Going to school the next day after being dumbfounded at late midnight did made side effects. I was confused most of the time, sounds were echoing in my ears. My soul and mind were in different locations. I could have use some help to slap me back to reality. Right at that moment, a book hit my head softly from behind. Everything that echoed suddenly became clear. I looked back to see who did that and what a fate, it was her. Well that’s great, the girl I almost killed last night is attending the same school as I am. I might well get mocked as a murderer soon. Thanks to her I was fully awake and managed to pull her into an empty room for an explanation. I pulled her into the music room right beside us and locked the door. She didn’t look flabbergasted, instead she was calm.
“Explain.” I demanded.
“Which part? The part where I fell into the ocean and survived? Or the part where I said you owe me one?” she replied as if it was unimportant.
“Well I have a very special bond with the ocean so I knew I would survive even if I jumped and you owe me one because I saved you from turning into a murderer”
Just what kind of nonsense was she talking about? Special bond? She could’ve died from drowning. Just how low is the value of life for her. On the other hand I did agree that she did save me from having a murder record.
“What do you want?” I asked, hoping to finish this problem in one go.
She grinned as she turned back while scanning the room. Her head was looking around from left to right like she was looking for something. Truly a girl full of eagerness. She finally found what she wanted to find, she walked to the object, handing it to me. Just like I almost expected, It was a cello. Holding the cello while leaning on it, she looked at me with those eyes. The eyes that spoke more than words. She knew that I knew what she meant just by holding the cello. I wasn’t pleased with what she wanted, more like I was pissed. I turned my back to her and tried to leave the room. She was being ridiculously annoying. Right when I tried opening the door, she slammed it closed, making my heart jump a loop. With rage I glared at her, showing her how much I was pissed.
“You’re a 2 years straight front-runner, it’s impossible for you to leave cello alone. I know deep inside you have missed playing it.” She said softly.
“Don’t you dare act like you know me!” I told her with great emphasis.
“You know I’m right” she replied right before I left the room.
I went out just like that, leaving her alone. Yes, she was right. I missed cello more than anything else. I missed the strings, I missed the pressure I had to put in when I needed to press the notes, I missed swaying my bow, I missed every aspect in cello yet, it had been years since I last touched it.
As the school bell rang, it was over, I headed out from my classroom filled with the thought of what had happened earlier. As I walked out, I saw her walking out from her classroom with her friends. She was coming out from the class beside mine which was the 3rd year senior’s class. I realized that she was older than me by two years. How disrespectful I had been towards a senior. She was so busy with her friends that she didn’t even notice me. I was not interested in meddling with her life so I decided to go away like I had never even seen her.
I went by the hallway, passing by the music class. A part of me was pulling my body and soul to stay, to enter that freaking room, to hold that cello, to play it just like I used to do. It had me stopped walking for a while. Pondering whether I should enter the room. That part of me became larger each second thus my body moved on its own, going into the room. “What am I doing? Why am I doing all sort of stuffs now?”
The room was peacefully empty and calm. It was still the same scent as before, nothing had changed. I didn’t quite notice the room when I was with her since I was too focused on her. The cello that was lying down in the corner of the room; was sleeping still, waiting for it’s cellist. A music room was filled with various kinds of instruments, nothing shone brighter than the cello. What made it shine that bright? Will everyone feel the same feeling and share the same sight as I do? It was a pleasant sight when I saw all kinds of composer posters. The sunlight that went through the squared window embraced the entire room.
I pulled a chair near the cello, making the squeaking noises as it scratched the floor. Sitting down, facing the wall, back to the door. Pleasing my inner desire, I held the cello for the first time in two years. “This Is it, this feeling, this sensation.” It was gratifying, the exact weight of the cello, the width my legs had to open, the cuddle it has given me. Gently I lift up the bow, situated my fingers to the C note. As I tried to pull the starter, the tremor appeared. The quiver that jammed me from cello, a slap of reality. I was scared, I was so scared. I was screaming for help and mercy, but it was inside. If only I could scream it out all physically.
The door suddenly opened, she entered as if she knew I was going to be here. She cheated a small smile, closing the door while looking at me proudly, or so. I was somehow embarrassed since seeing me in this state was living proof of what she had said was true. I avoided eye contact by lowering my head and my bow. My hands were still trembling, I gripped it hard. I heard the footsteps growing nearer. “She’s coming” I thought. From behind, she held my right hand, lifting it up to the extent of my abdomen, the right posture for a player. Dazed, I followed her flow.
“Close your eyes. You play for yourself, not others. Calm down, it’s alright.” She said.
I took a deep breath as she let go of my hand. Unexpectedly, the tremor stopped. I couldn’t even hold a cello for two years, yet she made me do it. I wondered why she could help me. Why was she the trigger for my recovery? I just couldn’t understand. For the first time in two years, I saw the light that I had once lost.
