88 keys.

My hand started to cramp as my English teacher lectured on. I caught a mere glance at the clock, and we had at least 30 more minutes of this torture. I looked back up to the smart board, hoping she didn’t change to the next slide. Sighing, I dropped my pencil onto my desk, eagerly waiting for this class to be over. The teachers monotone voice started to dull as my eyes drifted out the window. The dark gray sky and the harsh howling wind signaled that a storm was near. A smile crept across my face as one of Vivaldi’s masterpieces started up in my head. I slowly closed my eyes and I let my fingers tap along unconsciously. The music swelled in my ears, and it didn’t occur to me that the teacher was yelling my name. I was completely deaf to everyone around me at this moment. When someone tapped my on the shoulder, the music stopped and my eyes opened immediately. The teacher was staring angrily at me as a pall drifted over the class.

“I’m not going to ask you again Miss Jackal, pay attention!” My cheeks turned hot with embarrassment as the rest of the class sighed, clearly annoyed with me. That was the third time this week I had spaced out. When the first bell finally rang, I quickly hurried myself out of that prison cell they call a classroom. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder, and I turned around, clearly not in the mood for any trouble this juvenile wanted, but surprisingly, the face I met was my English teacher, Mrs. Brent. “May I talk to you for a second?” She asked. Her eyes were those intimidating green color, and I just couldn’t refuse. Nodding, she lead me down the busy hallway. Her head of blonde hair disappeared as a senior shoved me out of his way. Grunting, my eyes scanned over all of the students, trying to spot Mrs. Brent.

The students had finally cleared out just enough that I spotted Mrs. Brent at the other end of the hallway, standing next to a man that I did not recognize. I shoved my way through the crowd, trying to not get squashed by the huge seniors. The annoying buzzing noise of voices had quieted as I finally reached my destination.

“I would like to introduce you to Mr. Grey, head of the music department,” Mrs. Brent said. I looked up to meet the man’s old blue eyes. Despite the fact that he was on the older side, his eyes seemed to show a lot about his personality. He was the happier kind of person it seemed. The wrinkles on his forehead crunched up as he smiled.

“Pleased to meet you Elise,” His voice had a slight accent to it, but I couldn’t quite tell which one. Nodding, I half-heartedly smiled back to him. “Please, follow me.” He added and stepped inside the silent classroom that was open behind him. Nodding again, I followed, seeing that Mrs. Brent had already disappeared, but the faint clicking of her shoes echoed throughout the hallways.

I glanced around the room, which had very large shelves. Black suitcase looking things were stood up inside them. I turned my attention to the grand piano that he had. Tilting my head to the side, I saw that Mr. Grey was sitting on the small chair that was placed in front of it.

“Could you tell me what this is?” He asked, his eyes preoccupied by the instrument. I set my backpack down unconsciously next to the piano, and stood next to Mr. Grey.

“Yeah, it’s a piano,” I answered without hesitation. Mr. Grey nodded his head a few times and smiled. He pushed open the cover and 88 white and black keys became unhidden. I raised my eyebrows as he got up from the chair. “Do you want me to play it or something?” I asked, crossing my arms with a slight grin on my face. Its been a long time since I played the piano, but I still remember a few tunes. When Mr. Grey nodded, I shrugged. “I’m a bit rusty, so you might want to close your ears,” I joked as I slide into the chair. I took a deep breath and placed my fingers onto the cold keys.

Gradually, I started playing one of my favorite tunes called For Elise. I had memorized this one by ear, and I still hadn’t gotten it quite right. The left hand was the trickiest part, even though it usually played in patterns. The music had gotten slowly louder, and echoed through the hallways. My eyes closed as I carried on with the tune. A wrong note was hit and I stopped immediately. My eyes narrowed and I sighed, looking down.

“Have you had lessons before, Elise?” I nearly jumped out of my skin when Mr. Grey’s voice came to my ears. I had forgotten that he was standing there. I shook my head and looked up to see what his expression was. He looked amazed by what I had just said. “Would you mind playing another piece of yours?” He asked, his eyes curious. I blinked several times and smiled.

“Sure.” My eyes turned back to the piano and I placed my fingers on the cool keys. I started playing a much different tune that I had forgotten the name of, but I learned this one by ear as well. I remember hearing it being played by one of the girls in my band class, and I taught myself the left hand first, which mostly had chords, and then the right hand which had much more complicated rhythms in it.

My fingers were gliding across the keys very easily with no flaws, since I had played this tune so many times before. The music was carried down the silent hallway of the school, and Mr. Grey stood there, with his hand on his face, clearly thinking.

The tune had ended and I smiled to myself. Looking up, I noticed that Mr. Grey was just staring at me in astonishment. His blue eyes were wide with interest, but he stood there, saying nothing at all. I raised my eyebrows and waved my hand in front of his face.

“Are you ok?” I asked with a confused look on my face. Mr. Grey took a few steps backwards, his hand on his forehead and his blue eyes looked crazed.

He murmured, “She’s the one.”





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