Aaron Meacham
9 min readMar 28, 2018
Photo by Tadas Mikuckis on Unsplash

Jean-Paul Tremblay’s hands itched with the all-too-familiar burn that raged miles beneath the skin. It didn’t help that he was also being tortured by the most ham-fisted rendition of Grieg’s Piano Concerto he had ever heard.

“I’ve heard enough, Leslie.”

“It’s Lindsey.”

“It doesn’t matter. I’m not seeing the kind of improvement that shows me you’re serious.”

“Isn’t that a little unfair, Mr. Tremblay? This is only my second — ”

“When I was your age, Leslie, I was practicing every night for three hours to make it into the premiere National Junior Virtuoso academies.”

“And look where that got you.”

Jean-Paul flexed his stiff fingers and massaged his hands. “I’ll refund your mother the remaining tuition by week’s end.”

It wasn’t Lindsey’s fault. Not really. And Jean-Paul knew this. Yes she was twelve. And when Jean-Paul was twelve he was a prodigy competing against musicians twice his age. And as much as he wanted to be angry or disappointed at her for not taking the work more seriously, he also knew how rare it was to have both the talent and the tutelage he had as a child.

What Lindsey didn’t know — couldn’t know — was how much sacrifice it took to reach those heights. Or how devastating it was to lose it all.



Aaron Meacham

My name anagrams to “a man becomes.” I love movies and Kurt Vonnegut. I don’t understand how anagrams work.