Dana sat in front of the piano. With shaking hands, she flipped open one of her music books to a Chopin prelude. She had loved this prelude – Opus 28 number 2. But recently it had been harder and harder to get the notes to sound like she wanted them to.
She started with the lyrical beginning. No, the left hand was too loud- a tad. So far so good. Three- no, four lines so far! Looked like today was going to be one of her good days.

At the bar leading to the next section, she felt the spider of a tremor in her left hand. Oh no… she managed to get through half the second page without any error- at last, errors that would be heard by a layman. But to a trained pianist like her, it was painfully obvious. She reached the end of the second page, almost not noticing the repeated octaves and the excitement it used to give her.
“No…” she stopped playing. Her fingers.. .they had frozen. Stuck. She was stuck. Again. This was the hundredth time in a month. Some days, the good days, she would have barely a shake. But on others, maybe five times in as many hours would be the norm. This was the end of it, she told herself.

At 3 am, the advertisements on TV were banal, but Dana watched them anyway, as an anasthesia.
Suddenly, something caught her attention.
“Problems at work? Frustrated? Trouble expressing yourself? This is sure guaranteed to work, no matter how desperate you may be!” a pimply teenager said enthusiastically. He held up an exam paper.
“I started off with consistently fail grades,” he said. Looks like his English hadn’t improved much. “But after attending Lillian’s hypnotherapy sessions, my grades improved!”
The TV showed the words, “THERE IS HOPE FOR EVERYONE” with a telephone number.
Dana hurriedly dialled the number.
“Lillian Poon speaking.”
“I’m, um”
“Looking for hypnotherapy,d dear?”
“Yeah! Yeah!”
“Yell you what. I’m free on Wednesdays, 4pm. You can come see me.”
“Sure! Where can I find you?”
“Coronation Plaza… just follow the signs. Have hope, dear!”
Dana felt alive again- alive with hope.


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