"Shelly McKenzie," the woman donned in black called out from the exam room. Shelly shakily stood up and walked in, closing the door behind her.

~

"For god's sake, John. She's doing her masters degree today! You didn't even drive her?" She cried frantically as she proceeded to storm across the living room looking for her handbag.
"She's a big girl. Can take care of herself." He mumbled grumpily, and repositioned himself on the sofa.

~

"Now, Shelly, G flat melodic scale, please, with a diminuendo going up, crescendo going down."
Her hands (still shaking) automatically wandered over the keys looking for the tonic. She took a deep breath. After a few seconds of self assurance, she began to play.

~

He had had enough. Provoked, he stood up. "For your fucking information, Cera, she didn't want me to take her."
She looked at him straight in the eye.
"My point exactly."

~

As Shelly sat on the stool, listening to nothing but the scratching of the examiner's pen writing down the verdict that would change her life, she desperately tried to stop her hands from sweating. The scratching stopped.
"Allemande, Sarabande, and Gigue, please, Shelly."

~

"Shelly isn't the type to hide her feelings!"
"Oh," Cera let out a fake laugh, "And you know her so well? Tell me, how much have you supported or contributed to her piano? Havn't you seen her? It's her passion, John. She loves playing. It's her fetish. But what have you done? Hmm? That's right, nothing."

~

Her fingers were flying across the keys, successive broken chords, chromatics, the lot. All in the one piece. It was her favourite. For a second she realised she wasn't even thinking about what keys she was pressing, but then quickly realised that was what usually stuffed her up. She focussed herself once again.

~

"She likes other things..."
"Mmmm? Like what? Tell me. Amuse me."
"Books..."
"Books? Books? She loved books when she was four! Don't you see? We have an extremely talented daughter, but you havn't tried to get to know her one bit. You've caught on, John. She's seventeen now. It's taken you thirteen years to realise what she had liked back then?"
The beer he had taken was starting to work it's effects now. "No."
"It's like she isn't even your daughter, John." She whispered.
He hit her.

~

"This is it," She thought, as she reached the climax of the piece. "This is where my whole life is on the line. Please...let me get this right.." She played the first cadence perfectly, but then, without notice, her fingers fumbled and in that split second, she was lost.

~

"She ain't breathin." The ambulance had arrived ten minutes ago.
"Uh huh. She might not make it, Fred."
They put her gently onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. They closed the doors and sped away.

~

The examiner looked at her expectantly, as she frantically tried to re-locate the note and keep playing. But it was no use. Tears sprang into her eyes and she ran out the door.

Stopping out on the green field surrounding the campus, she collapsed, panting and sobbing at the same time.

"What happened? Why wasn't she there?"

~

"She's gone."

A/N: I experimented a bit. I've been playing around with this idea for quite some time, so it's a relief to finally get it out.

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