Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Half of Me: Chapter 8

Half of Me
by Paul Diaz

Chapter 8: Half of Me

September, Two years ago…

Ever since Adam’s concert, he and Aimee were inseparable. They still entered class but this time they sat next to each other. Professor didn’t mind them for the two were excelling and inspiring each other to do better. A few more days Adam and Aimee were sharing one canvass, the professor was against it but looking at the result left him lost for words.

Adam and Aimee were beginners but what the other lacked the other filled up. Together they were able to make beautiful works of art forcing Professor Milton to move them to advanced classes where the two learned them individually but in the end they would still work on one canvass.

September was a special month for Aimee, it would mark her first year being a famous pianist. There was a scheduled homecoming concert set, something she was looking forward to because she was going to perform in her hometown again after a year performing at different states. What made this more special was she has found a new inspiration to keep on playing, and that was Adam.

On the early afternoon of the concert the huge performance hall was empty but a magnificent tune was playing. Aimee was practicing her piece while Adam was seated on a stool a few steps away from her. As Aimee finished she looked at Adam and smiled. The young man clapped and walked towards the piano and knocked on the wood.

“Don’t you get bored of playing the same old pieces and tunes? Don’t you want to play something more modern?” Adam asked. “I could play modern tunes, I can even play the tunes of the songs you sing but this is what the people come to watch and listen to” she reasoned. “Yeah, same situation I am in. Sometimes I would like to try a different genre but Darlene told me to stick with the what I have started. Changing would be difficult but still I would like to try” Adam told her. “Me too, but maybe one day I will” Aimee replied.

“So tell me, if I take away those notes will you still be able to play?” he asked. “Of course, as long as you know the piece by heart it comes automatically. The notes are just there as a guide but during the real performance it would be a shame if it was” Aimee replied. “I watched you play and you even close your eyes. Are you not afraid of making a mistake?” the young crooner asked. “I do commit mistakes but you could barely hear it. It it was a really slow piece then that would be embarrassing. To the real critics they hear everything so it’s embarrassing but I never said I was perfect” Aimee answered.

“But to me you are” Adam said softly and Aimee blushed. The young man observed the grand piano, it was a shiny black one and suddenly he arched his hand and attached it to the side panel. “Look Aimee, what do you see?” he asked. Aimee looked at his hand and the reflection it made on the piano panel, Adam’s hand was arched forming half a heart and the reflection made it whole.

“Half a heart” Aimee replied and Adam shook his head. “No look closer, include the reflection” he told her. “Its still half a heart” the young lady insisted. “No its not, it’s a whole heart. I told you to include the reflection” Adam stated. Aimee stood up and did the same, “Look another half heart” she said and Adam pouted. “Okay okay whatever you say, its half a heart then” the young man said.

Aimee moved her arched hand towards Adam’s, the two hands touched and moved away from the piano. Their arched hands attached to each other and Aimee looked at Adam. “Now it’s a whole heart” she whispered. Adam looked at their hands and smiled at the sight of the formed heart shape. He then looked at Aimee and his lips began to tremble. “All my life I felt something missing, I could barely flash a real smile. Lately my cheeks are starting to hurt, I feel different…I feel happy. Aimee, in you I found the half of me” he softly whispered as the young woman moved closer to him smiling.

“I do believe you are changing, I never imagined you saying words like those. I thought you were always going to hide in your shell” Aimee told him. Adam felt embarrassed, he bowed his head but Aimee raised it up and stared him in the eyes. “I am willing to be your other half…as long as you likewise remain to be the other half of me” she softly said as she moved her face closer to his. Adam began to shake so Aimee put her arms around his neck; the young man wrapped his own arms around her body as their lips met each other for the first time.

Several hours later the concert hall was packed with people. Adam, Darlene and Henry were seated at the front row but this time the young crooner was not ashamed to show his face for Aimee wanted him to be there. Minutes later lights dimmed and the stage lit up, Aimee gracefully walked towards the center of the stage and bowed. With one hand she hid her eyes from the blinding light to find the Adam. As soon as she found him she smiled and flashed her arched hand towards him. Adam did the same with his hand and Aimee graciously walked towards the piano.

