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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)

TITLE: The Invisible Common Bond
By sandra hoolihan


Ginny walked into the choir room to find twice as many members as usual sitting in the already cramped music room. The only empty seats in her alto section started ten chairs in. At seventy-five, Ginny didn't have the time or patience to be dealing with the chaos of climbing over protruding legs or shimmying down the row to an available seat. Practice had not even begun and she was already exhausted by it all. Her eye roll didn't seem like quite enough to cover her annoyance so she added a heavy sigh for good measure.
When Jeff, the director, arrived, he waltzed in with the breeziness of ballroom dancer. "I have great news," he announced clapping for attention. As he continued with his announcement Ginny noticed another woman rudely talking over him. Ginny took the initiative to scold her with an icy stare. Jeff continued, "As I mentioned, we will be learning a new piece entirely in Latin composed by one of the great chorale masters-" Ginny could hardly concentrate on what Jeff was saying. She was distracted by the woman talking as Jeff talked. She zoned in on the woman and realized the woman wasn't talking over him, she was translating what he was saying to these new people. As Ginny was slowly figuring this out for herself, she heard Jeff confirm, "- so happy the 5:00 Spanish choir has agreed to learn this piece with us."
Ginny's didn't like this idea. Ginny wasn't the sort that liked many new ideas. She liked change as much as most people enjoy getting a root canal. She didn't like the clutter of people or the new voices entering her section. It would waste time, it would be awkward, but mainly it would be an inconvenience. The thought of it made her itchy so standing in the corner, scratching her invisible itch she stood with a look of irritation until Jeff asked her to take a seat.
Over the next couple of weeks Ginny put up with the extra bodies. Her neighbor always wore the same floral dress that brushed up against Ginny's left arm. Ginny prided herself on putting up with it in a quiet dignified manner. A little sacrifice she made for the good of the group. Ginny smugly offered a smile once in a while to the lady in the dress. They were neighbors after all. She was sure not to start a conversation; talking wasn't really allowed during practice.
The performance was a huge success. The song, much to Ginny's amazement, sounded lovely. The voices of the groups blended seamlessly. Afterward, everyone headed toward to the choir room to gather their belongings. Back in the room, Ginny noticed groups of choir members saying goodbye to their new friends. Some even hugged. Because of the speech barrier, it was an awkward scene. It all seemed overly dramatic to Ginny. Really, how much influence could someone sitting next to you for six weeks have? She looked into her choir book and readjusted her pencil while everyone around her held miniature farewell parties.
As she was meticulously concentrating on moving her pencil from one side of her folder to the other, she felt a tap on her shoulder. In her best English, most likely practiced beforehand, the lady with the floral dress appeared and said, " Miss Ginny, I want to thank you for the pleasure of singing with you. A gift for you." She extended a CD of what appeared to be Spanish chorale music toward Ginny. "This language we share. The universal language of music and faith." she said, offered a hug and then left the room. Ginny was left dumbfounded and confused. She felt an odd sensation come over her. She couldn't place the feeling. Next, tears came to her eyes. She wiped her eyes and gathered herself before clutching the CD and leaving the room. As the odd feeling subsided and her tears dried, she decided that her allergies must be flaring up again. After all, what else could it be?

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This article has been read 338 times
Member Comments
Member Date
diana kay12/17/10
lovely story it held my interest throughout. We all know a few of those characters...... but of course they are not us :-)
Philip Barrington12/17/10
We are all learning. Be encouraged and keep writing but I cannot read this piece because double enter isn't between paragraphs. This makes it very difficult for me to read.

I am a beginner and making different mistakes. be free to comment on mine.

So sorry.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/17/10
This is beautiful. Some may not think of music as a foreign language but you proved your point with eloquence and beauty! The characters were believable and the type of people I would enjoy.
Lynn Moses12/17/10
I liked your story and was suprised (which I like) by the ending. I thought she would come to her senses! Nice story, thanks for writing.