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Drama Friendship Thriller

"I thought you were my friend!" Yara cried, tears streaking down her cheeks. "How could you! How could you do this to me!"

"Because you don't deserve to go to Julliard! I deserve to go to Julliard!" yelled Michelle at Yara. "You Indian people know nothing about classical music but I have been playing piano since I was a baby!"

"That's racist!" Yara shouted. "I have been playing piano since I was three years old!" she then stared at Michelle, her tear stricken face looking at her. "Someday Michelle, you will regret it," and with that, Yara leaves Michelle alone in the practice room with Michelle staring after her.

Years ago, Yara and I used to be best friends. Yara, like my parents were immigrants from Sri Lanka--her father is a professor at the University of Cincinnati. Me, I belong to the second generation of Chinese Americans. Yara and I have similar background, though we are from two different cultures. Like my parents, Yara's parents wanted Yara to become a doctor, engineer or a lawyer. But unlike my parents, Yara's parents didn't really support her dream of becoming a pianist though they appreciated her musical prodigy.

Yara and I are both good at piano. While I mastered in Bach and Liszt, Yara was good at playing Beethoven and Chopin's pieces. She could in fact play Chopin better than I do. Sometimes, I listen to Yara playing Chopin's pieces, her long delicate fingers touching the keys, completely immersed into the piece, as if she is communicating Chopin through the piece and knows what Chopin was really feeling when he wrote the piece.

"I wish I can play Chopin like you," I would tell her after she finished playing Chopin's Etude in F minor.

Yara grinned. "And I wish I can play Mozart like you,"

And to be honest, we were not very competitive with each other at that time. If she win, I was happy for her--honestly I was. If I win, she will be happy for her. We were very supportive to each other back then until the senior year in our high school.

That's when our friendship got ruined for good.

***

The Julliard School only takes one student from our school. Well, truth to be told, no one from our high school ever entered into The Julliard School so our principal, Dr. Schumann was thrilled that they have two "piano prodigies" who could make our high school proud. And that's me and Yara.

I know Julliard School is my dream school. I have been dreaming of going to Julliard School since I was a kid. But Yara had been dreaming of going to Julliard School too. We both joked that someday, we would go to Julliard together. But it only seemed that only one of us will go to Julliard.

And I will do anything that I will be the one who will get accepted into Julliard.

***

Endless hours and hours of practice in the practice room that my fingers start aching. Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Schumann...and worst of all, every piece that you had to play for the audition need to be played by memory.

"What is this Michelle!" barked my teacher Arielle Chu. "You are playing all wrong notes again!"

I stared at the keys, my mind hazy. I can't do this...deep inside me, something is saying that.

I stared at my teacher in tears. "Ms. Chu, I can't do this," I said, stammering.

"What? What are you talking about! Are you going to miss your chance of going to Julliard?" she yelled.

"I don't want to go to Julliard anymore!" I yelled and started sobbing.

"You want that Indian girl to go instead?" Ms. Chu huffed.

Yara on the other hand is playing more better than I am. She seems to be confident and I have watched her playing--she seemed to be playing with so much flow and confidence.

Maybe, Yara really is more talented than I thought. Maybe I am not talented enough to become a pianist.

"Oh well, if you want her to take the place, then go ahead, I thought it was your dream to go to Julliard?" Ms. Chu scorned.

Now that I think about it, I wished I hadn't let her torment me. A good teacher would never do that. She was the one who literally made Yara as an enemy. Yara's teacher on the other hand didn't force Yara as Ms. Chu did to me.

That night, my mother came into my room as I was lying on the bed, thinking. She sits by the edge of the bed, stroking my hair.

"Your father and I were talking...we think Ms. Chu is too tough on you," she said softly. "Look if you didn't get into Julliard, there are plenty of other good music schools you can choose from. It's not really the end of the world that you wouldn't get into Julliard,"

"But Julliard is my dream school!" I yelled and immediately fell guilty about yelling at her.

"Look, Julliard is taking only one student from your school. If that one student happened to be Yara, you should accept the defeat. You can apply to other music schools. Cincinnati in fact has a good music school,"

"I don't want to to to Cincinnati! I want to go to Julliard!" I cried and started sobbing.

My mother left me alone in the room.

As the years passed on, I wished I had listened to my mother. But my jealousy, my stubbornness coupled with Ms. Chu's words want me to go to Julliard at any cost--even if it will ruin my friendship with Yara.

***

Plan One--Get Yara drunk so she would have a hang over and would never able to go to audition. That plan would have been perfect but her mother was coming with her so that would be impossible.

Plan Two--spread vicious rumors about Yara. That would be great. Julliard School will look for someone with a good character and so if I could taint Yara's character, making her look like a wild child than a pianist, that would taint the chances of Yara getting into Julliard.

November 30, 2020 15:54

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