in story •  10 months ago

The first day she met him, he was on her brother's piano. With his broad face peering too close at the keys as his dumb fingers brushed over too many wrong notes with no respect for time or tempo, she thought him so poor and too well below average that she began to treat him in a kind of patronizing manner, offering a tip or two here and there, just enough to exude as much concern as a man could have for a dog learning to brush its teeth. And in that manner she held him. Whenever she thought about him, it was his rather uncomely face that appeared in her mind, straining over a bunch of stuff that were too big for his intellect. It was more than just the piano alone; she pictured him straining over everything and still exuding his strained mediocrity.

Five days later, she met him in a church, with her brother and greeted him in the most flimsy of ways. She was invited to sing, for she sang beautifully. Her brother was presiding over the piano in one corner of the choir store but the drum seat was empty. The average man was sitting beside her brother, gazing intently at the white and black keys as her brother expertly provided sounds that made her itch to sing.

It was time for a session of praises. She was introduced and she descended the stairs from the elevated choir store down to the dais where a mic stood, facing her and her audience chorused and cheered. She didn't take the mic from the stand but stood before it, in the near perfect silence, waiting for the drummer to strike those little chimes that produced sensual flavours of sound like little droplets of fresh wine. The drummer was taking a little too long to mount his set so she warmed up with her brother's sounds; little loose notes done in her heavenly voice, whispering, with her eyes closed, lilting to high octaves and dropping smoothly like a skilled acrobat. When she finished, before she opened her eyes, she heard the tingling ring of the chimes, light and trenchant. She was ready to pronounce the first set of words her already besotted audience were waiting for. Her mouth shot open and it blasted forth:


"Olela Oh Oh, Olela Bari!"

The back-up was excellent. They picked up the words where she left them and, sharing the response in different parts, between themselves, they spewed their sound, in warm harmony, across the hall. She loved that the back up was good but what struck her most was the adroitness and elegance of the drummer. The drummer played complex strokes, embellished them with grace notes, dallied on the toms and spanked the cymbals carelessly. He did the double bass often and despite all this, the sounds came out simply, precise to time - almost too precise to time. The rhythm flowed like a seasoned river; the tempo he sustained like a responsible parent, with a pure, easy smile on his face that almost shone against the polished silver of the drumheads. And all the time, he was singing along with the songs as freely as if he sat amongst the congregation clapping only his hands.

At once she felt comfortable and rotated in and out of her techniques with assurances that her skilled instrumentalists would uphold her to the end. And they always delivered. As the session drew to a close, she found that she possessed a strong, innate curiosity to know who the drummer was. As she went from the stage back to the choir store, the rapturous cheers and applause of her thrilled listeners behind her rammed against her elated ears, and the drummer appeared, wondrously, to be simulating thunder strikes with his snares ands toms.

She was back at her seat now and as she turned to catch sight of the drummer, she saw him rising from his round seat and heading towards the back of the choir store. And to her greatest surprise, it was him whom she'd thought average when he played on the piano. It was him; same broad face, same fair skin; only now perspiring and looking burnished in the glory of his talent. She imagined the same maladroit hands that struck all the wrong keys on the piano, and imagined them doing those wonderful stunts on the drum set and felt a kind of dismay at her own self. He went back to his seat beside her brother and continued to peer at the keys. Then he raised his eyes and their eyes met. He smiled his greeting and she smiled back; only, it left this bitter taste in her mouth..

Don't make the FIRST impression your ONLY impression. No one,,,,NO ONE, can be defined adequately by merely looking at just a single sphere of their life. We're multifarious. And the same way all fingers are not equal, we all have something we're very good at, and something we're very poor at, be it in skill or in virtue.

NEVER conclude from the little you've seen. Its NOT ENOUGH...

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