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One Day

One, two, three. One, two, three. Elizabeth’s perfect fingers danced mindlessly across each piano key, playing every note with absolute precision. She scoffed at her imagined spectators as they gawked at her talent. It’s as if they actually believe this is difficult for me, she thought with an arrogant smile. She finished with a big dramatic key-pounding finale; she always got a good ooh and ahh out of that. And at last, the moment arrived where she would stand from her chair, pick up one of the many roses thrown on stage and bow. Everyone would surely rise to their feet, wipe the tears from their eyes, and clap until their hands were sore; it was routine. But this time, when the lights dimmed, Elizabeth heard no voices, saw no faces. Today, her only audience was the back of her eyelids.

Elizabeth’s childhood was similar to some, different from most. She was a living, breathing advertisement for Baby Einstein, as her parents’ humdrum co-workers joked. But really, she was a fluke. Her mother put classical music on when Elizabeth was sleeping, and sang her a song or two at lunch time, but Elizabeth’s talent could not have sprouted from such unauthenticated devices, no, it could only have been luck. Her parents were painfully ordinary, living in a dull town in Ohio that no one had heard of before Elizabeth, the prodigy, was born. Even as an infant, she played her colorful xylophone in perfect rhythm, mimicking the melody of any song she listened to. At age four, she took her first piano lesson, and began out-playing her music teachers at four-and-a-half. Oprah, Ellen, and every morning show contacted her parents, who accepted interviews shiningly.
Before long, little Elizabeth was a sensation around the country. No one had been able to master the art this quickly since Beethoven or Bach, and her ordinary living situation had just made her all the more charming to the American public. Her grand piano was her best friend, her only friend, but she never seemed to mind. She fell in love with the attention; bliss lined every small footstep she took until three days before her fourteenth birthday.
It was her biggest performance yet, in a sold-out stadium seating over one-hundred thousand people. She had created a new collection of pieces, just for this occasion. Everyone knew she would have performed perfectly, just like she had at all the others; she just never made it to this one.

She doesn’t blame her dad for the car accident; she knows that he always got nervous before her shows, especially the big ones. She doesn’t blame her mom for forcing her to spend her entire childhood, her entire life, in front of a piano; it’s what any good parent would do. She doesn’t blame either of them for getting wrapped up in their daughter’s fame, she certainly had. But what she will never, ever, forgive them for is keeping her trapped inside herself for the past twelve years, refusing to pull the plug. For dumping thousands of dead bedside flowers without ever thinking she might be decaying, too. For leaving her in a frozen state of mind to relive her worst nightmare over, and over again, long after her fame had disintegrated, the world had moved on, and no one cared. One day, I’ll wake up, she has vowed to herself, one day, I will make them realize the hell I am in, the hell they have kept me in. I will make those selfish bastards pay. One day.
One, two, three. One, two, three.





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