Even though Adam heard what Aimee was playing during the rehearsal he still enjoyed listening but this time his eyes were wide open. Adam knew every piece on the playlist, he knew the halftime break was coming so he quickly got out of his seat and rushed towards the backstage. He waited in front of Aimee’s dressing room and a minute later the pianist arrived. “Adam, what are you doing here?” she asked.

Adam revealed the bouquet of flowers hidden at his back and gave them to Aimee, the young lady was surprised and was full of smiles. “Thank you, but you know you should have given them after the whole performance” she told him as she smelled the flowers. “Well I couldn’t wait and I wanted to see you” the young man said as they entered the dressing room.

Aimee sat down and her manager suddenly entered the room staring at Adam. “Why are you here? No guests are allowed inside here” the old lady said. Adam smiled and nodded his head and was about to walk towards the door but Aimee held his hand. “Its okay, I want him here” she said.

Adam took a chair and sat beside Aimee while she was drank an orange juice her manager gave her. Adam grabbed the young pianist’s hand and began to massage it. “Your hands must be tired” he said as Aimee handed him her other hand and they smiled at each other. “Rebecca I want to try something different on the second half” Aimee suddenly said as she looked at her manager. “And what is that something different you have in mind?” the grey haired lady asked. “I am not telling you since I know you won’t agree” Aimee replied.

“Fine, suit yourself. By the way after this show we were invited by the mayor for a late dinner. I already said yes” her manager stated. “Rebecca! You know I hate social gatherings” Aimee said. “Well its for publicity darling, you can bring him with you” the old lady told her as she was busy punching buttons on her digital assistant. Aimee looked at Adam and she pouted to show her dislike what her manager scheduled.

“Its okay I will be your date” Adam said and Aimee’s face brightened. “It would be better if we were alone thought” she replied. “We can do that while we are there you know, its like we are there but they are not” Adam said and Aimee laughed. “Just you and me” she softly whispers as they kissed. “And you two are practicing on me? Is that it? Ignoring me, like as if I wasn’t around?” Rebecca snapped and the two laughed loudly.

An hour later the concert was down to its last two musical pieces. Adam knew what was next so he started humming and beating his hands. “You are so excited and you are spoiling it for us” Darlene commented so the young man stopped. “I was just kidding” she added and they both laughed. Aimee began to play again but it was a tune out of the playlist but Adam recognized very well.

“That’s a ballad that you sing right?” Henry asked. Adam was surprised to hear Aimee play something different, “And that is not even on the playlist” the young crooner said. The crowd started buzzing and Aimee cleared her throat as she spoke at the microphone. “Hello, for my last two pieces I wanted to try something different for a change. I do hope everyone likes it” the pianist said.

Aimee suddenly stopped playing and she stood up and grabbed the microphone. She walked towards the center stage and took a deep breath. “I tried to play something different but there seems something lacking. That song could be better if someone sang the lyrics” she said as she signaled the lights man to dim the lights.

Aimee was staring at Adam, so the whole crowd follow her line of vision and they saw him. “Will you come on stage and sing while I play the piano?” she asked and the young balladeer was surprised. Adam momentarily froze and shook his head but the crowd was egging him on. The young man stood up and everyone started to clap and cheer. Adam looked at Aimee then he started to walk up the stage where he met her at the center.

“I take no shame in admitting this in front of everyone, I have been a big fan of yours mister Adam Bowfield and it has always been my dream of playing for you while you sing. A while ago I told you I wanted to try something different, and that something different was to fulfill a long time dream. So will you make this dream of mine come true?” she asked. Adam momentarily bowed his head and took a deep breath then looked at Aimee. “You know I would gladly make all your dreams come true” he said as he took her hand and escorted her back at her piano seat.

The audiences were clapping and teasing the two, they were just like watching a soap opera but this time it was real. “What would you like to sing? I can play all the songs you perform” she told him. “Only the songs that you like to hear, I will sing your favorite song” he replied and they smiled at each other. Aimee started to play a tune and Adam nodded his head to the beat, “Close to you” he uttered. The young man walked to the center but quickly faced Aimee as he began to sing.

