy’s mother’s voice was shaky and quiet, as if she had been crying.

“Mom, what’s wrong?” Amy asked, worried.

“Your father…and Eric…they were in a car accident and…and they…they both…” her mother trailed off.

Tears started streaming down Amy’s face. “Are they alive?” she asked.

There was a pause. “No,” Amy’s mother whispered.

Amy burst out crying. It was her father that helped Amy follow her dream. He would always say, “Anything is possible if you believe, Amy.” Her father had bought her first piano and taught her to play. They both shared the same passion for music. Eric, her brother, was three years her senior. He helped Amy write her first few songs. When Amy started dating, she would go to Eric when there were problems in the relationship. He always helped her.

“I love you, Amy,” her mother whispered. At least she still had her.

“I love you, too.”

Amy hung up the phone and sat down at her piano. She brushed her fingers over the black keys. A tear landed on one of them. She started playing with only the black keys. They were sharp and flat, and if her mood could make a sound, that’s what it would sound like.

The next day, Amy had an interview with Good Morning America. That was just what she needed.

“So, what are you currently doing with your music?” the top interviewer asked.

“I’m just writing more songs, working on another album,” Amy answered, a smile pasted on her face.

“That’s nice. Your fans say you’re so down-to-earth! Who keeps you grounded?”

“Well, my family does. My brother, Eric, especially,” a tear rolled down Amy’s cheek. She continued, “He knows when my head’s getting big, and he tells me. Oh, and of course, Jason keeps me grounded. He knows what it’s like to be famous and still keep it real, so he helps me keep it real.”

“How is Jason, now that you mention it?”

Of course. They always want to know how Jason is! Amy thought. Out loud she said, “Fine. He’s finishing up a movie.”

“Wow! That’s great! Fans are wondering; are you taking any time off?”

“Yes, I’m taking next week off.”

“Why?”

Ugh, now I have to explain why I’m taking a week off? No way am I gonna say that I have to go to a funeral! Amy thought. To the reporter she said, “Uh, I just wanna chill with my family. My mom really wants me to visit.”

“But, didn’t you just see her three days ago?”

This is getting so annoying! That stupid interviewer is so nosey! Amy thought. Out loud she replied, “Well, yeah, but my mom needs me right now.”

“Why?”

By that time, the interviewer was really getting on her nerves! But, if she could just keep up her ‘perfect rainbow’ act, she’d be fine.

“Well, I just wanna hang out with my mom, that’s all.”

“Okay.”

After several more questions, the interviewer said, “One more question. What would you say to all the young girls out there that want to be famous?”

“I would say to them, ‘Follow your dream. Anything is possible if you believe.’” After saying that, Amy wanted to cry. But, she wouldn’t break down, not there.

Weeks came and went. Amy managed to go to the funeral and come back without anyone from the paparazzi or the magazines from knowing where she was.

Jason stopped calling her, too. Actually, he hadn’t really talked to her at all for a while. There were defiantly problems in their relationship, and Amy didn’t know why. She wished Eric was still with her. He would’ve given her some advice.

Amy had another problem, as well. Her songs were horrible. Without her father, Amy thought that there was no use in singing or playing the piano. Every precious moment’s now a waste. My dad’s not around to see me shine, so what difference does it make? Amy thought.

Despite all these problems, Amy still managed to keep up her ‘perfect rainbow’ image. No one would know from looking at her that she was utterly torn and depressed. Interviewers described her as ‘utterly flawless’, ‘down-to-earth’, and ‘the best star in the whole industry’. Little did they know, Amy was struggling.

A couple weeks later, Jason and Amy went on their first date in two months. They went out to dinner.

“Wow, Jason, I haven’t heard from you in a while!” Amy exclaimed.

“Yeah, well, I’ve been busy.”

“It wouldn’t hurt you to call once in a while.”

“Sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Amy lied. “I just like talking to you and I got a little worried when you stopped calling. I thought that you were mad at me or something, because you promised you would call and you didn’t.”

“Geez, will you lay off, Amy? I forget to call you and you go nuts! What’s your problem anyway? You’re never like this!” Jason snapped.

Jason yelling at her was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Amy fell apart. “You know what my problem is Jason? Do you really want to know? My problem is that my two best friends, my dad and my brother died. Stupid interviewers are always getting in to my business! Some of them would rather hear about you and not me, which is a waste of my time! Why don’t they ask you what you’re doing? Everyone talks about how perfect I am! I’m not perfect! I bite my nails, I hate nosey reporters, I obsess over my hair, I get upset when people don’t call me like they said they would, and I always force a smile at the paparazzi. I’m no where near perfect!” Amy yelled.

Jason gazed at Amy, unsure what to think. All around them were people with cameras. Amy ran outside. It was still light out, and the sun was shining brightly. People were laughing and talking, no one paying attention to her. She hated it. It proved she wasn’t alone and the world didn’t revolve around her. She quickly ran to her car and put her visor down to block out the ugly sun.

Later that night, Amy turned on her T.V. to find stories about her. Reporters were talking about how she snapped in the restaurant. They were calling her a ‘fake’, a ‘liar’, and a ‘hypocrite’. It was all over the news. Amy turned off her T.V. and started crying. Suddenly, the phone rang. It was Jason.

“What do you want?” Amy asked bitterly.

“I wanted to say that I love you,” Jason replied.

“What?” Amy said. That was the last thing she expected Jason to say.

“Your outburst at the restaurant made me love you more than ever. You reminded me of the black keys on a piano, sharp and flat, and it showed me a world I never knew existed in side of you. It was beautiful to see that you weren’t perfect. It was so boring when you would pretend you were perfect. I loved finding out that you actually had flaws like a regular person,” Jason explained.

Amy realized that Jason was right. Being imperfect felt much better than pretending to be perfect

“And one more thing, don’t let those reporters get to you. You are who you are and you’re beautiful,” Jason said.

Amy started crying. She hung up with Jason and sat down at her piano. After several minutes of thought, she put her fingers on the black keys, whispered something to the Heavens, and started to play.




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