Waiting. I hate waiting. It gives me time to think, time to remember. It gives me chance to see her smile through closing eyes, as she sings and strokes my hair. I keep myself busy, I started learning flute so that I can stay after school and arrive early. It keeps the quiet away and keeps me focused on every passing note. The music I try to write is as saturated as is possible, not even letting my lungs breathe for a second. But I can't play today; if Ellie turns up I don't want to keep her waiting, though if Abi comes she'll be fine with it.
So here I am, waiting. Waiting for the girl I hate to not turn up. Waiting for the girl who’s nice to me to arrive early. But it’s three already and there’s no sign of either of them, they could have been kept behind though, so I’ll stay until half past to make sure. Someone has knocked Abi’s violin off the shelf she shoved it on in her haste earlier, the case has fallen open. I pick it up carefully onto the table and pick up all the various cleaning cloths and spare strings. The violin itself is upside down, showing its maple back, as perfectly maintained as the front. I’ve always admired violinists; they manage to put so much emotion into every stroke, they always focus on meaning rather than accuracy, I wish I could do that. God knows I try, but I can’t risk opening up too much during a performance. But it seems to come so naturally, it’s as if they have some kind of instinct on exactly when to move each muscle in their face, or how long to let a note ring. Still, I could never play violin, my damn hand isn’t strong enough.
Picking up the instrument in my right hand, I pluck the strings with my left, checking the tuning. I adjust two of the strings and consider putting it away, instead I hold it to my chin and let the music build around me. The music is not coming from the instrument, it is in my head, but it still sings clearly. I try to let my emotion show, but my reflection in a darkened window shows little feeling. A soft section, built around a minor chord, smooth and reflective, I let my eyes melt and glisten with tears I know shouldn’t be shed. But the figure in the reflection does not. The music builds, growing and flourishing with a glorious key change, I let my smile burst from within. But the figure in the reflection does not. Damn.
I can’t even pretend to be as emotive as even the most limited performer. I keep trying though, hoping to see a hint of what I feel inside make itself apparent on the figure in that reflection. If anyone had seen, it would have seemed very strange; I was stood in the middle of the room, watching myself hold a violin. But no one came. So I gently place the delicate object in its case and return it with care to the shelf where it belongs. With one last look at the instrument I wish I could play, I leave the room.