Music. My first love. Yes, my wife and child were important to me, but music, music, the sweet joy of sound and the ecstasy of harmony are the real loves of my life. I have always loved music. Ever since I was a young boy. In fact, my parents use to tell me how I would lie in my crib for hours, listening to the greats. Mozart, the John Lennon of the classical world. Beethoven, the king of music itself. The composers of bliss. This, I knew, was what I was destined for. This is why I was born. This is the reason I had been brought into the world, yes, I knew it. I had always known it.
When I was five years of age, I asked my father to teach me how to play the piano. He gladly obliged, showing me where to place my hands, showing me each of the keys. Black and white, up and down. My fingers were a river, flowing upon the checkerboard of the piano. I started by playing "Mary Had A Little Lamb," and eventually, worked up my skill to the point of playing Chopin's finest works.
I entered my first piano competition when I was six years old, barely old enough. But I had the skill. I flew through piece after piece, the audience demanding encores, the judges applauding, I won first prize that day, and I still have the trophy, a small gold-painted cup. That day, I realized that I could not only play complex pieces, but create them. Thus, my career in composition began.
By the time I was eight, I had already composed three full length concertos. My parents could not have been more proud. But I loathed their attention. Sure, I enjoyed the cheering crowds, and the spotlights, but my parents? I hated them. They would constantly force me to practice the most dull pieces, for hours and hours. They showed me off like a parlor trick to their friends. I only wanted to compose pieces and share them with the world, but they wanted me to enter contests, go to collage, and marry young. They didn't understand that I had already married myself to music, sweet melody.
When I was ten, I was in the fourth grade. I was never a star student, but in music class, I was better than the teacher. Whatever instrument he gave us to experiment with, I would master it in seconds, playing major and minor, Pentatonic and Dorian scales. He talked to my parents, and they decided to enroll me in a musical school. So, for the first of what would be many times, my family and I moved. We moved out of the country, to a high end music school in England. The school was paying for my tuition, so my parents were fine with me moving. I said goodbye to the few friends I had made, and then boarded a plane to the land across the sea.
But, things were not down for long. By day five, I had already made a very good friend. What was his name? Matt? Michael? Mark, that was the name! Mark was a better friend than I could have imagined. His specialty laid in the violin, and he was able to play even the most complex of pieces with ease. "Flight of the Bumblebee" bored him to tears. We had sleepovers, play dates, any time we had, we would spend it together. We graduated to fifth grade (I don't remember what it was called in England, I had never understood their grades). We flew through fifth grade in ease. Then came our summer vacation, the bridge to the next school.
Summer, the bliss! No school to impede my independent study of music. Mark and I would spend hours with each other, composing music, throwing it away, laughing at our failures, smiling at our successes. Until the day he... He died. That's right... He died. Now I remember it. I remember the sound of sirens, the flashing lights. They said it was a suicide, but I had some sinking suspicions. I knew something was out of the ordinary. But things got worse.
There came sixth grade. Kids were much more cruel now, and decided that they could easily hurt me because I had no friends. After school, the kids would circle me and beat me up every day. I didn't even know them. None of them. But because I was a loner, they made up stories. Said I killed Mark. Teased me about him. They said I had let him die. I felt so bad. My music got darker, sadder, and more sinister. My parents stopped bothering me because they were afraid. But as my music got darker, the teasing got worse. One day, one kid pulled a knife and cut me. I had to do my own stitches because my parents were too scared. I still have the scar, right over my eye.
I started dressing in all black. My hair grew long and shaggy, covering my whole face. My eyes even changed color, turning a shade of red. I radiated an aura of hate and malice. The other kids stopped bullying me because they were afraid. Someone started a rumor that my mother had an affair with the devil. Middle school flew by. I lost my scholarship, so my parents moved back to the states.
We moved to a medium sized town in Nebraska. I started high school. It was a living hell, a never ending nightmare. As soon as I walked in, I fell in love with a girl. She wore all black, with hair died blue. I never knew what to say when she talked to me. I was afraid, but yet enamored with her. One day, after school, I confessed my love for her. Her expression was horrified. She pushed my and walked away. I cried for hours, an unending stream of tears. I dragged myself to my piano, grabbed a piece of paper, and composed the saddest symphony I had ever created. The paper stained over and over with tears. I could barely read the notes by the time it was done, but I had finished my longest song ever. I cried myself to sleep that night.
I skipped school for the next week. When I came back, my appearance was nightmarish. My clothes were torn and unwashed. My hair was shaggy and had the texture of straw. My eyes were bloodshot form the crying I had done. Nobody asked my what had happened. But, the next week, there was a talent show announced for one month in advance.. Suddenly, my life was looking up. Until that girl started dating Erik. Erik, the bane of my existence. Erik, the star student, the athlete, everyone's favorite. Of the few kids that did bully me, he was the ringleader. Once, he threw rocks at me after school and I bled. But anyway, she started to date Erik. I was crushed even more than I had been when she rejected me. But I turned my sadness into hate. Every day, I would skip class to do the one thing that gave me joy: Practicing piano. I went home and practiced for hour after hour after hour, perfecting my piece. Tweaking, mastering, adding on until it was perfect. I was ready for the talent show.
