As I glanced back one last time at the empty room, tears flooded my eyes. The room that once used to be used when my parents had childish arguments was now empty. The guest bedroom was probably the one we used the least, but probably the closest to our hearts. The deep red suitcases distracted from the once pastel blue walls which looked like a gloomy sky. We had to move houses after my dad left us… It’s been tough but I think I’m getting the hang of this.
“¿Listo para ir?” My mum said.
“Io penso di essere”
We put all the cardboard storage boxes and the truck and finally locked the door behind us. I slid into the car scared for the journey ahead but curious about where i'll end up. I turned down the window to glance at myself in the side view mirror to check up on any red eyes. After night falling upon us, the weather had settled to consistent rain, matching my mood at the moment. The wind chattered through the streets, the rain danced upon the rooftops and the moonlight to keep the town in ever-glow.
The new town was nice. Nothing I was ever used to but at least it would be a fresh start. Amid the trees, amid the mirth of laughing meadows, lived the country town. The eye-catching feature was definitely the giant auditorium where people of all ages sang and performed and I was beyond excited to see it.
“Mira por ahí mamá” I cried pointing out towards the distance.
My mum laughed saying that I should perform there. I could never. My fear of public speaking always kept a gap in my heart. As much as I liked to sing and dance, I never had the confidence to perform. Maybe it was finally time to face that fear…
Passing by the town waiting for us to finally reach our house, I saw a billboard. It was a talent show in the auditorium. ‘Maybe I should go’ I thought to myself.
Once I got to our new house the first thing I did was set up my grand piano with the help of my mum. Music is everything to me. To me, the piano is a work of art that speaks directly to the souls of others in a language that predates words. Piano music is so fluent in emotion, there are words that can approach the complexity of such emotion, yet tell them so simply that all are given true sight. I was super hyped to perform this at the talent show and I can’t wait!
The storm had faded to nothingness, now the silence was as pure as the wintry blanket outside. It felt like every creature was sheltering, the birds had either flown south or had better things to do than sing, and there wasn't another human for miles. When my ears became more familiar with the lack of sound, I thought I could hear the tinkle of the river that was partially iced over, but other than that only my rhythmic breathing was in the air. The room has an array of myriad seats in two rows, parallel to each other. The hallway is stretched with countless doors each leading to a new journey. To a new performance. To a new stage.
I saw the soft wave of the woman’s hand gesturing me inside. The wave of the hand itself nearly broke the silence as it is pushing the millions of atoms. As I saw her repeating her gesture once more, my brain froze. All the reasons not to do this come flooding in. But there was no turning back now. I know I said there wasn’t another human for miles to be seen but as I stepped into the doorway, I saw numerous seats reaching the far end of the room. Each one with a person seated. Just stepping on the stage makes my breathing rapid and shallow. I can feel my pulse pounding. It's a relief to get to my chair because between the heels and my legs shaking, I'm afraid I'll trip.
“¿Está el piano ahí?” I asked
Sitting in the middle of the stage. All eyes on me. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. The cheerful bright lights hurt my frail eyes making them even smaller than before. The silence was still persistent – it started since I stepped into this building. Great motivation. I thought to myself. My tongue was about the slip out the words ‘Hello', but before they could, the lights went out. Every inch of the room covered in black. The inky darkness overwhelmed the frail light, diminishing the silence. Shrieks and confusion spread throughout. The darkness not only brought with it horror but also broke the tense silence.
I stood up from my chair looking around.
The lights turned back on.
Now once again, only silence lingered in the air. I shiver in the claustrophobic stage even though it was immense. Waiting for the signal to start, I look around. I see the same lady repeating her gesture for the third time that day. I try to start but a small sigh of anxiety leaps out of my mouth. Tersely, my eyes leave the staging ground and I spot the millions of people. Their faces are full of boredom yet excitement. I knew I had to commence.
“Hola” My mouth finally let out. I had finally started and I’m happy to say I finished alive.
Today was one of the best days of my life. The day I faced my biggest fear.