Hidden Music

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Imagine setting a step in New York city to fulfill your musical dream. Oh, wait that and you are an orphan. This is a story about a girl who doesn't give up her passion for music. She might not have serious problems but she has plenty to handle with. As opportunities are given to her, she understands life will go hard on you but that doesn't mean you should give up. Read her life and something will hopefully grow in you. Passion.

Submitted: May 30, 2017

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Submitted: May 30, 2017

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 Hidden Music

I am cold, I am drenched and I feel ill. I am ill. I don’t know where to go or stay. I am a beggar, a vagrant.

Then, there’s a drastic change in the weather. From a cold and damp day, it becomes a hot and humid day. I feel the fire ball’s heat pierce through my body, drying all the water droplets that were lying on me. I wait until I get my vision back completely. I remember this place. Am I in New York? I think to myself. I am, indeed.

I walk until I find an apartment. I try to get inside saying “I will only stay here for two or three days.”

 But he says, “You should still pay for the water, food and electricity bills.”

“I got no money!” I exclaim. He shrugs and pushes me. An agonizing scream. Tears. A little blood. Burns and stings. Pain, infectious pain.

Heat surrounds me and I wake up with sweat soaking my T-shirt. I relax as I remind myself that it was only a nightmare. It’s a hazy morning outside. I get out of my bed, with my legs all wobbly from sleeping too much, and open the window. I feel a sudden gush of cool air coming through the window, filling my room with fresh air. I go to the bathroom to get ready.

Okay, this is the perfect time to introduce myself. My name’s Elisha Grande. I’m thirteen. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri. My mom, Christina Grande, and my dad, Steve Grande, died in a tragic accident when I was eight. Since I didn’t know any (living) relative’s name, I was sent to the Louis orphanage valley. My parents’ money will be sent to me when I am above twelve years old if I call a phone number on a piece of paper they gave me.

I went to Mayhem to find an opportunity as a singer. After days and days of waiting I finally got a chance to express myself through music. But John Seder, a famous singer, said “Hey! You filthy orphan.” I turned back looking at him while I pointed a finger at myself. “Yeah, you piece of shit, go find another job. You guys don’t belong here.”

I got furious and said “You can’t treat anyone like that without hearing them. God knows how many other talented people you threw out just because they’re orphans, and I am not just saying that because I’m one. I’m saying it because everyone deserves a chance to be heard, whether they are orphans or not.”

And I end up here.

By the way, you must be wondering how I got into an apartment. Remember I said I got slip with a phone number? Well, I found it and I called the number. I was sent a credit card with full value and two wages of money. When I bought an apartment, I also bought a guitar. I saved the rest for the ‘rest’.

I get out of the bathroom wearing a T-shirt with pants. I order breakfast to my room. Immediately, I get a tray with marmalade toast, pineapple juice, baked potatoes, strawberries with cream and brownies. I haven’t had food like this in ages. Without wasting any time, I start hogging the brownies. After breakfast, I lie on the bed trying to think of a plan.

 I don’t know how it’s related to my action—which is sleeping—but it hits my mind. I’ll play my guitar on the street. Genius, eh? I will earn money to buy a piano or audition tickets to the Voice, Americas Got Talent, etc. Tell me, how hard is it to lure a person into listening to me and then demand money? You should just sing the loudest. Ea-sy!

I take back about the ‘ea-sy’ part. I’ve never realized how many street players there are. Everywhere you go there’s at least one street player. I’m going to stop for a while. I rest under the blue skies and watch the autumn leaves shed, leaving the tree look bare. I should write a poem on autumn. I love poetry. I take out a tiny, blue book from my cross bag and start writing my poem.

Autumn

I watch those leaves fall down

all are red, yellow, golden and brown.

All those leafless trees around  

some shedding leaves without a sound.

 All those leaves being scattered

 like their co-existence never mattered.

All those leaves looking unique

and so much more chic.

That went quite well. Okay, bad. I get bored and peep into a girl’s phone. I see something called YouTube. I heard that! It’s where you have your own story and post photos on it. You also have some sort of filters and you can chat too. Right? No, that’s uh…Yeah, Snapchat.

I ask the girl what YouTube is and this is her reaction “OMG! You don’t know YouTube? You seriously need to catch up with reality.” ‘Catch up with reality’? Who says that to me? You’re the one watching prank videos when there’s such amazing scenery to play a guitar in. Anyway, she tells me all about YouTube. The channels, subscribers, views, etc. I don’t need to define etcetera because I’m pretty sure you know it all. 

And it triggers my mind. This street playing isn’t going very well for me. Maybe, I should post videos on YouTube instead. I can do videos with a guitar but I’ll need a piano eventually and the disadvantage of using YouTube is you cannot earn money which is what I desperately need now.

