An Unforgettable Night

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Tidying up has always been a dreadful mission. A funereal occasion, as I bid farewell to a grave of significant memories. Eagerly digging through the coffin chest of treasures, I stumbled across a mysterious case thickly covered in a blanket of black dust. I unzipped it with utmost care. The soapy, silk touch of the detailed lining was a masterpiece of art – a painting of the Garden of Eden. Inside, the instrument’s body possessed the curvaceous figure of a stunning woman, sleeping peacefully as if she were Snow White. I gently picked it up, careful not to wake it, admiring its breathtakingly elegant beauty.

A glimpse of an everlasting, blazing fire reflected the surface of the maple back and spruce top of the violin, which was varnished to a rich, burnt amber. I took a deep breath, inhaling the crisp smell of the rosin that tightly hugged the fingerboard’s surface. That was all it took. An instant flashback brought me back to the great night. I glued my eyelids together, allowing myself to sink into a state of nostalgia. May fourteenth, twenty-ten – the closing night of our school production, Fiddler on the Roof. Behind the rippling effect of a wave of curtains, panic and paranoia filled every ounce of air.

Actors busily paced around like jailbirds in an exercise yard with scripts stuck to their wide-eyed faces; dancers stretched like a dozen willow trees, gracefully bending and twirling, while chaotic musicians blasted their never-ending scales. Foundation was caked onto my face – layer upon layer; eyeliner so thick, I could pass as a drag queen. An announcement silenced the buzzing conversations in the audience. “Break a leg, Ruth on the Ruth! ” exclaimed a cast member, sending chills up my spine, while my hands tensed into claws. The harness was clipped on to an invisible string of pain.

Tangled webs of images of wires snapping were replayed over and over in my head. A hulk-like figure pulled me up to the pitch-black roof of the theatre. Bruises on my ribs darkened to an angry purple. The violent pounding of my heartbeat was an endless drum roll, leaping out of my chest. I found myself gasping wildly for air. Drowning. A rush of fear crept through my entire body when I looked down below – the edge of a steep slippery cliff. A clumsy landing onto the stage floor was flooded by beams of dazzling lights – a mirror reflecting the million sequins embedded onto the costume.

My hands trembled violently like earthquakes, as I struggled to lift the instrument to my neck, which suddenly weighted a ton heavier. The fiddle tenderly stroked the dove-white hairs of the gliding bow, creating a squeaking yawn of love that subtly transformed into a warm cry asking for sympathy as the solo progressed. Hours rapidly passed by like seconds – unnoticed. Tears of sweat crawled down the lead actor’s face, disappearing into the obscuring pit of darkness below. A bursting roar of the crowd’s cheer disturbed the last notes belted by the company.

Tears streamed down my face, an emotional waterfall as I came to a cold realisation that this was all over. Sweeping my arms before me, I took a final dramatic bow, while the audience broke into a wild storm of applause. Trumpets blasted, bells rang and the gates of heaven closed as the flaming red curtains fell to the floor. Months of blood-sweating rehearsals paid off four exhausting yet exhilarating nights. Magic. Absolute magic. Reluctantly, I opened my eyes with extreme difficulty, unwilling to let go of the moment.

My hands clasped securely to the bow like a leech – an inseparable bond. Gently, I laid the instrument back into its resting position, finally closing the case. Miles away, the whispering tune of the fiddle solo could be heard; so sweet, it was a medicine capable of curing any disease. A smile stained my face from ear to ear. Tidying up has always been a dreadful mission. However, the rediscovery of unforgettable memories consisting of moments of pure happiness in the course of one’s life makes it all worthwhile.

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