“I can’t do this…” Said Bradley throwing the sheet music to the floor. “Why didn’t I study business or psychology?!”. Picking up his iPhone, he looked at the picture he took with Colin that day they went on their “brodate” to the coffeeshop. “I wonder what he’s doing right now… Maybe he’s reading Les Miserables in French for the thousand time…” He said, laughing at the picture tenderly. Bradley walked to his bed, sat on a corner and looked at the window. “Why am I doing this? It feels like a chore, not something I want to do. I wonder if Colin ever felt this way? Is that why he didn’t study music, ‘cause he didn’t love what he played? I wonder what he played? Was he good? Why did Father made me do this… Music was fun… Music…” Said Bradley as he fell asleep.
“Do you like music?” Said the stoic man. “Yes. I want to play the piano.” Said cheerfully the short, blonde child. “Well, since the piano teacher is a quarter mile away, I bought you a guitar and you’ll start your classes with Mr. Williams next week. That is all.” Said the man while he left the room. “But I don’t want the guitar, I want to play piano!” Cried Bradley. “Is either the guitar o no music classes.” Said the man from the living room while Bradley cried in his room.
“Hey, Bradley. I’m sorry for your loss mate. She was a great woman. She was like my mum.” Said Eoin to Bradley. “Thanks. I’ve got to go I have a test tomorrow and if I don’t practice Father will kill me.” Said Bradley coldly. “Mate, your mum died three days ago! Give yourself some time off.” Shouted Eoin. “Well, I took yesterday off, so I’m behind schedule after this.La Catedralis hard and I don’t have my digitation 100% down.” “Mate… the funeral was yesterday.” “Exactly. YESTERDAY. What’s done is done. I can’t change it. Just got to move on with my life. It’s what she wanted and she loved it when I played the guitar. That’s what I have to do, I have nothing else.” Said Bradley holding his guitar as tightly as possible, his knuckles pale white fighting the sting in his eyes. “Bradley…” “Bye, Eoin. See you tomorrow.”
“You have to be the best, you will audition to Oxford.” Father said calmly. “Do you actually think I’m prepared to even audition to Oxford?” Spat Bradley while drinking his coffee. “Obviously you are. I’ve spent a fortune in looking only the best guitar teacher in all of England, and you will get into Oxford ‘cause you want to study music, don’t you?” He said neutrally. “It’s the only thing I have, it’s the only thing you’ve given-” “And that’s why you will get in.”
On a cold December night, Colin clutched his pillow, shut his eyes hard so that he could fall asleep and forget. Rustling in his bed, the only thing that
“I’m sorry… I’m sorry it was my fault… I’m sorry”
…It was so easy… It just came to me. The Piano… Music… Happiness…
Colin walks on the street, with Mozart’s “Rondo alla turca” clutched in his left arm and his right hand firmly grasping his mother’s. He was going to have another fun day with “uncle” Gaius. They arrived to Gaius home, Colin saw the familiar red oak door and he knew it was music time. It sends shivers down his spine, Colin closed his eyes as he let the music rush in. Hunith knocked on the door as the diminute music on the other side stopped abruptly. “Colin! Welcome! How is my favorite pupil today? Said Gauis and Colin looked at him in wonder. I’m ok. How are you? That was “Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata, right?” Said Colin all his bubbly happiness. Gaius laughed “You are a smart one, aren’t you?” Now in the living room, Hunith prepared Colin’s sheet music on the piano “You already know that Gaius. You know that Colin is… different. You would think that he would be playing basketball outside with Will but he’s always thinking about music and reading.” “Ok Honey, let’s get started. We have to go to go Will’s birthday party.” Hunith sat down on the expensive leather black sofa. “Ok Colin, let’s review your scales and arpeggios. In Adagio, play F#m.” Said Gaius while preparing the metronome.
“I don’t like this. I wanna play the song! I like it it’s like a story. Do you think Mozart was thinking of a bird flying over a meadow and, and he sang to the other birds and the flowers and then flew high to the sky and danced and then went on playing with-“ Said Colin as he started to play his scales perfectly. “My, my… for a ten year old you have an amazing imagination. You can play your song after you play C major, B major, C minor and A major in arpeggios in triplets.” Said Gaius. “I like triplets, they’re quirky. They want to stand out, just like me.” Said Colin as he played B major. Gaius was always amazed with Colin and his piano playing. Colin’s playing was so innocent, pure. “Ok, very good. Now you can play your song.” Colin needed no further instruction, he started playing as his swayed his lanky legs barely touching the pearly white tiles.”
“Gaius… I want study music. But I have to do an awesome audition if I want to get in Oxford.” Said Colin. “Well, you do have the potential. So I think you’re ready for this one then…” Said Gaius as he gave Colin 5 pieces. “Debussy, Bach and Rzewski… I don’t know that last one but I like the title. And, seriously? Claire de Lune?” Said Colin incredulous. “Ah… it may be “cliché” but very few can play a good Claire de Lune.” Said Gaius as he started to play. The chords and the subtle intensity made Colin’s gasp. He felt in another realm, all the knots in his back from playing in a bad posture were gone; he closed his eyes and dreamed. He felt he was in Paris, under the Eiffel Tower with his mum, after he got accepted to Oxford… he felt at ease and most importantly, at peace. “Now… that is how that clichéd piece should sound like.” Said Gaius laughing. “Now let’s get started. As always you start thinking about College and you’re still… how old are you?” “I’m 16… why?” Said Colin… “Did you forget my age… again?” “My boy… you need to eat more. You’re too skinny and besides you look as if you were 13 years old. Now, now… go and sight read the Bach”. “Yeah… yeah ok. I’ll start with the Bach,k?” Said Colin as he opened the score. “Bach’s Piano Concerto #2 in D minor… I think I’m going to like this one.” Smiled Colin to Gaius as he started to play.