I’ve been mistaken. You can earn money. If you can get five million views you get ten thousand dollars transferred to your credit card. While you make an account, you’re supposed to give the name your credit card has been registered on. This is much better than street playing I think to myself.

I am going to start everything tomorrow. Today I want to publish my poems. I’ve only written one so I’ll write few more. I take my book and write:

Colorful

I feel so sad for flashbacks;

 they’re always black and white

and they’re not as

colorful as mine.

I’ve got pink, blue and green, 

 a shade of red I’ve never seen.

And maybe a little yellow

 to give some shine to my meadow

with flowers of purple and white.

I’ve got orange for the skies

and golden for the bee hives.

And maybe a little silver

 to make my life shimmer

 with crystals and glitter.

I’ve got brown for the bark

 and black for the dark.

And maybe gray for the mist

and peach for the list

 I’ve always wanted to come true.

I’ve got maroon for the autumn leaves

and pure white for the snow and geese.

And maybe coral in my room

with teal flowers to bloom

with crystal clear water

I’ve still got so much more

like magenta and indigo.

And maybe I can tell you lime, orchid, azure

and more to tell you with pleasure.

If I’ve only got more time.

I’m impressed [at my own poem]. Did you ever wonder how people can write poetry? Well, poetry is your heart in words. It’s what you see, feel, think, and narrate. It’s not when you rack your brain to find a word that fixes the poem. It’s a thought expressed the way it comes to the mind. You don’t need to make it perfect because sometimes imperfections make the best poetry. You let your thoughts free and write it. Here, I’ll show you another poem on something.

We were once together you and me  

and then you ran away so easily.

You just went without looking back at

what you left, what you’re missing’.

You left the nature.

You left our future.

You left what we believed; 

we’d be a happy family.

We were once together, me and you

 and you went after all we’ve been through.

You just left without looking back at

what you left, what you’re missing.

You left me.

You left us.  

You left our love.

You just bluffed.

Look at what you did.

Abandoned love,

Broken history,

 Shattered dreams,

and lonely me.

Abandoned love,

Untied knot,

Disturbed sleep,

and lonely me.

I think I’ll call that Abandoned Love. I’ll do one more poem on Hunger and then I’ll try publishing it.

Hunger

A starvation that can lead to death,

a cause of trouble and diminishment.

A weakness that will help us understand

what the others are facing.

A crisis expanding till no bound

and taking over population.

A situation that can be helped

but isn’t cause of greed and jealousy.

A fear that will soon creep upon everyone

which cannot be ended.

Hunger,

a word of danger.

 

I’m done! I go to my laptop, type ScholasticsPoetry.com* and sign in. I type all four of my poems, add in details about me and send it to the poetry notice board. In ten minutes, I receive an email. Here’s what it looks like:

To: elishagrande@gmail.com

From: ScolasticsPoetry.com

Subject: Your poems

 

 Dear Elisha,

We enjoyed your poems. We’ll buy the Colorful, Hunger and Abandoned Love poems and make it popular on your name. If you tell the name you card has been registered on, we can transfer value onto it. We’ll wait for your response. Thank you.

Scholastic poets

 *Doesn’t exist

 

 

I immediately type the name my card’s registered on and thank them. I send it to the email I got it from. I’ve done one thing that removes a problem on my head.

I order dinner early as I skipped my lunch. My food arrives in five – seemed to be hours because my tummy was growling—minutes. I’m served chicken popcorn, sautéed veggies, lamb with pea puree, and ham with jus, a mini casserole and ice-cream with Oreo. I don’t even have the patience to tip the waiter; I just bang the door and start eating. 

After dinner, I take a piece of paper and write what I’m supposed to do tomorrow. Honestly, I don’t even think I’ll get five million views. But, I might because I found music and it found me back. I turn off the light and sleep.

After three days of YouTube video channeling…

I wake up with my head a little more stressful than yesterday. Today’s the day I film videos with a piano. By the way, during the three days I uploaded eleven videos— ‘we’ uploaded eleven videos.

I teamed up with a street player, Christina, who sings amazingly. She came to New York to pursue her music dream. She is kind, loyal, friendly and funny. Her parents died in an accident too. So, she lived in a small house independently using the money she got after she sold their house. That is probably why she seemed to be easily convinced about staying with me and leaving her house. An awkward thing is that she has a grand piano (the one we’ll be using now) but she doesn’t know how to play one.

I go to the bathroom to freshen up. I come out in ten minutes looking and smelling much better. I wake up Christina being pretty sure she won’t wake. But she jerks up almost hitting my throat. Her first words are “How many views did we get?”

