Being In The Band

Being In The Band
By Sarah
Chapter 15

        Tommy furrowed his eyebrows and looked up at the ceiling as he heard the piano playing.  He smiled and stood up, immediately recognizing the piece.  He walked slowly out from beneath the stage and climbed on top, walking up behind Lizard as she played on the keyboard her favorite piece.  He sat behind her on a platform and watched her hands as they moved across the keyboard, crossing over and playing the difficult piece.  His mind flashed back to five years before when Lizard had brought in the sheet music of that piece, trying to play it, barely being able to read the notes on the page fast enough.
        ‘Don’t forget that you have to reach with your thumb,’ Tommy thought habitually at one point.  He smiled as Lizard played the part correctly and continued with the piece.
        ‘She always loved the Sonata,’ he said to himself as she reached the end of the first movement.
        "I remembered to reach with my thumb," Lizard said, still facing forward.
        Tommy smiled as he stood up and walked over to her.  "I can’t remember how many times I had to tell you that over and over again, just so you would be able to remember correctly."
        Lizard shrugged.  "A few dozen," she said, fingering the keys lightly before turning it off.  "I wish I had a baby grand, or even a grand to play, that makes it so much better," she said, looking at the fake baby grand in the center of the stage.
        "I know, there’s an upright below, but I know you hate them," Tommy replied.
        "I don’t hate them, I just like the big sound of a grand."
        "Read, you hate them."
        "Shut up."
        Tommy laughed and saw a smile appear on Lizard’s face.  "Be still my beating heart, is that a smile I see on Elizabeth Collins’ face?"  He said sarcastically.  "By Jove, I believe it is!  What has happened, did someone make you feel a little better?"  He hinted.
        "You know why I feel better," Lizard said.  "And you also know what happened last week, so don’t even bother trying to play ignorant with me, I know you know."
        "Mindi told me that you’ve all been talking about it for a while now, and I don’t appreciate it one bit.  I'm not here for much longer, but you might want to watch yourself, I can still kick your ass," Lizard threatened, facing Tommy.
        "Can you really?"  Tommy challenged.
        "Of course, you know I can," Lizard scoffed.
        "At cooking, maybe, but that’s about it," Tommy joked.  Lizard glared at him.  "Kidding!  Kidding!"  He exclaimed, holding up his hands.
        "When do you get your cast off?"  Lizard asked, changing the subject.
        "Pretty soon, I think right after New Years," Tommy replied.
        "So in two months.  After that, are you going to continue with the tour?"  Lizard asked.
        "Of course, why wouldn’t I?"
        "Just curious."
        There was a pause.  "What about you, what are you doing after the last date in December?"      Tommy asked her.
        Lizard shrugged.  "I don’t know.  I guess go back home, my work here is done once you’re ready to play again."
        "Is that what you want to do?"
        "At this point, I really don’t know," Lizard answered slowly, her voice dropping to a near whisper.
        Tommy stopped asking her questions as she turned back on the keyboard and started playing ‘Moonlight Sonata’ again, this time her eyes closed as she lowered her head to her chest.  He said nothing, just watching as she played, pretending not to see the tears that fell onto the white keys.

        He tried hard to not let his heart go out to her.  Watching her from the top of the arena, though, being able to hear every word exchanged between her and Tommy, it hurt him.  He wanted so badly to tell her, to let her know, but he couldn’t.  He could only sit back and watch, not able to reach out to her when she needed it most.
        He got up quietly and walked around the arena’s top aisle, hidden by the shadows, listening and walking with the downbeat of the Sonata being played for the fourth time.  He’d been sitting up there when she first came out, nearly an hour before.  First, she’d played the Sonata, but kept messing up.  She cursed at herself, then dabbled, playing bits of other songs before trying  again. She got marginally better, but one of the techies had interrupted her, so she stopped playing.  When she finally got started again, Tommy came out from beneath the stage.  At that point, he’d been sitting for nearly forty minutes, just listening and watching her.  He had no way of coming in contact with her, she was off-limits to him.  He could only watch from a distance, listen as she cried, wanting to, but being held back while trying to comfort her.  The mask he wore was one of hardness, but beneath, he was heartbroken for her.  He saw something in her that he saw in no one else, something that he knew he could never find anyplace else.
        ‘If I could tell her, show her, somehow let her know, then things could work.  But I can’t.’  He sighed to himself, then stepped further back into the shadows as Tommy looked up towards him, almost as if he’d heard something.  Tommy shook his head and disappeared beneath the stage, leaving Lizard alone.  She was still playing, her head bowed.  He knew she was crying, he could feel it.  He resumed his walk and had nearly reached the security door on the opposite side of the arena he’d been sitting in when he heard a change in the music.
        ‘I know this song,’ he thought as the familiar chords rang through his head.  He leaned against the wall, not believing his ears.

        Lying beside you, here in the dark
        Feeling your heart beat with mine
        Softly you whisper, you’re so sincere
        How could our love so blind?
        We sailed on together; we drifted apart
        And here you are by my side

        So now I come to you with open arms
        Nothing to hide; believe what I say
        So here I am with open arms
        Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me
        Open arms

        Living without you; living alone
        This empty house seems so cold
        Wanting to hold you, wanting you near
        How much I wanted you home
        But now that you’ve come back; turned night into day
        I need you to stay.

        So now I come to you with open arms
        Nothing to hide; believe what I say
        So here I am with open arms
        Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me
        Open arms.

        He took in a ragged breath as she finished, the last note drifting away.  He was in awe of her voice, it was so beautiful and sweet, he could hear it echo in his head.  He watched as she backed away from the keyboard, tears still streaming down her face.  She collapsed on the stage in tears and he ran out through the security door before he gave in to the urge to run down and comfort her.

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