Clashing Notes

January 19, 2010
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Their shoes made a distant echo against the old wooden floors, there were no lights, but a row of skinny, dirty windows near the ceiling let moonlight swim through the room, creating a somewhat eerie effect. A large Grand piano sat on one side of the room, and mirrors lined one wall. Virginia had never given much thought to the small building on Main street, she’d never before been inside, as, growing up money had been tight, dance classes were expensive.
“So this is your big plan to impress me?” Virginia called in the direction Noah had disappeared. “A dance studio? Really?” She sat on the piano bench, pouting slightly, she had expected him to show off his wealth or take her out with his friends. She’d half hoped for an expensive restaurant, she’d even worn a dress. She began to poke one finger at the keys. Plunk, plink, plunk, plink. Odd, clashing notes replaced the echo of their shoes, and she bit her lip and tried not to be disappointed.
He crossed back into the room, a small lantern in hand, illuminating the space around him in a soft orange glow, she couldn’t deny how honestly good looking he was, but he was such an infuriating, annoyingly naïve, insanely logical kid. Sometimes she hated him. Plink, plunk, plink, plunk. Different notes now, same rhythm. The only piano she’d ever touched was her grandmother’s, the old woman couldn’t play anymore because of her arthritis. At six and seven and eight, and probably at five and nine and four and ten, whenever they’d visited her, Virginia would bang at the keys with all her might, causing her mother to scold her, anything to get attention, even then.
“You gotta get that girl an outlet for that energy, Annie.” Her grandmother would say to her mom. The reply was always, “She’ll grow out of it.” But she never did. Plunk, plink, plink, plunk. She was the same little girl, she was just nineteen now. Somewhere along the way screaming for attention became a bad thing, she wasn’t sure when.
“Who said anything about impressing you?” Noah asked, “I brought you here because of your total lack of grace and complete absence of class.” He was also honest and that was an unexpected change from her everyday life.
Plink, plink, plunk, plink. “I could have class…” Plunk, plunk. “If I wanted.”
Noah nodded, “Of course you could.” His tone was sarcastic as he crossed the room and sat down beside her at the piano.
This was one of those times she hated him, or at least wanted to. He could make her feel so uneducated, like his private school diploma was better than her little public school one, better than the Associate’s degree she would receive from the community college next year. Her fingers stilled their random, clunk-ish playing as his began to play a real melody, over running any that may have lingered of hers.
Virginia released a heavy sigh, pulling her legs up onto the bench, tucking one under her while she held the other to her chest. She let her head fall against her knee. “Show off,” She accused. He chuckled and she caught a hint of a smirk through the shadows the moonlight created on his face. She leaned against his shoulder, he was warm. The lazy melody slowed down time, stretching it out, filling the air with deep tones and echoes. The notes swirled in her head pulling her away from this boy she barely knew, who was suddenly taking up all her time, and this place she’d never been, back to a world she knew so much better, even if cried herself to sleep, she assured herself she was happy. She told the mirror that, she told her mom, and her friends and tried to believe it. What was this moment of peace and comfort if all of that was happiness, they were so different, nearly opposites, but this one, in this place she’d never before ventured with this boy that she’d only met days before, was far more positive in her mind.
“This place,” He said softly, in a way that the words slid between the notes, “It used to be my mom’s. She taught dance before she got sick. My dad,” He sighed, shaking his head a bit, “He hasn’t had the nerve to sell it yet. Maybe,” The notes fumbled here, but his voice remained even. “After she’s gone,” His large hands hit the last keys hard, the note coming out ugly and broken. “Maybe he’ll let go.” The words were mumbled, but it was clear he was talking about himself not his father.
His fingers were steady on the now-silent keys but hers shook, as she reached out and wrapped her hand around his. “Noah-,” She began, but he cut her off with a quick stare.
“Shh, be quiet.” He turned his hand, wrapping their fingers together more closely. “For once in your life, just shut up.” He smiled and she couldn’t help but return it, he was infectious that way. Virginia decided to take his advice and said nothing as they sat and listened to the silence around them. In the dark of the studio with his new boy, who needed lessons in life, beside her, the girl that lived life too fast, and the entire summer ahead, she saw possibilities and hope, maybe it would be great, maybe not, but there was a chance here, a chance at wonderful. It was as close as she’d ever come to grasping it so far, and she wasn’t about to let go.

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Odessa_Sterling00 said...
Oct. 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm

So great!


Nikiblue said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm
wow, that a really powerful piece of writing. i liked it a lot (: keep up the good work!
J.robin replied...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 5:56 pm
Thanks! It means a lot that you took the time to comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)
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