‘In my dream, she doesn’t simply walk towards me. No,’ leaning on the side of the piano, I pressed down on a high note, ‘she walks towards me slowly. The grass is green and there are flowers,’ I continued tapping the same key three more times, then ended it with a low note. Turning, I hugged the piano. ‘This piano is beautiful and big,’ I grinned, ‘and it’s all mine.’
It was dark purple and outlined with a black border. If there was one thing I loved, it was this. The only downside to it all was the fact that it resided at my parent’s house.
‘Flowers?’ Daniel asked, bringing me out of my thoughts.
‘Yes, flowers. She’s looking around for something. Actually, she’s–’
‘Looking for you,’ Daniel finished off, softly.
The stage stood high in front of the large hall. The hall itself, was dark, dotted with lights and had rows of velvet seats. I knew it was velvet as it was my father’s event, I just couldn’t distinguish the colour because of the darkness. It was warm, which to some would be inviting, for others, especially those wearing suits, it would be boiling. I worried that I would fall in the latter category.
‘I think I may need to take my blazer off. Perspiration is going to overtake,’ I said.
‘Ignore it. You have to keep it on besides, it’ll cover the sweat on your shirt. It’s not hot enough for your blazer to get wet,’ he shook his head, ‘The air-con will be switched on soon too.’
‘How do you know all this?’ I asked with interest.
‘I was feeling the same, so I went up to the technicians. Is that what they’re called? The ones dealing with the lighting and such?’
I waved his question off with my hand.
Daniel wore the typical black suit, black bow tie and his crisp, white shirt had yet to be stained. Once the food was out, I was sure it would no longer stay white. I mean, how can it if I was going to sit next to him? I silently chuckled to myself. I went for a fitted metallic dark grey suit, with a navy tie. I already received comments from Daniel on my suit and had prepared myself for any complaints. I was going to be the centre of attention by defying the rules. It shouldn’t really make much of a difference because every eye was going to be on me soon.
The stage was bright, and the wooden floor was sparkling under the lights. Of course, the hall had laminated flooring, ‘Wooden floors don’t sparkle,’ I muttered.
‘Wooden floor?’ Daniel knelt and swiped the floor with his finger. ‘Sparkly, shiny, and dusty,’ pulling out a hand wipe from his inner pocket, he added. ‘Did you wipe the keys?’
‘No. I forgot to bring my anti-bacterial wipes.’
‘Here,’ he pulled out another, ‘wipe it across.’
Shaking it open, I slid it across the keys.
The sound of each key hit off all four walls. ‘Wow, that was loud,’ covering his ears, he scrunched his eyes. ‘You don’t have long, you know? People will be coming in soon.’
‘And you’ll be sitting next to me, turning the pages?’ I raised my brow.
‘Maybe not turning the pages, but most probably sitting next to you. I’ll just close my eyes and pretend as if I’m in another world,’ he closed his eyes and held a faint smile, ‘like this, and I’ll tap my finger against my knee. It’ll be perfect, although, you need to make sure that you don’t play off-key.’
Watching him sit there, I started laughing and couldn’t stop. ‘Imagine if someone walked in on us right now,’ I coughed out, ‘two children messing about. Not adults. Not doctors!’ Thundering down on the keys, I finished.
‘Come on, sit down and start practising. Seriously, judging by my watch, they’ll be here soon.’
Straightening, I moved and sat next to Daniel in front of the piano, preparing for the evening event.
‘Do you even know when it all starts?’
‘Ah, um, do I look like a person who would know?’ He responded with a straight face.
That set me off, again. ‘What time is it?’
‘Just past six.’
My father held three evening events a year. Two for company workers and one for networking with current and, potentially, future companies. They always started after seven, or eight. I knew my father wasn’t extremely excited about the latter event, but it did help me try and raise funds for charities. I once overheard a few nurses discussing how arrogant I was. I won’t dispute that especially when I genuinely believed the networking evening was held for me. However, they did start discussing the way I looked, which to me was strange, especially considering I was slim and sort of toned. It was Daniel who held the muscles that stood out.
Sat up straight, I allowed my fingers to hover above the keys once again, but this time, my eyes were closed, and I wore a light smile. I felt as if I was there, with her. I was sitting there with my piano, on the fresh green grass and just watching her, as she walked towards me. My fingers had yet to touch the keys.