I was the last one to perform. I watched the other competitors. Erik's rock band, the ventriloquist and his dummy, the singers, the dancers, the juggler. None of them could hold a candle for what I was to perform. At last, it was my turn. I stood up onstage and faced the crowd. Suddenly, I had a flashback to when I was six. I smiled fondly, and sat down. I began to play my piece.
My fingers flew over the keys like a herd of gazelle, hitting all of the notes perfectly. I glanced into the crowd a few times. But my piece was far from finished. I suddenly changed the tempo, slowing it down, playing the song I had composed the day the blue-haired girl had crushed me. I looked up into the crowd. Most of them were crying. She was stone-faced, shocked, staring straight forwards at me. I shook my head and went back to my song. I quickly swept through the rest of my piece, hitting the last note. I stood up and walked offstage, taking one last look at the weeping crowd. My heart was heavy.
The next day, I woke up and saw the newspaper headlines. Her face was on the front. Dead. Stone cold dead. The headline was: Girl Suffers Mysterious Death, Autopsy Comes Back With No Clues. I scratched my head curiously.
I went to school. I saw the dreary faces, the boring people. Erik crying (yay for me), teachers droning, staff members blank faced. I went home that day and never went back. Because the next day, we moved again. We moved five more times while I experienced high school. Different schools, different faces, different bullies. I got stabbed and hospitalized. My poor soul was dead. I stopped going outside. My skin grew pale as I sat in the dark, playing the piano, not stopping. I ate once every three days. I had no time for anything else but practicing. Then, the day came. My graduation. Well, at least the day that I would have graduated. But I had failed most of my classes, and decided to drop out. I used the money I had earned to rent an apartment in the city. I took my few possessions and said goodbye. My parents never looked back.
While I was there, in my apartment, I met a woman. Her name was Mary, short for Marigold. She played the flute, and she did it pretty well. One day, we started dating. It may, in fact, have been the happiest day of my life. Two years later, we married. Then, nine months later, Jeffery was born. He was a golden child, the light of my life. I even gave up the piano for a while. But one night, that changed.
I woke up at about three in the morning, to the sound of screaming. I sat bolt upright. The screaming silenced. As I lay down again, the screaming started. I jumped out of bed and ran towards the source of the screaming. It was the closet. I threw open the door, and my piano lay there, screaming. I sat down by it. The screaming stopped. Then it spoke. It said:
"Why have you abandoned me?"
"I'm so sorry. I didn't even think about it. I'll never leave you again," I said.
"Good. Now, in return for spending more time with me, I believe you should compose a song for you wife and child," It said.
"Good idea. I'll begin right now," I said.
So I began to play. I wrote a brilliant song, a song about my love and my joyous life. Things were finally looking up. My music was becoming important to me again. But my wife wasn't happy. In fact, she was furious that I was so enamored with the piano. But when she was telling me this, the piano told me to play her song to her. I told her to wait right there, and I went and got Jeffery.
I sat down, and played the piece. I must have played for hours, showing them the entire song. My fingers cramped, my back was sore, but I played on and on, wanting to show my wife what I had worked on for months and months. My hands went back and forth, all over the black and white keys that were my life. By the time I was done, I was sweating and panting. I looked up and stared at corpses. CORPSES! The lifeless bodies of my wife and children. Suddenly, it hit me. If the police came, I would be held responsible. So I dragged their bodies into the closet that I had been keeping the piano in. Then, I started yelling at the piano. It had taken everything from me. But, at the same time, it was all I had left.
So, I made an important decision. I went to the convenience store and bought a few bags of dry ice. I filled the tub with the bags. Then, I steeled myself and grabbed the saw. If the piano was all I had left, then I was going to live that life. I stuck my feet in, and braced myself. The cold was unbearable, gnawing needles into my feet and ankles. Then, I positioned the saw at the base of my ankle.
A few hours later, I changed the bandages. I was sitting at the piano. My love, my life. I played the keys like they were all I had left. They were all I had left. Then, I composed the most beautiful symphony I had ever created. It was the story of my life. All in music. I played it for days and days, stopping only when I fell asleep on the keyboard and every three days to get water. I played my heart out. I bandaged my fingers because they were blistering, but I played on and on. I found a handheld recorder and recorded my song. It was no good. I re-worked it and completely changed it up. I worked in a frenzy, not pausing for sleep. I ate what I had left. I recorded it once more. It was a bit better. I went through this process six more times before it was finished. I mailed it out to wherever I could mail it. Then, I collapsed on the floor. I got many many letter over the next few weeks. I saw the bodies on the news. I heard the stories on the radio.
I hope you like my song. I heard it's going to be played on many radio stations soon.