The Song

For my English exam in grade 12, the theme was the Power of Music. I almost laughed out loud when I found out: writing and music in the same place - my favourite combination. I chose to submit a story, of course. This is the result. (It's a bit cheesy, I know. Not my best work, but my teacher liked it :)

        Even from the time of my birth, I could hear it. I was too young to understand it, for I had much to learn about music and life, but if I listened, I could hear it, and it drew me.

        The song was beauty and mystery. It filled my ears and my heart, the haunting melody tugging at my soul. It seemed to call my name, echoing playfully, playing tricks on my ears and tickling my young, innocent lips. It was always there, repeating over and over in my head, filling the air around me.

       As I grew, the song became a part of me. When I laughed, it tinkled merrily. When I was sad it faded to a melancholy drone. When I inhaled it rose to dizzying heights, only to dive when I breathed out, spreading its wings a breathtaking moment before it hit the ground, and climbing the air as I took another breath. Each rhythmic pulse was perfectly synchronized with the beating of my heart. I could feel it glowing from within my veins and I'm sure if you looked deep into my eyes you could see it shining in the depths of my soul.

      I wanted to sing. More than anything I loved to hear the song pass through my ips, rising to greet the beauty of the heavens. I practised for hours each day, treasuring each sound my voice could make, committing my song to memory. My song was the most beautiful thing I had ever known. I wanted to harness its magic, its beauty, its power - to share my song with the world.

                                                ~ ~ ~

       They told me I couldn't sing.

       At first I didn't understand. Why couldn't I sing? Had I not practised enough?

      Their hard, judgmental glances made me feel small and ugly. I heard my song die a little.

       I wasn't good enough. I wasn't the best. I felt hope and innocence drain out of me. My song withered, fading to a whisper, until it was only a ghost of what it had once been. I felt it slowly retreat into a small, empty corner of my heart, waiting for the day when it could soar among the clouds once more.

       "That's life," they told me.

      "That's reality."

       I reluctantly pushed my song away. I had to live in the real world. I had responsbilities. There was no time to sing.

       Time passed. I began to forget the sound of my song. I lived my life the way they told me to. The real world was dark and quiet. The air was cold and the people were sad. There was so much stress, so much worry, so much pain. There were so many responsibilities, and no time to sing.

       Sometimes I would remember my song. It would jump inside of me, eager to be free. Then I would remember their stern gazes, and the sudden hope would be stripped away, replaced by the crushing torment of rejection and shame. I knew it would be easier not to sing than to be hurt again, so I shoved my song back further, frightened and ashamed.

                                                   ~ ~ ~

       Then one day I heard it: a beautiful song similar to the one that hid inside me. It rose and fell in deep crescendoing swells, and, before I could stop it, mine echoed back in harmonious response.

       The two voices merged, blending in perfect harmony, then linking in flawless unison, as if there was only one voice. They twisted and spun, the two songs entertwining, strengthening. I could feel the raw power - much stronger than one song alone.

       The power frightened me and I faltered. Coming to my senses, I scolded my song for breaking free. I had responsibilities - reality. There was no time to sing. I turned to walk away as if nothing had happened.

       "Wait," he said.

       "I have to go."

       "You have a beautiful voice."

       I have responsibilities.

       "Why do you keep your song hidden like that? It wants to be free."

        They told me I couldn't sing.

      "Everyone has a song hidden inside them. Just because some people think a song should sound a certain way, because they think some songs are better than others, doesn't mean we should stop singing."

       Tears collected in my eyes, threatening to spill down my cheeks. I couldn't let myself hope.

       I wasn't good enough.

       "Every song is beautiful."

       My song leaped from its corner in my heart, flying higher than it had ever dared to go before.

       He laughed, sending his song up to join mine. Our voices were joined by one more, then another, and another until I could barely hear my own voice above the harmonies of the choir. Each song had power; each had a story and a certain sadness from being hidden for so long. But together we knew we could do anything.

       Every single separate voice blended into a single unified melody. A single song of hope. Each song was unique. Each voice deserved to be heard. Each, in its own way, was beautiful and strong, but together we had the power to change the world.

The End

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