The Piano

September 1, 2009
By , Melbourne, Australia
The dark room. The cobwebs forming on the skirting boards.
The long forgotten piano in the corner.
The thin layer of dust collected on the neglected keys. The faded fabric of the stool; lying
on its side.
The memory of it's past elegance lingering long past its abandonment.

The woman lowers herself onto the piano stool self consciously. She steals a glance at the
man standing beside her. He smiles, and nods at her encouragingly. She turns back to the
piano, and, taking a deep breath, rests her fingers on the keys.
She plays the first, sweet note, and, relaxing immediately, gives herself over to the
The song changes, becomes staccato, and deeper. Her fingers move across the keys
expertly, flowing easily with the familiar music. She smiles, reveling in the release, as her
inhibitions float away, and she pours all of herself into the song, basking in the joy the
song always induces.
The music changes again, becomes softer; slower as the song draws to a close. The
woman lingers on the final note, holding it until it fades out completely. She grins up at
the man with her new found confidence, and he stares back, wide eyed, with unabashed
shock. He snaps out of his reverie abruptly, and scoops the woman up suddenly in a tight,
passionate embrace....


The slightly faded colour of the once sleek black body. The air of neglect encircling the
grand instrument.
The man and the woman sit at the piano together. The room is brightly lit. The song is
gentle, and gorgeously sweet. They laugh. They smile. They play pieces for each other,
sitting in awed silence at their turn.
They play together, their fingers dancing across the keys in perfect unison. He smiles at
her, and abruptly pulls his fingers off the keys; cutting the note off; and slowly lifts his
hand to brush it along her cheek. He trails it down to her neck, and then leans in to press
his lips to hers....

The quiet, unobtrusive beauty the piano encapsulates. The tangible air of secrecy and
mystery surrounding it; the chapters of its past locked away, not to be seen again.

The room is dimly lit, the candles on the piano top sending shadows flickering onto the
walls. The man leads the woman into the room, their fingers intertwined as he sits her
down on the stool at the piano. He sits on the other side of it, flexing his fingers before he
positions them on the keys. He smiles at her, before glancing once more at the
handwritten sheet music on the stand.
The song starts off slow, gentle. The woman stares wide eyed as the mans fingers move
across the keys. The song picks up pace slowly, becoming dramatic, and layered. Chords
mixed in with complicated beats. Staccato bass notes and soft sweet treble notes all
mixed in together; Yet all the notes complimenting each other perfectly.
The song stops abruptly, and the woman looks up to see the man sliding the music across
to her side. He points to the next few bars; indicating for her to play them. She plays
slowly at first, sight reading. Her harmony is sweet and lovely, soft and delicate. She
stops where the music ends, and slides the music back into the middle of the stand. She
leans up and gives the man a thankyou kiss, before they each pick up a pencil, and get to
work finishing their song....


The under spoken experience of the instrument – the years of providing comfort and
solace. The years of being a confidant, a friend, a hard surface to put things on. Sharing
in times of joy and happiness, and times of despair; all in the past, yet giving it a lasting


The couple stands at the piano. The room is dark. The woman sobs, trying to choke out
words through her tears. The man simply stares down his nose at her, and continues
towards the door. She screams out again, begs him not to go, but he only shakes his
head, and shuts the door behind him.
The woman stares in shock at the door, trembling in the middle of the room. Her eyes
dart to the piano suddenly, and she lets out a soft whimper at the sight. Silent tears
stream down her face as she runs out of the room, slamming the door behind her....

The comforting sturdiness of the instrument. The definite strength it can offer, through
the gift of music.

The woman walks towards the piano. She smiles in spite of herself at the sight of it. It is
not a happy smile. She braces herself against the flood of memories that come at the sight
of her piano, wishing now that she had not chosen this place – though, it seemed the most
appropriate – where else better to go at the end, than where everything began in the first
She continues on towards it slowly, shuffling her feet. Of course she had found her way
back here at the end – the place; the object that held so much significance for her, even
before her life was shattered.
She lifts her hand almost hesitantly, and runs her fingers across the body, admiring the
trails they leave in the dust. Her fingers twitch towards the keys. She almost wishes she
could play something. She laughs humorlessly to herself – of course she does – She had
abandoned music for a long time, but doubts that it could ever be pushed entirely from
her system.
She turns her back on the piano abruptly. Slowly, she pulls the knife out of her pocket,
and runs her fingers softly along the blunt side of the blade. She sighs audibly. How nice
to believe that she had succeeded for once; that she could make it back from her depression
But she was never going to find her way back. She was never going to be alright.
So why keep on trying?
She turns to face the piano again. If only he could see her now. See what he had done.
Would he come back to her, if he could see what she was going to do?
She snorts to herself. Of course not.
She smiles a last, wistful smile at the piano....


