Austria x Reader Composing New Melodies
It was ten o' clock in the evening and nothing could be heard from the streets of your town in the far end of Vienna.
You were hunched over at the polished wood desk whose top was barely seen with the pile of musical scores and booklets scattered. Your hands were massaging your temples as you studied the contents of the papers. They were full of musical notations that were so close to one another that you didn't understand how other musicians had managed to play these pieces so wonderfully. You could already hear the music in your head and feel the emotions running as they were playing. You were by no doubts a skilled pianist, but with the increasing number of potential famous musicians, it seemed impossible to be able to rise above the challenge of making a name in the industry. It was only six months left before you had to complete your preparations for the competition that was to take place in the Vienna Opera House and guaranteed a place in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra if the musicians thought you were fit enough to join their ranks.
Frustrated, you piled up the papers and set them aside. You left your messy desk and went down to the kitchen to get yourself a cup of Einspaenner Coffee to soothe your senses.
While waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, you walked over to the set of CDs in the far corner of the kitchen and chose one that had contained melodies from none other than Schubert, your favourite musician. As the notes of one of his famous pieces started to play, you returned to your coffee and topped off the drink with some whipped cream. The frothy taste of the cream and the strong bitter taste of the coffee that mingled had awakened you.
Renewed with the energy, you decided to do some late night practicing on your piano. Since you were home alone, you doubted that anyone would hear you playing. You turned off the player and walked over to the living room, where a piano of a rich black color stood on the far end, waiting for the melodies that were waiting to come out. You sat down and thought of a piece. You smiled as the notes of Impromptu Op.90 N.4 formed in your head.
Taking a deep breath, you rest your hands on the keys and start playing. You let yourself drown in the rapid notes that could tell stories from one place to another. You were so immersed in the melody that you hadn't noticed that the bell had rung. You stopped playing abruptly, feeling cold.
You opened the door to see a man dressed in a white polo and a blue blazer. His hair was of a dark brown color and was parted to his right with a cowlick that was up. His eyes were of a deep purple behind his framed spectacles. His expression looked regal, as if he was from a noble family.
"Can I help you?"
"Ah, yes. I was just taking a walk around here and I couldn't help but hear the sounds of
Impromptu Op.90 from this home. Was it you who played it?"
You stammered a few words before the man held his hand up.
"No need to feel so ashamed. You play really well. If I may, could you finish playing the piece for me?"
You smiled at him as you nodded and let him in your house.
You couldn't help but feel a little nervous and excited. You didn't have a clue who the stranger was and you were receiving appraisal from him. He sat down on one of the couches in the living room and smiled as he waved for you to resume playing. As soon as you were done, his eyes were filled with delight as he clapped. You felt your face turning warm as he said
"Outstanding! I have never heard such talent from anyone else! I'd like to help you improve on your skills, if you would permit me to do so."
You stared at the young man and smiled. Somehow, you had a feeling that something about him said that he was more than just a skilled musician.
But may I know your name?" you asked curiously.
"Roderich Edelstein. And you, my dear?" he asked.
"___________ _____________. So when do lessons start?"
"Aren't you an excited one, _________. But all right, I guess that tomorrow will do fine."
"Okay, well you better be off! Good night Roderich. "
"I'll see you very soon, _________." He said with a smile.
You closed the door and felt a smile upon your face. Rare did it happen that someone would comment on your skills, moreover ask you to help. You tried to sleep but couldn't with thoughts of compositions, pieces, and a mysterious Austrian who offered help for your skills.
Five months came and went by, and you and Roderich were in a messy situation. During lessons, he could be incredibly demanding and intimidating that you would sometimes feel like you were more worthless. He was also frugal as he frequently commented on you accidentally spilling some juice or water while preparing for both of your meals. He was stubborn at most times, sometimes being so assertive for you to follow him because he was better than you were and all those incredibly prideful claims.