 “Good morning!” I reply.

 “How many views did we get?” she repeats sounding like she’s going to explode if I don’t answer.

“Cut some slack. I just woke up too. Go get fresh.” She obeys. I order breakfast in meantime. In five minutes, I hear a knock and open the door. The newspaper man hands over a paper and leaves. I shut the door right when Christina opens hers. She instantly goes and charges the laptop.

I pick up the newspaper and read the comics hoping that it’ll distract my mind from the growling noises my stomach keeps on making. And it did. One topic did and that’s my poems. I got the best poems in New York, Tennessee and Maine! A sudden shriek escapes my mouth.

“What?” Christina asks.

“My poem is the best in three states!” I exclaim. She nods and opens the laptop. “It won’t get charged that soon.” I say snorting.

“Sixty nine percent” she says unplugging the wire. I stare at her. “I wouldn’t keep the waiter waiting especially when we are starving.” I stop staring and go to the door. I open it to only find myself being blocked.

“Ma’am, your professional mics.” a manly voice says. Christina hears this and runs towards me and screams. We jump and hug. We ordered two mics from Amazon for both of us yesterday and it came today which means we’ll be singing with professional mics today!

“Right, come in please.” I say formally. He rolls it to the place I show while Christina signs the bill. He leaves when the waiter appears. “There you are. No tip because you came late.” I tell him rudely and shut the door.

After eating, we tear open the box and mantle the parts. Then we set up everything for our video. We decide that we’re going to sing the songs:

  • I hate you, I love you by Gnash the band
  • Sing by Gary Barlow
  • Rockabye by Anne Marie

After we are done uploading the videos, I get a phone call from an unknown person. I pick up the phone and say “Hello, Elisha Grande speaking.”

 A dim voice replies “Hello, I’m Jake Luther. Do you know Tania?” I say,

“Yeah, a famous YouTuber.”

“No, not that. Tania Reck.”

“Duh. She won five Grammy awards and if you go to her concert, you have to be like famous or rich.”

 “She wants you and Christina to sing at his concert the day after tomorrow. All the details will be given tomorrow when you come to the concert for rehearsals.”

“Shut up!”

“It’s no joke.” He hangs up. Then I receive an email from Jake. It says the time we shall meet him and what we should bring.

As I tell Christina about the call, her smile gets bigger. She jumps and hugs and we laugh. Then she says “This calls for a celebration. Let us do another video.” “Oh, right. Another video.” I say dully. We go into the music room and sing the song How far I’ll go by Alessia Cara.

After that, we have lunch and go to buy the stuff Jake told us to get.

The next day, we meet Jake and everyone who will help us get ready tomorrow. Then Tania enters the room with an ‘over’ grand entrance. Honestly, I like her when she’s on TV because she’s much more modest. “Hon, you Elisha?” she says in a modulated voice with a mild tone of British accent. I nod. “Where’s Christina?” she says spinning still unable to spot her.

“I’m here” Christina says.

“Good, tomorrow is a cover concert because obviously, you don’t have your own songs. We’ll have rehearsals for three hours today. So, let’s get started.”

I ask Jake, “Why will it take three hours?”

He says with a grin “Because you have to put on makeup, make a hairstyle and select your dress.” I glare at Christina. I guess she’s thinking the same thing as I am. He helps us balance on an electric skateboard and then straps our feet to it. “Try moving. It helps us move faster and easier.” I get it on the first try like Christina.

After two hours, the people present me in a blue dress with a belt, boots and a bun thrusted with different, pretty flowers I’ve never seen. The only thing I didn’t like about the dress is that the neck cut was deep but no matter how much I complain, they wouldn’t change it. I see Christina who is wearing a pink dress, high heels and a fish tail braid which is embroidered with pearls.

Within one hour, Christina and I are begging for a break but instead, we are dismissed to our home. “That went well.” I note sarcastically.

“I don’t think I’ll enjoy being in the concert.” she says.

“You scared?”

“No, but I guess being in front of a large crowd is nerve-wracking.”

“Just imagine everyone naked, maybe that’ll boost your confidence.” We go back home and sleep for the rest of the day, without eating dinner.

Twelve hours from midnight and I’m standing on the stage trying to ignore the frantic beating of my heart. I see Christina and she seems like she’s going to collapse though guests haven’t arrived yet. I am not nervous about being on the stage. In fact, I love being in front of a large crowd singing. I have the feeling Christina has at times but when I sing, the music takes me into another world. It makes me feel I was born for music and born to sing. Anyway, that doesn’t matter.

