DISCLAIMER: If you are here, you are probably way too faimilar with the drills. But just in case... This is just a story, a fictional series of events created by my imagination. No more, No less. If the events or charaters in the story shares similarity to reality or other people's work, they are not intended! Also, the story belongs to me and my own imagination. However i am open to share if you ask me first. So please don't copy at your own will. Now that we got that out of the way...STORY TIME!!

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- Listen -
Chapter 2


Next day came and I was way out of my comfort zone. I never taught a class of 60 before and these boys have never even heard about real music. Apparently, the previous teacher, bless his heart, only taught them nursery rhymes. No wonder they hated it. There comes an age in any boy's life where they will be ashamed of the childish things and surely those nursery rhymes brought one of those days.

I glanced at the notes left by the old teacher and dumped it in the trash. Starting with Mozart, I introduced the boys to the world of classical music. I also introduced them to modern music because the minute I heard them sing, I realized that a choir was in order.

Lucas would have loved to sing together with them. He had a magical voice and he knew exactly how to use it.

Shaking off the thought, I made it a point to remember all their names. Such a task made all my time trying to master Liszt's pieces seem like a walk in the park. I earned my fair share of laughs for getting their names wrong, but they seemed happy that I even bothered to try. Looking at their little happy faces made me all warm and fuzzy inside. I made a promise that I would remember them all by the end of the week. I also promised that I would give them candies if I failed to fulfil my promise. That seemed to earn me a few points with the crowd.

Promise me, Josh, Lucas would have said. Even making a simple promise brought back his memory with so much clarity.

On Friday, I did bring a bag of candies to class. The second I set it on top of my desk, those sparkling little eyes, all sixty pairs of them, glowed with blinding brightness. Some of the boys tried to trick me into getting their names wrong with one of them being particularly persistent.

"Nice try there, Lester," I told him. "I remember your name particularly well! Now, the harder you try, the better I'll remember your name. So I'll never forget you now."

The kids laughed as I winked at the cute little face pouting at me with his arms crossed.

I ended up caving and giving the candies out to them by the end of the class, however, but I made them promise to behave in class. I knew it was never going to happen. They were little boys with the energy level of a nuclear reactor. There was no way I could get them to behave. I already had to punish a few of them during the first week. But, what I noticed was quite a curious phenomenon. These boys seemed to calm themselves down greatly when they heard music classical music. Well, that should not be too hard to manage. However, one boy's reaction was noticeably stronger than the others. He tried to hide it, of course, but I noticed.

That boy... He was the one who ran from my door the day I arrived.

Lucas' presence.

Saturday afternoon and the sun was setting over the trees surrounding the orphanage. I had just finished a lengthy phone call with a maestro in Vienna. He wanted to invite me to perform with him at a charity concert. The Golden Hall, Steinway Model D, Vienna Philharmonic. The dream ensemble of any musician in the world. How could I decline such an opportunity?

"Josh, this is the chance for you to honour Lucas' wish of seeing you perform at the Golden Hall. He will be watching for the heavens."

I choked a little as my memories of Lucas surfaced again. I did not need anyone to remind me of him since he always found his way back to my thoughts most of the time. However, the thought of fulfilling his wish wrenched my heart harder than before.

"Maestro, I am honoured. But, I can't just leave and go. I am responsible for the daily lessons of 60 kids. I need some time to organize things and to make sure their lessons are taken care of."

"You do care about those boys. At first I thought you were crazy for taking the position. Your mother told me it's your way of dealing with your brother's passing. So I thought that this was maybe a good opportunity to help you honour your brother's wishes. I am terribly sorry for opening old wounds, dear Joshua," he said sympathetically.

Old wounds, fresh nonetheless, I thought.

"Maestro, thank you for your kindness. I do like to honour the invitation. I do have some time still so I will do my best to organize things on my end."

"I'm glad, Joshua. We will make sure everything is in order here to receive you when the time comes. I will also ask my assistant to mail you the list of pieces that we will be performing so you can start your preparation from there."

"Thank you, Maestro Bernstein. Oh and thank you for giving me this opportunity to fulfil one of my promises to Lucas."

"You are very welcome, my son. I'm looking forward to perform with you again."

He bade me goodbye and hung up, leaving me to my silent emotional conflict. I was happy and sad at the same time to be reminded about a conversation with Lucas that I tried so hard to leave behind.

* * * * *

"That was AMAZING! You were AMAZING!" Lucas happily shouted as we walked through central park in New York City. He looked absolutely, adorably handsome in his light grey shirt, purple and blue striped tie and a navy blue blazer with grey pants.

