Flash Fiction Challenge 100 – Day 44

Photo by Ebuen Clemente Jr on Unsplash

I used to get so excited when Henry would come home from school. We would play such games, sometimes for hours! Just the two of us.

My name is Georgie. As far as I know, I am not a musically gifted prodigy. Honestly, I’m nothing.

Henry is my best friend, a brilliant young man who attends a school for musically gifted children. Henry doesn’t have many friends. He spends most of his time playing the piano, doing homework, and playing with me. Usually, we play in his room, but sometimes we will wander out to the woods and the creek behind the two-story brick house where his parents live.

Every year since Henry started fourth grade, he has more and more homework to do. We don’t get to play as much as we used to. I miss the times we had together when Henry was in second grade! That was a glorious year. We made a treehouse that year, but then his mom hired some men to tear it down. She worried he might fall out of the tree and hurt his fingers.

I can usually tell by looking at Henry’s face how much homework he has. He has to do all his assignments before we can play. I used to wave and talk to him when he returned home. Now I sit quietly, watching him move around in his room. If he sees me sitting on my stool, I will smile. But the smiles always leave me feeling empty, sad even. Sometimes, I will nap on my little chair while I wait to see if Henry will have time to build a fort in the woods or catch crawdads in the creek. Once in a while, I think about going to the stream by myself. But that idea never sits well in my head. It leaves me so sleepy and making my legs feel like they weigh about a million pounds.

I wake up on my little yellow stool just as Henry comes into the room. He smiles at me, I think. I want to say something, but before I can, he has already dumped his backpack onto his bed. He must have a lot of assignments tonight.

I watch Henry doing his homework for a few minutes; he has gotten so tall over the last three years! I’m jealous. He’s already over five feet tall, and I feel like I’m never going to get taller. Eventually, I fall asleep. It seems like this is all I do now, sleep, wait for Henry, sleep some more.

I wake up sitting on my stool. Henry is gone, but I hear him playing the piano downstairs. He told me his parents and the teachers at the school think he could be a famous pianist one day. I’m happy for my friend Henry, but I wonder if he will ever have time to play with me when he becomes world-famous.

Two years ago, Henry said his parents had called him a prodigy. Henry didn’t know what that meant, so he spent a little time on his computer looking up its definition. In the end, we both agreed, a ‘prodigy’ sounded like a good thing to be.

I am not a prodigy, but I already said that. I am nothing.

While I wait for Henry to finish his practice session, the soothing sound of his playing puts me to sleep.

I sit on my chair between the closet and the toy box. It’s such a stupid, tiny little stool, like something for babies. Sometimes I hate the stool and wish Henry would find me something less babyish to sit on when I visit. I don’t know why; it still fits me perfectly, and I can sleep sitting on it, so maybe I shouldn’t complain.

I don’t know where I go when Henry leaves for school in the mornings. Though I have tried several times to pay attention and see, I always end up abruptly drifting away. If I had to guess, I would say this is probably how passing out feels. I don’t notice I’ve left Henry’s room until he comes home from school at 4:00 pm, but by then, I’m already back, sitting on my tiny yellow stool, waiting to see if my best friend will have time to play today.

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