Aimee had her wish, Adam sang while she played the piano but the young man made sure it was not just a dream. Adam didn’t just sing, he serenaded her. He admittedly lacks courage to express what he truly feels for her but she gave him a way to do so. For the whole song Adam never took his eyes away from Aimee, he sang the song in his own way, with heartfelt feelings and undying admiration for her.

On this night Aimee tried something different and the people embraced the change because of Adam. After the final song the two of them stood at the center, Adam taking a step backwards for this was not his show, this was her moment and he was just there to make a dream of hers come true. This was Aimee’s homecoming concert, this was she first started and this was the place where everything started to change.

The next morning Adam woke up to the unrelenting rings of his cellular phone. He got the phone and was about to turn it off when he read the name of the person calling, it was Aimee. He quickly answered the call and the young woman was freaking out. “Aimee calm down, whats wrong?” he asked as he got out of bed and walked towards the window. “Adam! There are reporters and photographers outside of my apartment!” she said. “Yeah, there are some here too” he calmly replied at the sight of the press people gathered outside his apartment.

“Why are you so calm? Why are they here all of a sudden?” Aimee asked. “Its because we happened” Adam replied and the young lady began to laugh. “We happened?” she repeated and even Adam started to laugh. “I guess we started a buzz last night and it tickled them so you know they have to do their jobs and report to the whole world. Listen get changed and I will come over to pick you up then let us go somewhere else” he told her. “Okay…Adam, I am not really good with people so come save me” Aimee whispered softly. “Of course I will, I will always will” Adam replied.

Just as promised Adam and Henry went to pick up Aimee at her apartment. Flashes of the light were all over the place, reporters were hurling questions but Adam just smiled as he embraced Aimee as they headed towards the limousine. The young lade had her face close to Adam’s chest, she was embracing him back tightly as the unrelenting reporters made the scene more noisy. Before they entered the car Adam stopped and faced everyone, “I know you have a lot of questions, you already know the answer but still you want to be sure. Yesterday we enjoyed freedom but now you are taking that away from us” Adam told them.

“Adam! Will she be performing at your September 25 concert?” a reporter asked and Aimee was surprised and looked at Adam. “September 25?” she repeated and Adam pouted. “There you spoiled the surprise already” Adam said with an angry face. “Its okay, you are just doing your jobs but look what you did? Yes there will I will have a concert on September 25. Did you know that was supposed to be a special one but you spoiled it so its just going to be another ordinary concert. How am I supposed to answer the question you all like to ask if I have to start from scratch again? Hopefully when I think of something new you wont be there to spoil it again” Adam told them.

The flashes stopped and the reporters fell silent. Adam and Aimee were able to get inside the limo comfortably as Henry started clapping his hands. “Wonderful performance!” he said and Adam started to laugh. “You were acting?” Aimee asked and Adam grinned and nodded. “The reporter who asked the question was Darlene’s sister” the young man told her. Aimee could not believe what just happened but she started laughing, “So all of that was just an act?” she asked. “Yep, sorry if I had to look evil but at least that would take them off our backs for now” he told her and Aimee smiled and leaned on his chest.

The day of September 25 arrived and Adam was not in art class. Aimee tried to call him but his phone was turned off. Just like Adam, Aimee could not get anything done in class, she asked permission to leave class early to go find Adam. The whole day Aimee withstood the bickering of her manager but she was persistent to find Adam. After several hours of searching she decided to go back to her apartment.

As soon as she stepped out of her limo Darlene was there to greet her holding a gift. “Adam wanted you to wear this tonight” Darlene said. Aimee was surprised as Darlene opened the box revealing a dark green dress. “What? Tonight? What’s going on tonight?” she asked in surprise. “A concert” Darlene said. “September 25, I thought it was a joke” Aimee said. “Well it wasn’t so go get changed and I will wait for you. Adam is at the concert hall rehearsing and he said the show won’t push through if you were not there” Darlene told her so Aimee took the box and ran to her apartment.

