Vanstein Copyright - Chapter 10
Chapter 10 – Although difficult times would happen, happiness would follow as long as I kept on playing the piano
“This is a present from me, my first ever piece of music. It may be somewhat arduous, but I hope you can master it.”
“Thank you, Mom! I’ll do my best!”
When Angela first reached the age of seven, she received a sheet music that her mother, Merch, had composed.
It was a personalized music score with warm, handwritten musical notes. For the young girl, it was like a unique jewel existing only one in the world.
It was like a heavenly sensation for Angela, and yet, once she began practicing, the inexorable dawning reality hammered her down. The piece proved too challenging for the young girl who had barely learned performing a sonatina.
During the initial days of practice, Angela encountered numerous disappointments.
She routinely burst into tears in mid-lesson. Occasionally, when the time for lesson drew near, she would retreat to the bathroom for long periods of time, or hide in the attic where she would be covered in a cloud of dust.
Nevertheless, her mother never yelled or hit her, instead, she managed to catch her daughter, brought her onto her lap and held her close, patting her tenderly on her tiny back. The warmth of her mother’s touch naturally eased Angela’s tears.
“Angela, as you know, Daddy had an accident and passed away in heaven. Even my left hand was taken away along with him.”
Roughly a year earlier, Merch ended up losing her husband, a seaman, her own left hand, as well as her employment as a pianist, following a tragic horse-drawn carriage accident.
The young Angela had no proper grasp of how her mother’s life was affected by the loss of her left hand. With her small body trembling and squirming, she merely listened to her mother’s words while stroking her curled up left wrist.
Her mother silently strung the words together as she brushed her hand through her daughter’s thin, soft blonde hair.
“This song was composed with the thought that I will always remember your father, and that he can sleep in peace. Since I can’t play it with my left hand gone, Angela, you have to play it. Only you can do it. Nobody else can play it, aside from you, his daughter.”
“But, but… it’s difficult for me… I can’t play it.”
“Don’t worry, you’re my child. With practice, you would certainly succeed in playing it. Daddy is also rooting for you from heaven that Angela will be able to play well. Let’s strive together.”
“… Yeah, I got it. I’ll practice, but let’s start tomorrow, okay?”
“If you don’t practice, there goes no dinner tonight, is that fine with you?”
Although her mother never yelled or slapped her, that did not mean she would not get angry.
As a young girl, Angela was fully aware that if she did not practice the piano, no amount of weeping would result in a meal being prepared for her.
After her father passed away to heaven, the Greenfield family discontinued their luxurious lifestyle, to the extent that even the young Angela noticed the shift.
There were no more picture books, no more clothes bought for her, not even any confectionery. While proper meals were possible, the bread was stale and the soup was meatless. For Angela, whose appetite had been on the rise, her stomach was often grumbling.
After most of her recreational activities had been lost, Angela dedicated the majority of her time to practicing “Papa’s Song” on the piano.
Throughout this period, Merch devoted Angela’s lessons exclusively to learning this piece, excluding the use of any other piano books. As Angela realized the significance to her mother of her daughter herself performing “Papa’s Song,” she gradually ceased avoiding the lessons.
Despite the strictness of her mother’s lessons, if she practiced diligently without quitting, she would receive compliments, and before she realized it, she had achieved progress.
For the sake of her dad and her meals, Angela continuously faced the piano.
With practice, you would certainly succeed in playing it. Just as her mother had said, Angela eventually learned to perform “Papa’s Song” exactly as it was written in the sheet music. After more than six months of training, the mother and child embraced each other and rejoiced.
From that time on, the Greenfield family’s life gradually grew more relaxed.
Confections began to be served, and the bread was fluffy. No matter how many times the soup was replenished, it contained plenty of meat and vegetables.
Later on, Angela would discover that Merch had once more made her mark in the music world as a one-armed pianist with the release of “Piano Solo for the Right Hand,” a work that would bring the pianist to the forefront of the music world.
She was back to her hectic life, being invited to perform concerts in various places.
Not familiar with the grownup circumstances, Angela thought it was as if a series of favorable things were arising as a reward for her being able to play “Papa’s Song”.
Having learned this song painstakingly, she fell in love with it even more, to the point that she played it over and over again to improve her skills.
Although difficult times would happen, happiness would follow as long as she kept on playing the piano.
Those words, which she conjured up herself, took a solid root in the depths of Angela’s heart through her mastery of “Papa’s Song”.
For her 8th birthday, Angela requested a photograph of herself with her mother. She thought that if she kept a picture of her mother while waiting for Merch, who would be late coming home from work, then she wouldn’t have to miss her.
Merch complied with her daughter’s pleas, and they made a visit to a photo studio together. After much consideration, she settled on a silver locket pendant with the photo embedded in it, and gave it to Angela as a gift.
Angela was jumping with joy and performed “Papa’s Song,” a piece she had learned to play well.
Although her mother told her that she wasn’t quite at that level yet, she softly hugged her daughter and patted her on the head, appreciating her efforts.
Angela yearned for more praise and began to practice more fervently.
Up until that day.
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