The right side of her silky hair was clipped up, allowing me to focus my eyes solely on her face. Neither was it her lips, that caught my attention, nor was it the way she brushed her fringe to the side, that I wanted to marvel at, rather, it was her eyes. Everything about her was beautiful.
The blue sky, birds tweeting, and the trees, I could see it all. My mind tumbled back to the dream that I told Dr Howard, as the arc appeared. An arc laced with vines and strange flowers, or was it a tunnel? She walked through it, with her gaze lowered.
‘Look at me, Lily, just look, please,’ I pleaded.
‘This is crazy,’ a voice echoed around me.
Flicking my eyes open, I was shocked to see white and black keys staring back at me. It was no longer bright, and there were no flowers. More importantly, she wasn’t here.
‘It was a dream. It did not happen!’ I pressed down hard on the keys, not knowing or caring if it was the A, B, C, D, or what not, key. Taking in my surrounding, I realised that I was no longer sitting. My body was hunched over, right hand on the high notes, whilst my left hand on the low notes. ‘I am seriously surprised that I could create such a story,’ I leaned back and tilted my head towards Daniel, ‘hmm, when had they dimmed the lights?’
He was no longer by my side and seemed lost in his own thoughts.
‘She doesn’t just walk towards you, that would just make the story tedious. Besides, in my dream, she was looking around. I was waiting for something or someone, and then, noticed her. She carried this aura around her, which I could feel and wanted to taste. There definitely were scratches, but she was beautiful. There was also this random table though, and she was placing things on it from her bag.’
‘Hmm. Random, right?’ He chuckled.
‘Daniel, what are you talking about?’ I nudged him hard.
‘What? There was a…’ opening his eyes, he trailed off. ‘I, well I, I mean…’
Crossing my arms, I waited.
‘Look,’ he started, ‘it’s nothing, really.’
‘Nothing? Daniel, I’ve been standing here all this time, just listening to a long speech. It did contain a lot of detail too. Please, do explain,’ giving him a slight nod to proceed.
‘Just adding things to your story,’ he shrugged.
‘My story? You were in deep,’ sitting back down, I began tapping on the keys to emphasise my point, ‘so deep, that I felt like I was standing next to you.’
‘Well, you made me feel the same. I saw her brush her hair to the side and walk towards you.’
‘And that is where I stopped.’
‘Stop,’ he pushed my hands down.
‘Stop what?’ My eyes were now wide. Yes, I was amused by how uncomfortable he felt, ‘You’re heating up, my dear friend.’
‘No, I am not. I need to go. I was merely adding to your story, that is all,’ he slammed the top with frustration.
‘Hey, don’t take it out on the piano. This is the only thing that I asked my father to pay for. That’s me, verbally asking him,’ my smile disappeared.
‘Not smiling now,’ he smirked, ‘but honestly, I do think that we should get back. Besides, most likely your mum will come looking.’
‘That, she will,’ standing up, I brushed my suit down. I knew that I’d be performing soon because someone had to provide entertainment. ‘I’m not going for the smooth look,’ I stated as I ruffled my hair, allowing my fringe to cover most of my right eye.’
‘It’s still smooth, just not sleek, like mine. I have to carry a comb to keep it in place,’ he rolled his eyes, ‘and why do you allow it to cover your eyes? They’re clear grey, right now,’ he asked, ‘misty, maybe even dark blue, when you’re moody though.’
‘Some hide behind their spectacles, some behind people, and considering that I can’t do any of those, my fringe makes up for it. I use it as a form of defence mechanism. Does that even make sense?’
‘Do I have one? Like a defence mechanism?’
‘Personally, I think you do,’ I replied.
‘What’s mine? Why do I have one?’ There seemed to be a mixture of emotions. From intrigued and excited, to sceptical and disinterested. Raising his brow, ‘Go on then, do I?’ He continued.
What hit me, was his confidence.
‘Again, personally, I think you hide behind your confidence. I come across as laid back, but you’ve seen how crazy I go if the paperwork is not completed, the letters are not sent, or the amount of research I do, just because I don’t understand one thing. Add to that, my eyes give away what I feel. I mean, you correctly pointed out the colour change based on my mood. But you, you use your confidence. I know how you feel, before going into surgery that is, but no one else does. They think that you’re capable of anything. That you don’t panic under pressure. True you are amazing at what you do,’ this time gripping his shoulder tightly, to emphasise my last point, ‘although, I’ve worked with you and I see you as my brother, so I know how afraid you are when pulled into surgery. You’re always in the emergency theatre, trying to save lives. Wait,’ I stopped, ‘What do we call those places?’ I asked.
