“Do you think that sounds better with a C or a C sharp?” Hidgens asked, scribbling down the notes on his notepad and trying out the keys again.
“Both sound fine, don’t they?” Emma watched him switch back and forth between the two keys. “What about an F?” She suggested.
“Oh, no I’m not putting an F in here,” Hidgens snorted as if that was just common knowledge. “I think the C sounds best. Better not to get to creative at the start of the song, it has to build up!” Hidgens tensed his hands into fists for emphasis. “Yes, we’ll get there. How does this sound so far?” Hidgens was only three bars into the sound when he gasped. “Oh! I know exactly what to put here!” He reached for his pencil to scrawl down some more notes. “Oh this is going to sound brilliant!”
“You’re excited,” Emma slowly got up from the couch and paced over to stand behind Hidgens, watching him write and play over his shoulder. “How long did it take you to learn piano?”
“Oh! Dear! Are you interested? Here, look, it’s not hard! Watch, I’ll show you what I’ve written so far- Oh, I’ve always loved music ever since I was a child. I was in choir and stage band and all sorts of groups! Here, sit down dear,” he shuffled over on the piano seat to give her room to sit down and placed his fingers gently down on the keys. “Sometimes I just play whatever I’m in the mood for.” He started to play, it was a simple song - one that didn’t shift too far up or down on the scales.
“How does that sound so far, dearest?” He tilted his head to the side to speak to her, his eyes trained on the keyboard as he played.
His pleasant song was violently interrupted as Emma slammed her hands down on the keys.
Hidgens flinched, holding up one warning hand to stop her. “No dear, no you don’t do that with the keyboard. Here, you put your hands like this,” he placed his fingers back down on the keys, arching his hands and watching Emma do the same.
“You don’t ever do that?” Emma questioned with a mischievous smile.
“No, the piano is for music. It’s a delicate instrument, dear.”
“Yeah but it just feels nice to just-“ she did it again.
“But it sounds absolutely awful,” Hidgens pointed out.
“But it‘s fun!” Emma tried to argue.
“Yes dear, but do you know why cats do the same thing? They walk on keyboards because they like the way the keys feel on their paws. That doesn’t mean we should let them do it though, right?”
Emma bit her lip, her eyes widening and rolling to the side. “Well I mean I kinda see where the cats are coming from now,” she teased.
“Oh Emma, don’t be silly. Look, I’ll teach you how to do a scale, watch this.”
Emma frowned and bumped her shoulder into his. “Show me how to play one of your songs! They’re so much cooler.”
“Well they’re also a lot harder,” he advised, starting the first few bars to demonstrate. “See?” He looked over to her as he played, somewhat pleased with himself as he saw the admiring shine in her eyes as one hand slipped up an octave. “It’s not very easy, dear. You should at least warm up.”
Emma tested out her own little song, her fingers dancing up three keys just to listen to the sound. “Wow, move out of the way Mozart,” she cheered herself on jokingly.
“Yes, very good,” he complimented just to quiet her down as he played. “Thank you for your contribution, Emma.”
Emma smirked to herself, taking her hands off the keyboard and shaking her head with a laugh. “Oh, I know I can’t play for shit Professor.”
Hidgens tried to cover a sigh of relief, genuinely worried for a moment that Emma might have been being serious with herself.
“I just got a little bored. Sorry for messing with you, I can’t help myself sometimes,” she smacked her hands back onto the keys, a messy cacophony of noise interrupted Hidgens’ song but he continued.
“Dear,” he hummed. “Make this your last warning.”
Emma chuckled and linked her hand over his as he played for her. “Sorry. That was my last time.”
“I can teach you how to play if you like,” Hidgens offered. “You could get good with some practice, you have the fingers for it.”
Emma snorted and looked down at her hands as if to confirm. “Oh nah, these hands aren’t for piano. Just for causing trouble, man.”
“Are you sure?” Hidgens frowned.
“Yeah,” Emma gave him an incredulous grin as if it were obvious. “Why would I have to learn if I’ve got you to play for me?”