A Sweet Sigh
Written by Anne Aparna
“When the sins of my father
Weigh down in my soul
And the pain of my mother
Will not let me go” (singing)
“Ahoy Nightingale!” came Mr. Metter’s voice.
“Sweet morning, Mr. Metter!” Emelia replied with bright eyes and a wide smile.
“This boutique which doesn’t even have 10 sections has the best receptionist who makes everyone’s day special with her smile.”
Comments of such kind from kind customers motivated her to tolerate such a tough job for a low pay. She accepts all pains just to be able to feed her old and unemployed parents. Being in her early 20s, Emelia has put her hand into different and odd jobs to earn for a living. Among this too, Emelia never stopped dreaming of becoming a famous singer in her hometown, Liverpool.
One morning, as she was going to work, a flyer flew in he air and landed before her foot. Emelia stopped and bent down to pick it up. It was the flyer with the advertisement for auditions to perform in the most famous music annual festival of Liverpool, Sound City. A music company was offering tickets to the best 5 singers to perform on that day.
“Oh my goodness! It’s time! It’s time!” she exclaimed with brightened eyes and glowing, jaw dropped face.
“It’s been my dream to perform before such a crowd! O God please help me to be chosen.”
Emelia took off that day, went back home and locked herself inside her room. She dusted the tape recorder and began to listen to songs. After 3 hours of listening, Emelia decided to sing a song. There were only two days left for her Auditions. Emelia didn’t step out of her room until the dawn of that day came.
She dressed up herself like a professional singer and went to the auditions. She stood 70th in the line. The wait will be worthwhile, she thought. Her turn came and Emelia went and stood in front of the microphone. Her hands became like a frozen piece of meat. Her sweats looked like tiny pearls rolling down her face due to the lights. But Emelia managed to smile. The sound of her swallowing was heard through that sensitive microphone. Everyone was waiting for her to start. But Emelia failed to do so. She was asked to begin, but Emelia couldn’t overcome her fear. She ran off to her home and went straight into her room. She jumped on her bed and began to weep with no sound.
The next day, Emelia got up to go to work. She dressed up casually and took her tote bag and went her way. But she was surprised to see another girl in her stead, working there. The boss came out and said,
“You’re alive? I thought you were dead in those dreams of yours of becoming a singer. I’m sorry to say Emelia, you’re fired. I don’t want such an irresponsible girl working in my shop who disappears all of a sudden”, he walked away.
Emelia felt as if the whole world was flung upside down. That job was her only livelihood. She didn’t know what to do to take care of her parents. She sat on a bench on the way and sighed. Millions of thoughts swept her mind in a few minutes. She began to feel guilty, thinking that she was selfish to go follow her dream, instead of working to feed her parents.
“Young maiden, will you sing me a song?”
The voice was a familiar one to Emelia. It was Mr. Matter.
“I…. I’m sorry I…. I can’t…. Will you please excuse me for now Mr. Metter?”
“Well, yes I can excuse you for now. But, will you sing a song tomorrow in Sound City? This time for Liverpudlians.”
He stretched out a pass that said, “Performer.” Emelia stared at him without blinking her eyes. She smiled and gave a sigh.
“Wow that’s a sweet sigh!”, he exclaimed.
“Sir, are you serious? How is it possible?”
“Well I’m the Founder of Jett Records and I can approve people to sing in Sound City. I saw you yesterday in the audition. My girl, all you need is courage. You can take over the world.”
Emelia felt short of words to thank him. She accepted the offer. This time Emelia dressed comfortably rather than attractively. She went on to the stage, closed her eyes for a second and raised her eyelids slowly. She gave a wide smile. The lighting of the stage shown around her. At the end of the show, Emelia didn’t run, but people ran behind her for her autographs, dates and schedules.