envy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young boy is conflicted by his own emotions regarding his best friend. He later finds consolation in the words of a caring friend.

Submitted: May 17, 2016

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Submitted: May 17, 2016

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You’re not meant to be a soloist…

I reluctantly tried to come to terms with this statement as it echoed through my head continually over the course of the day.

I’ll still have a great time performing tomorrow. I don’t need a special part…although it would be nice to have the spotlight on me for once. If anything, he-

DRRRING!!!

The final bell rang. I gathered my belongings, stood up, and began to walk out of the classroom. Before I was able to process my next thought, an unusually large mob of hectic students had already begun to engulf the hallways, allowing for no room to breathe.

“It’s always like this at the end of the day, isn’t it?”

A sense of nostalgia rushed through me as I recognized the familiar voice, it was Sebastian.

We had met when we were just kids in elementary school. At the time, our interests were limited to what most kids would commonly be attracted to: toys, the outdoors, video games, and cartoons. But we shared one unique passion-- a love for classical music. It was this love for classical music that instantly brought us together as best friends. We were eight at the time, and our parents would often make arrangements so that we would be able to have “playdates” at my house. These playdates, strangely enough, consisted of our sitting by the radio, listening to the symphony, and trying to guess what piece they were playing by the time the first or second measure ended. By the time we were ten years old, we decided we would start playing the violin. We took lessons shortly after this decision, and although we began taking lessons at the same time, Sebastian always managed to improve dramatically. Since then, every single year leading up to now, he had always taken the first chair spot in our school orchestra despite his age. He’s also played several recitals at respected locations, the most recent being at Carnegie Hall. It would be an understatement to call him a prodigy.

“You’re as clueless as ever, Caelum!” Sebastian said.

Ironically, I couldn’t find him among the mass of people in this hallway despite his flaming, almost glowing, orange tinted hair. I looked over my shoulders, curiously searching for the source of his voice in the crowded corridor until I realized he was in front of me the entire time. His hair looked rather vibrant today for some reason.

“I must be losing my mind. You weren’t just there a second ago, were you?” I questioned.

“Well, they say that the mind is the first thing to go. We’re almost seniors, maybe you’re just going senile, grandpa!” Sebastian jokingly uttered.

“You probably aren’t far off. I have been having some back pains recently, and I almost came to school in socks and sandals this morning. Who knows, I might not even make it to college. I’ll end up with a cane and dentures before this year is over.” I sarcastically replied.

“I’ll make sure to visit you at the nursing home every once in a while! Oh, by the way, I was about to head upstairs to practice for tomorrow, want to tag along?” Sebastian inquired.

Do you even need practice? As you are now, you could play the concerto half asleep.

“I think I’ll pass for now. I’m going to head home and get some homework done,” I said as I simultaneously walked toward the school entrance.

“All right, I’ll catch you later then!” Sebastian replied as he scurried off to the practice room.

Knowing that I could never master the violin the way that he has, I could feel my heart drop into my very bowels. Surprisingly, in this instance, I could almost hear it drop even through the chaos ensued by the sound of the school bell. It was almost as if time itself came to a halt, and I was able to reflect on my true emotions in the stillness of the moment. I had begun to realize that I had been envious of Sebastian’s instrumental prowess.

Before I knew it, I was already at the front door of my house. As I took the first few steps through the front door, I noticed the atmosphere was uneasy, almost surreal. My mother was relaxing on the living room sofa.

“Caelum, how did it go today?”

Surprisingly, I didn’t respond and kept a steady course toward the stairs leading up to my bedroom. Just as I was about to reach the staircase, I felt a gentle tug on the back of my shirt. I was quite startled as I didn’t notice her coming up from behind me.

“It’s about your performance tomorrow, isn’t it?” Mother asked.

It’s almost as if she’s clairvoyant.

“It isn’t important,” I responded, “just the usual down in the dumps feeling.”

Why do I feel this way?

“Well, make sure you get yourself straightened out by tonight; you’ve got a big day tomorrow!”