He chuckled, ‘It really doesn’t matter. Just finish off your long speech because we’re short on time,’ his eyes were fixated on me.
Smiling, I carried on. ‘Yes, so in surgery, one thing may suddenly go wrong, but you don’t show your fear. You use your confidence to cover all that up and this is the only compliment you’ll ever get from me,’ I started, ‘you have no idea the level of respect I have for you on for that. Truly amazing,’ I ended.
‘Now who gave a long speech?’
‘Oh, leave it. I need to fix my speech again and stop grinning.’
‘But I’m amazing. You told me yourself,’ nudging me, he pulled me out the door.
‘One compliment, that was all,’ I responded and shrugged him off.
‘Beg to differ. There were quite a few indirect ones in the speech. Lose the sulky mood because you look like a stubborn child. The expression doesn’t match your suit.’
There were people walking up and down, bumping and quietly apologising or greeting each other along the dim hallway.
‘You do that,’ we continued our conversation, pushing each other and laughing, as we walked towards our destination.
‘Can you see your mum anywhere?’ he whispered, as his elbow made contact with my stomach.
‘My stomach, you damn nutter,’ I hissed and rubbed my stomach with one hand and grabbed onto the first person next to me with the other. With heavy eyelids, I lifted my eyes to see purple. ‘So sorry,’ I raised my head, ‘madam.’ Purple had turned into a lady’s cleavage, which in turn, resulted in my hand to slip off her smooth soft shoulder. My grip was not on a dress, it was on the lady’s soft skin. Her hands shot forward, successfully steadying what would have been my inevitable fall.
‘Kray!’ Daniel shouted as he rushed back and pulled me away.
Peeling his fingers off my arm, I turned back to get a glimpse of my saviour. She was brushing down a side of her dress.
‘Can you see her?’ I asked, ignoring the noise around me. He just made a move to grab my arm again. I could see her body, but her dark hair had covered the side of her face, making it impossible to see her face. ‘Look, Daniel, look,’ I pointed.
Then a man appeared. He wore the typical black suit, with a slightly tipped bow tie. His face was clear. Blonde hair, with light stubble. He seemed to be medium build, which made me look down at my own form. One would wonder a 6”2 men could see over the crowd of people, ‘Why can I only see heads but not their faces?!’ I stamped my foot down.
‘Move forward,’ Daniel shoved me forward.
‘I’m walking,’ I yelled back. Ducking my head, I began pushing people out my way and this helped him, as now he was behind me.
‘Thanks,’ he shouted.
Walking in, I made a quick scan of the room.
‘Your mum’s over there,’ Daniel pointed out.
I glanced over the direction he pointed at. ‘I’m like three or four inches taller than you, how did I not spot her?’ I sulked
He sent a straight look and pushed me to move, ‘Just three inches.’
Letting out a sharp breath, I stalked over towards her. ‘Move!’ I seethed out, just loud enough for those in front to hear, and for those who did not, I made use of my arms by opening them wide, which pushed some to the left and others to the right. It was amusing to see literally everyone scatter to make a clear path for me by hearing just one word, yet at the same time, I was not amused. I brushed my fringe lightly to the side, just to add effect.
‘You need to change your dark eyes. Grey is preferable.’
Turning, I gave him a bored look, ‘Not now, Daniel, not now.’
Looking back ahead, I finally reached my mother.
‘Lose the glare. You’re up in thirty minutes or so,’ she smiled as I kissed her cheek.
‘Nice to see you too, mother. People should be in the hall by now. Why are they still out there? I keep thinking of Pac Man.’
‘Love just sit down and smooth down your blazer,’ she led me to a stool, ‘ah, Daniel, wonderful to see you,’ holding his hand, she pulled him into a hug.
‘Hi, Mrs Kratos,’ giving a kiss on each cheek, he responded, ‘you look beautiful.’ I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Him and his charms.
Charms? The dream started pushing its way into my head, once again. He had said that he was just adding more to my story. Even as he said those words, I felt there was more to it. I couldn’t remember him in the dream, so how did he know what Lily was doing? He was in another dream, but not in that one. I wanted to ask him about her appearance and about how he saw her because it was hard to make out her face in my dream.
‘Check if the hallway is empty, please,’ I asked the staff instead. I’ll think about all this later, shaking my head, I stood up. ‘Mother, let’s go,’ holding out my arm, I nodded my thanks to the boy.