Krystina smiled to herself as she opened her eyes the next morning. She lay in bed for a few minutes, watching as a streak of morning sunlight crept slowly across the ceiling above. The little girl thought of her birthday the day before, and how perfect everything had been – especially last night.
She still felt so excited about her encounter with that mysterious ghostly woman. Part of her almost feared it had all been a dream, but her memories were so clear and vivid, she just knew it had to be real.
The woman was so pretty, and had been so kind to her. What had she said her name was? Evelyn. She remembered. It sounded so familiar, but Krystina could not figure out why.
That really was the best birthday ever! She thought happily as she finally pulled herself out of bed. I even got to meet a new friend! And she’s gonna teach me how to play the violin!
The little girl was practically beside herself with excitement as she skipped down the stairs, where her grandparents had breakfast waiting for her.
Krystina spent the entire morning (and most of the afternoon) practicing her violin. As her grandfather had promised, he and Becca had also gifted her with a DVD and a songbook to help her learn how to properly play. Her grandparents watched with apparent amusement for a while as Krystina planted herself in front of the television, with the book out in front of her and her instrument in hand.
The little girl watched the introductory videos carefully, thinking back to the tips Evelyn had given her about posture and how to hold the instrument as well. After trying for half the day (with a brief break for a trip to the movies with her grandparents), Krystina felt confident that she’d finally mastered a basic scale…
Or, at least, she could play eight consecutive notes without completely stumbling. Whether or not they were in tune, she wasn’t quite sure yet.
When her parents finally arrived to bring her home late that afternoon, Krystina was very eager to show off her new gift, and offer a special “performance” of what she’d learned.
Her parents smiled and applauded happily, and Krystina eagerly dove into an encore performance.
Thankfully she was too engrossed in her playing to notice the uneasy glance her parents exchanged, and her mother’s quick whisper of “She’s keeping that thing here, right?”
As soon as she finished playing, Krystina’s parents had her gather her things, put away the violin, and say goodbye to her grandparents. The girl grudgingly obliged, wishing she could stay longer.
“Thanks again.” She smiled as she hugged each of her grandparents tightly. “I can’t wait to come back and play some more.” Krystina added a bit sadly.
“Anytime you want, sweatpea.” Damien winked at her.
“Thanks for letting her stay the night.” Lucas smiled warmly at his parents. “She really loves it over here, don’t you?”
Krystina nodded happily in agreement.
“Well we love having her.” Becca said, bending down and giving her granddaughter a kiss on the cheek.
With a few cheery waves of farewell, Krystina and her parents were on their way. Damien and Becca watched as the little family headed down the walkway toward the sidewalk.
“We should have let her take it with her.” Damien muttered with a smile. “Revenge for those three months of trumpet lessons Lucas put us through back in 7th grade. Oh God, do you remember?”
Becca giggled much louder than she’d intended. “Unfortunately, I do!”
Outside, Krystina could not wipe the smile off of her face as she followed her parents toward their car.
“You’re off to a good start, babygirl.” Her father said encouragingly. “Keep practicing, and you’ll be a pro in no time.”
Krystina beamed with pride. I’m getting better already! She thought excitedly. I can’t wait til Evelyn hears!
She spent the rest of the day wondering when she’d get the chance to see her new friend again.