“We’re late! Come on Gaius, pick up!!” Said Colin pacing on the porch. “I’m just around the corner… I fell asleep. Sorry, my boy!” Said Gaius, quickly as he ended the call. “Typical” Said Colin. “Mum! I’m going to the audition? Right? Said Colin as he headed to the kitchen. “Yes. I’ll be there, don’t worry. Right after I finish babysitting Asa. I know you’ll be amazing. I love you.” Said Hunith as he kissed his Colin on his forehead and gave him a biscuit. “I love you too! Bye mum.” Said Colin as he raced towards the door.
Emerys, Colin. It’s your turn. “Good Afternoon. I’m Colin Emerys.” Said Colin toward the judges and he sat on the piano. “What are you going to play?” Said one of the Judges. “It’s a surprise… I think you’re going to love it as much as I do.” Said Colin smiling at the judges. Colin breathed and started to play Claire de Lune. Halfway in the song, he felt something was off… His piano sounded weird…. He looked at the chairs behind the judges. Hunith wasn’t there. He tripped over a few notes, but continued playing. His heart started to race, his hands were sweaty, he lost all concentration. “Maybe she’s stuck in traffic”… Just as Colin finished that though. The theater door slammed open. “Sir… Sir you can’t go in there. There’s an audition…” Screamed a judge. Colin jumped, he stopped playing as he saw Gaius almost falling down… He looked at Colin and Colin felt he was going to pass out. “Colin…” A judge got up and said “ Gaius! You know you can’t be here. Your pupil is in the middle of his audition.” “I know… Could you give me a few minutes? It’s an emergency” “Sure…” Said the elderly judge with a comprehensive eyes. “Mr. Emerys. You can start again as soon as we’re finished with the next one.” “Gaius… what happened? What happened to mum?” Said Colin agitated. “Gaius! What happened?” Gaius just looked at Colin and said… “I’m sorry… a truck… it started to rain and…I’m sorry” Colin just stood there as his world came crashing down.
So was this you trying to impress me? By tripping on the carpet. By the way that cinnamon dolce latte is really good. It might be a new favorite. It might be. Said Colin smirking. Oh shut it. I did not trip. As I told you the Earth rotated against my will. Didn’t you come here to help me? Instead you are judging my amazing Earth rotating abilities? I am disappointed at you. Judging someone over they’re abilities. Said Bradley holding his literature book. Ok ok, I’ll stop judging you. Now what is it that you don’t understand? Said Colin smirking. Ok… Here- Bradley hands Colin a yellow folder labeled “To-Do List”- The ones I can’t figure out are the ones marked in yellow. – Do you even understand the material? There has to be like 30 terms! Colin said surprised. And that’s why I need your help. Said Bradley with one of his award-winning smiles. Ok. So let’s starts with the Iambic Pentameter…
Bad night, Arth? Said Eoin, rummaging in the fridge. “Why are you in my flat? I was informed that you were moving out last week.” Said Bradley throwing himself to the couch. “I knew you wouldn’t live without me.” Said Eoin as he bit an apple. “That means you couldn’t find a flat that was cheap enough, close to the bar and college. And the fact that you can’t cook makes it harder for you to live ‘cause you cant live with just Beer and Healthy Choice’s Café Steamers.” Bradley got up from the couch and heads to the kitchen and slaps Eoin in the head. “So that means you have to pay rent on time, buy groceries and pay half in everything. If you can’t do that I will kick you out.” “I am pleased to inform you that you are going to buy dinner ‘cause as you can see my former flat mate ate everything and now I don’t have anything to eat.” Said Bradley hitting Eoin again but with an orange. “Fine! I’ll order some pizza. At least you have some of that wimpy beer”- Hey! Smirnoff is not a “wimpy beer” and what are you talking about? You drank half of them last week! Said Bradley insulted. Exactly, I didn’t get wasted. Hence why its wimpy and you should buy straight up vodka. What’s the number of the pizza place? Said Eoin after munching another piece of apple and fumbles with his krazor.
______________________________________________________________________________ For what it’s worth
I miss you…
Why do you linger?
Why do you stay?
Can’t you see this can’t happen?
Not this way?
Colin tries to shake his thoughts as he sits down. Closing his eyes he exhales and places his hands on the keys. He opens his eyes; his hands linger over a C7th he shifts his hands as he meticulously starts playing. Exhaling and inhaling with the beats, he closes his eyes. An amalgam of arpeggios, chords bounce off the walls and fly off the tiny cubicle. Students stop and stare at Colin’s piano playing, asking each other “who is the virtuoso pianist?”
When he finished playing, he could feel himself sweaty and hyperventilating. Oblivious to the crowd outside, he closes the piano, picks up his bag and heads to the door. Colin halts as he stares at the people staring back at him. He starts to slowly move towards the door as he looks at the students fleeing the scene and only one figure is left. Colin opens the door and recognizes Eoin. “So why aren’t you studying music. You studied with Gaius didn’t you?” “ Um, yeah I-” Colin started to ramble. “I don’t know why you stopped playing, but you should continue, I’m looking forward to more of you impromptu concertos” Eoin smiles as he flips his black wavy hair to the side as he smiles cockily. “Could you at least tell me what it was?”“The people united will never be defeated, the Variations 27-29th by Federic Rzewski” Said Colin in shock. Eoin walked away as he said “I’ll see you when I see you, mysterious pianist”.