Operation Fake Niceness was going exactly according to plan. But it wasn’t easy. Playing nice with these intolerable townies was exhausting. I had to keep reminding myself that it would all be worth it once I trick Mira into finding a cure for my curse. As much as I wanted to tell everyone what I really thought about them, I had to remind myself to play nice. Whenever I was struggling with that, I would ask myself W.W.F.N.L.D. What Would Fake Nice Linc Do?
And, believe it or not, I was really good at it. Better than I had thought that I would be. Fake Nice Linc had everyone fooled. Mira has been going out of her way to be extra over-the-top cheery to me.
Mira likes to come over, and sit and talk…and talk… and talk. She does most of the talking. About what, I couldn’t tell you. I never pay too much attention to her. I usually tune her out, and instead I focus on what my life will be like once I am back to my awesome self.
It is only a matter of time before I am restored to my full mind-blowingly awe-inspiring self. Then I will be far away from this god forsaken hell pit. And far away from witches, and evil magic, and blood sucking vampires. The only thing I will have to worry about is where to put all of my awards when my albums go quadruple platinum.
And that time can’t come soon enough!
Renatta had once made the feeble attempt at a joke when she commented that Moonlight Falls has two seasons: fall and winter. Well, right now we are in the middle of one of the coldest winters in Moonlight Falls’ history. Our trips to Cauldrons & Cappuccinos Cafe have become more of a frequent tradition. But it is getting harder and harder to keep up this fake nice charade. Especially while being surrounded by all of this over-the-top obnoxious Snowflake Day decor.
For the season, the cafe has been transformed into an extremely excessive Winter Wonderland. It is so horrendous that even my mom (who is obsessed with Snowflake Day) would be sick. From the new stupid wall paper, the stupid table clothes, to the stupid trees in every corner. It makes an annoying situation even more aggravating and unbearable! I would rather have to sit through more of Bert’s stupid stories than sit in this stupid cafe. But I have to keep reminding myself W.W.F.N.L.D.?
So, Renatta, Mira, Flint, and I always sit in the same corner table, order the same silly concoctions, and talk about the same silly bullshit. Again, with me mostly tuning them out.
One thing I can’t tune out is that piano in the corner.
It calls for me every time I am in the cafe. And that damn siren’s song is getting hard and harder to ignore. My fingers ache to play the piano once again. It has been too long since I played any musical instrument (not including air guitar jam sessions with Bert).
“Do you think you might want to play this time?” Renatta asks me every time she sees me fixated on the piano for too long.
And every time my answer is the same, “no.”
“Oh come on,” Flint pressured. “You stare at it constantly. At this point you can either play the damn thing, or buy it a drink.”
“Yes, please play the piano,” Mira usually keeps out of this part of the conversation, but today she made her opinion heard. “You have been so down in the dumps lately. Playing the piano might make you feel better.”
I locked onto Mira’s rainbow colored eyes as they bore holes into my soul. I really didn’t want to draw attention to myself. But once again I thought W.W.F.N.L.D.?
With a defeated sigh I got up out of my corner chair and walked over to the old wooden upright. As I made my way through the crowded cafe I could hear Mira whisper to the others, “no matter how good or bad he sounds, at the end of the song we need to stand up and cheer for him.”
It annoyed me that Mira was going to applaud no matter what I sounded like. Well, I don’t need her charity, and never in my life have I ever needed a pity clap. I sat at the old wooden bench already knowing exactly what song I was going to play. I remembered a classical piece, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, that both Miss Melanie and Grandpa Ryan said was their favorite.
I started to play the song and as soon as I hit the first note of the piano keys that I knew would bring the house down!
As I played I closed my eyes and thought back to when I was a young kid. It seems like it was so long ago when I was just a little child sharing the bench with Miss Melanie. My heart fluttered when she would pat me on the back and say how astonished she was at my gift. Or how I beamed with pride when Grandpa Ryan and Grandma Cindy cheered after I played this song for them. It made me feel a warm sense of joy to know how proud they were of me. Not the same empty praise that I got from the kids at school. This was genuine.
It was love.
When the song was done I opened my eyes to a booming round of applause. Not just Mira and her dopey gang, but the entire cafe was clapping for me. They were acting as if Beethoven himself had just come back from the dead to play for them.
The old me would have loved all of this attention. I would have taken a bow, then performed an encore, just so I could hear the applause all over again. But this time I put my head down, and walked back to my seat as quickly as I could. My itch for playing was scratched, but another part of me was not liking all of this attention.
“Linc, that was incredible.” Mira gushed “Why didn’t you tell us you could play like that?”
“Who knew you had it in ya” was Flint’s response as he patted my shoulder.