The guests are arriving and I have to talk to Christina. I haven’t got time so I just say “You have an amazing voice. Use it with confidence and you can take over music.” A smile appears on her face. I am pushed before the mic where a large crowd has all eyes on me. I wait for the drum roll to end but it doesn’t. I realize it isn’t the drums but it is my heart beating faster and faster. My voice breaks the silence in the stadium. I close my eyes and start to sing louder. Then my voice transforms into something amazing, something big, loud, and new. I hear gasps from everyone and then Christina joins me. For the first time, I hear an evolution in music. An unheard and uncreated version of music.

When everything is over, I am sure we will make the headlines tomorrow. And I was true. Today, the newspaper boy shows me and Christina a column with a photo of us and a description of the day and us below. We upload the video on to our channel and it hits one million views! This has to be one of the best days in my life.

Three months later…

Thirty-two concerts over, twenty songs published, twenty-one songs written, won eleven Grammy awards, thrice on the red carpet with Christina and I am sitting here wishing this day hadn’t come. Why? Well, we’re going to Europe but that is not the scary part. The scary part is that we should sing in front of David Guenette, a music miracle. Do you know how hard that is? I am pulled in to the makeup room immediately. I see Christina’s eyes filled with happiness and then there’s mine. I see dread in my eyes. We’ll be singing my favorite song we sang, ‘Hold on and on fire’. I wear a beautiful golden dress with a wig, lots of makeup and too many accessories. Christina’s dress looks much more complicated. At first I get jealous but then I remember I asked for a simple dress.

In ten minutes, I find myself being stared by myriad number of people. Christina and I sing loud but all I can hear is murmurs about our dress, looks, etc. I can’t bear this anymore. I can’t bear being in fancy dresses and sing with auto tune and act all posh. I feel like I am lying to music when I am not me and I don’t like it at all. I signal Christina by winking two times and we stop. I recollect the lines my manager said before I was pushed on to the stage ‘Don’t ruin this show for me, please. Just do it the way you remember.’ Well, I don’t remember singing with wigs, auto tune and fancy dresses. All of this just ruins my love and purpose for singing. So, on the count of three, Christina and I rip of the fancy dresses and wigs. Everyone covers their eyes thinking we are stripped till our underclothes but we have different clothes inside. I wear a maroon woolen shirt whose sleeves are little longer than my arms, white shorts, a magenta beanie and snickers. Christina wears a blue woolen half sleeved shirt, black pants, a red scarf and boots.

And I ruin it by dropping the mic. How embarrassing! I pick it up, apologize and say “You must be wondering what is wrong with us. Well, I feel wrong singing like this. I can’t live with forgetting my love and passion for music.” Then I find a loss at words. I can literally feel their eyes poking me and ears flying around for a sound from my mouth.

Christina says “Don’t they say where words fail music speaks? So, here is a song that will hopefully change your minds about what singing is. That it is not who you are or what genre of music you’re singing but if you can sing your heart no matter where you are.”

“If you are scared, don’t be because music will help you if you stay true to it.” I hum and tune and Christina joins. She continues as I think of lines. “For all those sick people out, c’mon just sing out loud. You don’t need to be afraid; music will find your way.”

“C’mon just sing out with me, let your music just be free. Cause you found music and it found you back.”

“Promise me your music will shine and your story will be as happy as mine. If you can’t think of a song, try singing this one along.” I sing.

Christina starts singing the song Sing and I join. I take the piano and Christina takes the violin. We add the instruments to the song and it sounds beautiful. Then someone takes their phone and puts on the flashlight mode and swings their hands up. Everyone follows him and then the lights are turned off. Oh, it looks like a thousand fireflies buzzing. I turn to see Christina and she nods. Then we start singing the song Fireflies by Owl city. We end it and then we are dismissed home without a word. I just catch a glimpse of my manager smiling before I leave.

We get our reports today, itself. I get two golden stars and so does Christina. We get excited because it gives us a total of eighteen golden stars which means we are music miracles!

Two years have passed by and I still have so much ahead of me. The hardest part of my life was leaving Christina. Being music miracles, we had to go separate ways. Of course, we meet regularly and sing together sometimes but when I lost her, it felt like I am going through the same emotions and feelings I had when I lost my parents. It just doesn’t feel the same without her. The happiest part was burning John Seder about his reply that I don’t belong here and he got a bonus because Christina became a music miracle too. The best part was igniting musical spirits across Earth after ‘that’ day.

To all those people hiding somewhere, don’t be afraid of showing who you are to the world. You can make this world a piece of music in your collection of endless harmony. You might be underestimated and take wrong turns but if you turn back once, you can find your bit of crumbs lying there to always help you. Let me tell you those crumbs are your music and don’t let it fly away. So, hidden talents, show us your hidden music.


© Copyright 2017 Pramithi Challa. All rights reserved.

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