Touch: Chapter 5
by, Aug-18-2012 at 16:49 (164 Views)
Nadia could scarcely believe her eyes. 1,000 rubles, right there for her written on the check. That's as much as she made in 6 months working at her copyist position.
"What can this mean??" she thought to herself. "This is absurd! I barely was a help to him, he knew that. There can only be one reason... he finds me invaluable. But it can't be!" she held the check to her heart, and looked out defiantly into the darkness outside her apartment's window.
She slept better that night, and continued working on her solfege the next day. Reading her theory book, she finally was able to sort out what kinds of sounds she was hearing when Gavrilov played for her. Chords, chord progressions, even modulations. The more she read, the more astounded she became at how complicated it was.
"And yet," she thought, "He comes up with this stuff so easily. And yet maybe not so easily... perhaps it's taken him much training to get to this point... but also talent."
Nadia remembered the first symphony that he had written, which has unbounded energy and excitement. It was truly the work of a genius even then. But she found this new symphony to have a different world view. It was so far very dark, mostly an introduction. But that Friday night, it sounded like it was turning for the worst. Something savage, even dissonant was ahead for her to write down. And for that difficulty, it made even littler sense why she was being used. Nadia had by no means forgotten that check.
Walking into Gavrilov's room that night, her eyes were ablaze.
"I bid that you tell me everything right now," she said fiercely. "I have the money and will gladly give it back to you this moment if you don't tell me."
Gavrilov was again sitting on his couch, and upon hearing this unusual request given to him so suddenly, frowned mightily.
"Are you angry?" he said.
Nadia was flustered. "I am disconcerted as to why you have used me this whole week, when I've done hardly anything for you."
"But you have. You did very much for me. I can't write a single note, and you've written hundreds already."
"But I don't deserve this!" she cried exasperatedly. She threw the envelope on the ground in front of her. "You must tell me why you pay me so much! Tell me now or... or..."
Suddenly Gavrilov stood up. Only now did Nadia realize how tall he was. He was at least a foot taller than her. He approached her slowly, using his cane to come forward. Suddenly, fear went through Nadia.
"You are ungrateful. Even more, ignorant. You thought you could hide how you were feeling this week in front of me, but you failed. You can't hide anything from me. I even know where you threw that envelope."
He took a few steps closer, and bent down his hand slowly. It fell right on the envelope, and he picked it up.
"I knew from the beginning your lack of skill, and also your sense of it. You've been fighting your own inabilities mightily, and I've been very pleased to see it, but what you don't realize is that I know why you're doing it. You have work don't you, in your own copyist profession?"
"A profession you regret?"
"No... no, not that... but I..."
"Hate it nonetheless, perhaps just presently."
"Yes," bent down her head.
"Then don't stay there."
Nadia's head was up in a flash.
"This is a temporary position I have right now, is it not?"
"Yes, but don't worry, you will be with me for quite some time regardless. I... may have more compositions ahead..."
Nadia's eyes were wider than ever. She couldn't believe her ears.
"Are you serious? You want me to have a true contract with you."
"Whatever you like to call it," he suddenly frowned, and felt around for something to grab onto, to turn around back to his couch.
"I... I will do it then."
"So quick are you?"
"Why do you torment me like this?" she said with a lot of emotion.
"It's not torment, it's treating you as a perfectly equal individual. I'm not going to take you arguing for your rights. None of us have any. You want to be here as much as I need your assistance, that's all it is. I just need you to believe..."
"Believe in your worth, and that's all."
Nadia frowned. She still felt like she was being used in some ill fashion, but she could no longer accuse him of it. She inwardly swore to herself to find the truth later.
"I'm at your service."
"Very well," he said darkly, sitting down again. "We will begin again tonight. Are you ready?"
"Oh, and one more thing... I need you to be quiet about this. Don't talk to people about you do here."
"Paying me to keep me silent too now?"
"If you must view it that way, so be it."
"Why must I be silent?"
"It's not for you to ask. Just do it. Believe your worth, and be silent. Do you want this money or not?"
But Nadia's mind was on the previous comment. She never had this kind of pressure put on her at her job, as much as she was pressured there. She never did anything classified, let alone hold someone else in her hands.
"I'm at your service then."
"Good. Let us begin..."