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Finn has been practicing for months, so much that his fingers ache every time he presses the keys, so much that his hands shake and tremble whenever they travel across the white and black sea of the piano. He's so tired that the melody looses its rhythm at some point, and he jumps to the wrong octave some of the time, but he keeps going.
The piece he's been working on for so long is supposed to be a gift to a person he's never spoken to. It's supposed to represent all the things that will be left unsaid, as time has run out and there's nothing more to do about it. Finn's fingers hurt, his muscles are tense, but he doesn't want to stop until he's memorized each and every note of the song.
Or until he almost falls asleep over the keys. The sound that his head makes when it collides with the piano makes a dog bark in the distance and his mother peek from her bedroom to give Finn an angry look. It means that practice time is over and that it's time to go to bed. Begrudgingly, Finn complies and falls into a deep, continuous slumber interrupted only by the alarm going off the following day.
His fingers move mechanically on his way to school, repeating the patterns he'd been playing yesterday. Finn makes his hands stops when one of them is frozen with the sensation of a cramp, and he takes deep breaths to push it away. Students pass him by without paying much attention to the young boy, and Finn returns the favor as his eyes scan the multitude looking for someone specific.
Near the school's entrance, she rests against a wall while talking to a friend. The glasses, framed by wavy strands of hair, she wears reflect the sun rays and nonchalant stance make her stand out. Finn lets out a sigh and looks away to hide the pink warmth in his cheeks. In his head, her name's Muse. In reality, she's a talented pianist called April and her existence is the main reason that Finn plays at all.
She's a rising star and her name appears in all sorts of local news sources most weeks, and Finn is, well, Finn.
He continues walking and the day goes by as its supposed to do. Finn doesn't see April again until it's time to return home, as she's two grades ahead of him. Not only that, this is also her last year at school. Once she leaves, Finn mulls over, they'll probably never see each other again. Or, at least, he'll never see her again.
"I'll reach her, I swear." Finn says to the wind, letting it carry his words into reality by the sheer force of his will. "One day, we'll play side by side. If only you'd wait for me to catch up."
Back at home, Finn does his homework as fast as he can so he's able to get to the piano earlier than the previous day. His notes and sheets are exactly where he left them, scrawled all over the floor. The papers are picked up by an anxious hand that deserves more rest than it gets, but Finn can only focus on getting things right. Before he touches even the first note, he does his exercises to avoid more cramps.
"It'd be a shame if I get frozen mid song, huh." He tells himself as he caresses the keys. Practice starts and doesn't end until the Sun falls. There's only the melody, her melody.
Six years ago, the past version of Finn would have gazed upon a piano and felt nothing but disinterest, but then he heard her play and his world shifted. April's talent is a thing of awe, and he's discovered that she needs little practice to make each composition sound as it's intended to exist. Her hands fly over the ivory with the grace of a swan and it's only in those moments that the cold expression on her face thaws into the warmer expression of a gentle smile that made Finn's heart beat following her rhythm.
Her perfection doesn't end there, and that fact makes Finn feel both great and not so great, because he feels inadequate but also inspired by the ways in which she gives back to the world. April not only maintains a near perfect GPA, but she also manages different charities for the homeless and those in need, participating in many shows in order to collect money for them.
This piece that Finn's has created, animated and vibrant, represents much more than the schoolboy crush he's going through. It's a reflection of April's very existence, a thank you for the good feelings and actions she originates in others. Finn has found a love for piano and music that wouldn't simply be without her, and will remain there, even after she's gone.
Later that week, after some tweaks and fixes, Finn finds himself practicing in the school's music room. His mother is deep cleaning their home, so he reaches out to the teacher and permission is happily granted to him. It doesn't occur to him that he's left his sheets at home, he knows the notes by heart now and his body flows with the melody that oozes from his very soul. The music echoes all around him, and Finn basks in his relationship with it.
He's playing the last notes, taking his time with each one of them. As he presses the last key, he whispers, "thank you, April."
A voice is heard behind his back. "You're very welcome, but I think I should be thanking you."
Finn turns his head so fast that his neck hurts and he almost fall from the chair. His eyes find April herself right besides the classroom's door clapping. She's smiling and one of her eyebrows is higher than the other, which makes Finn stutter. "Hi… Hi!"
She chuckles. "Hi. I'm April, but I guess you know that already. That was amazing, did you write it?" Finn can only nod, obtaining an admiring whistle from April. "That's amazing, you've been playing for a while?"
"Aww, it would have been great to know before, we could have played together at a recital for charity." April pushes a strand of hair away from her face. "Say, there's one coming soon, it'll be my last. Would you like to join?"
Finn stands up so quickly that he tumbles on his own two feet. His heart beats faster that it should be possible for a human, but that doesn't stop him from crying out a loud "Yes!" He catches himself before he screams again, clears his throat and repeats. "Yes, I'd love to."
"Great." April readjusts her glasses. "Oh, by the way, what's your name? Sorry for not asking before."
"Finn, my name's Finn."
And her name is April, and she's finally heard his song. Her song.