Above the Given Pitch: A Musical Story of Infatuation
Book by: SRDarling
His fingers danced softly along the keys, his eyes were quiet; it was as if at this moment his entire world was this piano concerto. He was like poetry on that stool, even though it was just the ancient Steinway in the practise room.
I stood outside, peering through the window in the sound-proof door watching him contently. One can only do this to musicians because they become so intent on what they’re doing they are completely oblivious.
I heard heavy footsteps down the hall. I turned around quickly.
“Darla. What are you doing?” Professor, (he didn’t really have a name. He was just ‘Professor’), stood with his arms crossed and a look on his face that bluntly stated ‘WTF’.
My hands were clasped together behind my back. “Waiting to use the practise room,” I smiled falsely.
“Right...since when do you play piano? I thought you only played cello.”
Oh noes. He knew.
“Well,” I began, “I’m learning.”
He nodded. “Who’s your teacher?”
“This guy...you wouldn’t know. He’s on YouTube. You should check him out.”
He gave me the look of death. “You’d better ace that music history test tomorrow.”
“1809-1847!” I bounced on the tips of my toes.
“1848!” He didn’t even turn around as he yelled it over his shoulder.
As I leaned against the wall, I said, “pssh...whatever.” However, something didn’t sound right about it. An epiphany! “Lies!” I said aloud. “He died in 1847. I was right, Professor was wrong. I’ll tell him tomorrow...”
In all of this, I did not notice the silence from the piano. (Yes, sound proofed rooms...however, quite poorly sound proofed. You can’t tell what people are playing unless they’re playing really loud, which only really good, over confident players do.) Just as I sat down, the door opened. Sergiu Asminoff, the lovely Eastern European transfer pianist and darling of the university stepped out, Mendelssohn sheet music clutched under his arm. He shut the door and straightened his glasses. He glanced down at me and smiled in a slightly surprised manner. “Hello. Were you waiting long?”
I blushed a little and wanted to say ‘only forever’ and leap into his arms and run away to Vilnius or something, but I settled on, “nope. Just a few minutes. Sounds pretty good in there. That’s one-a my favourite concertos.”
He smiled sweetly. “Mine too.”
I rose to my feet.
“What’s your name again?” He put his free hand in his back pocket.
“Darla. I’m a cellist.” I situated my purse on my shoulder.
“I know.Nice to meet you, for real rather than just across the class. I’m Sergiu.”
“I know. I’ve been to one of your recitals.”
Oh wow...that doesn’t sound strange. He looked at me like I was a total creeper. “Sorry that came out like I’m a stalker. I’m not. It was the one where my best friend Cara played. We went clubbing afterwards.”
He smirked. “It’s not stalking, it’s investigation.”
I smiled and laughed a little. “Exactly my point.” I could really fall in love with this guy, I thought.
But, so could every other girl at the university. But probably not elsewhere. I sincerely think that some women can’t date men with IQ’s higher than their weight. That is, the weight of the girl. In any case, Sergiu was a brilliant pianist. I had never really gotten a chance to know him before, but we were in music theory together as well as music history, and often secretly competed in a deadly war for highest grade. We never really knew the other was who we were against, but we let the academic tear gas fly either way and silently spited the unknown threat. But, aside from being a musical genius, he was witty and well learned. He was always reading and made, (if not completely inappropriate), jokes in the middle of class, always somewhat music related. I recall one time in music history when we were discussing Schumann, or Schubert or someone of that nature...Schumann I believe, and, as we all know, Schumann was....special towards the end of his life and died in an asylum. However, Sergiu noticed one small detail Professor was missing. He calmly raised his hand and said, “so, you’ve told us about his mental state, well... how did he feel about having syphilis?” Professor was not amused. And then there was the joke about overcompensation...and of course the recitation in music theory of terms in a suggestive manner, (e.g. *in a breathy way* molto! Molto! MOLTO! ....troppo or Allegro! Molto appassionato! You get the picture.)**
But aside from all of that, this student was, dare I say, lovely. Just lovely. He was a classic sort of suave person, with a driving Bolshevik spirit, Frank Sinatra charms, Victor Borge wit, (with some Shakespearian insults and insinuations thrown in), Mendelssohn talent and a way with words that would give Heine or Pasternak a run for his money. And not to mention looks that made Clark Gable look like a troll and could make Adrien Brody jealous.
And he was talking to me? Why, exactly, I wasn’t sure, but I milked it for all it was worth.
“So,” he began, “what did you make on the music theory exam?”
I smiled and bit my lip. “Perfect score.”
He looked at me blankly, coal black eyes glistening with a hint of exasperation behind his glasses. “Perfect? You didn’t miss one?”
I shook my head and tucked my hair behind my ears. “Nope.”
“You’re serious? I got a ninety-nine. I missed one question. I was rushing at the end and wasn’t paying attention to something. Are you the person who keeps getting the other highest grade in the class?” He scratched his head as if pondering.
“Umm...yeah that’s me.” I nodded. “Why?”
“Nothing, nothing. Just curious.”
He seemed to think for a moment. He looked to his Converse tennis shoes and looked up again. “You doing anything later?”
Wait...what? “Um, nope. Not a thing. Practising...HOLY CRAP! Yeah studying! I have to beat you on the test tomorrow!”
He smiled slyly. “Would you like to join me and a few friends at the coffee house? We’re having a study mega-epic-cram session this evening.”
YES! “Why, of course! That sounds great. What time should I make my appearance?” I nervously picked at my bracelets.
“About seven,” he said, “if you need a ride, let me know. Bring all of your stuff, we’ll be there for a long time.” He smiled.
Before I could get caught up in his perfection, I smiled again. “Awesome. Thanks for inviting me.”
“Well, it’s not much. It’s the least I could do for my greatest competition.” He wiped a few strands of coal-black hair from his eyes. “See you later?” It was more of a question of reassurance than a statement.
“Of course. I’ll be there.”
“’Bye then.” He smiled in a contented manner as he turned around.
*DC AL FINE: SOME NOTES WITHOUT STEMS OR PITCHES* Molto = more, troppo = too much, allegro = fast, happy, appassionato = passionately, passion.
© Copyright 2017 SRDarling. All rights reserved.