Her song rang out in her ears, coaxed from the strings of the violin like a snake from a basket. But she wasn’t the one playing. The song had never sounded so good, not even teased from her own horse hair, and anger coiled in her gut. No one had a right to play her song that well. Not even him.
He was a painter in sound. He played notes like artists splash paint on a canvas; though, he wrote them with the precision of a surgeon. She was his foil. His complement. She was an anatomy mannequin on stage, all technique and no life; but, her songs were written like surrealist works, notes of color winding around horizontal black lines.
When they played together, they were a mandala. A perfect mix of mathematical concepts and wild colors. Something that put together the best parts of both of them, and refracted it into a billion shards of music like the view from a kaleidoscope. Somehow, it was even better when they composed together, a skeleton from the day of the dead.
Playing her song on his own, it was a rainbow of stampeding horses; almost oppressive in its chromaticism. Almost aggressive in its vibrancy. He was an unstoppable force, plowing through the music as if it had dared to challenge him. If she had been there with him, she would have calmed the storm; pulled the reins on the horses; and soothed the savage beast.
But she was in the stands.
She had wondered where her sheets had gone. Had wondered why he wasn’t answering her frantic calls and texts. Had worried and cried and prayed that he was okay. But he had stolen the color from her mandala, and splashed it all over a competition she wasn’t in.
As the endnotes gave their final, dying cries, the audience erupted into applause. The cacophony masked the sound of a door slamming shut. Later, amongst a pile of tissues and an overheating laptop, she wondered if she was more hurt that he had stolen her piece; or that he hadn’t even placed with it.
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Deanna Davis is getting her master of fine arts in creative writing at Kingston University.
Photo: frankie cordoba