The Black Keys of a Piano


“Harleen Davis. Did you hear me?” 

“Hmm?” I looked up to see my art teacher trying to make conversation. She was a woman, in her early thirties, I think. With blonde hair back in a bun, extravagant glasses she wore only to make her look smarter.

I realized quickly that the surrounding class room was vacant besides myself, I was quite caught up in my pencil drawing of a abandoned park in the Olympic Peninsula. In Washington, even though I live In Oakland California, but I'd visited a few times over the years and loved it there.

I nod and get up at once, quickly muttering an apology and gathering my art supplies. Wishing her a good night as I head out the door and eventually out the front doors of the school all together. 

I walk home every day, and I miss the home bus on purpose because of that. I enjoy walking, admiring the neighborhoods that aren't mine, and sometimes I get to walk in the rain, which is awesome, because I enjoy that a lot, and my parents always tell me I'll get sick or something... As I approach my house, I look across the street. The big white house that had been sitting empty for two years, had a moving van sitting out front. I shrug it off and pull open the front door of my house, pausing at an unfamiliar sight. My mom is sitting at the table talking with someone who has a unfamiliar voice, I drop my backpack and warily make my way into the kitchen where they sit talking and drinking coffee.

“Oh honey your home! I'd like you to meet someone.” mom says. I smile shyly at the woman who sits across from my mom. She has dark brown eyes, brown dreadlocks with blonde streaks, pulled back I a pony tail. She has a cute heart shaped face and an friendly, open smile. I was never very good at introductions.

“This is Adrienne Armstrong, our new neighbor. Her and her husband moved in yesterday.” mom says.

“This is my daughter Harleen.” mom says proudly and I crack a smile. 

“So you're the ones moving in across the street...” I say with a slight smile. "it's nice to meet you."

She nods and smiles. “Yep, that's us. It's nice to meet you, too.”

“So honey, how did music class go today?” mom asks when I sit down beside her. Oh God I have to think about this again. She asks this question almost daily. I begin to wonder if she thinks I have some kind of learning disability or something like that.

I sigh “Same as ever. An epic fail.” I say picking at my chipping bright green nail polish.

Mom smiles sadly. Sealing the deal on my assumptions, but she says nothing.

“What instrument are you learning?” Adrienne asked. Leaning across the table on her elbows.

“Piano.” I sigh. I stop myself before I can go into in depth fangirling over how much I like the piano and like to play it- without much success so far.

“Do you need a teacher?” she asks.

I shrug “My teacher says I should give up.” I say looking up at the ceiling, where the fan whirrled around and around again.

She scoffed “Nonsense!" she laughed "my husband plays fluidly, he can teach you if you'd like.” she offered.

I spared a look at my mom. About to say no, because I feel really uncomfortable around strangers- when she says “That'd be wonderful. When can she begin?”

Then I just zoned out after she started asking the boring questions like how much a lesson and when he was free. When Adrienne said he is home all week, my first thoughts were of a big fat guy who sits in front of the TV all day watching re runs of the Big Bang Theory while his wife is out working for minimum wage.

But she said he could play fluidly. Surely he is good then and that's enough evidence for me, but I was still suspicious. I get this torn feeling: happiness because I finally have a chance to excel at something I want to enjoy doing, and not become frustrated because I can't. Anxiety because what if my teacher is mean and doesn't want to deal with a annoying fourteen year old... These are the things we think about before agreeing. Only it's too late. 

All Adrienne wanted in return for piano lessons was for my family to help them with furniture moving tomorrow morning. It was Sunday so my parents both got it off, and I did, too. Mom agreed and told Adrienne we would see her and her husband tomorrow. I felt a stone settle in my stomach to meeting a stranger.

Therefor I had no appetite for dinner, but I excused it as just being too excited to eat. I went up to my room and stared out the window. Down across the street. Where the cute Victorian style house I'd admired for years had its usually dark windows all lit up with yellow light that shed matching triangles across the dead, weedy lawn. The house definitely needed work, but I guess it'd work for the couch potato. I watched a while longer before pulling my eyes away from the little house and getting ready for the coming day.
♠ ♠ ♠
I'm back, after obsessively writing on Going to Pasalcqua for the past few days (More updates on that on coming some time...) I decided it as time to pin up this poorly edited chapter. They are going to start out short, but I'll probably come back through adding and properly punctuating any areas that need it.