Monday, September 15, 2014

The Way We Were

I just attended my 35th high school reunion. With it came a lot of memories that lit the corners of my mind—good, bad, sad, and funny. I would like to share a very joyful memory of a special friend, Vicki. 

For whatever reason, our choir teacher was out of the room. Everyone was talking and clowning around. Vicki walked down, sat at the grand piano, pulled out some sheet music, and signaled me to join her.

My eyes widened and my lips parted. Me? Signaled by one of the most popular girls? Sure Vicki had always been friendly. But me? Shocked, I stumbled down the steps to the piano, my body temperature rising but my heart freezing. Maybe she wanted me to turn the pages for her. That had to be it.

Now if you have read some of my other blog posts and answers to my Facebook posts, you’ll know that I have always been a down-to-earth sort, and it’s hard for me to let go. I’ve always tried to be kind to everyone but stay under the radar, particularly back then. As much as I wanted to be in a musical or play, or be a country superstar, I could never let go of my fears.

I shakily sat down on the piano bench beside Vicki, and she began the intro to The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand.   

“Sing,” Vicki said.

“What?” I said, clamping my hands to my chest. 

“No one’s listening. Sing.”  She repeated the intro.

I swallowed hard and looked around the room. They weren’t really paying attention. I loved to sing. I loved this song.

“Just sing it for me,” Vicki said.

I started out weak but quickly gained my voice. I closed my eyes and finally let go of all my fears, releasing my three octave range. I finished the last note, Vicki beautifully finished the ending, and an electric silence filled the room. I sat in amazement, not believing that I had actually let go in front of everyone.

At first, I didn’t know what to think. My classmates and friends didn’t speak. Their eyes blinked rapidly and then they stared. Had I made a complete fool of myself? I began to tremble.

Finally the surprised looks pulled into smiles, they burst into applause, and then worked their way to the piano with generous compliments for the both of us. I was flabbergasted. Vicki gave me a look of "I knew you could do it." I was never that confident in myself.

I will always treasure this memory and hold it dear to my heart. Vicki gave me the opportunity to release my inner self. Despite her popularity, she always treated me and everyone else as an equal and with respect. She stood up for everyone and was kind to everyone. I admired her then, and I admire her even more today. She will always hold a special place in my heart.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
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Copyright: igorr / 123RF Stock Photo

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