[Note: Although I wrote this from a third-person perspective, this was an actual experience of mine. Around the time of writing this, I had serious issues with interpersonal relationships, speaking up, and generally making my existence known – well, issues with those that were more severe than they are now. At the same time, I was just starting to play songs of my own choice on the piano. This story is the result. (For those who might wonder, the first song was “Last regrets -acoustic version-“. The second was “Natsukage”.)]
He placed his hands over the keys. His eyes took in all three lines of notes, and he began to play.
The notes came together, with the melody clearly ringing out among the accompaniment. Gradually, the vocal line diverged from the instrumental. The song slowed when the fingers stretched; when he could no longer play all three lines, he began to hum the vocal part.
As the second chorus ended, he let the notes trail off into silence. He did not yet have the pages past the seventh. He took the loose pieces of paper from the front.
It was finally too dark to distinguish the notes from the white paper. The boy reluctantly turned on the light, casting the white-orange glow on the pages.
He began to play the next song that he had just begun learning. Thus far, his performance was less than proficient. Still without a perfect grasp of the chords integrated with the melody, the music periodically stalled while the boy searched for the correct notes. Small phrases sounded separately from the cloud of instability.
He stopped. He paused for a moment, reevaluating his approach. He was ready, and he once again set his fingers on the keys. This time, he slightly decreased his tempo. His playing was much more even. Occasionally, the fingers made small errors, but their sound did not strike out so jarringly; they blended with the true intervals unobtrusively, and the pianist simply attempted again the missed note. The music was hesitant, but not unpleasantly so.
As the song progressed, those quiet errors began to fade. For once, the song was almost right. Upon entry into the final revisit of the theme, the melody swelled as it should have, resonating through the entire room to the pianist’s lungs. All voices converged into a beautiful expression of the composition.
Finally, the young pianist’s fingertips eased into the peaceful conclusion. He lightly pressed the final keys until the piece faded into the sky, or perhaps the shadows.
The boy remained on the bench for some time in the remaining silence. The corners of his lips rose ever so slightly. Yes, perhaps it is better to be hesitant without inaction. Instead of only attempting what he is capable of and letting things fall when they slip from his grasp, perhaps he should take those tentative steps. Even if they begin unpleasantly, he can find his own pace, and when he succeeds in that, he can repeat the theme, and his actions will grow richer over every increment of time.
The next day, he spoke to them.