It was my junior year at the Royal Academy of Music. In honour to the friendship between the academy and the famous Julliard School of Performing Arts, Julliard had invited one of the academy students to perform at their annual spring music festival. Open stage in central park, with their best students and alumni performing. All the parents, honoured guests and then some as the lucky audience sat filling the entire field.

The academy put the position to a vote and the faculty nominated me to perform. When I called home, Lucas was more ecstatic than I was as he jumped up and down in the living room. I could hear him jumping from my end of the phone that was how loud and excited he was. Mom had to make him sit on his hands to stop him from potentially breaking something. They cleared their schedules and flew down to NYC for the concert. And now, we happily walked through the recession of a successful concert, holding hands and happily chatting away...until one man walked up to us and stopped us from leaving.

"I agree, little man. Your brother was indeed amazing!"

"Thank you...uh...Maestro!" I stared at the little golden pin on the left side of the man's suit.

"What's a maestro?" Lucas asked with his usual innocent curiosity.

The man smiled and crouched to meet Lucas at eye level.

"A maestro is a conductor in a concert. It is someone with the mastery in the field of music," he explained briefly, ruffling Lucas' hair as the boy giggled. Then he stood up to address the adults. "I'm terribly sorry for not formally introducing myself. My name is Richard Bernstein. I am with the Vienna Philharmonics Orchestra."

He shook hands with my parents, then turned to me and extended his hand. I was still in awe of this man as I took his hand, trembling in disbelief.

"Now tell me, my son," he proceeded. "How did you know I was a maestro?"

"Your...your pin...sir," I stuttered. "It is of the society of the maestros in Vienna, Austria. My professor, Maestro Hendrickson has the same pin. He has told me about the society once."

"Ah, yes. Hendrickson," he spoke thoughtfully. "He speaks very highly of you."

"Thank you, Maestro," I humbly offered.

"Joshua, do you have any interest in joining the Vienna Philharmonics?"

Just imagine my shock. I could not even comprehend it.

"Um...well...to be honest, Maestro Bernstein," I almost mumbled. "As much as I would be honoured by the opportunity, I still haven't graduated from the academy and am not sure if I qualify to be part of such a prestigious orchestra."

"Now, now...I wouldn't have asked if I did not think you were qualified," he rebutted. "But I do understand what you are saying about the academy. Good old Hendrickson is lucky to have you as his student. Think about it, my dear boy. Perhaps after your graduation, you may like to join us."

"Yes...well...Yes, thank you, sir."

"Well then, we will keep in touch. Oh and Josh, please kindly remind Maestro Hendrickson that he still owes me a bottle of scotch. The man seems to have some trouble remembering when he loses a bet." He winked at Lucas, shook hands with my parents again and left left us standing there speechless from the encounter.

Later on the hotel balcony, Lucas and I sat staring toward the twinkling lights of the city skyline.

"So are you going to take Mr. Bernstein's offer and join the philharmonics when you graduate next year?" he asked.

"How do you remember people's names like that?"

"I don't know. I just do." He shrugged. "So, are you?"

"I'm not sure. I would like to if the offer still stands when the time comes. It would be an honourable position to be in, especially for someone like me who will be inexperienced."

"What would it be like to be part of the Vienna Philharmonics?"

"Well, for one you will get to perform with the best musicians in Austria, as well as around the world. You will also be able to work with many of the great conductors and maestros. There will also be chances to perform in the world's most amazing concert halls, like The Golden Hall of Vienna."

"Wow..."

"Yeah...wow indeed..." I sighed as I put an arm over Lucas' shoulder.

He smiled and leaned into me. I miss our intimate times when I'm apart from him at school.

"When you do join the Vienna Philharmonics and get to perform at the golden hall, can I come and watch?"

"Of course, buddy. You will be the first one to get the invitation, even before mom and dad."

"Promise?"

"Promise."

* * * * *

Funny, it seemed, how I was just starting to fulfil those important promises I made to Lucas now that he wasn't here anymore. How many promises did I get to fulfil when he still counted on them? Perhaps they didn't matter so much now, but those promises surely mattered to Lucas when he was still holding onto me to keep them. What mattered now were those unfulfilled ones.

And, perhaps, those formless contracts called promises always carried an incidental clause which was mostly implied that they had to be fulfilled regardless of death.

I wiped the tears from my face and straightened myself. Making sure that no one saw me in my teary mess, I made a hasty exit from my office and headed toward the dorm wing. Passing by the large double doors of the auditorium, I noticed one of the doors wasn't closed properly. Joe the janitor forgot to lock the door again, I thought, but the faint sound of a piano made me stop in my tracks.

