I’m sitting in the town car with my parents. Mom is still fussing over dad’s tie. I’m sitting with my hands clasped in my lap, staring at the back of the driver’s head. It must be the nerves because I can’t stop my heart from racing. Dad notices.
“Greer, you’ll be great tonight.” He reassures me with a squeeze to my leg.
Tonight, was my piano recital. There was going to be several college recruiters in the audience. I had to impress them to get a music scholarship. My nerves were in bundles. Tonight, was important for my future and I had to nail it.
“You know your piece like the back of your hand, darling. No need to stress about it.” Mom tells me with a smile.
She’s right, I could play it in my sleep. I was just worried I was going to get so nervous that I’d mess up. That had happened at my recital last year. Thankfully, no one important had been in the audience.
It didn’t take us long to make it the concert hall. The driver opens dad’s door first, gives him a small nod, and helps my mother from the car. I stay where I am, trying to calm myself down. A minute later the driver opens my door. He gives me a smile and offers me his hand.
“Have fun tonight, Greer.” As soon as he said my name, the driver hurriedly got back into the car. I didn’t even have a second to process it. He must have overheard dad saying my name.
I stepped towards the stairs with my parents in toe. My mom squeezed my shoulder and guided me up the stone steps. We entered through the side door that said, “for performers only”. It was already crowded with other musicians. My friend Amy was huddled in the corner practicing her violin piece. My teacher was going around the room greeting everyone.
“We have front row seats.” Mom said to me. “You’re going to do great, but if you get nervous just look out and you’ll see us.”
“Thanks, mom,” I said with a nervous smile. I hugged her and then dad before watching them disappear.
“Greer, you’re up second.” My teacher said to me as she read over a paper on a clipboard. “Are you ready?”
“Yes.” I nodded.
“Okay, good. Remember, you always have a habit of playing the piece a beat too slow. Just take a deep breath and concentrate.” My teacher told me.
“Okay.” I watched as she scurried away to talk to another performer.
A few minutes later, my teacher stepped up on stage to greet everyone. I could barely listen to her words. She introduced my friend Amy first, who sucked in a deep breath and moved onto the stage. I closed my eyes and focused on playing through my piece in my head.
“Greer, take your place off stage.” Someone instructed me.
I got to my shaky feet and stepped up to the side of the stage. Amy was just finishing. The crowd cheered loudly for her. My teacher stepped back onto the stage and she started explaining my piece. I heard her call my name. The crowd clapped. I took in a deep breath and moved onto the stage. My eyes snapped to the crowd and I instantly saw my parents. They smiled at me and dad gave me a thumbs up. I nodded to them and took my place on the bench. I stroked the keys and began to play.