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The Art of Love
Saturday morning. Composition class.
I think that was when I first admitted it to myself: I was in love with him. It was almost unfair. I didn’t have a say in the matter at all. I had fallen for him, whether I liked it or not.
The room was filled with the beautiful noise of thirteen young composers fighting with their pianos to make music. I wanted to write something incredible for him, but I was having trouble. Nothing I composed was good enough.
I thought back to when we first met. I saw him drawing in the hallway at school — a half-finished black and white portrait that was vivid even without color. I couldn’t look away. I also wasn’t watching where I was going and collided with a tall senior. The collision made me release the composition notebook in my hand. Sheet music that I had composed flew everywhere. To my horror, he picked up a few sheets, scrutinizing the music before returning them to me. He must have thought I was some sort of freak.
I shook myself out of the memory. I had to focus on this music. Taking a deep breath, I picked up my pencil with my left hand and placed my right hand on the piano in front of me. And, to my surprise, the music came. He inspired me to find the melody in my heart, and I let it flow onto the page.
You could say I am a hopeless romantic, because I like to imagine that he can hear the music I wrote. In my mind, he thinks it is achingly beautiful and, in return, he draws my portrait.
Sometimes when I play his piece I imagine what the portrait looks like. It’s perfect.
I’ve always been able to draw anyone I want. Portraits are my forte. But for some reason, I can’t draw her. I know exactly what she looks like — yet I can’t get her portrait to look right. Every stroke is a mistake.
One day, I saw her walking down the hallway. I was trying my best not to look at her. She was frustrating me. What was different about her that was causing me strife? Sure, she was beautiful and I had no chance with her. She must have thought I was an anti-social weirdo, just sitting by myself and drawing all the time. That was a little discouraging.
But the point was that I couldn’t draw her. This was killing me.
While she was walking down the hallway that day, someone crashed into her. Her face turned horror-struck when she dropped her composition notebook and paper flew all over the hallway. I picked a few sheets up for her, gazing at them for a moment. I was reluctant to give the sheets back. I knew that the sooner I returned the music, the sooner she would be gone.
I think that was when I realized that I was in love with her. Like some sort of lovesick Romeo, I was in love with her.
After she had collected her music and left, I flipped to a new page in my sketchbook. I finally trusted myself and drew her. No mistakes this time. The right pencil strokes came to me fluidly — almost like music.