In spite of that, you felt that he became a special someone to you. He would always worry about you whenever you would break down into crying fits because you couldn't get some parts of the music right. You told him of how you felt so inferior to the other great musicians in Austria that you didn't know if being a pianist was going to make a name. One time, he had given you an Edelweiss flower to cheer you up.
"__________, don't give up so easily! You've got a ton of talent, so you better put them to good use. It would be nothing if you didn't keep trying." He said as he patted your back. He handed his white handkerchief for you to wipe your tears away. You smiled at him as you gave him a hug and whispered a word of thanks. He slightly blushed and resumed teaching you how to do rapid parts effectively.
On another note, because of your improved skills, you felt like you wanted to put them to another composition that you called your own. At nights, you would put out a pile of empty sheet music and start writing notes. Roderich wasn't aware of this, as you would hide them within the back portion.
You didn't expect him to find it.
It happened three weeks before the competition proper. You had emerged from the kitchen,
holding a tray of biscuits and coffee when Roderich began to play the notes you knew you had composed. He was playing the music so beautifully that you felt tears swimming before your eyes. He looked up and walked over to you. He gently took the tray from you and asked what was wrong.
"I didn't expect you to find it. Moreover play it so beautifully." You explained as you tried to rub your tears away. Roderich sighed as he held your chin up as he wiped your tears away. He smiled slightly as he said
"But ___________, it was your composition. And why would you hide such a potential masterpiece from me? Is it because you think I'm too stingy to acknowledge your infinite capacity to achieve? "
You couldn't help but chuckle at his last comment. He kissed your cheek, which took you by surprise. You placed both hands on your face as you felt the blood rushing to your cheeks. Roderich grinned and beckoned you to the piano.
"Come on, dear. We better finish this composition. I'd be glad to help you make this more
wonderful. But on one condition."
"What is it?" you asked.
"You include this in one of your pieces for the competition."
The day of the competition was finally there. It was a weeklong competition, as there were several contestants who signed up to win such a grand reputation. The first three days were dedicated to the elimination rounds, while the next three days were for the final ten to compete against one another, while the last day would be for the top three to battle it out. It was going to be an intense week for you. You feverishly practiced during your free time, with Roderich assisting you. He was worried for your health, so he accompanied you to the competitions.
You cheered as you found out that you made it to the top ten. When you found out, Roderich
gave you a hug, an action he rarely did around you. He was beaming as he congratulated you and took you out to a restaurant to celebrate. Although the battle wasn't over yet, it was a comfort to you that your hard work was paying off. If you made it, you would be forever indebted to Roderich for helping you out.
Being part of the final ten was more pressuring. You walked across the halls of the music rooms and you could hear the intense playing and raw emotion displayed in each participant. There was still acknowledgement among all of you, but it seemed that it was serious this time. Neither of you were going down without a fight. You suddenly began to shiver against the thought. Roderich had seen this and took off his coat and handed it to you. You murmured a word of thanks as you wore it. You were silent for a while before he finally told you to get some rest before the day of the semi-finals.
Results showed that you had made it to the top three of the competition. This time, you didn't utter a cry for joy. Your hands felt cold as you saw your name displayed in the board for all to see that you had made it. You couldn't screw up this time. You felt a hand intertwine with yours. You looked to see that it was Roderich smiling at you. He didn't seem like the overly assertive and frugal teacher you knew. He was the closest friend you knew you were falling for. He didn't look like he was determined to push you to your limits, although you expected that he probably would. Both of you kept silent as you made your way back to your home.
"You need to be in formal attire for this round, right?" the young man had asked. You had almost forgotten about that while you were so deep in thought over your song list for the final round. You nodded. Roderich stopped in his tracks.
"What's wrong? Isn't it supposed to be me who gets worked up over this competition?" you teased.
"I should get you something nice, ____________. After all, you've been working so hard. I should, in the very least, get you something. How about it, my lovely dear?"
"I don't think I could accept such an offer. And I don't think it's in your nature to get something that isn't practical enough." You commented.
Roderich placed his hands on your shoulders and looked into your eyes.
"But it's you, ___________. And besides, I'm the one who offered it anyway." He said.
