Katrina kicked the dirt on the pavement, pressing her sole hard against the gravel for good measure. What on earth happened just now? She had never once - not in any recitals, school performances, or any other performances - played as badly as she did just now. Everything was a jumbled mess screaming to come out all at once.
A very real fear was creeping into her now; the fear of having screwed things up for herself. She had vested so much hope, prayed so hard, and expected so many big things to come from this that it was more than mere disappointment. A cold feeling burned inside when she recalled once more how Mr. Rogers bade her farewell with the words "try harder".
Of course, it was all her dad's fault.
Him, the pitiful excuse for a man who hated his daughter enough to threaten her like that. Well, at least she did go for the rehearsal and he didn't show up. Ha ha.
Suddenly, a black car swerved up to the side of the road where she was and promptly stopped, startling her quite a bit. The windows rolled down, revealing the last face on earth she wanted to see.
"Princess," The smartly dressed man smiled almost sinisterly. "You didn't listen to me after all."
"Enough is enough, Dad," Katrina continued walking. "If you keep bugging me, I'm going to tell Mom."
The car tailed her. "Whoa, whoa...I just wanted to ask how it went."
She didn't reply, pretending to hum a tune instead.
"Did Mr. Rogers like it?"
Still she ignored him.
"I'll bet it didn't go so well, judging from the way you look."
"You shut up!" she snapped, yelling at him. "I don't ever want to see your face again!"
She started running away as fast as she could. However, he accelerated the car and blocked her path.
"Bear with me for a moment; I'll just say two things," he said to a frozen Katrina. "First, you might or might not know that Mr. Rogers and I are sctually old friends. It would be only too easy for me to say not-so-nice things about you to him. Which, I'm ashamed to admit, I have done."
"Second, I've been doing my darndest best this past week to scout for other young piano talents. And believe me, I already have a few shortlisted. You can expect Mr. Rogers to be auditioning them soon. I've seen some of them play, and I wouldn't be so confident now if I were you."
Seething deep inside, Katrina balled up her fists. She had a very good mind to knock his teeth out right here and right now.
"Isn't life difficult, princess?" he blew a mocking kiss to her. "And oh, remember to tell Mom that I've negotiated my way out of those monthly alimonies. See you."
His car sped off.