The story of a young boy, dragged into a world of music, knowing little about the world itself or himself.
Eric Daughton knew he had been had. She was a crafty fox, he thought to himself as he looked at the young boy who stood before him. Nevertheless, her craftiness was what led him there, and he fell for it. Entirely. Running his hands through his medium-length brown hair, he gestured to the piano beside him.
“Lemme hear you play, boy.” It was a line he said with sarcasm, fuelled by his own undervalue of the boy’s talent.
Even though his mother was a pianist herself, it didn’t mean that the talent was hereditary, Eric told himself. He decided that as soon as the boy had slaughtered Ludwig Van Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’, he’d take his leave. He couldn’t wait to get out of that room- the boy scared him. He had an air of dejection surrounding him, and it stifled Eric. It left him with a sour taste in his mouth; a taste he couldn’t spit out, nor swallow. He couldn’t name the feeling, but the boy expelled a feeling of depression, as if anyone around him would be sucked into his void of darkness.
He sat in front of the piano, breathing calmly. Calm and composed, he began the piece. Softly, and in time, his fingers danced across the keys. No note was misplayed. Each time his fingers pressed down, he created his own sound, and the melody of his piano resonated on the walls. The next section began, and he began to speed up; and he did so well, flicking his fingers and wrist and playing the piece smoothly. Then he ended. He ended the beautiful piece, softly and gently once again, softer than it had began. He had talent. Beautiful talent.
Eric rose from his chair and smiled. He wanted to applaud the boy‘s ability, and although Eric still couldn’t handle being around him, he knew that if he made this boy a success he would benefit.
“Do you mind if I smoke?” Eric asked the boy, as he lit a cigarette.
They both knew the question intended to be rhetorical.
“I’ll be your teacher from now on then. OK?”
The boy nodded. Maintaining his silence.
“Don’t speak much do you? Ah well… doesn’t matter much to me anyways…” Eric exhaled a cloud of smoke.
The cigarette stench spread through the room almost instantly. Impervious to talk, the young boy sat in silence.
“You depress me kid…” Eric looked at the boy with sad eyes. He felt it. He could see that this boy was in a lot of pain. “You’re only fifteen years old, but you…”
The boy didn’t look him in the eyes, nor did he smile. He remained silent throughout that fifty minute piano lesson, like a robot awaiting orders. Occasionally though, before playing the piano, he’d sigh, showing his honest dislike for the instrument.
“How was he?” His mother asked Eric, after the lesson.
Her auburn-red bob style haircut matched well with her warm, red lipstick, as she made her way into the practice room. She looked as good as she did sixteen years ago, when she was nineteen, Eric thought.
“Good. In fact… excellent…”
She nodded, and almost brushed the compliment away. She must have known the talents of her son and heard his praises many a time.
“I’ll take him as a student.”
That was the line she wanted to hear and as soon as Eric muttered those words her eyes had darted towards him, eager and excited.
He knew that by taking this boy under his wing, he would have a lot of publicity. He missed it all. About four years ago, he led a life of fame, fortune, and tabloids. Now, he was reduced to teaching dim-witted preteens how to play ‘Chopsticks’. But, with Joanne Fritzburg (world recognised pianist)‘s prodigal son, he would only have to win one small league competition before reaching stardom once again. Also, seeing Joanne every weekend didn’t hurt either. He had harboured a crush for her for many years now. All in all, the plan worked well for him.
“He’ll be back next week. I’ll pay you-”
Eric waved his hands, whilst shaking his head to stop her mid-sentence. “No no,” he began, “I’ll do it all for free. I’ll take him as my student. As long as you keep me his only teacher for the next three years. Minimum.”
She gave him a brief smile and nod to agree.
“Good.” They both said in unison, before breaking into a slight giggle.
Eric was set. He would advertise the boy to the best of his abilities and make a killing off of it, and get to see Joanne everyday; and Joanne would benefit too. For a woman who was always travelling through Britain, France, Germany and Japan (to name a few), she could entrust her son’s talent to someone who would always be around. She knew Eric’s personality was a little off-the-wall and his playing standard wasn’t as good as hers, but she also knew that this man had won competitions. He had talent too, and if it wasn’t for that accident he had four years ago, he’d have made it big.
Joanne gave him a smirk, and walked away with her son in tow. She couldn’t wait to see her little boy in competitions. Winning them- preferably.