One Summer's Evening This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As I entered the already crowded church, my stomach jumped. What if I forgot how to play my piece? What if I skipped a note? My parents gave me a look of confidence as I sat at my place. My sisters had come to see me play also. Just another reason I should be scared to death of fumbling through my music! One mistake and I would never hear the end of it.

I looked for my name card indicating where I would be sitting for this long, interminable evening. A tall girl with long, straight blonde hair came and sat next to me, gripping two composition books. "Hi! My name is Lindsay," she said a bit nervously. We talked for a while before the recital started. I kept looking over at my parents and they would smile back at me proudly. Dad started to unpack the seen-too-often video camera. How I despise that thing! He pulls it out constantly!

This is my night, I thought to myself as Mrs. Depperman introduced the program. This is the night I could really impress them. I had to play perfectly.

As the first performer (poor little thing) strode slowly to the piano, I took a look around. The church was now very crowded. My father is not the only one with a video camera, I thought. There were about ten other proud fathers pointing their lenses toward the front of the church. I flipped through my program. Thirteen more people play before I do, which meant I would probably wait another hour. I was going to be here forever!

The second performer was the cutest little thing! His feet barely touched the hard wooden floor of the church. He was dressed meticulously. He played fairly easy pieces, as a beginner.

I noticed that we were all seated according to our ability to play. Hmmmm .... I was number fourteen and there were 1,2,3...twenty-two students here, which meant I was about in the middle. Well, that wasn't so bad. I couldn't wait to hear the last two performers. They were supposed to be the best.

I became lost in the beautiful sounds coming from the old piano. It was hot and pretty uncomfortable in the small, crowded church. It was gradually becoming black outside. I wondered what time it was. The pews were hard. Oh, the first girl in the pew in front of me was standing up to play! AAAAHHHHHH!!! That meant that there were only four more people playing until I had to get up and make a complete fool of myself. This had gone by much faster than I thought.

The people in front of me started to grow nervous. One girl who was playing next was pulling at her lip. The girl next to me was twisting and untwisting her shimmering gold necklace. Me, I prefer biting my nails. It is a horrible habit I acquired from my sister. I hate it, but just like the Ruffles slogan, you just can't stop at one bite. These people play too fast, I thought frantically. The girl next to me rose and walked to the piano. I am next! I played the notes of my pieces in my head. I was playing a sonatina and a contemporary piece. I knew them by heart, which helped. I can play them with my eyes closed. This should be easy, I thought, reassuring myself. It seemed as if I had gone through eternity before this girl was finished.Then it was my turn ....

I stood up, walked toward the piano, and placed my fingertips on the stark, ivory keys. By now, the keys were warm from the fingers before mine. I waited a couple of seconds and dove into the deep waters of my piece. With each note my confidence grew. By the end of my piece, I pictured myself in Symphony Hall with the crowd roaring! What was this? A standing ovation?! (This was all in my imagination. Actually, parents were clapping.) I immersed myself in my second piece. When I was finished, I stood up from the bench, smiled confidently, and bowed. I felt elated! I was actually proud of myself. My first recital went well.

I was calm now that I had played. The last two performers were as good as I thought. I cannot wait until the next recital. n


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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