Two hours later Aimee was beside David and his fiancée at the front row. The arena was packed to the rafters awaiting the start of the show. The stage had a different ambience, it didn’t look like a concert stage at all. As the clock hit eight in the evening the lights dimmed and smoke started filling up the stage and amidst the smoke a shadow of a man was visible.

“Good evening everyone. Tonight will be different. Months ago my heart was smitten and ever since it has been beating differently. I fell in love with a woman for the first time in my life and you know what? I feel so happy. I found her, the part of me that has been missing, the part of me that I have been searching for and in her I found it. So tonight I dedicate this concert to miss Aimee Patterson….i dedicate it to the half of me” Adam said as the smoke faded and he emerged wearing a dark green suit matching Aimee’s.
“And you know she was not afraid to embrace change so I will do the same. Hate me if you will but this is all for her” Adam added as an upbeat melody began to play. This was totally different from what the people were expecting, what made it more surprising was when Adam began snapping his fingers and started grooving.

“I would take the stars out of the sky for you. Stop the rain from falling if you ask me too. I would do anything, your wish my command. I can move a mountain when your hand is in my hand…oh you to me you’re everything the sweetest song that I could sing oh baby…” Adam began to sing a famous song by The Real Thing. He was different, he was not afraid to dance and strut on stage, he made sure from his first song that the audience knew he was singing for her. The fear of being hated crossed his mind but once he saw the people grooving with him then he knew they accepted the change.

After six songs he never sang before Adam didn’t go backstage to rest, instead he walked down the stage to be beside Aimee. The two held hands as photographers rushed to take their picture, almost all the people in the audience stood up to get a glimpse of the two. Aimee was speechless the whole time but the words she lacked she made up with a tight grip on the young man’s hand beside him. Twenty minutes later the the second half was about to begin and Aimee was excited.

“So whats in store for the next part?” Aimee asked. “Oh it’s a surprise” Adam replied. “Shouldn’t you be getting up on stage now?” she again asked. “Hmmm…the stage isn’t set up yet” he told her. “What do you mean?” Aimee asked and suddenly the stage lights dimmed and several crew men were pushing a grand piano towards the center. Aimee’s jaw dropped as people started clapping and cheering for they would get a chance to see what the rumors were all about.

“Aimee, during your concert you made me realize something important. When I sang while you played the piano I felt good, I sang better, and at that moment we were one. We were making good music together. The first part of this show was all about you, I want the second half to be about us. So will you play for me tonight?” Adam told her. The two stared at each other smiling, the crowd was silent watching the couple. “Say yes!!!” a man shouted from the crowd and Adam realized that his microphone was still with him.

Adam stood up and offered his hand to Aimee, she took it and stood up as the crowd started cheering and applauding. As the two reached the stage they both waived and bowed. “Ladies and gentlemen, my other half, miss Aimee Patterson!!!” Adam exclaimed. “Girlfriend” Aimee said softly and the young man was surprised. “What did you say?” he asked. “Your girlfriend” she repeated and the young man stood frozen in shock. “Are you saying…” he uttered but Aimee smiled at him. “Ladies and gentlemen…Aimee Patterson…my girlfriend!!!” Adam shouted with glee as everyone stood up and cheered them on.

Adam escorted Aimee to her piano seat and took a deep breath. “Let’s show them what we can do” he told her. “Ready when you are boyfriend” Aimee teased and the young man laughed. “I am sorry I just am not used to hearing that yet..Girlfriend” he replied. The two of them seemed to be enjoying themselves but the crowd was getting edgy so Adam walked towards the center as Aimee began to play the notes that was ready on the piano.

“There were bells on the hill, but I never heard them ringing…oh I never heard them at all till there was you” Adam sang a famous song by the Beatles and the crowd already loved their tandem. “There was love all around but I never heard it singing, oh I never heard it at all till there was you” he continued as his eyes were fixated on the beautiful woman playing the piano.

The concert was a hit and was the talk of the town. September 25 was a special day for Adam and Aimee, their love bloomed and ever since that day they were never apart. Ever since that day there were no more individual performances, from that day onwards they were one.