"Amaya, proceed with your song, 'Clair De Lune.' I hope you've been practicing," Ms. White says.
I walk up to the grand piano on the stage. A grin spreads over my face. I have practiced, and hopefully it pays off today. I sit on the small stool, stretch out my fingers, and then begin. It starts out soft and smooth at first: just enough to quickly make me fall in love with it all over again. I wasn't a fan of Clair De Lune before, but once I really heard it out I couldn't stop listening to it.
I keep on playing like it's a power ballad: I can even see the amazed look on Ms. White's face, among with all the other students in the auditorium. Even more dramatically I play, I imagine myself up on the stage of the city theater, performing Clair De Lune while everyone in the theater looks on in awe, just wishing they could be as good as I am.
Once I'm done, loud clapping comes from the teachers and students. "Wonderful," Ms. White says. "Remember to keep practicing for the concert. You don't want to forget the notes." I already have all of them memorized in my head. Practicing like my life depended on it (which it did) was tiring, but I couldn't care about my current state: I needed to keep practicing for that gold.
Later, class is over while students pour out of the auditorium. My friend Julia runs up to me with a hyperactive smile on her face and says, "Amaya, that was the best piano solo I've ever heard! How did you get so good?" I nod, slightly laughing. "Practicing a lot really helps." Julia's normally happy face turns to a soft, sad one. "Aww...I wish I could be as good as you."
I think, pondering for a while. "You know, I can give you lessons at my house," I say. Julia is feeling like herself again, and says, "That would be wonderful! See you then!" She waves goodbye to me, and I run outside and into the open car door that awaits me. It's my mom's car. Smiling, she says, "Hi, honey! How was music practice?" Looking out the window, I say, "Like you'd never believe..."
We arrive at home after a few minutes. As Mom and I are walking up the steps, she says, "Amaya, you know..." I tilt my head to the side and say, "Hm? What?"
She makes a funny expression as she does when she's thinking and says, "You've been practicing a LOT....I mean, you spend so many hours on that piano. What's gotten into you?" I take a deep sigh and say, "Nothing's wrong with me. I think I'm just obsessed with Clair De Lune, that's all." Mom says, with a plain expression on her face, "Oh. That makes sense, I guess."
It isn't until days later I realize my obsession must come with consequence. I walk up to the grand piano on the stage again and sit on the stool. But unlike my perfect performance I executed days ago, the tune I play sounds empty. Ms. White doesn't seem pleased, rather she seems bored. I would be bored too, but the thing is, I spent all night practicing.
I manage to play out a few more notes until my body feels completely numb. All of a sudden, it feels like a heavy weight is being dropped on my head. "What's happening?" I think. In a few seconds, my eyes shut and my head lands on the piano with the biggest slam of the keys I've ever heard: not even slamming it with your fists is as bad as this.
I wake up in the hospital. I'm circled by friends and family members. My mom's eyes are red, like's she's been crying all day for me. Julia just hangs her head low in sadness. The doctor goes on. "You're awake. You passed out straight on the piano. What happened?"
My head feels so dizzy. I manage to mumble, "Uh...didn't get sleep...practiced on piano all night...felt tired then passed out." The doctor nods and says, "You must have an obsession with the piano, Amaya." I nod. I then get the worst news: I have to stay away from pianos for 8 weeks! That afternoon, I have to go home in a cranky mood. It just isn't fair anymore.
One day, my parents go to the supermarket to get groceries. I have a burning desire to play the piano, but what if I get in trouble? No...fear of getting in trouble is something I can't worry about now. I begin to play Clair De Lune. I've got the hang of it: I begin to play harder. I'm thinking I should stop, but another half is saying to keep playing: I'm at my best moment. I slam on the piano: too hard. A key of the piano pops out and tumbles to the carpet.
A few days later, I'm in class. My parents didn't know about the piano incident. But I'm curious about the auditorium. I decide I've had enough and lie to my teacher, "Can I go to the bathroom?" She nods, and instantly I make a dash for the auditorium. The grand piano is still there, and with eagerness I run up to the stage. A key has been bashed in and easy to yank out: It's the exact key I broke on the piano. I decide to use it.
After shoving it into my pocket, once I get back to class I put it in my backpack to test it out at home, hoping it will still work after I slammed my head into that piano that can only be blamed by no sleep.
When I get home, I pop the key into the piano, and it fits perfectly. Satisfied, I sit down to play Clair De Lune. However, when I pressed that key, it made a noise unlike the tune it was normally supposed to play: it sounded horrible. But I didn't mind. I just kept playing. Mixed with the kind-of-off Clair De Lune, small, short whispers could be heard, but I just ignored them: maybe I was hallucinating.
As I kept playing, more whispers could be heard. When I stopped playing, the voices kept on going. They said, "Return those keys or suffer the consequence." I yelled at the voice, whatever it was, "NO! YOU CAN'T STOP ME!" As soon as I said that, my vision got blurry. So blurry, I could hardly see anything. All distorted. Oh god, I'm going to faint, I think. But my fingers are sliding across the piano, making ever more terrible noises, and when I hit the last note, I faint.
I wake up in my bed. I can't see anything. The voices say that they took my will to see. When my eyes are closed, I do not remember things easily. And they did this to make sure I forget Clair De Lune. So that's it then. I'll never be a pianist, no matter how much I try, I'll never pass. As addictions must always have consequence.