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My name is Frederick, Fredrick Johnson. I was a halfwit at school, a member of the dumb class, the mentally challenged, so they said. I was marked as incomplete in a politically-correct way, in other words a special needs student. Supposedly because I had no interest in school, did not care for my grades what so ever and took an imaginative approach to homework I was defined as such.
As time went on, I started to believe in my inability to study.
I grasped onto the fact that I was in special needs classes in high school and couldn’t do anything about it. But that wasn’t the case. Playing the piano changed my point of view about myself.
I started playing piano with my big brother after school because I wanted to be a better pianist than him, at least be better than him at something. It was as simple as that. Height wasn’t his best attribute, even though he was distant he was somewhat always there, he watched over me like a hawk.
The idea of him leaving in a few years would kill me but I’d rather enjoy the time I have with him than moan. My brother was extremely talented and smart, he was fond of literature, poetic music and qualified for the state music awards, twice. So, becoming a better pianist than him would be a sign that I had intellectual power. With that musical instrument, 88 keys, I had a chance to overcome my so-called inability.
Lesson after lesson, I felt I was edging closer to be a better pianist than my brother. I started reading piano books and practicing during class hours. During the summer, me and my brother agreed to play Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, one of the most iconic music pieces around the world, yes, we were at that point. To be honest, four months ago no one would believe me if I said this, but I played better than my brother, it made me feel euphoric, there wasn’t really anyone watching us, only we judged and gave each other our honest opinions. We played piano in the warehouse that stood opposite the windows of the back of the house, when we played all you could here was the mellow and resounding sound of the piano. Without the music, quietness was almost tangible. Silence lay like a down-filled duvet over the area, muffling the slightest sound and creating an atmosphere of total tranquility.
Almost a year has passed, and I’m now in second place on the school’s piano player rooster, with our first player being the best in the state. Our school was invited to an International piano event where by several famous inspiring models were to attend. Each school invited had a representative who had to play a piano piece for the audience, almost like a tournament but with a different type of reward, a scholarship.
The day before the event our best player had called off due to an emergency, therefore I had to take his place. It was my chance to represent the school and play as top pianist. I was determined show who I had become, not only to my self but those I let down. Schools out of the country attended, so I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. I trained and made sure I’d hit every note like my life depended on it, spent hours playing the same piece repeatedly as sweat trickled down every inch of my body.
The day of the event my fingers were all numb, but I knew that I had to pull through, so I rapped tape around the middle of all my fingers. There were so many people at the event, someone could feel lost and claustrophobic in the crush of people.
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