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Nobody's Perfect This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It was a Monday afternoon just like any other. I stood in the elevator and watched the numbers gradually ascend, thinking to myself Why am I doing this, I don't even want to be here. When the elevator finally stopped on the tenth floor, the doors opened and I quietly walked down the hall. When I reached her door I paused a second, contemplating whether I should run away, but like every other Monday I rang the doorbell. From this moment on I was exposed to the most torturous hour of the week: my piano lesson.

She opened the door with a flourish, her red hair tightly pulled back with an occasional wisp that managed to escape. Her sharp eyes glared at me while she flashed a smile, inviting me to sit down. I walked into the familiar room followed by her, my teacher, and sat down on the shaky piano bench.

I placed my hands on the keys and commenced playing. My fingers gracefully glided across the piano, and music swelled through the apartment. The notes flowed together creating a beautiful image, until it was shattered in one moment when I played a wrong note. Mozart's symphony was destroyed by a slip of my finger.

"What was that!" she demanded. "Do it over, Samantha. This concert is at Carnegie Hall, so if you mess up, you will be embarrassed for the rest of your life. Now, play that again and this time I want you to be perfect!" I remember thinking to myself, How am I supposed to do that, nobody's perfect. But once again, I put my fingers on the keys and started to play. I was almost at the end when it happened again - I messed up.

The rest of the lesson just got worse. As the minutes ticked by I became more and more frustrated. I left that afternoon with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart. I had been practicing for this concert since I was seven years old. My chance had finally come, and now because of nerves and pressure, my dream was shattered.

After thinking for hours I came to the realization that I would never get to the concert if I felt sorry for myself. How could I let some dead guy take away my chance to play in Carnegie Hall? I decided that I would learn that piece so well, Mozart would come back from the dead to compliment me.

After days of constant practicing, the concert finally arrived. The huge building loomed overhead. My mom took me by the hand, and we walked inside. There were so many hallways and passages I thought we would never reach the concert room. When we found it I noticed that it was a medium sized cube, with ugly blue carpeting and white curtains. I sat down next to the other performers and waited for my turn.

One after the other, my peers played their pieces. It was coming closer and closer to my turn, and then it finally arrived. I stood up and slowly walked to the piano. I saw my parents sitting in the audience looking at me with expectant eyes. I saw Kate next to the piano giving me the good luck sign. I turned to the audience, curtsied, and sat down on the small piano bench. I lifted up my hands, placed them on the piano and started to play. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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