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Finally Beginning to Play
The small room was dimly lit, brightened only by the dirty window’s milky haze. A single white rose stood in a clear glass vase watching idly as the young girl’s hands began to play across the old piano’s ivory keys. Sounds of fervent teens and ringing school bells were not heard above the gentle melody coming from the instrument. To the world outside this quiet room the girl was known as Dana. She was both feared and admired by her peers for her silky blonde hair and cold blue eyes. Dana was the one who set the highest standards in the school. Standards no one ever attempted to reach. But in the milky light of the tiny room Dana was not class president or prom queen. She was simply Dana.
Her hair was pulled into a messy bun just as it always was when Dana was playing. Fingers pressing lightly on the black and white keys, she created music. These melodies were always new, just something that had appeared during an English test or a history lecture. This particular song was lower and deeper with strong chords along with sharp, singular notes. The music was suddenly broken by the sound of the loudspeaker.
“Five minutes until the end of lunch, five minutes.” Dana sighed and gently shut the piano. Pulling her hair out of its messy bun, blonde waves cascaded over her shoulders and down her back. Dana stood up straight, brushed herself off, and walked out, locking the door behind her. Walking down the locker-lined hallways, Dana’s high heels loudly announced her arrival.
“You are the ruler and this is your kingdom,” she murmured to herself as she glared down at those stupid enough to stand in her way. It felt good to put these people down, the same people who had made fun of her when she was younger for playing music. The only one who knew of Dana’s talent was her old music teacher. She was the one who had given Dana the key to the little room with the old piano.
“Dana! Thank god I found you!” Dana turned around to see her best friend Grace running towards her. Grace was tiny with curly brown hair and dark skin. Her curls were held back by a bright orange headband, and she was wearing jeans with a sparkly gold tank top.
“Hey Grace,” Dana smiled at her friend.
“Where the have you been? The most hilarious thing happened at lunch.” As she began her irrelevant story, Dana noticed the sounds of Grace’s clinging silver bracelets as her hands gesticulated wildly. Ding, ding, ding. The melody would begin soft and simple, then build bigger and bigger until the high notes collided with the low notes and the base would become even more powerful and-
“Dana! Hell-o? Earth to Dana?” She was shook out of her thinking by Grace’s voice.
“Ugh, did you hear a word that I was saying? God... Anyway, so Jake started laughing because those losers are auditioning for solo pianist at that regional theater thing-y. So lame. And also, it was funny, you know Anna-”
“Grace! We’re going to be late for seventh period,” Dana interjected. Grace nodded, and the two walked down thee hall past all the “common people” who never dared to say a word. But Dana was not thinking about them, she was thinking about how Grace reacted to the symphony audition. The very same audition that Dana herself was planning on trying out for.
It was not until science class when Dana reached a decision. She was staring out the window at the pretty autumn trees when Dana decided to audition as understudy. It was perfect! Not only would she be able to rehearse with everyone else, but no one would ever see her perform onstage. Not even Grace.
A few months later, Dana was alone in her quiet room rehearsing the same piece she had come to love from the symphony rehearsals. The white rose had begun to wilt a little and the small window was even dirtier. But suddenly the melody was broken by her cell phone’s ringing.
“Hello Dana, it’s Mr. Walker the conductor of this year’s regional symphony. I was just calling to inform you that our original soloist is fighting a horrible stomach flu. You, as the understudy, will be taking his place. See you tonight.”
“Wait, no please Mr. Walker, you don’t understand-” The conductor hung up without any regard to Dana’s pleas. Beep! A new text message. She picked up her phone and read a txt from Grace which said, “Hey, wer all goin 2 that symfony thingy 2nite, u goin? txt me l8r.”
Oh no. Dana fell onto her piano bench and buried her face into her hands. All of her friends were going to laugh at her. She would be a loser, no longer would this school be her kingdom. A big, wet tear fell down Dana’s face. This sucked.
Turning to her piano, Dana began to play. The melody started out strong then slowly faded to a simple, quiet beat.
“What the heck?” Dana told herself, “This isn’t worth your tears. Music is something you love, you shouldn’t have to give it up because you’re afraid of what people will think. You’re going to get up onto that stage and play your heart out. And you’re going to love every minute of it.”
Dana wiped her eyes. No longer would she hide a part of her life inside this quiet room. She did not care anymore. It no longer mattered that Grace and the rest of her friends would be in that audience. They would just be more people in that crowd. A crowd she was going to blow away.
The stage was brightly lit as she walked to her spot at the shiny grand piano hours later. A three-hundred people audience sat watching idly as the girl pulled her silky blonde hair into a messy bun. There was not a sound, only the feeling of anticipation in the air. After tonight, this girl would be more than prom queen or class president or even “just Dana”. She would be the girl who, that day, didn’t care about what others would think. This girl would be known as the person who had the courage to sit down in front of all those people. Yes, Dana would be the girl who took a deep breath and finally began to play.