Friday, 11 July 2008

of exams (part 8)

The piano was two floors down and was at the other end of the house, but it made no difference to John. He could see the piano with his mind. It was right in front of him. He saw himself playing it. He felt the connection between him and the piano. He thought to himself that he must get to the piano, by hook or by crook, and touch it. He wanted to produce sounds like the ones he heard that night. He wanted to finish off the song that he heard, to play out the sequel that he made for that song. It was a torturing time for him. He couldn’t stand not being able to play the piano after that moment of enlightenment. If you didn’t know him, you would have thought he was a drug addict.

John crept into that room once everyone in the house except Janet was taking their afternoon nap. The time was about 5 in the evening. Janet was outside of the house and in the garden. She was busy sweeping the porch area. It was quite bare compared to the days of spring and summer time whereby the garden area would be littered with leaves and flowers. The trees in the garden stood there tall and naked. Janet was not too bothered about how eerie they looked when the wind blew. She was too used to it. Maybe once she was scared, but that was a thing of the past. John looked out from the window of the room into the garden. He shivered with excitement and fear as the piano was right behind him. Just him and the piano. He took his seat in front of the piano. The black and white keys called out to him. He looked at the keys, and he could sense that they were looking back at him. He looked up from the keys and he saw a giant picture there. One that he hadn’t noticed from the two times that he stepped into that room. It was a family portrait. He could see Mr. Colby and his dad standing at the back of a couple that were older than them. It had to be their parents. They were all smiling very happily. Little did he know that that was their last family photo together. His dad left home shortly after that, and never came back.

That picture brought back memories of him and his dad when he was younger. The days were they played catching in the fields nearby his shack, rolling around on the ground, fishing and all. He missed his dad sorely. And there was not one night that he had stopped thinking about his dad, except that night when he was thinking about the piano. Tears started to form at the corner of his eyes. He put his palms towards his eyes and his elbows on the piano. The sounds that were produced from the piano broke the silence in the house. Suddenly, John stopped crying. He glared at the piano with those two wet eyes. He remembered what he was in that room for – to play the piano. His right index finger pressed a note, and another, and another, and another. His heart started to beat faster and faster. He felt a weird feeling running through his body. Again, he pressed another key. “Glorious!!” he thought. He was amazed by how a block of wood could produce such beautiful sounds.

He then pressed two at once to see what would happen. It was a G and a Bb. “Wow!” he thought. “This is so amazing!” He started pressing three, then four, then with two hands, a whole chord. He recognised every sound that each key produced from the short moment of messing with the single notes. He started thinking of which sound would blend with which, and how to make it sound nice. His mind raced at the speed of sound, making out chord after chord after chord. He started playing it out. He had composed a song that no one knew. A song unheard of before this, except by his heart. It was the heart song of John. It was a melody that rang deep down inside his heart.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

of exams (part 7)

That note ignited an explosion of emotions in John. It was an Eb, but being one whom had never had any music background, it didn’t matter. He fell into a trance. His mind began to wander to a land far, far away. Every nerve in his body tingled the moment the Eb was pressed. His heart pounded faster and faster. The smile on his face grew wider and wider. Finally, he had found the source of the sounds he had first heard the moment he stepped into his uncle’s house, and that of the tune he heard during his first night at the house.

So that’s where the sound comes from,” thought John, enthralled by that single note that many others wouldn’t have bothered about. Unknown to himself, he was still muttering the word “piano” over and over again.

“Yer’ saying something, young master?” asked Janet in her thick Scottish accent upon hearing John’s gibberish.
“wh..wh...what?” stuttered John.
“Never mind.”

He shivered in excitement as he made his way back to his room, zombie-like. That note was still ringing in his ear very clearly. He sat on his bed and rubbed his palms against his thighs.