Breaking Apart

December 16, 2010
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So many thoughts crossed my mind. Why is it that bad things happen to me at the worst moment possible? My fathers voice boomed in my head as I remembered when he used to say, “One day your carelessness will punish you.” It just has… I felt a tap on my shoulder and I got reminded of exactly where I was 30 minutes ago.

“C‘mon!” I heard Gazal screech as she tugged on my wrinkleless shirt. I stared at the sky; no clouds I noticed. The sun shone brightly on the hot pavement, people rushed into the front and side of the building in mobs. The automatic doors of the minivan slid open and I knew I needed to start moving. I maneuvered myself to the back and grasped the handle of my violin case and skidded up the ramp with Gazal and Jennifer. I soon shuffled into the cramped doorway. Forgotten stands waited in the corner of the foyer. It smelt like paint. Maybe they just painted the walls? I didn’t know and at the moment, didn’t care either. Jen stomped with her high heels to the doorway. They reminded me of when the teachers walked down the hall. “She’s confident, I’m not.” I thought to myself. My eyes shifted from left to right, not knowing where to lead them. As I came to the staircase leading to the basement, I stumbled down the first few steps. “Wow these steps are way too steep.” the voice in my head said. But at last I made it to the bottom. The first thing I noticed; the dim lights that lolled from the ceiling. Even though their resilience was lacking, they shone some light on what would have been a pitch black room. This is definitely where my nervousness is at its peak. As I made my way over to the far end of the room, the murmurs of musicians quieted down. Repeated songs became once-played phrases. I felt a little uneasy, thought I knew there’s no reason to be.

20 minutes later I sat slouched over in an uncomfortable seat. I couldn’t sit still. Feet tapping, hands shaking. I squinted across the room as the steady beat of the metronome came to a stop. “My vision stinks.” I said to myself as I forced my eyes to adjust again. I glanced up at Max as he rested his hand on my shoulder. “Relax man, you’re way too nervous. It’s starting to scare me.” he stated laughing as he pointed to my hands.

“I’m just a shaky person.” I shrugged. Truth was my stomach had an uncomfortable knot. But I could understand why. Just imagine being surrounded by people who could do better than you, and times that by 10.

“QUIET!” A man with a deep voice shouted . Everyone got startled, along with myself. It went completely silent, a little bit too much, so much that it felt awkward. I stared at the man on the podium across the room and I let my eyes adjust once more. Mr. Albright I soon recognized, “Everyone collect your things and head upstairs. The concerts starting soon!” he yelled at us. As he made his way up the staircase the mob of people started to form. It appeared to be a sea of people much taller than me rushing towards the door. I tensed up. Its just like the 8th grade hallway at the end of the school day.

My forearm got smacked with a bow. I whipped around and had Gazal face-to-face with me. “Get your folder, I’m sharing with you.” she nearly sung. I already expected to share a stand with her. I always did. Me and her always seemed to stick together. Sort of like peanut butter and jelly. When it came to these kind of things at least. But before I could respond to her she already disappeared into the crowd.

Another whack on my arm. “Dude!” Max whined to me. “Lets go! We’re going to be late and Mr. Albright will yell.” I stared at him, sometimes I felt like I was dealing with a 5 year old.

“Give me a second. I need to go get my folder.” I stated with a smirk on my face. I spun around and began shuffling down the room. I felt the constant brush of people bumping into my arm, but one was a little harder than the others. I lost my balance for a split second and I tumbled into a table, letting my violin take the full impact. I heard some scary noises. The sound of a piece of wood dropping to the ground and a lot of crunching came to mind. It reminded me of the same crunch that I heard when I dislocated my kneecap. I didn’t enjoy this noise. It made me cringe and think to myself that nothing bad happened. Inside my head I cursed at myself. I secretly knew something bad had happened, I just didn’t want to admit it to myself quite yet.

“Oh my god…” I heard Max whisper. When I saw his reaction my stomach dropped. I now knew for sure that something bad had happened. I gulped and twisted my violin around and my jaw dropped. The entire side was scraped off and the E string tuner was missing, it probable flung somewhere. My eyes looked a little further down this is where my stomach felt like I just got punched. The tailpiece, or what kept all my strings together, spit in half I started panicking. I had no idea what to do now the mess I left was depressing. A large chunk an what looking like grains of wood were scattered around my feet. So many thoughts crossed my mind at this moment. How was I going to perform the concert now? I didn’t have a violin to use. How was I going to participate in my audition tomorrow? The possibility of getting my violin fixed was less than slim. I felt horrible. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all. I got knocked into the table. Its not like I planned to ram myself into a solid table moments before the concert.

My violin disappeared out of my hands. I look to left and see Max jumping up and down with it. I think he’s panicking a little more than me. “I’m taking this to Mr. Albright!” he said shoving his violin at me. He didn’t give me enough time to process what he just said. I was looking around but I couldn’t calm myself enough to think straight. Zoe, another one of my friends that participates in GBYO as well, stood next to me with the same blank, confused expression.

“Zoe where’s Max!?” I croaked out.

“Uhhhhhh…MAX!?” she yelled out into the still fairly large crowd.

Max’s head popped out from behind Mr. Albright and the other conductor. He gave me the look like I was stupid. I knew then that I was earlier told where he would be. I just did listen. Zoe and I headed over there and we noticed Mr. Albright and the other conductor analyzing it.

“No way you can play with this.” he stated worryingly. My mouth dropped. I really didn’t know what to do now.

“Don’t worry honey. You’ll just use someone else’s. Things like this happen all the time, it can be repaired really fast.” she had a smile on her face, a reassuring one, at least a lot more than Mr. Albright.

“Here take mine.” Zoe whispered shyly while handing me her violin. I started at it. In my head I kept reminding myself how careful I would be with her violin. For a few seconds I let my guard down and I found out what the consequences would be the hard way.

Right now I’m resting my violin on my lap at home. It looks new, untouched. The thought of breaking it still stays with me. I never want to feel that again. For once I’m taking my father’s advice and being careful. And I think I need to start watching where I walk. As my grandmother said, “Look before you leap!” That’s defiantly some advice I need to follow.





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