• Midnight.

    I sneak through the pitch-black hall, stealthily and silently (a little creak now and then, but even the slightest noise brings my head straight up). I trudge through the first set of creaky obstacles to my first destination. This isn’t too tough, I grab the cold knob of the door and carefully turn it open, pushing the door ajar just enough to let myself through.

    A cold chill slithers down my spine as I stand on top of a staircase, following the curves of the stairs with my eyes. I carefully close the door behind me with a soft clack (those darned locks) and slowly flick the switch. Staring down into the depths of the stairs, I contemplate over whether to go back or proceed. My head is in such a jumble of decisions and consequences that my personal devil and angel can’t decide which side to stand.

    But I promised mom!
    But you love this.
    She doesn’t want me to harbor dreams that can’t come true!
    No, she wants money on the table.

    Taking a deep breath, I proceed, down the serpentine path.

    In my family, my mom must be the one who cares about my future the most. She’s always worried that my dream job will lead me astray, and that my life will have been a waste of time.
    I think she’s wrong, but she has a point.

    As I go lower and lower, the colder it gets, the dimmer the light becomes. The cold and darkness only intensifies my uncertainty, but a force in me propels me and motivates me to keep going.

    After what seems like half an hour, I finally reach the end of the dark tunnel to face a closed door in front of me. I know it’s unlocked. The wave of uncertainty sweeps over me again, asking the mundane question: “What would your mother think?”

    Should I open this door?

    Should I indulge myself?

    I told mom, I promised mom, that I would not indulge myself this way. I was the one who pushed me away.

    Just one more time.

    Just one more time, I tell myself, as I turn the knob, let myself in, and close the second set of doors. Taking a deep breath of cold air, I warm up my diaphragm, tighten it, and let the air escape right through my throat and out, into a sound. I make a few more disconnected notes with air, and then I begin. I let out a string of notes from my diaphragm, letting the sounds fill every nook and cranny of the room.

    And I am in bliss.

    Music is my drug, my addiction.

    If music was a form of religion,

    I’d be a saint.