“That’s it. Good girl.” She continued.
She handed me a booklet that said “45th Cello Friendship Competition” She looked into my eyes genuinely, telling me to join with her eyes. Just like that, she walked out of the room. Right before she could exit the room, my mouth suddenly spoke.
“h-hey.. name?” I asked intuitively.
“ Vivian.” She said, smiling for the last time before leaving.
She brought me to my turning point in my life. She made my life bright, she changed me in and out. i could hear the notes coming from my ears, I could play it again. I finally get hold of everything I had wanted.
Ever since that day, she helped me a lot with my recovery. I figured out that she was a pianist and a composer a few days later. She made me promise to join the competition. Meanwhile she, herself promised to come on that day. The closer I got, the more I realize how “ridiculous” she was. She became more than a friend to me, she became my mom, my sister, my teacher, and my buddy. No matter how many people dissed her for hanging out with me, she held onto me. Forgetting what happened in the lighthouse, we went on. Thankfully, my recovery was a rapid process. I regained some of my courage and skills. And all I wanted was to be better and better.
It was finally the day of the competition. Although incident was more than 2 years ago, the vibe was still the same. Wearing the same white dress as 2 years ago, I challenge myself on the same stage. Before I even performed, news of the disastrous cello player coming back was already making a headline. I meditated to avoid any errors. Calming myself, I heard the MC calling out my name. It was my turn to perform, the chance to redeem myself from my past mistake.
I crossed the stage to the center where the chair was standing. Just like before, the stage was getting larger as I arrived in the center. This time, there was a piano beside the chair, about 2m away from the chair. Spotlight on me, I took my first deep breath in. I gave out a bow to the audience, they responded with chatter. I guess they hadn’t moved on from my past mistake. Standing after the bow, I tried to look at the audience, searching for Vivian. And there, I saw her sitting down in the 10th row from the front. She was wearing a black dress showing her sexy shoulders. With her hair tied as a bun, she looked beautiful as ever. We made brief eye contact which led us to smiling at each other. I then sat down in the chair.
Putting my legs on the right position, squeezing the cello softly between my legs. The right amount of pressure, the right width. Hands on bow, hands on neck. Everything is going perfectly fine by now. I lift up my hand to the right posture, being ready to start playing.
I started the performance, shooting melodies and harmony with the bow. Note by note, my finger moved from up to down. All types of shapes my fingers made, all kinds of melodies I made. Just when I thought I was doing well, I made a mistake. A slip of out tune. It caught me off guard that I panicked and made another mistake. The god of strings wasn’t on my side. That mistake triggered me, making me tremble again. I didn’t stop playing, I went on. Slowly, the chatter from the audience was louder than the melodies I was playing. I felt like I was sinking into the chatter, not the notes I was playing. I was breathing heavily, heart thumping faster and faster. The fear came back, every traumatic experience was here again. In the midst of everything, the piano suddenly started playing. The tranquil melody had appeared out of nowhere. I stopped and looked at the piano in a zap, Vivian was there. Breaking all the rules, she was on stage, in front of the piano. she looked at me, smiling that smile she always did. “Play” she said.
I closed my eyes and told myself, “This is your stage, your cello” encouraging myself with the cherished memories I had with her. Remembering every effort I put into the recovery. Reminding myself of what I truly desired.
I was back with my strings, closing my eyes while playing. The piano voices that spoke to me, the strings that accompanied them. It wasn’t a planned duet, yet it was something beyond my expectation. The sound of the piano clashed with the sound of the cello, was it a war? I wondered. It clashed and clashed, but it was flowing like water. A beautiful war I supposed? Like a planned battle, one attacked and one defended, so does the opposite. Going back and forth, we exchanged notes, making an un-conceptual harmony. I bet Mozart would have been proud to see us perform.
It was done. We finished performing, we finished the intense fight. We exchanged eye contact with a smile. Even with sweat flowing down me, I didn’t feel tired at all. I was positive that this is the biggest and proudest achievement I’d pulled off. We gave a bow to the audience while they clapped and cheered loudly. Right after the bow, I ran to her and hugged her. I was so happy, I was so glad to the extent of crying. Pride it was. I couldn’t get the 1st , 2nd , nor the 3rd but the judges awarded me with a full scholarship in London majoring in classical music. I realized how trophies are nothing compared to enjoyment. I fulfilled what I’d desired, there’s nothing but pleasure to feel.
I learnt that it was only a matter of time before the wheel spins, good will come, bad will go. Fame came to me in an instant, headlines spreading all about the revival of a destroyed cellist. Everything went back to 2 years ago, except to the fact that there was Vivian. I regained everything back. From that moment on, I have gone higher and higher. I’ll always enjoy myself as a cellist to the fullest. That’s my promise.