Chapter Eight~Inquieto: Liar
A picture can say a thousand words, but a mouth can tell a million lies.
The nightmare had once again returned the night after Nathan told Ella about himself and his family. It was surprising before when she had the nightmare Ella would only feel a small sense of regret and helplessness, but now they were more. The nightmares were now in full force every night, for the past few nights Ella would awake in a cold sweat and warm tears streaming down her face, but now they would begin all over again as soon as she closed her eyes. It was as if her nightmare’s rewind button had broken and now it would be impossible to make them go away.
At least her father had been at least getting better and had a job interview at some point next week, Ella couldn’t remember the exact date from her tired muddled brain.
“Ella are you up?” Vanessa’s muffled voice asked from the other side of Ella’s door. Vanessa had been checking up on her so often that Ella was wondering if she ever left the house. Ella started to grow a bit on Vanessa though Ella may not have talked to Vanessa, Ella appreciated that Vanessa cared. Footsteps softly pattered away slowly only to have another heavier pair stomp towards her room.
“Ella, you okay in there?” Her father asked
She didn’t answer, only turning her head towards her open window to see lightning crackle through the air and rain flow down onto her window sill. Ella heard something slump down against her door. From the crack under the bottom of her door, she saw it was her father’s back re-wearing another one of his ratty t-shirts since they still hadn’t fixed the washer.
“El, I know I’m haven’t been a good father since your mother died but I want to start making up for it. El whatever happened between you and that boy who dropped you off please know you can tell me.”
Mixed emotions flourished in Ella’s heart happiness that her father wanted to make up for lost time, and the cold painful reminder that Nathan was going to leave. Threading her hands in her hair she thought of how stupid she was being, she had barely known Nathan perhaps this was because she was starting to get used to her emotions. Then again Nathan was the reason her walls had fallen bringing back her emotions and the pain that came with them. Still, how was she suppose to go about it? If only her mother was still alive this wouldn’t be happening, Ella would be normal.
“Ella your mother was the one good with dealing with this sort of thing,” Her father paused probably forgetting where he was going with this statement before finally going on, “She would tell you to play your heart out and it would lead you where you want. So Ella, play. Your definitely her daughter it will come to you just play one note after the other and you’ll know what you want.”
Ella was surprised, when did her father start sounding so wise? The shadow through the crack in Ella’s door disappeared with the departure of her father.
Walking over to the piano Ella sat down on the stool wrapping one arm around her bent legs while the other was glossing over the different keys. The glistening black and white keys which had always been her safe place seemed to beckon her to play. Steadily still messing around Ella started the tap on random keys. The sound of each key tugged at different parts of her heart, it was as if telling Ella a story all its own.
Ella needed to place her music somewhere, looking around she searched for a notebook only to come out empty-handed. Remembering Vanessa had brought her laptop with her when deciding to stay over Ella snuck out of her own room to knock on Vanessa’s door. No one answered. Antsy that the music wouldn’t stay with her Ella barged into Vanessa’s room in search of the laptop.
Once finding it she quickly ran back to her room and shut the door. Ella knew it was wrong to take Vanessa’s laptop but she needed it. Opening it to find a blank screen, Ella found an app for composing. After starting the app and putting her fingers down it started a wave. It was a flood of more than Ella had ever felt, the story of the piano was also hers. It was a duet.
Hours of rewriting, changing, giving and scratching out lyrics Ella finally decided it was done, the only thing left was to give it a title. It was obviously the easiest part, this song was a part of Ella it was her story, it was Emotion.
A knock startled Ella making her almost knock the laptop off of her makeshift table for it. Vanessa peeked her head in and looked to Ella, “What were you doing?”
Ella could see that Vanessa already knew the answer to that yet spoke anyway.
“I was finishing up a duet, sorry if you needed your laptop it was just the first thing that I found that I could write the music down in. Please don’t delete my song it’s my only copy,” Ella said logging of her score sheet and walking over to hand Vanessa her laptop back.
Vanessa shrugged and mumbled a small ‘whatever’ before grabbing the laptop back and walking away towards her room.
Ella’s eyelids started to grow heavier with the rain and slowly she passed out to the greenish glow of her clock gleaming on her face. For the first time in four days, Ella slept peacefully without the nightmare.
The sound of Ella’s clock going off made her wonder what day it was. Thinking back it was a school day, but which one exactly? Sighing Ella decided not to think about what day it was and instead get ready for school. Not going to school was something Ella could get away with as someone in the top tier nonetheless it made having top notch grades tricky. Her grade had probably slipped a bit because of all the time Ella had spent tucked away at her house.
The walk to school was a slow dragging of feet and a mind that regretted the decision to go to school. Ella still made it to the front entrance before hearing the blast of a duet between pianos, a feeling of shock spreading through Ella. Suddenly she started to sprint towards the recording studio which also held the school speakers. Shoving the doors to the studio open Ella saw Vanessa standing next to Mr. Gracefields and the Principal Jacquline Ruine. Ella stood frozen in shock at what came out of Vanessa’s mouth next.
“Mr. Gracefields, Principal Ruine I would like to use my song as my final piece for the Winterfest Performance.”
No, this couldn’t be Vanessa, the Vanessa that Ella knew was a quite stuttering girl who barely had friends while this Vanessa was one who would choose power over friends any day no matter what the cost. Ella shouted her response to Vanessa’s decision, “She can’t do that song its a duet. And besides, I’m the one who wrote that song, not her.”
The look in Gracefield’s and Ruine’s eyes showed they didn’t believe her while Vanessa’s show a look of confidence. Tears started to build up in Ella’s eyes, she may not have really liked Vanessa but there was still a sting of betrayal.
Without looking where she was going running down the corner trying to get out of the school Ella ran into someone. An arm wrapped around her waist saving her from falling.
“You okay Ella?”
Looking up to the familiar comfort of Nathan’s voice Ella saw worry in his eyes.
“Vanessa she- she-” Ella couldn’t spit out the words, for the first time ever she was to overtaken by emotions to speak. “Vanessa? You mean Vanessa Wayne? I heard she brought a duet she had composed to school today. By the way Ella I need to talk to you about-”
“It was mine though,” Ella whispered to herself
Pushing herself out of Nathan’s arms she ran as fast as her legs could take her out of the school, trees blurred around Ella but she couldn’t tell if it was because of her speed or her tears. Her legs somehow brought her home in record time. She could hear her father ask why she was home but she walked by without a second glance.
Up the stairs, Ella went peeking into the room Vanessa had been using to find it had been cleared of everything. Except for the trophies, Ella had left in there for safe keeping, walking over to her trophies she swept her arms over the desk hurling them onto the floor shattering and few fragile ones in the process.
Anger still bubbled under the surface of Ella while she stood frozen looking and the trophies, Vanessa was a liar and Ella wished that everyone knew it.