I never thought that beautiful, black grand piano would be mine someday. But here it is, being carried through the door of my home by the young movers I hired. It’s hard for me to comprehend that my mother let it go, but I suppose she couldn’t have taken it with her in death. I’m sure she would’ve, if it had been possible. She’d be happy performing on a stage in a fiery pit for the devil.
God must’ve realized that and forced her to leave it here.
“Where do you want the piano, Miss?” one of the movers asks me, interrupting my thoughts of Satan clapping after my mother’s performance. I must’ve laughed out loud because the men are giving me strange looks.
“Just put it over there next to the window,” I say and point. They nod and continue with moving the piano. I sigh and sit down on a chair while I watch them. It doesn’t take them too long before they have it in place, the legs placed back, ready for me to play. The young men have moved pianos before and know how to do it fast. After writing them a check, I escort them out the door and then sit back in my chair to stare at the thing.
It has been many years since I last played. I’m not certain if I even remember how.
There is no reason for me to have this piano. I don’t even know why my mother put it in her will for me to have it rather than my younger sister, Patricia. She’s the musician– not me.
Of course, Patricia is living in London and the shipping costs would be costly. But still, it doesn’t make any sense to me. I had offered it to Patricia, even to the point of offering to pay for the shipping costs.
She didn’t want it.
“It reminds me too much of Mom,” she had said over the phone when I last talked to her. “It would depress me even further to have it.”
I doubt it would depress her as much as it’s depressing me.
I have no idea what I’m even going to do with this thing. It takes up half of my living room, and my guess is it’s going to end up collecting dust.
Perhaps I should have sold it. It’s probably worth several thousands of dollars.
But no, I can’t do that. My mother loved it so much, and I can’t let myself give it to someone who doesn’t know how much it meant to her. It seems like I ‘d be betraying her. This piano meant so much to her, even more so than her children.
My eyes catch the light glistening from a hammer left on the floor next to the piano. I stand up from the chair and walk somberly to the piano.
I suppose there is one thing that I could do with this piano that would honor my mother’s memory and give me the closure that I desire.
I pull the bench from the piano and sit upon it. My feet rest on the pedals and my fingers lay atop the keys, ready to play. My posture is perfect.
I suppose I haven’t forgotten how to play. My mother’s beating it into me actually worked.
I begin to play the only song I still remember. It was the last song my mother had taught me before I moved out. My fingers fly across the keys. I recall the feeling of freedom that I had when I finally lived on my own. Where has this feeling has gone over all these years? It’s been so long.
Completing the song, I sit silently at the piano. Tears form at the corner of my eyes, and I bow my head.
Perhaps it’s time for me to feel this way again.
I lean over and pick up the hammer off the floor. Holding it in my hand, I balance the weight and stare at the ivory keys.
“Mother,” I say, tightening my grip on the hammer. “You cared more for this piano than anything else. If only you could see me right now, I’m sure it’d kill you a second time. But you’d deserve it… No, you’d deserve so much more.”
I raise the hammer above my head and swing it downwards to the keys. The sound of the broken notes play the piano’s final song.
Mother’s going to kill me, I think and raise the hammer again.