Brooke preps for her piano recital

Brooke Blazius hunches over from her backpack overstuffed with biology notebooks. She’s not headed to lab now, though. Instead, she darts towards a room with the only one piece of furniture—a piano.

She throws her backpack on the floor and grabs her six-page sheet music out of her science notes.

Brooke places four of the pages in front of her. Making sure the soft, worn papers don’t slouch, her fingers linger for a few extra seconds. The last two pages get a special spot next to her on the bench, for now.

“Professor Peterson says that arm exercises will make me less tense when I play,” she says as she reaches her arms over her head, moving them from side to side.

Limbered up, Brooke slides her four rings off of her fingers—one sparkles from the large colored jewels complementing her necklace; another reminds her of her relationship with God; one holds the memories of her grandmother; the last keeps her high school friends close.


She breezes a few keys then relaxes her wrists.

With her fingers hovering over the keys, the music finally begins.

Having practiced this song for almost three months, Brooke comfortably looks between the sheet music and her fingers without hesitation.

Click, click, clack. Her nails hit the ivory with every eighth note she plays. Professor Peterson is going to tell her to cut them again, especially before her concert on Sunday.

After a few measures, a quiet irkkk adds to her melody. Her fuchsia flat pushes down on one of the pedals of the aged piano.

With a tilt of her head, her notes get higher in pitch and her fingers tickle the keys. With a deep stare and some nostril flaring, her notes get lower in pitch and her fingers squish the keys.

After translating all six pages into sound, Brooke squints at the notes and sighs.


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