By Anthony Wobbe
I waited quietly, as a number in the crowd, crouched in the sitting position; nerves stinging as though sliding down the edge of a razor blade; my bow strung at my side, hungry to do my bidding.
The cost of this hateful relationship would be paid in full tonight. The debt of his public rants, his belittling and screaming, his antagonism…all was finally come due. I spent the last months wallowing in self-hatred because of him. Now I just hate him.
I lived this moment in my mind and practiced its movements countless times. He would be slain by rote ability tonight and know that it was me: his very own and personal example of the student becoming the master. And in the end, I’d leave his useless, bloated form, lifeless!
I was mentally prepared for the crowd’s reaction, knowing they’d be stunned as they watched. The rumors of our hatred and spats were old and legendary. In time, they’d understand my white hot rage and why his destruction would be best served done in public.
The crowd began to stir, announcing his arrival. My heart pounded in my ears as he approached, my eyes searching the entrance of the great hall…as they locked, my blood began to burn.
His strut was like that of a peacock, puffed up and arrogant, a cape draped over one shoulder and his thin half-cane slung through his belt like a sword. As he made his way through the crowd, he accepted their phony adulation as if it were a birthright.
I couldn’t take another minute of it. I grit my teeth and slowly, discreetly reached for my bow…it’s time.
Like a smarmy politician, he acknowledged all other faces, purposefully saving mine for last. But his eyes widened when his gaze came to me, because I was standing and my bow was already drawn.
His smile disappeared into concern as it became clear what I was there to do. Immediately, his own posture hardened as he drew his cane-sword and raised both hands in the air. The crowd quieted immediately and watched as he reached, swishing his weapon hand from side to side. This was our final showdown…our final show.
He whispered the count; 1…2…1…2…and the piece was started.
The newspaper reviewer wrote that I assaulted the piece masterfully; that I had matured well past our small town orchestra and its dramatic, part time conductor. The Flight of the Bumble Bee is notoriously hard on a first seat violinist…but I nailed it.