The dark room again. The cobwebs covering the walls. The peeling paint.
The old grand piano.
The inch thick layer of dust covering the once polished body. The sleekness, the subtle
majesty of it, commanding respect and reverence.
The sheet music, left on the stand, where it will wait dutifully to be
played again.
The piano, holding such secrets and symbolism for two people, once loved; now
forgotten; and forever tainted with bittersweet memories, and the blood stains on the ivory keys.

Join the Discussion

This article has 50 comments. Post your own now!

irishlass317 said...
Aug. 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm
Wow this was so amazing. There are no words to describe how this makes me feel. So beautifully written!! Magnificent!!! :)
writer3499 said...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 11:24 am
wow that was beautiful and intense! the ending was unexpected but fantastic! 
KatyTheLion said...
Jun. 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm
Wow, that was beautiful. I cried. >.< Not many stories do that. Good job, keep writing. Please :)
Lillie M. said...
Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:30 am
So. . . Beautiful. I'm choking back tears.
musicluvr3 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 11, 2012 at 1:21 am
wow this is amazing. I love how yu described when they were playing, it's rly relateable and kinda mesmerizing.... I got kinda confused at the end, but overall it was very well done (:
SilentVoice said...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm
Wow, this kinda reminds me of a little like gothic literature. It has the perfect combination of love..and heartbreak. A job well done.
mmb77 said...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 9:54 am
This was really good, I always like it when the story is told from a third-person. It's almost like it's following the piano, rather than the people. It was almost like a poem.
ChocoMint said...
Sept. 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm
I love it, but I think I would have loved it much better if the piano had been the unity of them forever, rather than have a heart-wrenching ending.  I play the piano and I love it, so I guess that's partly why I wanted a happy ending.  Great flow, wonderful plot, and exquisite choice of words.  <><
Bookworm1998 said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 7:17 am
omigosh this is amazing! i love it!
NKsunshine said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 11:20 am
This is very moving. I love the way you broke it up:) AMAZING<3
inkblot13 said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

I can't tell you how many times I've read this, I just love it so much! Your word choice is excellent, one word that doesn't match would have upset the tome for the whole piece. Great job!

-SamE (PS- check out some of my stuff?? I do poetry mainly)

Krikette This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 2, 2011 at 1:51 am
Very well done! Beautiful. I love how you use the piano to tell the story. The only critique I have is that it is a bit confusing why the relationship ends. The jump from love to break up is quite abrupt.
JelloAngel92 replied...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm
I don't think the WHY of the break up is all that relavant to the story. Breakups happen all the time for various reasons. What matters is the after math that leads to the piano's abandonment, and the piano is really the focus here.
watermelon said...
May 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm
This was really moving. I'm amazed at how you divided the story into time periods and divisions between descriptions of the piano and the couple. Amazing. I say you keep up the good work, because you definitely could come up with something wonderful and more moving in the future. God Bless!
FashionGuru said...
Apr. 28, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Wow so absolutely beautiful. The depth, the story so wonderfully articulated. That was amazing. I love the last line the most


Sumia said...
Mar. 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm
Absolutely hypnotising and deeply woven. Loved it. 
WeLiveForScars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 21, 2011 at 10:40 am
This was beautiful. It painted a picture in my mind of everything with the intricate details. Keep writing.
xBaByGiRrL22x said...
Dec. 10, 2010 at 7:39 pm
OMGGG this was amazzzzzingg!!!! i loved it. i cudnt stop reading. in a weird way, it reminds me of my own bittersweet memories of someone i know i will never forget, no matter how hard I try. I could picture the imagery perfectly, vividly. ur an amazing writer. plzzz keep it up
steph95 said...
Nov. 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm


love it!! its really good and very descriptive!!! :D

L-Jay8 said...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 10:53 pm
Wanted to say a massive thankyou for all your gorgeous comments!
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