The Professor and the Boy

The Professor and the Boy

Hemingway writing style

      A single beam of sunlight streamed through the large windows in the auditorium, casting a faded, dull light across the rows of seats in the empty audience. Music filled the room and echoed on the bare walls. A boy sat in the center of the stage, his fingers moving across the keys without a pause. The melody the boy created was the only sound in the room, apart from the constant tapping of the professor’s foot. The boy finished his conclusion. Silence filled the room.

      “You sped again in the last measure,” said the professor.

      “Yes,” said the boy. His hands felt tired.

      “Your timing was off after the left hand quarter rest in the twenty sixth measure.”  

       “I know.”

      “If you know, you should have fixed it.”

      The boy remained silent.

      “Start again. Do it right this time.”

      The boy started again. His hands shook with exhaustion as he played. The professor tapped his foot again and the boy flinched at the sound.

      “Calando,” said the professor loudly. The music faltered slightly.

       The professor slammed his hand down on the bench and the boy jumped. The melody was cut short.

      “You sped again,” the professor said. “You are not ready.”

       “I can get better,” said the boy. His fingers trembled. He did not look at the professor’s face.

      “You said that before, but you have not improved. Tomorrow you cannot fail. They are expecting much from you.”

      The boy stared at his hands. They were red from overuse. He did not say anything.

      The professor shook his head and turned away. His shoes clicked across the hardwood stage as he walked to the exit. The sound made the boy cringe. He relaxed once the professor left the room.

      The boy placed his hands back on the keys. He started to play the opening verse. His back was sore and his hands ached, but he made himself play anyway. The melody filled the room quickly and the boy closed his eyes. He liked to play when he was alone.

      The boy kept his eyes shut throughout the piece. Even after he reached his conclusion, he didn’t stop playing.

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