Monday, November 3, 2014

The Lyrics to her Melody

She walked into the shop, the opening door making the tiny bell trill welcome her entry. The shopkeeper looked up from his newspaper, ready with a soft smile.

"May I help you?"

She looked around the shop, taking in the musty smell that she remembered like it was yesterday. Many years ago, she would frequent the shop every other day. The old lady who owned the shop would always greet the little schoolgirl with cookies, if she could help it. Now, the old lady had kept this pleasant fellow to mind the shop in her place.

She smiled back at the man.

"I would like to try out the baby grand, if you don't mind?"

The man left his newspaper on the counter, as he walked towards the piano, preparing it for her. "Sure, why not?" More smiling.

She fussed around with the seat, and sat down with a familiarity that was returning with alarming speed. Her fingers were already warming up on the keys, but her thoughts were still scattered. Though her hands had begun their joyful reunion with her favoured piano, she knew it wasn't going to be the same.

A flurry of moments flickered in her mind, as though in response to confirm the thought: she singing gaily, slightly off-tune, while he expertly played the accompaniment on his piano, harmonising with her in song; she lying on his lap with her eyes shut, while he sang her favourite song, stroking her hair softly; she writing music to his guitar riffs, humming sweetly as he lightly kissed her neck in between writing the words to the music.

Weeks had gone by since they last sang and played together. She wasn't sure he would ever come back. He had been too angry with her, and nothing she did could make it any more bearable for him. He hated her now, she was sure of it. She had to move on, somehow. She had foolishly believed giving up playing the piano would solve that. But now, she knew better.

Slowly, finding the correct position, she played the opening keys to the song. She shut her eyes; her fingers could navigate the keyboard without her help. Soon it was time for her to start singing, but her throat seemed to shut close on her. That's when she heard it.

A voice, melodious as the music her hands were creating on the piano, flowed to her ears. She knew that voice only too well. It was the voice that had sung to her. It was the voice that had sung for her. It couldn't be.

Her eyes flew open, not believing the apparition that stood before her, singing. Without stopping the music, her voice found itself carrying the lilt that entwined with his, fitting in like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. It was perfect, like it always had been.

Not breaking eye contact, he came round to where she sat. They sang the chorus together, as he played the duet they had made up on his end of the piano. Fading to an end, they still watched each other: he, gazing at her fondly, and she, wondering if she had walked into a dream. Her eyes searched his smiling face, afraid to say a word.

She didn't have to; he leaned in and gave her lips his familiar soft kiss, her face in his hands. Breaking apart, he took in her trembling form, her brightening eyes and quivering mouth in one sweeping gaze, and returned to deepen the kiss he'd been meaning to give her.

Letting go of her after what felt like too little time, he answered her questioning looks. "I've waited here for you everyday, hoping you wouldn't give up on me."

A cry escaped her mouth, as she enveloped him in a large embrace, holding him tight and vowing to never let go this time. She was right; it wasn't going to be the same again. It was going to be better.

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