Just how significant am I in this performance?

“I’ve already gone ahead and picked up your performance attire from the cleaners.”

What if I mess up and everybody notices?

“Before I forget, Sebastian’s mother called and said she wanted to have a celebratory dinner with us after your performance! I’m so proud of you two!”

I’m only second chair anyway; I’ll never be as good as-

 DRRRING!!!

 My alarm began ringing. I quickly sat up and turned it off, trying to avoid contact with the sun’s blinding rays gleaming through my bedroom window. I checked the time; it was 5:30 P.M.

Naturally, I begin to panic. I take a look at my calendar and realize that it was Saturday.

It’s the Saturday we’re supposed to perform. The performance starts in two hours.

“I think I just lived out an entire school day in my dream…” I whispered to myself, “WHAT KIND OF SICK, TWISTED NIGHTMARE WAS THAT?!” I yelled.

My mother came barging in through my door just seconds later.

“Caelum, settle down! Hurry up and get dressed! You need to get ready to perform tonight!”

I would have expected her to be more concerned as to why I woke up during the evening.

“Mom, quick question. How long was I asleep for?” I asked.

“Well, you came home at 10 P.M., went straight to bed, and slept for about nineteen hours straight. You were extremely exhausted from practicing with Sebastian all day, and you even slept through your morning alarm! I was about to call the paramedics; I thought you were in a coma!”

“Well, that explains the bell.”

“What bell?”

“Oh, nothing.”

I hurriedly changed into my performance attire for the evening in order to make it in time for the rehearsal. I ate a sandwich on the way out the door after not eating for almost an entire day. It wasn’t until we got to the concert hall and began rehearsing that I reflected on the dream that I had had.

I always knew I was envious towards Sebastian; I just never wanted to admit it to myself. I didn’t want to jeopardize our friendship over something silly like jealousy. But, at times, I did feel jealous of his prodigious aptitude…

“Caelum! You missed your cue again!” the conductor irritatedly said.

“Sorry…” I shyly replied

I forgot that we were rehearsing. I could hear Sebastian snickering from a few feet away.

“Rehearsal’s over everyone. Let’s say a quick prayer before we go on stage. And Caelum, pay attention next time.”

We had about fifteen minutes to get prepped for the concert.

“Hey, are you feeling all right?”

I turned around; it was another one of my friends, Tara. She’s the third violinist that sits right next to me. I’m assuming she noticed that I spaced out the entire rehearsal.

“I’m okay. I just had something on my mind.”

“We’ve all got stuff on our minds. You want to talk about it before we play?” Tara asked.

I normally go to Tara for advice on stuff guys can’t talk to each other about, so I told her everything.

“Well, he is a genius,” she remarked. “I don’t blame you for feeling envious towards him, but you can’t blame him for that. It’s what he’s good at. We all have different gifts; his just happens to be the ability to play the violin better than most professionals can. If God wanted you to be a professional violinist, he would have given you the ability to become one. You just have to figure out what your gift is in particular.”

I hesitantly agreed with her comforting words.

“As a matter of fact, you did teach me how to play and how to read music. You also taught more than half of our orchestra how to play and read as well. You know more about instruments and music theory than our director does. That’s YOUR gift. You could become a music teacher somewhere!” Tara proclaimed.

I’ve given thought to becoming a teacher several times. I’ve even prayed about it occasionally hoping God would lead me in the direction He wants me to go in. But as I hear it now from someone else, I realize that He has been at work the entire time.

“Thanks, I really mean it,” I said earnestly. Tara replied with a cordial smile.

At the conclusion of our conversation, we were called to go on stage to perform Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor. Before heading on stage, I stopped by Sebastian for a brief moment.

“Sebastian! Make sure you don’t mess up; you are the soloist after all. By the way, what do you think about my becoming a music teacher?” I questioned.

“A teacher? Well, you do know just about everything concerning music…go for it, grandpa!”

Grandpa? Déjà vu.


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