A moment of embarrassment and the silly words that came out of my mouth

One day, when I was about six, I was visiting one of my two childhood best friends at her place. It was the time when we both still lived in the community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments, and we visited each other’s apartment almost every day.

Just like at my home, there was a small YAMAHA digital piano at my friend’s place. But unlike my piano, hers was maintained in a pristine condition since she always made sure to clean it after each time she played it.

My friend loved playing the piano. She and I both participated in the same program at a local music school for children, but our motivations were different. In my case, it was my parents who pushed me to take piano lessons. They loved music and thought I should be able to play at least one instrument well enough so that I could enjoy music for lifetime. Though eventually I came to appreciate my musical education, at the beginning, I was one of the most uninspired students.

But things were completely different for my friend. She was the one who wanted to learn to play the piano. Nobody in her family forced her. My friend attended each lesson enthusiastically, and at home, she practiced well. So, it was natural for her to take a good care of her own piano.

That day, the weather was not nice outside, so we decided to play inside. Her mother offered everybody snacks, and after eating, I suddenly got inspired to play the piano. I went to the next room where the piano was, and my friend’s little sister followed me.

Just when we sat at the piano, and I started playing, my friend came running to the room door and put her hand up in the air before making an announcement.

“You have to wash your hands before playing the piano!”

I looked at my hands. She was right. I had just eaten potato chips, and my hands were oily. Knowing how much my friend cared for her piano, I felt embarrassed that I had not even thought of washing my hands before touching the piano.

My heart was immediately filled with remorse for not having shown proper care for her treasure. I felt as if I had hurt my friend herself. All I wanted to do in that moment was to tell her how sorry I was.

But instead, totally different words came out of my mouth.

“Why are you standing there with that strange pose? You look like a sumo wrestler!”

My friend and her sister laughed, I went to wash my hands, and the day continued as if nothing had happened. But in my head I kept thinking about that single moment when I meant to apologize and didn’t.

Nobody saw what was really in my heart behind those silly words. They were a cover-up for the pain and embarrassment I felt upon realizing that I might have invaded the treasure of my dearest friend.