Barbara I.

The Violin

The girl came down the stairs to the lower floor, silently opened the door and entered the hall. She should not have been here without asking her mother. But she longed to and never asked. They would be in the kitchen.
 
“Ah,” the woman smiled hearing her coming. “Come on, come on. Grandpa will show you today.” She bent down to receive a hug.
 
“What will he show me?” asked the girl.
 
“Music, honey, he will play for you. Don’t you, grandpa?”
 
The man smiled at her.
 
“I do not know, whether you would like that.”
 
“Not like that, grandpa!” the woman said indignantly. “Hasn’t she this lovely voice? Don’t we always tell each other, how fine she sings? Four years old. There are few children which sing like you, my love.”
 
“Mama sings off-key.” the girl declared.
 
“No, no,” the woman averted. “You should not say that!”
 
“She teaches you.” explained the man. “She teaches you all those lovely songs you sing so well. Be grateful!”
 
The girl reflected that. “I am grateful.” She said then. “But still she sings off-key.”
 
“As you can learn it properly from her, it doesn’t matter, does it?” the man insisted.
 
The girl smiled and nodded. “It doesn’t matter. – Will you now make music, grandpa?”
 
The man stood up ponderously. He went to the next room. The girl followed him in the hall and then curiously watched what he was doing there. He opened a case and took out something of wooden elegance, laid it on his left shoulder, gripped back into the case and removed a long stick from there. He began to play the instrument.
 
The girl stood there and listened. Her ears did, her eyes, her whole body. Her mouth opened, but remained silent. “That is heaven.” she thought.
 
“You like it!” the woman exulted. “You love it!” and took the girl into her arms. “Isn’t it lovely what he can do?”
 
The eyes of the girl filled with tears.
 
“Is that heaven?” she asked. “It is here.” and pressed her hands on the region of her heart.
 
“But yes.” the woman smiled. “Music is from heaven. And you can feel it there.”
 
“Don’t tell her nonsense.” the man said. “It is a violin. Shall I play more?”
 
“Please.” said the girl. Left to herself again by the woman she felt lost into beauty.
 
“You shall not tell your father.” the woman said.
 
“Play.” begged the girl.
 
“You have to go.” the man decided. “You didn’t ask your mother, did you?”
 
“Will you play again?” whispered the girl.
 
“Your father is coming. Hurry up, love!”
 
She ran upstairs, trembling, confused. Another secret she had to hide.
 
“There you are.” the mother respired. “You know, you shall not go downstairs in the afternoon. He is coming.”
 
The girl sat down in a corner and began to play with some toys. Frightened. Would he guess?
 
He did not. Not this time. So the secret was safe. Safe for long years.
 
The grandfather never played for her again. He died. The grandmother sometimes showed her the violin and she felt herself standing there. Listening, feeling heaven in her heart. Then the grandmother passed away, too. The violin was left in a corner of the living room behind the TV. Sometimes, when the parents were out, she fetched it from there, opened the case and caressed the form.
 
“You are my baby.” she whispered then. “My lovely baby are you.”
 
She went to school now. Fortunately there was a lot of music. When she was singing, she tried to imagine how this would be played on the violin.
 
“Why would you not sing in our choir?” the chaplain asked her after one of his’ lessons.
 
The girl, to shy to confess, that she dared not to ask at home, shock her head and smiled.
 
“I would like to have you there.”
 
She took a heart and spoke about it to her father.
 
“You go nowhere.” he answered. “You stay at home.”
 
The matter was done.
 
When eleven she learned by accident, that the violin teacher of her school was disposed to take new students. Interested pupils were invited to read up on it. She felt the announcement like a shock. But then door to heaven stood open and she couldn’t help to look into.
 
The teacher was a woman, old, and when the blue eyes met her own she knew, that she would have to take courses. She falsified her time-table and for one time in her life asked for a bit more pocket-money. As she always was alone getting up in the morning and nobody had any interest in the violin, the easiest thing was, to bring it to school.
 
There it began. With senses of guilt she stroke her first notes. Conscience-stricken she joined them to plain melodies. Depraved she felt by discovering everything she longed for.
 
“You should take single lessons.” the teacher told her after half a year. “And you should practice more.”
 
She blushed and nodded.
 
“I will try.” she said and trembling went to confess the whole matter to her mother.
 
She then could practice at home, when her father was at work. Hours and hours she spent with her instrument. “You are my love.” she told it. “You are the only love of my life.”
 
“You are doing good now.” said the teacher. “It is a pleasure to teach you.”
 
And it was more what she learnt. Here was something she was allowed to love and which cared for her, soothed her, called for her, encouraged her, protected her.
 
When her father asked her about her plans for future, she told him, that she wanted to study music.
 
“You will not study.” he declared. “Your sister will. She is much more intelligent, much more promising.”
 
“Yes.” she agreed. “But I want to play violin. I do it already. I have to learn more.”
 
The father stared at her.
 
“You will do no dead-end job on my costs. You will learn something which enables you to maintain yourself.”
 
“But …” she said and recognized that there were no more buts. Her father was ashamed of her connecting herself to such an elusive thing as music. He always had been ashamed of her for many things. Her mother felt very uncomfortable that she caused these feelings inside him. The judgment was spoken. The sentence was to be felt constantly.
 
She found a job which indeed enabled her to maintain herself. So she left the judgment and the sentence, the feeling of guilt and the shame … and the violin. She knew she would never again have that much time to practice as much that she could be satisfied.
 
“I have to live, my love.” she said. “I have to stay on my own feet. Here I would have to die because they are so full with their own lack of love.”
 
The violin remained silent. And as it could not speak to her for this last time, it could not tell her, that she was about to loose love, too.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Barbara I..
Published on e-Stories.org on 09.04.2006.

 

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