Letting Go

February 26, 2012
By jnbrown SILVER, Meredith, New Hampshire
jnbrown SILVER, Meredith, New Hampshire
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone." - Vita Sackville-West

A pair of dark violet eyes peered through the cracked-open door. They swept over the empty room, over the dusty, untouched piano, the basket full of books and books of sheet music, the mahogany floor and the brick walls—it remained exactly as it had been left all those years ago.
Elizabeth stepped into the music hall, silently shutting the door behind her and remaining still for a moment; her eyes shut lightly and her head thumped back against the doorjamb. She hadn't dared to enter this room in years. Memories filled her consciousness, memories of a happier time—memories of. . . .of him. She bowed her head slightly in solemn regard to years past.
Clack. Clack. Clack.
The sound of her stiletto boots echoed throughout the hall as her footsteps rustled the dust on the floor. She stopped short when she stepped into the ray of sunlight that shone in from the room's sole window, and shielded her eyes from the mid-evening sun whilst specks of dust danced through the air. A small but joyous smile tugged at the corners of Elizabeth's mouth as she realized what she had been missing all these years.
Her breath hitched in her throat when her eyes rested on the mahogany piano across the room; memories flooded into her consciousness until the pain was too much to bear. She wanted to turn back—she needed to turn back. She simply could not bear the wave of grief rising within her. She wouldn't go on. She couldn't go on.
Clack... Clack...
She heard the echoes of her reluctant footsteps toward the piano. She felt some sort of invisible force guiding her to the instrument on the far side of the hall, even as her emotions screamed at her to turn back; she couldn't help herself.
Elizabeth fought to hold back tears as she sat down on the old but sturdy piano bench. Her hand rested lightly on the dark, velvety wood of the elegant grand piano, and she suddenly remembered why she and her father had loved this instrument so much. She gently slid open the panel covering the ivory keyboard and smiled as she reprised the feeling of her fingers against the keys.
Rustle... Rustle...
She scrounged through the multitude of sheet music in the chestnut-colored basket before her and finally pulled out a piece by Bach—the St Matthew's Passion. Her father's favorite.
Rustle... Rustle...
She flipped through the pages before resting them carefully, side-by-side, against the music stand. She straightened her posture, getting into position exactly as her father had taught her as a young girl. Elizabeth stole a long glance at the sheet music before tentatively pressing down on the keys.
Immediately she felt her confidence returning as her fingers danced upon the keys, seeming to remember the music immediately and completely. The divine harmony of the piece was as if Elizabeth's heart had been set to music—all her bitterness, all her sadness, all her grief that had been suppressed within her in the past six years released in a brilliant wave of emotion.
The song ended with a crash, starting low and then leaping to a climactic crescendo. As the last note was thrust forth from her soul, Elizabeth looked up from the piano and was met with the last ray of sunlight sneaking in through the window before the sun set over the horizon. She turned her gaze to the sunset and smiled—the first genuine smile she had known in years.
Elizabeth stood and gathered the sheet music in her arms; she straightened it out and placed it gently where she had found it. She stood beside the piano, looking out the window once more and watching the last rays of sunlight disappear behind the trees.
“I'll see you around, Dad.”
The door shut. And as the day came to a close, so did six years of bitterness, anger and grief. Elizabeth was free.

The author's comments:
This piece came out of random inspiration; I've never experienced anything like Elizabeth had, so I'm not sure where the inspiration to write this came from. But it's a very powerful and moving story and it's one of my favorite pieces. :)

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!