I closed my eyes to calm myself. A deep breath in, a deep sigh out. A self-hypnotism to chill myself that I hoped would work. I held my cello tight and it’s bow, hoping and praying I would do just right even though I was still shaking. After a few seconds of staying still, the fact that I was going to perform skimmed into me. Still with my eyes closed, I held my cello and it’s bow into the right position, situated my legs into the right posture as they might receive quite a lot of pressure due to the undying fear I was currently feeling. My fingers were arranged to the first note, my bow was ready to snipe. A final intake of oxygen, and a final push out of carbon dioxide. I opened my eyes as I said in a whisper.
That was the cue before I began battling it out with the strings. I tried playing each note with flow and grace, yet fear won over me. Every note sounded shaky and unstable. I didn’t just destroy a classical piece in front of 2.000 people, I destroyed my very own pride. That was the moment I realized that I wasn’t clashing with the strings, I was facing myself. I was fighting with the fear inside me as it engaged keenly. I was still in the middle of the performance when I realized how much fear I was handling. It wasn’t good news since I was wrecked midway. Obviously I made a mistake and everything was falling apart before I could even save it. There, I stopped playing. The silence that was here few minutes ago was gone. What was there was some blaring chatter that was judging me. Unintentionally, tears started dripping down from my eyes. Were they tears of shame? Was it just a plain sadness? Or was it both?
The news of me failing the performance spread around the school in a haste. Mockery and derision I received. Each person’s story seemed to have different versions, yet I had to admit that all of them were true. I seemed like the national top classical music school doesn’t only teach music, but also teaches how to gossip. From that moment on, I saw different types of eyes in everyone. Pity, loathing, teasing, and concern. I wondered just how pitiful I must’ve been to receive these kinds of stares. Moreover, I wondered what had made me tremble that much, to the extent of crying.
As much as I wanted to play cello again, I couldn’t. The humiliation was too much for me, making me part ways with my source of happiness. The disgrace was a great wall as it separated me, not just from my cello, but also the world. Heads down, eyes down. The only thing I see in my life is nothing but the ground. Moving forward with my head up it’s just something I can’t do now.
I went out alone 11p.m. at night, yearning for peace and tranquility. A cold night breeze whooshed throughout the alley, it was loneliness. The Chirping sound of the cricket accompanied my walk as I went straight to the lighthouse near the beach. I put both of my hands into the pockets of my denim jacket, bearing the cold. Slowly I heard the sound of the ocean, beautifully dragging me into the rhythm. The reserved surroundings were well matched with what I needed right then. I went up to the top of the lighthouse to see the sea and stars from up above.
As I arrived, I realize that the lighthouse wasn’t empty. Stood there, was a figure of a girl with long brown soft curled hair. She was only wearing a simple white tee and tight denim jeans but she didn’t look floppy. Somehow I knew for sure that she wasn’t there for the same reason as I. A few moments after, she turned and looked at me. There, we made eye contact. Just like those movies, our hair was swinging with the wind and nothing else was there other than the two of us. She sent a small smile as she greeted me with a hello. As expected, it wasn’t just her look, her voice was as stunning as her looks. She had the voice of a singer, a very unique and timbred voice. “A singer?” I thought to myself.
“Hello” she said.
I didn’t reply, I knew just how rude that was but interacting with others wasn’t quite my thing after the incident. I put my head down to avoid eye contact, moving right. It was beyond my expectation as she blocked my way.
“You’re Evanna, right?” she hesitated.
Without my knowing, I took a break from taking another step. Just like a car hitting the brakes as it was about to crash. And just like a glass that’s falling from a table, I was about to break into tears. As much as I wanted to reply to her, I held back to prevent myself from crying in front of a stranger. Somehow, the breeze became colder than before.
“You are, right? The one- sorry, I didn’t mean to-“
“Would you shut it?” I abruptly said.
I couldn’t handle it when she brought up about the incident. Just like a bomb, I exploded at her. Even so, I still managed to hold my tears in. Rage was bundled up inside me, I went away from her, unconsciously pushing her away hard enough to make her step backwards.
I didn’t realize I was pushing so hard that she tripped over the rail that were circled the walkway. As she grabbed the edge of the rail, she let out a scream, asking for help. I was certainly shocked by what I had done, instinctively I went to her side, held out my hand to help her. I held her hand tightly, not wanting to let it go. I didn’t want to have a murder record when I was still just 15.
“Don’t let go.” I said in a pinch.
She didn’t reply with words. But I could see it in her eyes, the fear she was feeling, the tears. It was a different kind of fear, something beyond what I had gone through. I realized how I was unwilling to let her die, how I was unwilling to let her experience that kind of trauma. I pitied her like myself. I tried to pull her up will all I had but I was too weak. I realized the chances were too low, and I bet she did too. She knew she’d fall but she didn’t show any hate and resentment.
I had only one backup plan left but I didn’t know if it would work. After a quick thought, I made up my mind to go on with that plan regardless of the risks. I looked down to the ocean, checking how the waves were. Somehow the waves were dancing to the fullest, gushing with all its’ might. I was taken aback by how scary it was, giving a second thought of going with that plan.
“ let go” she said.
She caught me off guard as she volunteered to let her hand go. “just what is this girl thinking? Does she want to die?” i thought. That time, a part of me was telling me to let go. Like a whisper, I heard my own thoughts speaking to me. in the meantime, my hands were slowly slipping, losing their strength. “Damn it!”
Out of a sudden, she let go of my hand, making me intuitively hold her hand tighter. With what I had left, it was obvious that it wasn’t long until she’d fall. That was the panic point. Everything just started to get messy. I was somehow trembling due to the pressure I was handling, sweat were continuously dripping with my teeth clenched tight. And just like what I thought, she fell.
“No!” I shouted.
As much as I sounded hysterical, it didn’t matter much that time. I wondered what made her so brave. I certainly saw it in her eyes, the anxiety inside her was all packed up. But just what exactly made her so courageous to let go off my hand and fall from approximately 40 meter tall light house? There’s only a word that could describe her. “Ridiculous”
I ran down, planning to save her from below as I knew how to swim. I was panicking that hard that I couldn’t even hear the sound of the ocean. The only thing I heard was my heavy breathing, it was loud. My speed was slowing down while I was running on the beach. “Surely have to do more sports.” Just as I got closer to the ocean, I saw a figure of a girl walking unsteadily out from the water. “Impossible” I thought. Yes, it was without a doubt her. Taking another sudden break, I paused there looking at her coming out of the water. I was trying to believe. Slow steps I took towards her, small steps. I was low-key trembling when I saw her face clearly. Looking drenched, she survived. She could’ve died, and yet she’s here in front of my eyes. My leg gave up as I fell down, sitting. Tears were dripping slowly, one and two. “Just what is she? It’s impossible to guess. What the heck just happened?” I was dumbfounded. The closer she got, the more I was taken aback.
“Well that was one hell of a thrill” she said. Giving out a small smile as if nothing bad had happened.
“It’s late now, go back home.” She continued while walking past me, leaving me there all alone.
I didn’t stop her, I couldn’t do anything but freeze. “Just what is this? Why can’t I say something?”
“You owe me one!” she suddenly shouted from afar.
Everything went by so fast, making me even more confused. Sitting alone tragically made it seemed like nothing was moving, neither was the time. The whole world stopped for a minute, so did the universe.
next on potatomatoo
“Me” & “It” – String 2 (final)