Giving up the art
Author: Ella

Chapter 1
watching



i was kneeling at the heavy wooden front door of our house, listening to the rich and beautiful sound coming from our neighbour's house. as i pressed my ear against the polished wood, i strained to catch the faintest notes of the song. in my mind, a picture of the girl quickly formed just like how i had seen her playing so many times.



frustration caught on as i heard the song in broken parts. it did not sound the way it should have. i glanced around for my mother and there she was, sitting nicely at the dining table, reading the newspapers. my heart dipped. she hated noise of any kind when she read. but the violin was not noise, it was sound. beautiful sound. i wanted so much to fling open the heavy wooden door and let the music flood in. it was free music and it was a pay back from enduring all the tuneless scale practices when she first picked up the violin. i remember very well, she was only two years old then. her tiny little hands could barely lift the long wooden bow. i remember peeping through her window and watching her teacher lift the bow for her and pulling it gently across the strings. yet, no matter how lightly she placed the bow onto the violin, the sounds that came out were horrible. they pierced my mother's ears and everyone in my family began to grow cold towards our neighbours. they were, as they told me once, a disturbance. i could stand for hours listening to that wretched sound, but i truly was not listening. i was oblivious to the noise. all i could see was her little hands struggling to lift the bow one more time. she dropped it countless times yet with every failure, she tried with a little more effort. i loved watching her. if i was allowed to watch her all day i would have, but my mother often dragged me into the house and slammed the heavy wooden door on purpose. i knew that she did not mean to block out the sound, she meant to tell the girl the misery she was causing our family, yet i could not understand what misery it was causing, for i remember nothing of how she sounded, i only remember what i saw.

years had passed and she was now ten. her music had improved tremendously and it was no longer noise. but my mother loathed the fact that it once was. my mother loved the violin. i knew it. she had told me once, that the violin produced such rich sound. yet my intentions were only met with discouragement. i had never asked if she would ever allow me to pick up the violin, i was but five then. but for all those eight years, i did not listen, i watched.

 

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