It was raining heavily outside. The heat of the heater and the hot coffee kept me warm inside his house. I was waiting for him, my music teacher. I studied the room to kill time. It was a well furnished room, the floor was carpeted with very good fabric, few paintings were hung on the wall. The ceiling had been painted white with a large Piano in the middle. On the other side of the wall there were few items on show. One of the items caught my eye, it was a small Harmonica. The edges were tainted, the designs were faded. Compared to other items on show, it was worthless. I was pondering over the old Harmonica when he arrived, finally.
In entered a short man with a guilty smile branded on his face. He was in his early forties. He wore a small Goatee on his chin. He hurried and shook my hand. We both sat down on the couch. I looked at his face; lines covered his forehead, he had a smile on but it didn’t reach his eyes. He was a sad man, I figured.
“I’m sorry I am late. the rain was unexpected, delayed my schedule”, said he.
“That’s alright. I had the company of very unexpected characters” I said gesturing towards the old harmonica on show.
“Oh that! It was a gift from my singing teacher when I was a child.” he said with a smile.
I was astonished by the sweetness and the melody of his voice. Even when he spoke, it was as though he was singing. His voice was almost…magical.
“So, you’re here to learn singing. I must say, singing is more than art, it can’t be taught unless the person is dedicated. You can not back down once we have started, on this I must insist.” He spoke with such passion. He spoke of singing like it was the only thing he wanted. I can swear I saw flames in his eyes.
I agreed to his terms and conditions. He finally relaxed. We shifted to the floor. He ordered his butler to bring him his Harmonium. It was not a surprise when I saw how grand the Harmonium looked. He pressed some notes and when he was satisfied he turned towards me to start the training.
Before he could speak, I interrupted,”Could you sing a song for me first?”
I know it was rude but I had to hear him sing. He smiled and agreed to sing one of his own songs. He payed some notes and then sang.
It was something so beautiful that it cant be expressed in words and makes my heart ache because of it. I tell you his voice soared higher and further than I had ever dared to dream. It was like a little beautiful bird flapped into my life and made all the troubles dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, I was free. It felt like I was flying above the tallest cloud but at the same time was diving in the deepest ocean. The sound of his voice made me feel like a little bird learning to fly. It was mesmerizing.
He finished singing, I was still immersed in his mystical voice. It was a very soothing experience. I praised his voice and told him how grateful I was for being taught by him. We then started learning.
After an hour of continuous vocal practice, he ended the class. We agreed to see each other again tomorrow. I left his grand house. It was still drizzling, but I had a lot in mind to care about the rain. His voice was so amazing, so beautiful. It had grabbed my heart and my heart will never be free unless it hears the voice again. I wanted to go and hear him sing again but I convinced myself to return home.
By the time I had dinner, the urge to hear him sing was overwhelming, I couldn’t resist it. I had to go. So at around 10 o’clock, I got dressed and left for my teacher’s place.
The guards had seen me earlier the same day so they let me in without any question. I went inside and went to his room. He was about to sleep and was surprised when he saw me.
“What are you doing here this late?” he asked.
“I want to hear you sing again.”
He looked astonished and satisfied at the same time, “I’m sorry but you’ll have to go now. I’ll sing for you again tomorrow.” He said.
“But I have to hear you sing now, it’s killing me”
He refused and asked me to leave. Suddenly, the craving towards his voice became anger towards his refusal. How can he refuse, after all the distance I covered on foot, after what I said, after I cried? He didn’t deserve that beautiful voice. I did. I deserved his voice. I would steal his voice and take it as my own. After all the person who bore that amazing voice had to be responsible, he had to present is voice when demanded. He couldn’t handle the responsibility. I had to be the better person. I had to do the world a favor. I had to steal his sound.
I looked around, the old harmonica was there on his bed beside the pillowcases. there were a bunch of paper cutters and scissors on the bedside table. I took the paper cutter, the sharp edge gleamed in the light of the grand bulb, this person did not deserve such wealth.
He tried to escape me, tried to push me. But he was a small man, tiny man. He couldn’t overpower me. I grabbed his head ripped his mouth open and held his tongue. He was trying desperately to escape but all was in vain. I pulled out the blade and cut it. He screamed and the sound wasn’t beautiful. It wasn’t mystifying. Instead it was irritating and horrifying. My work was done. I had stolen the sound he didn’t deserve.
I looked at the old harmonica on the bed and thought, just like my teacher had been gifted the harmonica by HIS teacher, I had also been gifted by my teacher, only mine was much more valuable.