- Hidden Lessons of Life-

Today was my rehearsal for becoming a violin player. There were two judges sitting at the desk before me. A man, whom name was John, and the woman, whom name was Naomi. So I'd been practicing for this day for about a year now. And the day had FINALLY come. So I played with all my heart and soul. When I finished, what I didn't expect...happened.

First, Naomi said,

"That was very well done! Best we've seen all day, young man! Mr. Haven was it? We will most definitely be accepting you into this school."

When she said that, I felt as if a lot of pressure had been lifted off my shoulders. I then turned and looked at John. He was looking me right in the eye. As if trying to figure something out. I cleared my throat, still smiling, "Mr. Yatt?"

Then he said...

"I didn't like it. To be honest, I don't think you're cut out for becoming a violin player."

Everything that just lifted fell right back onto me and my smile fell in a heartbeat. I fell my heart split in half. I saw Naomi turn and look at him in disbelief. She started to say, "But John-!"

John held his hand up to silence her, still looking me in the face, "Well then? What are you waiting for?"

I looked at him for a long time. Trying to figure out what I had done to make him say such a thing. My heart ached. My mouth opened and closed. I finally got the guts to speak,

"I'm sorry to come before you and play so horribly. Maybe you're right. This isn't cut out for me. I...uh...I…only did this because my mother thought I'd like to do it since I love to repair instruments. I'll leave now."

John looked at me, then closed his eyes. He let out a heavy breath,

"Get out of here kid. I don't want to see you around here again."

Naomi was still looking at him, her face was pale. She then turned and looked at me in sympathy. Without another word, I ran out and into the streets. Once I got home, I couldn't help but cry. I'd tried so hard. I was sure I was going to get was it that I did wrong? Out of anger, I destroyed my violin, set it on fire in my backyard then went to bed. Hoping in time my broken up feelings would be mended back together. I'll move on. I know that.

- The Present

Yep. That was exactly what happened twenty-one years ago. I saw John Yatta again. At my son's school. It was his talent show and I couldn't miss it. He was playing his guitar in front of a crowd. I bet he was so excited, yet nervous. What happened so many years ago wasn't in my mind until I saw him. The whole time, before the show started, I couldn't stop glancing at him. Eventually, John caught me staring and he did what he had did that same day. Stared at me. A puzzled look on his face. And then he started towards me.I clenched my fist by my side, looking towards the stage, wishing the show would just start so I could go home. I really didn't want to ruin it for my son but now I'm just in a bad mood. Just because I saw him. And then his voice came, bringing me out of my thoughts,

"Mr. Haven?"

I blinked for a second, not looking at him and then I turned, "Yeah?"

John Yatta smiled, "I was hoping, in the future, I'd get to see you again."

My blood began to boil, I think my face even turned red. My nails dug into the palm of my hand, "If you're trying to, all the sudden, get me to teach at your school or something, the chances are slim to none."

The smile on his face didn't leave. Instead, he sighed, his smile getting wider. "I want you to listen to me."

"I don't want to do anything. The show will be starting soon." I replied.

"This may change how you raise your son, I suggest you shut up and listen." Was his quick reply.

He mentioned my son. What advice could he possibly give that'd change how I raised him? I grinded my teeth together then forced out, "I'm listening."

John nodded, running his fingers through his gray hair, "Back then. When you played the violin. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard. I absolutely loved it. I hadn't seen such a talented youth in all my years."

I stared at him with wide eyes. "E..Excuse me? What?"

John looked me right in the eye, "You heard me, son. It was very beautiful and I loved it."

It took me a while to register what he just said. Once it began to process, I was furious! Outraged! I was...I was...so confused!

"Then why did you say what you said?! Why!? Do you know where I could be in life at this moment!? I could be a famous composer or something!"

He nodded, "Yes. You could be. Listen. If you loved playing the violin, you wouldn't of cared what I said. You would've continued to practice...to pursue your dream. You, indeed, would be someone famous today."

My entire body kind of shut down as I listened to him. I was no longer angry. No longer confused. My shoulder's slumped slightly, the stress lifted once again. John saw my reaction and his smile was everlasting. He patted my shoulder,

"It may be to late to get you into the school of Arts for the Youth, but you have a son now. A responsibility. A job where you have to make sure he succeeds in life. You may not have gotten what you wanted, but now your son can."

John Yatta walked away and I stared ahead. The gymnasium went dark as the show started and I turned to look at the stage. I heard my son's name be called first. I took in a breath and took my seat. He sat on the stool and looked at the crowd. When he looked at me, I smiled. I saw him relax then look at the crowd once again. He began to play his guitar. It was perfect to my ears. I looked around.

Everyone in the crowd was looking at him, intrigued. Everything finally dawned on me and I watched him again. What John said made a huge impact on everything.

I watched. I smiled. My son's performance soon ended and the gym filled with applause. He stood and bowed. I stood, after finally being driven from my thoughts, and clapped loudly. There was a future for him ahead and I was going to make sure, if he wanted, that he pursued it. Something my great grandfather said, came to mind,

"There are many hidden lessons in life, Cody. If you don't stop to think, you may not catch them. The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them."

Chances. Thinking. I'll never miss any opportunity to make my son happy. Nor will I ignore others that need that chance. That happiness. I, myself, had never felt so happy in my life. Everything happens for a reason…and that reason will sometimes never be known, but what I do know is that I'll always be thankful. I watched as my son made his way off of the stage; and now here me….an everlasting smile on my face.

~ End ~