I smooth my hand over the black pencil skirt I'm wearing. Nervousness works like a puppeteer, gingerly plucking the strings and causing my fingers to tremble so much that the violinist besides me asks if I have epilepsy. I smile politely and explain who I am. Her eyes go round before she apologizes, exiting backstage to take her place in the stiff black chair onstage waiting for her. All the musicians file out, hushed voices whispering to themselves before they take up their instruments in anticipation for me. I hear the announcer boom into his microphone a short description of how I've risen to fame, how amazing the music I play is and how lovely of a girl I am. I know I'm not because, unlike all those famous composers in history, I'm ravaged with jittery fears before every performance. And there are many.

Finally, my name is announced as my cue and I emerge from behind the thick black curtain shielding me from the thousands of hungry eyes twitching in anticipation. My shoes click on the polished wood floor. I sit at the piano, aware of the drafty breeze floating around me. Goosebumps arise on my arms as they settle on the keys of the piano. I lick my lips and look up at the music. For a split second, it looks like Japanese, and I freak out because I can't understand it. The memory of my music snaps out. Then my mouth finds the words and my fingers the proper keys, and the piece begins. I'm not in control anymore. The music envelopes me, accepting my place in its measures and letting me join it with my voice and the piano.