Christine Chen, Grade 11, Sydney Girls High School
Finalist in the 'Writers Wanted 2012 - Legendary' competition
She could sense the change of atmosphere as she stepped into the hall, the sounds of traffic dramatically muted, and the warmth of the sun and the soft smell of the outdoors were replaced by the sharper smell of air freshener. The echo of stilettos and work shoes surrounded her as she walked in, the repetitive tap-tap of her cane reverberating around the hallway. She could feel the hit of the colder, air-conditioned corridor wash through her as she went on her way.
Her grip tightened on her instrument case as the smooth floor melded into a rockier terrain. Muffled sounds of hurrying people wove around her, encasing her in almost a bubble of solace. Scurrying workers, school students and businessmen scampered past in flurries of quick footsteps, and occasionally the squeak of feet sounding as she could hear shoving, or skirting away from her as if she had a disease. She could feel the lingering gazes; hear the queries of questions from little kids to their ignorant parents, as she continued on her trek towards her destination.
She manoeuvred herself to the place she always sat, the place where she could feel the faint warmth of the sun, from what she remembered was a window, on her face. Every time she came here, she could remember what she used to see, what she used to think this place encompassed. Every time, something in her broke a little.
She sometimes questioned why she would put herself through this, over and over again. She wondered when something within her would break free and scream incessant words at her own mindlessness and stupidity –of repeatedly forcing herself to face her demons.
Unrelentingly, something in herself always drew her back. Whether it was the sound of her own music she could feel, weaving around the area, or the slowing of steps she could hear every time she played, or even the clinking of coins coupled with the occasional greetings and praises, she would never know.
But she loved it. And, for now that was enough.