It was beautiful. Just like the brochure photos. The way the sunlight filtered into the room. The light falling playing through the dust particles. At that moment I couldn’t imagine anything more perfect.
It was my first chance to caress the black and white ivory keys in almost six weeks. As rusty as I felt, I also felt a sense of self return. Gran encouraged my love of music and she bought me a beautiful baby grand piano for my thirteenth birthday. I didn’t care that lessons were hard and that my fingers ached. I absolutely adored the freedom of the keys. The perfection of each note. I’ve been playing the piano since I was four years old. Grandmother and I were at her knitting group when I saw a little piano standing off into the corner. I taught myself how to play Twinkle little star in one afternoon and I was smitten. From then on I wanted to go to knitting group with my grandmother all the time. By the end of the winter I had learned to play so many songs by ear that grandmother was settled on the idea that I should attend professional lessons. At first the lessons were hard as all things that are worth it are. I wasn’t as keen to play the piano anymore. Then grandmother stopped by a lesson one afternoon and on the drive home she told me that she appreciated the effort I had put into my lessons thus far but if I felt like quitting I should. She told me that if something didn’t add any value to my life, if I didn’t feel like my heart was singing a song, then it probably wasn’t for me.
My heart soars when I play. Sometimes I am so swept away that I don’t even notice how I am building up a sweat behind those keys. I’ve even taken to working out my upper body just for strength and endurance. It’s not just playing the piano people. It can definitely be a cardio workout!
I was so lost in the melody in class this afternoon when I had done the five other students taking this class was standing around staring at me and then there he was … cooly clapping hands. No one else did though. Then the teacher stepped around him. Mr Fitzgibbons, I later looked up his surname on my class map, cleared his throat and glared at me from over the top of his narrow spectacles. The sunlight reflecting off the neckchain attached to them and made it shine gold. I noticed his small smile as he shood me off the stool and set down his pages.
“No need to show off here Miss Vollenhoven. I’m not quite sure what school you’re from but here we are all about teamwork. Now class, I’m sure you were all informed through the grapevine that we have a new student that joined us this week but just in case it hasn’t reached the seniors like yourself Mr Rockerfellar, Gabriel meet Chloe Vollenhoven and Chloe this is Gabriel Rockerfellar. Please do try not to fall in love.”
I don’t know. Maybe it was the way his hair was messy or the way his shoes shined just a bit over the top. Maybe it was the smug grin on his face as he took the pencil out from behind his ear and opened his music book in one fluid movement. I can’t explain what it was about that moment. This beautiful sunny day moment. As I sit here at my desk trying desperately to concentrate on my homework I can’t help thinking back and realising that for no apparent reasonable reason I just can’t stand Gabriel Rockerfellars face!