Main > Series > Chapters > Fame Book 1 > Chapter 16

Coco knew that there wasn't any show rehearsal scheduled for that morining, but there was somebody at the auditorium piano down in the orchestra pit. Standing at the top of the aisle in the empty theatre, she found it a little spooky; all those empty seats, the bare, unlit stage with just a couple of lunchroom chairs and then a long stretch of nothing all the way back to the paint bridge and the brick scene-dock wall, the lonely sound of the echoing piano that seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere.

It was spooky, but not in the sense of being scary; it was the odd, after-hours feeling of a place that you've come to love when there's just you and the atmosphere and no-one else to share. Coco leaned on the back row of the seating, and listened for a while.

There was no mistaking the hands on the piano; nobody else in the school played quite like Bruno Martelli. Those hands were going to get him a lot of recognition some day, whatever he felt about his liner notes.

And yet, there was something different about the music that he was making. Hard to put a finger on it, but the Bruno playing down there sounded about ten years older, ten years wiser. Coco hesitated for a while, but then she slowly descended and climbed to sit on the edge of the pit.

He looked up at her from a pool of warmth made by the light over the music stand. He let the melody end on its own, not forcing it. 'Hi, Coco,' he said.

'Hi, Bruno. New song?'

'Something I've been working on.'

'Something special?'

'Yeah, I suppose it is. Taking me a long time to get it just right.' He picked out the melody line once more, slowly and using only one finger, stripping the song down to its barest essentials.

Then he looked up at Coco again.

'It's for my dad,' he explained.

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