Finale (8)

Finale – movement or passage that concludes the musical composition

 

Clothes were strewn all over Jessica’s bed and some were on the floor. Taeyeon had given her a ticket to one of the best seats in the concert hall to watch the classical concert by the Seoul National Orchestra. Jessica spent the whole afternoon changing in and out of her clothes but couldn’t decide what to wear to the concert later on.

 

Jessica googled for ‘concert attire’ this morning, in case she underdressed. In the end, she opted for a light yellow sleeveless dress which accentuated her shapely figure. She packed a white cardigan in her handbag in case the aircon at the concert hall was too cold. She sat in front of her dressing table and brushed her hair. She was nervous about attending tonight’s concert as it would be the first time she had attended a function on such a grand scale.

 

When Jessica arrived at the Seoul Performing Arts Centre, there were huge banners on the pillars and posters on walls stating the name of the concert. On one of the posters, several musicians were featured prominently on it. Jessica chuckled to herself when she saw Taeyeon’s stiff face on the poster. She was one of them who would be performing a solo that evening.

 

I should have been there to make her laugh when she takes the photo. She looks so stern in this picture!

 

People dressed in suits and dresses walked into the concert hall and filled the seats. Jessica found her seat, sat down and set her mobile phone to silent in case it rang during the performance.

 

The stage had neat rows of black chairs and music stands and a conductor’s stand. There were several tiered platforms at the back, presumably for the brass and woodwind sections. In the middle of the stage was the conductor’s stand.

 

A bell rang, signaling the start of the concert. The noise in the concert hall ceased as everyone waited for the musicians to appear on stage. A few minutes later, a row of violinists appeared on stage and made their way to their respective seats. Everyone started to clap and Jessica followed suit. Other musicians walked out in an orderly manner after the violinists. Jessica was trying to spot Taeyeon among the crowd as the musicians were all wearing black suits, pants and white shirts. She finally saw Taeyeon walking in last among the clarinetists and taking her seat at the corner of the tiered platform.

 

Taeyeon squinted as she tried to spot Jessica among the audience. It turned out that the blonde was easy to spot, not because of her hair colour but it was Jessica’s smile that made her stand out from the crowd. Her smile lighted up the room and there was a beautiful glow that radiated from her. Taeyeon took a deep breath to calm her nerves. Somehow, she felt more nervous tonight than other performances. Perhaps it was the presence of her loved one in the audience.

 

The conductor raised his baton and everyone brought their instrument to attention. With the swing of his baton, the first classical piece of the concert started.  Jessica was blown away by the majestic sounds of the orchestra as they played the piece ‘Orient Express’. The Orient Express was an iconic train that ran from Paris through to Istanbul. The piece took the audience on a lighthearted journey across Europe and it was interspersed with the train’s bells as it steamed down the tracks. Jessica could picture the scenery as the train passed through the scenic towns along the way and it felt like she was going on an adventure with the orchestra.

 

Jessica applauded loudly when the first piece had ended. It was an exhilarating experience for her to watch the orchestra performing live in front of her eyes. It was a totally different feel during their rehearsals and to listen to their final work now. All the long hours of practice and hard work had paid off.

 

There was an intermission of fifteen minutes after the first half of the concert ended. Jessica made her way to the backstage, hoping to catch a glimpse of Taeyeon. There was a small crowd gathering by the door leading to the backstage. A minute later, the door opened and some of the musicians poured out into the hallway. There were exchanges of hugs and kisses as the musicians greeted their families, loved ones and friends who were there to support them.

 

Jessica tiptoed among the crowd and tried to look for Taeyeon. It didn’t help that Taeyeon wasn’t very tall and the rest of the musicians who were much taller than her. Suddenly she felt someone wrap an arm around her waist and pulled her aside. Jessica turned around and saw Taeyeon by her side. Taeyeon beckoned for her to follow behind as she led the way.

 

“Like it so far?” Taeyeon asked when they stood along the corridor backstage, away from the crowd at the door. She couldn’t keep her eyes off Jessica’s dress.

 

“Yes, it’s fantastic! Thank you for making my dream of watching a classical concert come true!” Jessica said with glee.

 

“My pleasure,” Taeyeon smiled and enveloped the blonde in a hug.

 

When Taeyeon released Jessica from the hug, she held Jessica’s shoulders and observed her at an arm’s length. She could feel her veins pulsating with delight as she admired the gorgeous dress Jessica was wearing. “You look very beautiful tonight. You ought to wear such dresses more often.”

 

She looks so beautiful tonight. I never knew she has such a voluptuous figure till now. Oh my…my legs are turning into jelly. 

 

“I don’t have the opportunity to attend such formal functions…”

 

“Wait a minute. Are you saying that you wouldn’t be attending my future concerts?” Taeyeon said with her eyebrows raised.

 

“No, that’s not what I meant,” Jessica said defensively.

 

Taeyeon let out a laugh. “We’ll go shopping this weekend. You need more beautiful dresses and a new one for each time you attend a concert here.”

 

“That would be so extravagant!” Jessica said aloud.

 

“I’ll buy them for you, don’t worry about it. One for your birthday, one for our third month anniversary and so on,” Taeyeon said delightedly.

 

Of course I want to see more of this shapely figure.

 

The bell rang. It was the end of the intermission and everyone had to get back to their positions.

 

Taeyeon pulled Jessica into another quick hug and whispered into her ear, “Look out for a surprise I’ve prepared, just for you.”

 

With that, Taeyeon waved goodbye as she headed into a changing room. Jessica wondered what Taeyeon had up her sleeves as she walked back to her seat in the concert hall.

