My arm ached from Emily's vice-like grip. She was pulling on my arm urging me to rethink my decision. For months, we had planned to enroll in piano lessons together as a fun bonding activity however, Emily has last minute jitters. "Just give it a chance! It is not as if we are expected to be prodigies. I will help you if you struggle," I argued. I pushed open the heavy glass doors, dragging Emily in with me. A complex tune danced across the room, heavily punctuated with frustrated groans and critiques leading us to a short and chubby elderly woman propped up beside a piano. She was boring holes into the pianist's hands, relentlessly critiquing his choppy movements. The music halted abruptly and the woman glanced at us, introduced herself as Mrs Tan and continued her attack on the boy. Emily and I quickly replaced the boy after he left and were drilled with piano techniques. Before long, we were tasked with a song to play. I volunteered to play the song first and Mrs Tan chewed me up and spat me out. Emily was rigid as she progressed to the piano, as if scared it would bite but as soon as her fingers touched the keys, her movements became fluid and her fingers danced across the keys gracefully, captivating even the ferocious Mrs Tan. Speechless after Emily's piece, Mrs Tan and I could only applaud. In the beginning, my heart swelled with pride of my best friend's achievement. However, during every following piano lesson, the same scene reoccured and and it soon became tiresome for me, who had to watch Emily get showered in praises while I was berated instead. After winning many piano competitions, Emily's name became acclaimed in the musical world. Elite schools scouted Emily for her prodigal musical talent and reporters fought for an interview with Emily. Surprisingly, Emily rejected all these opportunities, claiming that she had no interest. My jealousy of Emily's talent grew stronger, driving me to work harder to prove myself. I would practise each day until my fingers bled and hands cramped up. On a particularly depressing competition, I saw Emily play her musical piece. Her fingers flowed flawlessly across the keys, breathing life into the otherwise monotonous music. I, on the other hand, sucked the life out of the music. That made me realise that no matter how much effort I invested, Emily's sheer talent would always triumph my hardwork. It was fruitless labour. This realisation coupled with the green-eyed monster of jealousy broke me into tears, I huddled into a corner,wallowing in my misery. Then came Emily, holding her 1st place trophy while I held a pathetic certificate of participation. Emily sauntered over to my side, trying to comfort me with promise of better results the next time. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. Simply the thought of having to endure losing again was enough to repel me completely.
" Next time? Why would I want to continue playing the piano? There is no point in continuing this. You have already left me far behind!" I screamed. Emily gaped at me, then shock turned into anger. "How can you say that? I have nothing but stay by you. I even declined scholarships for your sake!" Emily retorted. Then it dawned on me;why Emily rejected all the scholarships offered by prestigious schools and even declined to be promoted before me. I hadn't realised that Emily had sacrificed her opportunities and possible future so that she could keep our promise to experience our musical journey together. I had truly been slefish and blinded by unjust jealousy while Emily had stayed true to our friendship.