A soft noise filled my ears.
A piano note.
Hmm … What is it?
My eyes jolted open.
“ Oh, crap.”
“ Coda !!”
I ran to the living room, finding a little skinny child at the base of the piano.
“Coda? Was that a B-Sharp?”
“ Didn’t we say that B-sharp was an emergency?”
He nodded again.
Suddenly he pointed to the clock on the small table near the window.
I looked at it.
Oh, that was the emergency.
“ 8 am ?”
I grabbed Coda and went to the bathroom. My son giggled as I tried to run from one place to another grabbing everything needed for his bag.
“ Did you take a shower ?”
He put his arms up for me to smell and I tickled him. He giggled and started to tickle me.
“ Play some piano, until I finish okay ?” I said kissing his forehead.
He nodded and went to the piano. It looked huge near him. That grand piano took me ages to buy, but it was all worth it.
I hopped in the shower and put on jeans and a mint jumper. Then I grabbed my keys and went to put my things in my own bag.
Twinkle Twinkle star was filling our small maisonette.
I smiled, remembering how fast he learned this song. His first song.
I shook my head, no time for flashbacks.
“Coda, let’s go sweetheart.”
The piano stopped and two small feet came running to the front door.
He turned to look at the living room and waved his hand to the piano.
I smiled, he usually does that when he knows he has a whole day without playing the piano again.
“ Come on sweetheart, we are late.” He turned and put his small hand in mine.
As we walked to the school he starting tapping the air. Probably playing a song with his invisible piano.
I looked down at him.
“ What are you playing ?”
He looked up and smiled. Then he stopped and put his fingers in position and pressed two notes.
Those notes, that must be ‘Row Row Row your boat.’
I smiled and ruffled his head.
“ That’s a very difficult song. You’re a very brave little man.”
He smiled and grabbed my hand again, pulling me with him.
When we arrived the other kids were still playing around. He kept in place not sure what to do.
The children in his class can be very kind but some are very mean to him. But his teacher told me that he is making amazing progress, he is a very intelligent kid. That made me so proud.
He pulled my hand.
I looked down and he put his other hand on his heart and then pointed it to me.
I knelt down and did the same thing.
“ I love you too.”
He smiled his goofy smile and went running to some kids who were waving at him.
The other mothers were looking at me as usual.
They whispered the same things: “ She’s only 24 years old and her son is 6 years old. Very shameful don’t you agree?”
I sighed and turned to face them.
“ Good morning.” I bowed my head to them and smiled.
They said good morning and kept their mouth shut until I left.
That happens every morning.
I’m growing tired of it. They usually also say that my son has problems. “ How can a child that age not speak? He sure has problems, probably from his mother.”
That offended me more than ever.
My son doesn’t speak. I was so scared at the beginning so I took him to the doctor, afraid that I did something wrong. He told me that everything is fine and that he should be able to talk but since he doesn’t there must be something holding him back.
I panicked at that time not sure what to do. I was only 18 years old when I had him, I couldn’t do much for him. But the doctor told me that maybe he is keeping it in for a reason. A reason that probably traumatized him somehow. But I couldn’t remember what I did wrong. But suddenly I thought that maybe the children were mean to him at pre-school. In fact, one day the teacher at that time called me, telling me that my son was crying and she couldn’t stop him. He kept crying for hours, I was going crazy, I was about to call my mom but remembered that she didn’t want anything to do with me. Suddenly I put a hand on the piano to rest and he stopped. Just like that.
That’s when I knew that, the piano was our way of communicating. I thought him how to use it. I was learning myself and when I did I thought him. It was a difficult task but with every note, we associated it with something. And how he should call me if he needed anything. It worked wonders. He started to smile every second, he became obedient and such a sweet kid after that. Not that he wasn’t before, but he usually threw tantrums when I tried to force him to speak. And that’s how I knew that me pushing him to speak was the worst thing I could have done.
From that day on, he began playing so beautifully I hardly could teach him anything. He played far better than I did and he was only 4 years old. This must have been a sign. A sign that my kid was destined to play the piano. I wanted to give up playing the piano since there was nothing else for me to teach my son, but then I remembered how I always loved the piano, it was my dream to learn it and so I did. After settling everything needed for Coda I did some small stuff for me. When he goes to sleep I play softly a lullaby and sing him his favourite songs. He doesn’t mind how out of tune my voice sounds, he still loves it.
A sound interrupted my thoughts. My phone was ringing.
“ Hello ?” I said softly.
“ Iris Blythe, I hate you.”
“ And why is that Lana ?”
Lana has been my friend for ages, she was always there when I needed her and she kept my hand in hers while I gave birth to my son. She and Davina, my other friend, kept me from despair. I stayed at Davina’s house until I was back on my feet. I somehow got a publisher to help me publish my book and it was a success. I became an author and a mother in the same year.
“ You forgot that we had to go shopping for a dress ?” Lana whined in my ears.
“ Oh, shoot was it today? I’m sorry, where can we meet?”
She sighed and told me that she will come to pick me up in an hour.
Great, that gives me time to buy some groceries.
A grocery shop was a block away from my house and that saved me time.
When I stepped in, I heard people chatting with each other. The sales girl thanking everyone for coming in and soft music playing in the background.
“ Morning Iris.” The girl behind the cash register said.
“ Good morning.” I smiled at her and went to grab some food.
After half an hour I managed to grab everything. Vegetable, fruit, meat and fish. Everything to keep my son healthy.
When I was about to turn the corner, I crushed into something and everything went flying to the floor.
Thankfully no one was around to watch that.
“ I’m so sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going. Are you alright?” A soft but manly voice filled my eyes.
I looked up and saw a very handsome man offering his hand to help me get up.
His hair was dark brown but kept very short. His blue eyes piercing through me and his dimples made me almost fall to the floor once more. That would be humiliating.
I cleared my throat and put my hand in his and he helped me up.
Before I could look another second at his face, I tried to get everything on the trolley again.
“ Let me help.” He said.
“ There’s no nee-” I looked up at him and he was close.
I couldn’t look away.
How long have I been staring?
Am I blushing?
Wait is he blushing?
Look away, Iris.
I cleared my throat again and thanked him for helping me.
A few seconds passed and he cleaned his own throat and helped me out.
Once everything was back in our respective trolleys, I looked up at him and smiled.
He nodded and smiled back.
His dimples were aching me to lick them.
Walk away, Iris.
I turned the corner and walked a little too fast.
If I walked any slower I would definitely turn back to face him.
That’s a no go.
But damn he was hot.
An oddly familiar hot.