And for the first time since I met her, Renatta was silent.
“It’s nothing, really,” I tried to get them to drop it and talk about something else, “I learned that song when I was 7. No big deal.”
I wanted everyone at the table to stop talking about me, but when Mira said, “I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano,” I knew that we were not going to drop it anytime soon.
“It was easy for me,” I replied. The old me was slowly starting to come out and I was not hating this attention, even if it was just Mira and her dopey friends. “My mom made me take lessons when I was a kid.”
“We have a piano at home,” Mira continued. “But I don’t know how to play it.”
“I wanted to just play the drums, but Mom insisted that I learn piano as well.”
“If only there was someone who could teach me to play the piano.”
“I liked playing the drums and when I got older I enjoyed the guitar the most, but learning the piano wasn’t hard for me either.”
“Dude, do I have to spell things out for you?” Flint waved his hands in my face, “Mira is asking you to give her piano lessons!”
I didn’t know if I wanted to be a piano teacher for Mira, but once again I thought: W.W.F.N.L.D.? Plus, it will give me an excuse to be at her house more often, and I will be able to talk to her one-on-one. I don’t have to deal with Renatta’s insufferable questioning, or Flint’s sarcastic comments. I can casually mention that I am looking for a way to reverse a certain spell. Then bam: it will be hello to my awesome self, and goodbye to this stupid town and all of the stupid townies in it.
So the very next day I went over to her house to start the lesson.
“I don’t have any sheet music,” I confessed as Mira lead me to the living room. “I was always able to memorize the music, so I never needed any.”
“That’s alright,” Mira responded with her signature cheery smile, which is still as annoying as ever, “I managed to find a few sheets of music when I was clearing off the piano.”
I looked at the music trying to find one that wouldn’t be too difficult to start out with. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is a pretty basic piece of music that even Willow could have played on her toy keyboard. As we sat down I noticed that Mira was a bit too close for comfort. Half of me was hanging off the bench, but Fake Nice Linc just smiled as I pointed to the different keys and what notes they made.
There is a saying that people who can’t dance have two left feet. Well if that is the case, then Mira has two left hands!
Plumbob, she was bad. Mira pressed too hard on the keys, and instead of beautiful notes she produced a loud racket. She was out of rhythm and only 1 out of every 6 keys were in the correct note. I tried to be patient, I tried to show her the correct keys to lightly play. But before long my patience had run out.
“What is wrong with you?” I growled. “Did you not pay any attention to my instruction? How hard it is to play a simple G?”
“Wait, which one is G again?” Mira smiled her dopey smile thinking that she was being funny. Well, I am not laughing.
“You are so bad at this, I can’t even properly put it into words. This song is not that hard. My sister could have played this song on her toddler play piano” I growled. “What made you possibly think that you could play the piano? What is wrong with you? My horse’s farts sound better than you, and are more on key!”
“Listen here, you self centered, condescending jerk face! You want to know what is wrong with me. Well I want to know who the hell do you think you are!?!?” Mira was no longer cheery. She was down right pissed off. “Not everyone is as naturally talented as you are. That does not give you the right to be so critical.”
I didn’t know what to say. I have never seen this side of Mira before. Even while dealing with Alcander.
“Do you think that your precious Beethoven composed any of his symphonies on his first try? No. No, he didn’t!”
Mira wasn’t done with me yet. She concluded her verbal assault by saying, “I have been nothing but nice, and friendly, and kind to you. And THIS is how you repay me! Further more, I have put up with a lot from you. I have gone over to your house, and introduced you to my friends, in hopes that you might feel less of an outsider in your new town. But you couldn’t care less! You can’t be bothered to engage with us! Don’t think I don’t see you zone me out when I talk. Friendship is supposed to be a two way street, but I get NOTHING from you! I know for a fact that you don’t listen to even half of what I say. But for the sake of our so-called friendship I smile and try to be nice. Well, no more!! Until you can learn some patience I think that you should leave!”
I guess that there is nothing left for me to do now but go. I tucked my tail between my legs (literally) and sulked out of Mira’s home. I regretted my actions the instant that I got outside.
That is not what Fake Nice Linc would have done.
SIDE NOTE: This might be my last chapter for a while. I had all of my notes, the entire generation outline, and tons of chapters written on my tablet. Then I spilled soda all over said tablet, and now all of that hard work is gone.
I still have my desktop computer that has the game saved on it. And I have every intention of continueing this legacy (Lincoln’s story is far from over). It will just be at a slower process than before, because I have to rewrite everything from scratch. Hopefully you can stick with me, but if not then I completely understand. If anything this will give me an excuse to work on a few other side projects and help me catch up on all of your stories I am so far behind in.