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Your time had finally arrived. You look out the window as the pale light of the morning sun seeps through the windows, blanketing you with warmth. The view from your quiet neighborhood puts you at ease. This is how you always liked it. Solitude. No one to distract you. No one to judge you. Only you and the comforting privacy of your humble home. You feel a smile spreading across your face. Everything in your body feels lighter. 

Your time had finally arrived. 

For twelve years you have wanted to learn the piano. For twelve years you were denied by one reason or another. For twelve years you scrimped and saved every penny you could. For twelve years you dreamed of tickling the ivory keys, sinking into the melodies that were right at your fingertips. Whether it were a Mozart sonata, a Brahms lullaby, a Chopin prelude, a Bach chorale, or something of your own creation, it was right at your fingertips. 

After twelve years of eager anticipation your time had finally arrived. 

You see the Casio keyboard greeting you in your living room. The sight of the keyboard is enough to enliven your spirits. Your hands gently glide down the 88 black and white keys. You can feel the keys fall and spring back up to your touch. You imagine yourself being lost in your music. Your mind begins to wander, and you can’t help but think about how music has impacted your life. 

When you were bullied at school, music comforted you. When you graduated high school, music brought you joy. When you were feeling vulnerable and alone, music held your hand. When your parents died in the awful car accident when you were twelve years old and you had to spend all that time in orphanages and foster homes, music stayed by your side and never left. Yes, you could always rely on music. There wasn’t a mood or a feeling that music couldn’t express: sadness, happiness, anger, pleasure, jealousy, pride, greed, generosity, seriousness, humor. Music was your constant companion. Music has always had a comforting effect on you. But you could only ever listen, never play. 

Your time had finally arrived.

Excitement builds in you as you reach over the side of the keyboard and flip the power switch. The lights sprang to life and the oasis of music has been opened wide to you. You sit down on the padded piano bench, your eyes firmly focused on what the magical device that sat before you, waiting for the music to be released into the world. You lean forward slightly, marveling at what is about to take place. You raise your right hand and gingerly place it down on the white keys. As your hand forms the curved, relaxed shape that you read about, you sense your fingers falling perfectly into a home position in the center of the keyboard. You move the left hand in a similar manner. 

You sense the hesitation that is over you now. You’ve never been able to touch, much less play a piano before. The thought of your first notes is a daunting task, one that you’ve been spent considerable time preparing for—and now your time had finally arrived. Your mind is swirling at this moment, emotions surging through you—bittersweet. 

You take another look outside. You’re still alone. There is no one around. Just how you liked it. You try to remember what you’ve researched. You’ve studied the pitches, hand placement, chords. Your first sound on the piano had to be perfect. There was no room for error. You bend your right wrist up and down, mentally and physical preparing for your thumb, middle finger, and pinkie to press the keys together. Anxiety starts sweeping over you, but it’s positive anxiety. You’ve been waiting for this moment for twelve years; you’ve dreamed of making music even longer. 

Your time had finally arrived. 

Finally, you press down with a practiced gesture and the sound of the C major chord rings out of the Casio speakers and fills the room and your heart. Suddenly, the weight you’ve felt for twelve long years rolls off your shoulders. You feel younger, lighter, in control. You press the chord again, the sweet consonances transporting to a world of musical possibilities. You are finally feeling connected with the music that has always been there for you. You try to be strong, but you can’t help the tears that are now streaming freely down your cheeks. 

You feel ready to add your left hand. You play the same chord with the same gentle, practiced gesture. The bass side of the piano vibrates freely through your hands, your arms. You play both hands together and the sound is absolutely miraculous. You notice that the volume hasn’t been turned up all the way, so you turn the dial. Max volume. With more intention, you press down strongly against the six white keys. The sound fills up the entire house. Your whole body vibrates. The tears are still falling, but you don’t mind it. Those are the tears of unbridled joy. 

You lift your right foot and press down the down on the far right pedal. Once again, you play the grand C major chord with the fullest, purest sound you can muster. The pedal will sustain the sound even longer. You play the chord and you let it ring out. You close your eyes. 

You’re on a stage. You’re playing your favorite piano piece, Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 in Eb Major. You’re lost in the music. Your fingers flow freely and gracefully, tickling the ivory keys. There’s a crowd of thousands in attendance, but you block them out. As far as you can tell, you’re still by yourself. Solitude: just you and your music. That's how you always liked it. Your hands seem to have a mind of their own as they effortlessly bring the nocturne to life. The simple, yet complex nature of the piece, allows you freedom to express it in a way that is unique to you. You dreams have come true. 

You open your eyes. You’ve waited for this moment for twelve years. 

Your time had finally arrived. 

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4 comments

Kira Kloehn
03:33 Apr 30, 2020

I love this story! It is so touching! I really liked how you wrote about how music had helped him through all the stages of his life. Really well done!

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Joshua Hopper
13:27 Apr 30, 2020

Thank you, Kira! I’ll have to read some of your stories as well.

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Emili Silvi
05:45 Apr 28, 2020

That was ADORABLE. You certainly know what you're doing!

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Joshua Hopper
18:42 Apr 29, 2020

Thanks, Emili! Can't wait to read your viral video story.

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