It took some time before he was able to convince you to let him get you something. You finally consented as he gave you some money before you went in the boutique. He looked as happy as a puppy when you got out with a huge box. You both tried to talk about other things such as Schubert and Mozart and music-related topics. As you stood before your house, he kissed your forehead. You blushed and looked away, shutting the door behind you as you tried to focus your thoughts on the competition the next day.
You were dressed in a red strapless A-Line dress that reached a bit past your knees. A white ribbon was secured in the waist portion that gave more elegance to your appearance. Your hair was curled at the ends with a clip that held your tresses back. Your face was applied with only a little make up to accentuate your facial features. You looked different, but it seemed that Roderich seemed more than dumbstruck when he arrived to pick you up from your home. You looked away and held your bag more tightly. Roderich must have seen it, as he brushed a strand of hair from your face and gave you a hug.
"You'll do fine, __________. I'm pretty sure the judges will be taken the moment you step out of the stage. "
"I hope so, Roderich. I really hope so."
"Don't forget to play the song we composed, okay?"
"Don't worry, I won't."
You arrived at the Opera House, where they were holding the finals. You were ushered backstage, but not without Roderich wishing you good luck. You had looked worried, because the next thing he said took you by surprise.
"Smile, ____________. You look more beautiful that way. We don't want to waste your looks now, right?" he said with a wink. You merely nodded and entered the hallway that led backstage. You felt more than nervous as the minutes passed by. Your name was eventually called, and you stiffly walked towards the stage. It was dark, but you could see Roderich's face giving you a look of determination as he mouthed the words: Do your best.
You nodded in his direction and sat down. All of the people in the auditorium turned silent as you took a deep breath and started off with the notes of Schubert's Andante.
You could feel the memories of nights when you played this piece with Roderich while the sun was setting behind the clouds. The skies were of a beautiful violet and blue. The lights cast shadows that danced as the trees swayed outside your home. You smiled at the memory as you played it.
The second piece you had played was another piece of Schubert's, which was entitled Standchen. You could feel your memories rushing as you heard the notes resonating from playing on the keys. All you heard were laughs and smiles from Roderich as he cheered you up by trying to prepare snack for the both of you. You could feel the memory present itself to you.
Before playing the final piece, you stared at Roderich. His eyes were fixated on you as he leaned forward in his chair, as if he wanted to hear your piece. You closed your eyes and began to play the song. You could hear murmurs among the crowd, but you didn't care. This was what had brought you and Roderich closer than ever. You had fallen for him in this manner. You didn't care. This was the melody that the both of you had made together.
By the end of the song, a deafening sound of cheers filled the auditorium. You beamed at the audience as they gave you a standing ovation. At that moment, you felt like everything was better than when it was six months ago, at the time you were frustrated at how you played and your capabilities felt like they weren't good enough.
Sadly enough, in spite of the audience impact and the emotion you manifested in each piece, you didn't win the competition. In spite of that, you didn't feel too bitter about your loss. In the very least, you were able to make it to the top three, and that was a good start for you. In fact, you had been invited to play for some families whose names were well known in the music industry. You had received numbers and cards as you headed out of the opera house.
You looked around to find Roderich with a bouquet of flowers. He shyly handed them over to you as he congratulated you on an outstanding performance. He seemed fidgety, which was not like him. You looked questioningly at him. He shook his head and smiled.
"_____________, you can be quite clueless at times. I can say that for myself at times.
"Silence had followed before he resumed talking to you.
"Honestly, you can be the most stubborn woman. I honestly thought that you were being too doubtful that I was almost ready to give up. But something held me. You were crying, and yet you still fought for what you wanted. I wanted to see that smile of yours whenever you got the pieces right. So I guess that what I'm trying to say is that
I love you, ____________."
You set down the bouquet and wrapped your arms around him.
"You know what? I guess I was right to have let you listen to me playing the night away. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't have met a frugal yet considerate person like you. I love you too, Roderich."
Roderich smiled as he closed the distance between the both of you.