Playing Piano

Lola’s fingers danced over the piano keys, pulling out music that was alternately sad, and happy, rigid, and playful. She got to the end, where multiple themes were woven together to form something greater than any one individually. She was trying to juggle many melodies, playing something different with each hand, and her fingers got confused. The music fell apart into just sound. She could hear it in her head, and she could write it on paper, but neither of those things were the same as playing.

She heard her mother’s voice in her head, Again.

She started from the beginning. It was all there. The whole thing, right until the end.

Again. Again.

She practiced over and over, just that piece, sometimes slowly, sometimes full speed. She could get it sometimes, but not always. It was inconsistent.

She looked at the sheet music, even though she knew it by heart. Even though she knew it better than anything she had ever written before. She could have someone else play it; someone with more talent. Marco would do it, even on short notice. Or she could change it, make it simpler, easier. No one would know. But she knew neither of those was really an option. It had to be her, and it had to be her best.


Her fingers were stiff from playing.


Her butt was numb from sitting for so long


Her eyes were blurry from tears not yet fallen.


Lola banged her fists on the the keyboard, producing a jarring mess. She screamed at the world and at herself. She lay her head on her arms and cried into the keys. Maybe for something else, it would have been enough, maybe for someone else. But not this. This had to be perfect, and it was just too much. She sat there, the only sounds the very taps as her tears hit the ivory.


Lola almost felt her mother’s hand lifting her head off the keys, and straightening her back. She took a deep breath, and she began again. She would get it. She knew she could. She had to.

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