A little taste of what’s to come …
I’m not setting this up for you. I’m not giving you any more information than what’s in this post. Here’s just a little taste of what I’m working on right now. Enjoy.
Savannah. February 2001
Assobio a Jato.
My senior recital wasn’t for over a year, but I knew I’d be playing this piece as part of my program the second I heard it. It’s a piece for flute and cello, and I planned on asking my friend and roommate, Marcia, to accompany me. I was lucky Gregory Fitzgerald hadn’t overheard me practicing this piece when he saw me the other day in the practice rooms. I’m sure he would have given me an earful about how I was “doing it wrong,” since he didn’t seem to like me very much. At first I assumed his gruffness toward me was because of my mother, but he clearly had no idea who she was. Well, he probably knew who she was, but not that she was my mother. I chuckled a little, recalling that I’d put my mother’s married name any place on the application that asked for my parents’ names. I wanted to get in here on my own. I knew there were enough people at the conservatory that knew who she was, but the fact that Gregory Fitzgerald didn’t seem to gave me hope that I actually had made it here on my own abilities.
Marcia rolled her eyes when I told her Fitzgerald was the new instructor for my music theory class, since Madeline White had to take the semester off. Luckily Madeline was able to set me up with a trusted colleague of hers to provide my instruction for the remainder of the semester. Marcia actually had Gregory, as he requested he call her—which shocked the hell out of me for some reason—for her private instruction. While she was thrilled to learn from the best cellist at the conservatory, and, really, in the country, she found his style a bit militant.
I shook my head, lifted my chin, and resumed practicing.
Open throat. Don’t let your fingers get ahead of your eyes.
I don’t know why the hell Gregory Fitzgerald got under my skin.
Yes I do. He was an arrogant, snobby musical stereotype of the worst kind. He barely looked out into the class when he was talking, and when he did, his clear blue eyes shot through you like ice. I knew he was only ten or so, years older than me. His thick black hair and fairly tight physique spoke to that. But the grim, smug expression he plastered on his face aged him another ten. Easily. Before I knew it, I stumbled across a string of notes that should have been an easy run.
Shit, see what happens? Focus.
I took a deep breath, exhaling all thoughts of the annoying, lifeless professor, and started the piece over again. This time, it was good. Not perfect—I had to slow down a few times over some of the runs, and my throat was definitely going to be sore in the morning, but it was good. I groaned at the thought of the exercises I’d have to get back into doing to pull off this, and other pieces, with solid tone.
“You know,” Nathan startled me as he walked into my dorm room, “they have soundproof practice rooms so you can grumble in private.” He sat next to me on my bed as I put my flute away.
“I know, jerk,” I teased, “I just wanted to get one last go at this piece before quiet hours. How many pieces are you playing for your recital?”
Nathan ran a hand through this thick, dark curls as he sighed. “Three.”
“Don’t sound too excited, or anything,” I toned out sarcastically. He didn’t laugh. “Hey,” I put my case away and placed my hand on his leg, “you okay?”
He stared at my hand for a second before shaking his head. “Yeah, I’m fine. You ready to go out?” He stood and held out his hand for me. I took it.
“Absolutely. Just don’t drink as much as you did last week. You got all weird.”
Nathan stopped at the door, dropping his hand from mine. “What do you mean?”
I shrugged. “You just drank a ton and then got all . . . I don’t know . . . weird. Sad almost.” I shrugged again, indicating I had no idea what he was going to say that night.
“Sorry . . .” he trailed off, running both hands through his hair.
“Don’t be. Just don’t drink all the liquor at the bar tonight.” I giggled and took his hand again. An easy smile spread across his face as he followed me down the hall.
“So,” he seemed eager to change the subject, “that piece you were playing when I walked in requires a cellist.”
“Uh-huh, I’m going to ask Marcia to do it, I think.”
“What?” Nathan asked as he held the main door open for me. “You don’t want the dashing professor to do it?”
I let out a full-throated laugh. “Yeah, can you imagine? I’m going to have a hard enough time passing that composition he gave us to write. I’m excited about it, because I think I can turn the piece into something really exciting. But—”
“He’ll fail it,” Nathan cut in.
I nodded. “I’m sure of it,” I said with a smile. I knew what Fitzgerald was looking for when he gave us those assignments. He wanted us to play by all the rules that held his brain in his head. Rules that would make our compositions indistinguishable from the composer at hand. As much fun as that sounded, I was determined to breathe new life into old music. To keep it alive and fluid and moving. Snobby professor-be-damned.
Nathan chuckled. “I wish I could play along in your effort to make his head explode, Savannah, I really do. But, I put off this class for the last minute so I could take it with you, and if I fail it, I’m screwed.”
“I appreciate the sentiment.” I rolled my eyes as we walked to our friends party. Idly, I found myself wanting to see what my latest composition looked like through those gorgeous blue eyes that belonged to Gregory Fitzgerald.
“Whatchya thinking about?” Nathan asked as he wrapped his long arm around my shoulders.
“Oh,” I sighed, “just what a fucking long semester this would be if I didn’t have you to sit next to in that theory class.
He smiled and kissed the top of my head. “Anything for you, doll.”
I tilted my chin to meet his eyes. “I might hold you to that if I end up in jail for strangling him. He’s so boxed in it drives me crazy.”
Nathan just laughed and kissed my head again. “Please do your best not to end up in jail, Savannah.”
“I’ll try,” I smiled, “promise.”