Samantha was walking down the corridors of the music school she teaches at when she hears a familiar tune which made her stop dead in her tracks...
I can't exactly remember when, but I've always been mesmerised by the piano when I was young. I never failed to run to every piano that was in my sight and pressed the keys without actually knowing what note I was playing. Acknowledging my enthusiasm for the musical instrument, my parents enrolled me for piano lessons at a renowned music school when I was 10.
On that fateful day, my parents couldn't fetch me right after my music lessons, so I had to sit on the bench outside my classroom to wait for them. Just like today, I was drawn to the tune that was played by that special someone. I couldn't explain why, perhaps it was a twist of fate, an arrangement of the Heavens for me to meet that person.
Being the little girl who couldn't sit still for long periods of time, I decided to search for the source of the captivating music. It didn't take me long, because the room where the music was originating from was just around the corner. I was too short then, so I couldn't peek into the room through the glass pane on the door. I instinctively reached for the handle, turned it and walked inside. The player immediately stopped when the door sprang open.
I could see that the player was as old as I was, if not older, and definitely a shy person, because his cheeks were as red as tomatoes from blushing. Suddenly remembering that I was the one who intruded on him, I quickly introduced myself.
"Hi... My name is Samantha... I'm sorry for my sudden intrusion, but I really liked the song that you played just now." I said, twiddling my fingers in embarrassment.
I waited for the reply, but none ever came.
"Um, hello? Why aren't you answering me? Did I give you too much of a fright?"
That's me, the little girl who never holds back her words.
The boy finally moved. He walked to the table near the corner, picked up a pen and a piece of paper and started scribbling on it.
"Nice to meet you, Samantha. My name is James. I'm sorry I can't reply you, because I can't talk."
I was shocked when I saw what he had to say, or rather, write.
"O... Oh... Sorry about that.... I didn't know...” my voice faded, not knowing what to say in response to his demise.
"It's alright. I'm not bothered by it." he scribbled on the paper again.
"Do you mind if I watched you play the piano?"
"Not at all. I'm glad that someone appreciates what I play. Please, sit."
He placed his pen on the table, flexed his fingers and returned to the piano. Once again, the soothing tune enveloped my ears. I don't know how much time had passed, but I suddenly remembered that my parents were supposed to come within an hour after my lessons, so I bade my new-found friend goodbye. Before I left to wait for my parents at the receptionist, I just had to ask one last question.
"Um, is it okay if I came and listen to you on the piano after my lessons every day?" He replied with a nod, and a tender smile that I could not forget till this day.
Hence, our beautiful friendship began. It's funny how music can bring two distant souls so close together. Listening to James play the piano soon became my daily regime that I did not complain, because to me, it was the most blissful thing that happened in my life.
I found out from him the cause of his inability to talk - a childhood trauma, being abused by his stepfather. His biological father died in an accident when he was two, and his mother remarried when he was 6. Even though his stepfather seemed nice at first, he started abusing James under the influence of alcohol. The nightmare was over for him, as his mother had since divorced from her new beau 2 years ago, but the trauma evidently still plagues James. I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. James and I talked about a lot of things, and I really enjoyed spending time with him. Somehow, our interests seem to be compatible, and my fondness for him grew each passing day.
But one day, 3 months after I met James, my father was posted to another country with immediate effect, and my whole family had to follow him there. Everything went by in a blur, maybe due to my young age. Within a day, we were all packed and were on the aeroplane. I was reluctant to leave and kept wailing, because I still want spend more time with James, or at least tell him goodbye.
I never had the chance, and had since lost contact with him. My mood was sombre throughout the flight, and refused to talk to anyone. My parents thought that I was throwing tantrums because of the sudden departure, and I didn't want to leave because I was too attached to our old house - I lived there ever since I was born, after all. I didn't talk to anyone for months after that day, in fact, upset that I was separated from James. I pined for the sound of him playing the piano everyday...
I snapped back to reality when the melodious tune that captivated me stopped. Like on that day that I met James 15 years ago, I searched for the room where the sound was coming from. This time, I grew wiser, and taller too. Seeing that the room only had one person, I knocked on the door and waited for the mysterious player to open up.
"Samantha?" A deep, alluring voice came from the skilful pianist.
"Y.. yes... How did you know my name?" I was rooted on the spot. This stranger actually knows my name? Is he the person that I've been pining for all these years? But it can't be... Can it?
"Oh my god! I can't believe it's actually you! I remembered that something like this happened back when I was 10, but I had to make sure so..."
Before he could finish his sentence, I interrupted him. "Ja... James?! Is it really you? But... I thought...."
"Thought I couldn't talk? That was history, Samantha! I got cured when I was 16. Where did you disappear to all these years? You just suddenly stopped coming to see me, and I...."
I couldn't contain my happiness any longer. There he was, the first and only person I'd ever loved, standing there in front of me, and he could talk again! I embraced him as tightly as I could as tears of joy rolled down my cheeks, because I thought that I was never going to see him again. James hesitated for a moment, and returned my hug.
"Samantha, I wanted to tell you this all these years - I love you. Please, don't leave me without telling me ever again..." he said, as he cupped my face with his hands and kissed me lovingly.
Music brought me a new friend when I was little. Now, after all these years, music reunited us, and brought me a person that I would never regret spending the rest of my life with.