'This one is G and this one is E minor' the old man with a blurry face said as the 12 year old Center pressed his little fingers against the guitar strings. The old man's face was barely recognizable yet his smile reminded the small kid that he was the person Center admired the most.
'As you can see, son, music is everything' the man in Center's memory spoke as the little boy continued playing with his guitar unwillingly.
'People admired me for having this talent. I can't let the chance slip away to have a son who will surely become like me when he grows up' the man said and smiled at Center. Center never hated music nor he seriously loved it. He admired his father so much but he never thought of becoming like him when he grow up. He'd prefer playing basketball and secretly joining clubs at school but the old man never allowed it. He would rather teach Center playing with his guitar or other musical intruments than letting Center build his own basketball gym at a young age.
It just happened.
Center was too young to protest and was not brave enough to say what he really wanted to do. His father trained him well together along with his veteran band members. At a very young age, Center learned a lot about music and set aside about playing. His father would buy him new musical instruments every now and then and he would study how to play them. His father let him attend voice lessons and vocal practices and even sent him to a music house during weekends. Center felt like choking. He never wanted this. He never dreamed about this. But it happened.
And honestly, he hated it.
"Hey kid, do you like playing guitar that much?" a little boy with a pale skin and a bright smile approached Center while he was playing with an electric guitar. Center just nodded and continued playing, his little fingers were swelling. The little boy noticed it so he placed his palm on the strings which made Center stopped playing.
"You're hurt" The little boy said and picked something inside from his pocket.
"You should tell someone if it hurts too much" the little boy said and he held Center's left hand. Center's fingertips were too small yet they were filled with slices and wounds caused by the strings. It really looked painful and it really hurt.
"I'm Ethan" Ethan introduced himself as he started putting band aids on Center's swollen fingertips one by one.
"I really like seeing you play them" Ethan said with a bright smile.
"Do you want to try it?" Center aksed and willingly handed the instrument but Ethan immediately declined it.
"No no! My mother will be mad at me. I'm not allowed to touch them" Ethan said which made Center frowned.
"My mother works here. She is responsible for cleaning all of them, the musical instruments" Ethan said. The only reason why Ethan is around is that his mother cannot afford to pay someone to look for him when she's at work. His mother talked to the owner to at least let Ethan stay with her during work. Ethan's mother strictly warned him not to touch anything because they were too expensive and that he might accidentally destroy them. Ethan loves singing but he can't even touch anything. Ethan was raised as a considerate kid and he considered his mother most. He had been watching Center for a long time. He felt listening to Center singing made his day brighter. Ethan wanted to touch them, play with them and learn everything about them but he was forbidden to do so.
"My mother will be mad. And she will not allow me to come back here again, I don't want that to happen" Ethan said with a sad face.
"Don't worry Ethan, I will pay if everything happens. I'm Center" Center said smiling and handed his guitar to Ethan. Ethan looked at the instrument as his brain argued with his heart.
"Come on, try it" Center said and smiled at Ethan. Ethan made a sad face and said, "I don't know how to use it"
Center never felt any pity towards Ethan. In fact, he felt lucky- knowing that there was someone who noticed that he was hurt. Center leaned towards Ethan and placed the guitar on the little boy's lap. They sat beside each other as Center snaked his left arm behind Ethan as if he was hugging him. He guided Ethan's left hand on the strings and his right hand guided Ethan's one to strum them.
"This one is 'G'" Center said smiling as he saw Ethan's serious face, he got fond of looking at the little boy trying his best to get used with the chords, not minding their positions. Center enjoyed teaching Ethan as they both sing together.
Center smiled every now and then as he heard Ethan's angelic and beautiful voice. They ended the song with smiles on their faces. Two boys looked at each other like forever as they laughed childishly. If only Center could say that he wanted to play and that he didn't want to pursue being in a band in the future, what would it be like?
"You should tell him at least" Ethan once said with a smile. And if ever Center will do that, a big change will happen. His father might get angry, he won't send him to a music house ever again, and he will no longer see Ethan again. Telling the truth means leaving music and means being not able to be with Ethan again.
And so he lied.
"I will continue singing, father"
Center made the biggest mistake in his life for choosing music over basketball. The fear of not being able to see Ethan again scared him.
He grew up with music and he still couldn't figure it out if this became his passion or not. Pressures drove him crazy and he became impatient. He even mentally blamed Ethan for being in this mess sometimes, when all Ethan ever did was to cheer him up.
One day, Center made up his mind.
Ignore Ethan and figure everything out about himself.
He never blamed Ethan for being the reason why he chose music over basketball. He hated himself, he hated the fact that he chose Ethan over basketball. And he couldn't help it.
"Stay away from me. I don't want to be around you anymore" Those painful words escaped from Center's mouth at the very young age. Ethan felt being dumped and being tossed around. He must accept it. He tried his best not to cry but he failed. He started sobbing and he finally cried. He never asked why, he just cried. Center rolled his eyes over and over again to stop himself from crying.
"I'm sorry, Center. I don't know what I did wrong...but okay" Ethan smiled at Center with his tears running down his face.
He thought, 'Maybe because I'm poor and he is rich, we can't be friends afterall'
"If that makes you happy. I will stay away from you." Ethan said.
And Center did abandon Ethan.
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