She said she never learned an instrument. Not one of music, anyway. Her mind and eye saw everything as money, and my piano was expensive. “You have to close the lid,” she said again. “The dust will settle in the cracks.”
I kept my silence, as I always did. There was no thought I had not spared, and so to speak is to encourage her and all her ways of subterfuge.
“We have a reservation at ____,” the woman said, and touched my hand. “Do join us. They will welcome you.”
“They want you there,” my secret pleaded.
“And as for me,” I said, “I shall be here.”
She rested where I sat for lessons, and listened through a Chopin polonaise. My playing, void of all my joy, received a warm reception from the lady.
“Why are you clapping?” I spat out.
“Because I liked it,” was her serious answer.
I saw her as an angel once. An icon of the world I sought to take, a symbol of my lot in life. But soon, I saw her as an effigy to gods I could no longer worship.
“Why are you mad?” she whispered as an oath. “When will you think I’m good enough?’”
Alone, reflecting on that simple question, I saw that there was nothing left. When she got back from dining with her parents, I told her we were done. Like that, it died.