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The way it stared at me. A glassy black fog over my doom, my endless waiting for me to join her.
She was always there--always, always. I never thought I'd be the one to take her away.
Sissy used to sit by me, I remembered, easing into the piano chair. She'd tell me what I played wrong, what I played passionately, but...I'd never given too much of a thought. Why did it bother me so much now?
My hands laced the white and black keys. I willed them to play.
Just for Sissy.
It began slowly, softly at first. Then it wound up and down, beautiful and perfect at every measure.
I fell into the past.
"Don't you remember? It's in six eight time, not four four. Play it again."
I sighed, but turned back to the piano. One two three four, one two three four...
And again, I flew back to reality. Sissy wouldn't want me to remember my tries. She'd want me to remember what I learned. How to count time, how to keep the beat steady, how to fly across the scales without looking...
I reached another segment of the piece. Faster and faster I began to play the winding song, twirling inside and out without a second's thought.
"Play for me, little girl. Play for me."
Those words sent a shock down my spine, but still I went on. Because the voice told me so.
"Play, girl, play."
Sissy's voice echoed in my mind. Empty words then, heartfelt ones now.
"Why now do you play so well? Please, girl, continue. It's beautiful."
Yes, I thought. It's beautiful. For you.
The song was close to ending. I closed my eyes, crying softly. Fingers traced the keys, my eyes too blurred to see any longer.
The final chord struck me.
And I cried for my loss.