This is a regular column featuring original fiction by and for high school students, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.
I melt into a crowd heading for the auditorium, disguising myself among a hundred or so other people. Thankfully, I don’t recognize a single one of them. I don’t want to talk to anyone right now. I don’t want to see anyone except…
I find my seat among the rest of the audience and wait. Slowly, the lights dim. I can’t help noticing the butterflies in my stomach, the knot in my throat. I tear away pieces of the program, a green booklet, until a little hill of paper is in my lap. I want to run away. I want to melt into the chair. I want to dissappear.
What I want is…
The performers come out, tall and sleek in black and carrying their instruments with the regality of an old English court. They sit and ready themselves, all the while giving us the impression that we aren’t even there. We are insignificant, quiet little specks of nothing compared to them, at this very moment.
To you, I’m probably…
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking for him. And I know it’s about the music and the performance and all the effort they’ve put into their work… But I can’t help it. I search for him. And I feel paranoid for a moment and I wonder if anyone has noticed me, but of course they haven’t. They talk to each other, idle chatter, and are completely unaware of my meaningless anxiety and the mess of scrap paper in my lap and the way I can’t even hear myself think and-…I’ve found him.
He’s dressed in all black, like the others, but he might as well be wearing a neon sign on his forehead for all the attention he’s robbed me of. Like a fool, I am hypnotized. Like a child, I stare straight at him. Like an idiot, I pull my hair around my face, push my glasses up, and hide.
I’m nothing more than...
The violin is at his chin, his arm is in position, and before I realize it, they’ve begun. He slowly, carefully, rocks through the notes. He sinks into a low note, rises with the high ones. He plays that instrument with his whole body; he plays it like his life depends on it. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone so in love with music.
And somewhere in the middle of it all, I feel strange, creepy, intrusive… like I’m witnessing something that I really shouldn’t be. I try focusing on the others, on the conductor, on anything but him. I focus on the song. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, a version specifically arranged for the string ensemble. It’s beautiful and slow with a painful undertone.
He’s completely focused. I think to myself, it must have been this moment. This is the moment that I first felt myself drawn to him. I say “drawn” because I don’t know how else to describe all these emotions. Admiration? Respect? Love? I feel like they’re so closely related…How do I differentiate them all?
Is there even such as thing as…
Suddenly it’s over. He breathes. He’s pleased, raises his eyebrows and smiles a little to his friends. The conductor bows, the performers rise and bow. He glances out into the audience, looks in my direction.
But I know he isn’t looking me. He’s looking at someone next to me, someone behind me. Hell, he’s probably just looking at the clock on the opposite side of the auditorium. Never at me. I hold my breath and resist the urge to look away. He couldn’t have seen me watching him, it’s way too dark over here…
The performers exit, the lights go on, and I’m outside and into the hallway as soon as they open the doors. My head is full of too many things and the boy and his violin are still playing loudly in my mind. I try and remember how to breathe… The reality is really unavoidable.
He saw me.
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