Learning how to stand on my own two feet

Submitted into Contest #38 in response to: Write a story about someone learning how to play an instrument. ... view prompt

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I remember it like it was yesterday I can still smell the Christmas cookies baking in the oven.My family was here for the holidays like every other year, the sweet sound of quietness echoed loudly as my father played silent night on his piano and just like that my life as I knew it would change forever. Here it is 4:30 am and my body is soaking wet like I just ran a marathon it's been a year and the past is still hunting my dreams. I close my eyes and take a deep breath the accident is fresh in my mind like it happened yesterday. December 23 will never be the same for my mother and I, who have become numb to the world, they want to do a tribute for my father at the end of the school year to honor his memory. For them he was a great artist for me he was my heartbeat and so much more. I'll never stop blaming myself for his death had I just waited until the morning to get those damn Christmas lights he would still be here. I have always been a daddy's girl and got what I wanted most of the time and last year was no exception. We sat around the couch while he played our favorite Christmas carols only my father could make us feel like we were at a live concert his talent spoke volumes to us all. After he was done I wanted to finish decorating the tree I had to have blue lights for my snowy white Christmas tree so I begged until he said yes even though I knew the roads were bad, selfish me only thinking of myself. He drove slowly around the curves while we sang to the music playing on the radio, That's when it happened a deer hit us from the front making the car swirl several times on the icy road until we went off the edge hitting a tree. That's the only thing I can remember before waking up in a hospital bed after being comatose for several days.The newspaper called it a freak accident they actually had the nerve to write that bullshit, that is why I hate the tabloids they will write anything  to make themselves look good.The alarm clock goes off and I pull my body up to get ready for school the struggle has been real since the accident, I can't say I enjoy school anymore life has been feeling non existent lately. Walking through the hallways they try not to stare but I feel there beatie eyeballs gauging at my skin I'm not a charity case I'm a girl in mourning learn the difference. The green poster stood out like a stop sign there it read" Tryouts for the band" everyone is welcome there is not a musical bone in my body but the tribute was only a couple of months away and my family wouldn't be expecting me to do this. So I did the unthinkable in signed myself up tryouts started the following week we then had two weeks to learn our instrument and prepare a piece to play of course I chose the piano. People think it's going to be easy for me because of my father but little do they know it was his gift not mine the magic skipped me. I lied to my mom and told her I was getting help with my school work so she would stop asking me why I needed to stay after school so much. My music teacher was a big help after I told her my plans she was more than willing to help me learn she even cried a bit although I can't seem to understand why. This was going to be the hardest two weeks of my life I don't know how to read the music sheets or even identify the different keys, things were starting to look like a hot mess for me what made me think I could do this? My brain never seems to grasp the concept it needs to think before reacting there could be horrible repercussions like embarrassing myself, my family, and my father's reputation. The willpower to not let him and my family down got the best of me so I sucked all my feelings up and threw them in the back of my brain so I can focus on the bigger picture. Over the next two weeks the sounds were slowly coming together and I learned the different keys and how to read the music. Soon the time came for me to perform in front of the music teachers and the captain of the band. Here we go I inhaled slowly and started playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and towards the end I mixed Mary Had A Little Lamb in with it. Finally letting my breath out I opened my eyes to see their reaction it was unreadable so I quickly said thank you and headed for the door as fast as my legs would take me without actually running. The list was posted after school today  on the back of the band door there were so many people waiting for the results, I waited patiently for the line to clear out before getting up to go check. "Oh My Gosh" I screamed silently to myself my emotions got the best of me in I started crying my dad would be so proud of me, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be playing in a band, but life was crazy like that expect the unexpected. Wanting to tell someone but can't almost dampered my day so I went to my music teacher and thanked her for giving me a chance you deserved it you worked harder than anyone Jessie in fact watching you these couple of weeks motivated me and the rest of the staff team to give you your own solo performance. You will perform with the group and then do your solo act for your father tribute, here I go with the water works again that's the second time today this has happened to me for the first time since the funeral I felt a piece of happiness tugging at my heart. To say I was nervous would be an understatement finding a song for this occasion was going to be hard but playing in front of a crowd was going to be harder. I'm kinda shy and don't like being in front of a lot of people, but this isn't just for me a lot of people need some kind of closure. For the next six weeks I stayed after school practicing. My mom didn't suspect a thing, I packed my bag with my band clothes in it and headed down stairs. You look beautiful Jessie my mom said coming down the stairs you do to I said back, she smiled at me and we headed out the door. We pulled up to the school house, the parking lot was already crowded I jumped out the car and told my mom I would meet up with later. I spotted some of my family members while going into the school thank GOD they didn't spot me are i would have had to explain why I wasn't with my mother. Rushing to the band room I quickly changed into my uniform to get ready for the show, my anxiety was starting to kick in as I heard the principal talking my teacher came over to see if I was ok. If I back out now I could save myself the embarrassment looking me in the eyes she said the sweetest thing he is with you tonight. At that moment I knew what I had to do they announced the band and pulled the curtains up, we started playing we are the world we are the children and a couple of more songs after that. The shock and confusion on my family face was priceless when they saw me on the piano, as the curtains closed I ran back to the bathroom to change into my red dress to get ready for my solo. The only sound I heard was my music teacher talking to the audience, tonight we welcome our band and school member, but to the late Mr Campbell in his beautiful wife Mrs Melissa Campbell she is their beautiful daughter Jessie Campbell. All eyes were on me as I walked through the curtains only a certain pair stood out my mom looked at me with confusion and love with those baby blue eyes. An unrecognized voice came from my lips  my father was an artist to you all; he touched so many lives through his music. Tonight we celebrate his memory and love for the music, walking to the piano as they dimmed the lights I sat down in closed my eyes allowing my fingers to do the rest. I played It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday by boys to men, the music moved my body and spirit. My soul was lit up with so many emotions, I opened my eyes not a dry eye in sight including mine I stood up and bowed at that moment I looked up at the ceiling and smiled knowing my dad was proud of me.

April 19, 2020 18:26

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