Giving up the art
Author: Ella

Chapter 15
plastic flute

i walked into my room and saw, hanging from my wooden table, blue and black ribbons. isabel brushed past me and drifted to the table. she lifted each ribbon and pressed it straight before placing it nicely back on the edge. finally, she lifted one in her left hand and twirled around gracefully. the ribbon seemed to follow her swift movements, dancing casually around her arm. i watched and felt my heart flutter seeing how she controlled the ribbon almost effortlessly. it was a performance by itself.

"isabel," i whispered.

she smiled and signalled to the recorder lying beside my school bag. i slipped the case off and tried to blow a tune. the melody was rough and broken, a vast disgrace to her dancing. i stopped and continued observing her. her eyes dimmed as she continued her dance.

i placed my recorder on the table and sighed. it was the only music i had in my life. the only one i had tried to control. the first and last instrument i thought i would ever play. once, i felt that it was the most beautiful one. it was light, cheap and easy to manipulate. yet it was because of these qualities that made the recorder nothing better than the way i played it. it was not shining like the flute, loudly in tune like the piano or even as grand as the violin. its sound was insistently annoying when i blowed through the mouth piece without covering the holes completely. once, i had thought it amazing to learn the recorder. afterall, it was the instrument they taught in school. little did i realise that it was taught only because it was easier than most others and cheap and convenient to carry around. it was for these that i loved it, and now for these that i find it a disgrace.

the little child that once held the recorder proudly in her small hands, even though she could barely play it with her little hands, would never take pride in saying that she could play the plastic flute ever again. isabel could make mere ribbons dance, but i cannot make a recorder sing.


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