“Play it again.”
“I’ve played it four times already.”
He groans but smiles a little as his fingers touch the ebony and ivory keys. His hands move along, pressing them with a delicate touch. A familiar tune fills the room. Sunlight pours in through the long narrow windows, illuminating wandering specks of dust. They drift calmly, eventually settling on the black tops of the grand piano.
Like the dust, he’s moving as well. Swaying in his seat, in sync with the song. His eyes switch between the sheet music and the piano, completely focused. His fingers glide over the instrument with confidence. He’s silent as he lets his playing speak for him.
I sit at the foot of the piano, watching him. Even after years of seeing and listening to him play, the experience is still breathtaking. Especially with this song. I remember every note and rhythm, but they never grow old. It bears a nostalgic sentiment that no other song carries.
His fingers release the last chord.
“Thanks,” I grin.
“I don’t know why you want to hear the same song five times in a row.” He shuffles the pages of music together before turning to look down at me. “Don’t you get bored of it?”
I shake my head, “I’ll never get bored of it. Especially not when you play it.”
Rolling his eyes, he slides off the bench to sit across from me on the ground. I take his hands in mine. My clumsy, untrained ones seem small in his. Our eyes hold a somber gaze. Neither of us wants to say it.
My vision blurs with warm droplets.
He finally breaks the heavy silence. “It’s time for you to stop dreaming.”
When I wipe the tears from my eyes, I see the keyboard in front of me clearly. Behind it is a huge arrangement of pipes.
The priest nods to me and I feel the whole church, dressed in black, staring at me through their own watery eyes. I scan the sheet music in front of me. It’s titled ‘Amazing Grace’. I have the song memorized but having a hard copy is nice insurance. My hands rest on the keyboard, hovering over the first keys. And I begin to play, but a few seconds in, I realize I’m not playing the piece I see. I’m playing our song. The one I’ll never get bored of.
I can imagine the confusion from the unexpected and unfamiliar tune. I don’t stop though. More tears threaten to spill but I don’t rub them away. My body sways with sorrow. The song is tearing me apart and it’s fixing me at the same time.
The church bell above rings, the sky’s own tears fall on the windows, but I keep playing. This song must be played perfectly. It must be heard. Remembered. Because it is the last song he will hear before he is buried.