 

A number of chairs were cleared from the stage, leaving only a row of chairs in the middle. According to the program sheet, there were a few special performances lined up in the second half of the concert.

 

The lights in the concert hall dimmed. Four people wearing a variety of hats walked out, holding their clarinets. One of them had a red ‘M’ hat, another with a green ‘L’ hat, and the remaining two had mushroom hats on their heads.

 

“Super Mario Bros!” Jessica said a little too loudly because the people around her turned to stare at her. She used her hands to cover her face in embarrassment as she uttered several apologies to the people around her.

 

Three of them stood in a row while the bass clarinetist sat on a chair. Taeyeon had the red ‘M’ cap on and she was standing next to the bass clarinetist. Taeyeon took a quick breath as a cue for the rest of them to start. A second later, the concert hall was filled with the lively tunes from the famous Nintendo game ‘Super Mario Bros’.

 

Jessica couldn’t help but giggle when she saw Taeyeon squeaking away on her clarinet, mimicking the sounds of the collection of the golden coins in the game. The audience laughed along as the clarinetists played the familiar tune. It was a refreshing change from the usual classical songs and the audience loved it, laughing along as the song was being played.

 

After a few more special performances by the various quartets and quintets, the whole orchestra resumed their positions on stage. When the applause died down, a female voice announced the next piece they would be playing.

 

“The next piece features a clarinet solo by Kim Taeyeon. She would like to dedicate this song to someone special who has brought joy and laugher into her life. The title of the next piece is ‘Can’t take my eyes off you’. Let’s welcome Taeyeon,” the announcer said.

 

Oohs and aahs punctuated the concert hall as people were wondering who the special someone was. Jessica felt her cheeks warmed up and she had to suppress her squeals inwardly in order to avoid unwanted attention.

 

Taeyeon appeared from the left side of the stage and walked to the spot next to the conductor. She greeted the conductor before facing the audience. Jessica couldn’t stop smiling the moment she saw Taeyeon on stage. Staring straight at Jessica, Taeyeon used both hands to make a heart sign on her chest before bowing to the audience.

 

The conductor raised his baton and the orchestra started playing the song as an accompaniment to Taeyeon’s solo. Jessica couldn’t help but mouthed the lyrics to the song silently as she watched Taeyeon’s body sway with the music. She could feel the love and passion that flowed through every single note that Taeyeon was playing.

 

At the end of the song, Taeyeon shot a wink towards Jessica before she bowed and returned to her seat. Jessica applauded like it was the last song of the concert, emotions overflowing in her heart. It was the first time someone did something so sweet for her and she could feel tears brimming in her eyes.

 

Finally the concert ended to a rousing applause from the audience. Everyone stood up and applauded until the musicians left the stage. Then they left the concert hall and headed to the main lobby where there was a mini autograph session for people who were interested to get signatures from the soloists.

 

By the time Jessica got to the area where the soloists were seated, there was a long queue for each of them. She queued up to get Sooyoung’s autograph, as she liked the violinist’s performance best, after Taeyeon’s. As Taeyeon and Sooyoung were seated side by side, Taeyeon was a little shocked to see Jessica queuing up to get Sooyoung’s autograph instead of hers. Jessica merely giggled when she got to the front of the row, thanked Sooyoung for her hard work and stuck her tongue out at Taeyeon before she left.

 

An hour later, Taeyeon emerged from the backstage, dressed in casual clothes. After thanking her colleagues for their effort and saying her goodbyes, she headed to the main lobby where there were some family members and friends waiting for the rest of her colleagues. She looked around for a particular blonde lady among the crowd.

 

Suddenly Taeyeon’s vision was blocked by a pair of hands.

 

“Hmm…who could this be? I think it’s someone who broke the star clarinetist’s fragile heart earlier on. Someone who didn’t want the star clarinetist’s autograph but went for the violinist’s instead.” Taeyeon faked a sigh.

 

The owner of the pair of hands removed them from Taeyeon’s eyes and skipped to the front of her.

 

“Are you angry with me?” Jessica pouted and gave Taeyeon a puppy-eye look.

 

Taeyeon couldn’t suppress the grin that was creeping up her face. She tried her best to control her facial muscles but ended up breaking into a wide smile.

 

“How can I ever be angry with a face like that?” Taeyeon ran her fingers through Jessica’s hair and grinned like a little kid.

 

They had dinner at a nearby restaurant before heading to the Han River for a stroll.

 

“Do you know why I didn’t ask for your autograph earlier on?” Jessica said when the both of them stopped at a random spot along the river.

 

“Because you like Sooyoung more than me?”

 

“Obviously not,” Jessica grunted, slapping Taeyeon’s arm.

 

“Then?” Taeyeon arched her eyebrow and placed her face inches away from Jessica’s, feeling her warm breath on her face.

 

“It’s because I want you to autograph it over here, silly.” Jessica lifted Taeyeon’s right index finger and brought it to her chest.

 

Taeyeon felt her cheeks warming up as she looked at the area where her finger was pointing. She chuckled and signed her name where Jessica’s heart was.

 

“There you go, a special signature from me,” Taeyeon beamed.

 

“Thank you for the special dedication just now. I’m very touched,” Jessica said bashfully, looking into the brown orbs in front of her.

 

Taeyeon brushed aside Jessica’s bangs, letting her right hand settle at the base of Jessica’s neck. She gently moved her thumb in small circles, sending tingles of pleasure down Jessica’s spine.

 

“I love you.”

 

With those three words, Taeyeon closed the gap between their lips, sealing their love for each other along the Han River.

 

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