I didn't know Joe was interested in music.

My curiosity got the better of me, so I quietly slipped through the half-open door. It wasn't the janitor sitting at the piano at all. Under the partially lit spotlight at the centre of the stage, sitting behind the concert grand, was not a man, but a boy.

It's him.

The boy sat on the bench, legs barely touching the ground as he crossed them at the ankles. He was so focused on the task at hand, so immersed in the magic of his music that it was like he was in his own little world. His back was facing me, and his silhouette... oh dear god, mercy... he looked just like Lucas from the back.

I instantly knew who this was. This was the same boy that ran from my door, the same boy that always hid in the background during classes...the same boy in all the stories that Lucas told me.

He tried, again and again, but always ending up with the wrong result. He sighed, defeated, but seemed to find the motivation to keep trying again.

"William...," I whispered. I guess I wasn't as quiet as I thought when I whispered because he suddenly stopped, turned and looked at me, startled. He stood up so fast, knocking the bench on its side. The noise echoed throughout the auditorium.

"William, what are you..."

I did not even get to finish the question before he bolted for the other side of the stage.

"William, wait!" I shouted, but with no response. "BILLY!"

The boy froze. He turned to look at me with the most confused expression. Those hazelnut brown eyes fixed on mine. I looked him over. He had the same hair colour as Lucas, almost the same hair length, too. But, in contrast, his fringe covered his forehead while Lucas loved to comb his to the side. Billy was slightly shorter than Lucas, I noticed. His school uniform was tidy and showing signs of wear.

"Billy, wait," I said calmly. "Let's talk."

He did not respond. Instead, he stared at me as I lifted the bench and sat down on one end. I patted on the other half beside me.

"Come..."

He slowly moved toward me, as if he still was not sure whether to run or stay. Eventually, he sat down, but still trained his eyes on mine.

"How... how did you know my...," he paused, almost stuttering. "Only one person knows that name."

"Billy...may I call you Billy?"

"Only my friend calls me Billy," he said. Friend, not friends.

"William, then," I corrected without gaining any response. "Do you know who I am?"

He nodded.

"You are the new music teacher." His voice was so clear and sweet, still no signs of changing.

"You are right." I smiled at him, but not earning the same in return. "I also know your friend."

That seemed to get his attention as his eyes grew slightly larger.

"My name is Joshua Wright. I am Lucas' adopted brother."

His eyes widened and tears started to form. For a long while, he just looked at me, no words were exchanged. But, I could tell that there were tons of questions written on that little face.

"Billy..."

"How is he?" he interrupted before I could have finished my sentence.

"Billy," I sighed, trying my hardest not to give in to my urge to cry. "Lucas...he...he's gone."

The tears streamed down the boy's face. He closed his eyes tightly, as if in disbelief that it was true. It wasn't only him that wished this to be just a horrible nightmare. I felt his pain, but I needed to stay...no, to appear strong in front of his fragile and helpless self.

"Billy, please..."

He turned and ran off the stage and bolted for the door.

I wanted to chase after him, but only to trip over the piano bench with my eyes blurred by my own tears. Sometimes, it seemed so much easier if you could not see the clarity of the world.

I knew it would be hard for me to fulfil my promises to Lucas right now, but this one concerning Billy clearly set a rough road ahead for me. Just seeing Lucas' presence in Billy put a lump in my throat. And now, knowing that I put the young boy to such a grief for the loss of his friend his one and only friend that he hasn't even seen for a long time I wasn't sure if I could still climb an inch upward from my own pit without falling all the way down.

To make it worse, Billy was still so eager to hear from his friend even after such a long time, but the only news that made its way to him was one that gutted my heart and which I could not dare to tell him without trembling and bluffing my own strength.

It was bad enough that Lucas was probably crying for how I still could not move on. Now, it seemed, I made another angel cry on this wretched earth.

To Be Continued...



REMARK: First of all, Thank you all so much for your kind words. So glad to know that many of actually give this story the honor of your time. I only hope that my chapters thare are to come will live up to your expectations!

Many of you have mentioned about the last line in Chapter 1. No the name is not a mistake. It was meant to be hint that Josh was reminded of lucas by the presence of the boy running away from the room, hense the name was in Italic, as in a memory/flash back/thoughts. And in this chapter we now know exactly why, They look so much alike!

What will happen now? Is Billy going to be ok? Stay with me and let's find out. Send me your feedbacks to crimsonguidance@gmail.com. Can't wait to hear from you all.

WARNING!! Flames will be ignored!