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The Piano's Dancers

In the back room of an old hotel, which was shut down long ago, is something special.

Before its closure, this hotel used to be open to all of the richest people to sleep in one of

its grand rooms. They streamed in and chatted to one another in their rich apparel and

fine silks, making the hotel seem even more spectacular.


Majestic as the people were, however, they appeared dim compared to the two small

children- the daughter of the hotel’s owner and the son of the janitor- who always danced

to the sound of the piano that was provided by the musicians’ talented hands. The people

always paused and watched as the children skipped and spun around the room on light

feet. Their names were Harmony and Cedrik


Sadly, the years began to pass by and Cedrik and Harmony started to grow into their

older forms. Though the miracle of the transformation of her gaining slim, long arms and

legs and him growing to be lean and strong with sturdy shoulders and strong hands was

welcomed, the other changes in their lives were not. They continued to dance together,

every evening when Cedrik came to see her after they came back from that day of school.

The people continued to watch them, but instead of whispers of how ‘cute and

innocent’ they were, their words were replaced with ‘radiant and passionate’

as they glided about the room in tune with their piano.


One day their special time together was brought to an abrupt end when, Cedrik’s

father was unexpectedly in an accident and passed away. Suddenly Cedrik was the man

of the family, he was forced to get a job and had no more time to go and dance.

Harmony’s life was also thrown off course when her parents decided that she needed to

get a proper education. They determined to ship her to New England to a finishing

school where she would stay with her aunt.


In the final and few days before her departure, Harmony had begun to create a small

cross stitch work on a handkerchief. She sat all day and night laboring over the small bit

of cloth and thread, carefully placing each stitch in the right spot and making sure it was

perfect. She finished only a day before her train was to come, but Cedrik never showed

up to wish her farewell as he had promised her. The next day when she was boarding the















train she fought back the tears that were trying to escape so desperately from her eyes.

She wondered why Cedrik had forgotten her. How he could have forgotten her? She had

just given up on the hope of him coming when she heard her name being called above the





















noisy crowd. She hesitated on the platform and turned to see Cedrik racing toward her

with a look of urgency.


“Harmony, I feared I had missed you,” Cedrik’s gasps came in heaves as he tried to

catch his breath in the freezing air.


“Why had you not come to see me sooner? I had begun to think you’d disregarded

me.” Harmony smiled as she took in his sharp face and bright eyes for the last time.


The train whistle blew before Cedrik could reply and the crowd of people was pushing

her inside. Cedrik and Harmony both reached out one last time for each other’s hands, as

though preparing to grasp the other and begin to dance. But instead of sweeping her

away, Cedrik merely slipped her a small box which contained a golden necklace with a

locket hanging from it and she slid the handkerchief with his initials embroidered on it

into his calloused hand. The crowd ripped the two apart before another word could

be spoken, but it didn’t keep Cedrick from whispering “Never,” a reply to her last

statement.


Letters were written after that. She told him of her lessons of violin and how she sang

in her choir every Sunday. He wrote to her of how he missed her and how her parents

seemed to be fairing.


Time continued to go by and Cedrik lost his job and his home at the hotel. Harmony’s

father apologized a thousand times, but there was nothing he could do. The Great

Depression had eaten all of his money away and he no longer had customers. Cedrik

helped him sell all of the furniture and helped him shut it down. Everything was sold

except for the hotel and their piano, which was left there at Cedrik’s request. They

both thought it was a small hope that in the future they could someday return.


Harmony’s parents then moved to live with Harmony and her aunt, leaving Cedrik

alone except for his family. During this time, Cedrik often skipped meals or stood in

bread lines while everything he was able to buy went to his family. He barely managed

to keep them in the small house they’d been forced to move into after the hotel’s closure.

In the middle of those trying times his mother died, leaving him solely responsible for his

one sister and three brothers at the young age of nineteen.


Meanwhile, Harmony was better off, but not by much. She, her aunt, and her mother

took in laundry as they struggled to get their own money while her father desperately

tried to bring in more money. But they were forced to move into a cheaper part of town.

And to her horror she lost contact with Cedrik due to his and her forced moves.


Cedrik tried to save enough money to go and see Harmony, but never could. He

finally sent her a letter to explain the reason for his neglect. It was returned to him

unopened. It took him months to give up, but eventually

he realized she must have moved on and married another. A man who could provide for

her, someone better suited for her than himself. But even these dark thoughts never made

him stop dreaming of that piano and of him holding her close as she smiled and danced

with him.


Just as Cedrik had begun to repair his broken life, he was called to war. A violent and

horrible attack was launched against his country at Pearl Harbor. He, along with his three

younger brothers, was sent to the Philippines. As he fought and witnessed the death of

two of his brothers, he felt he surely would follow after them shortly. Through those dark

hard days, he kept her last gift in his chest pocket so she would always be close to his

heart, even if he wasn’t hers. He fought for her until a bomb took one of his legs. His

only thoughts of this misfortune were Now, I truly can never dance with her again.


During that time Harmony knew that he would be out there fighting, so she did the

only things she could do. First she signed up in one of the factories and began to make

weapons that would help keep him safe and bring him home. Then she encouraged all of

her neighbors to plant victory gardens and ship gathered supplies out to the soldiers.

She did all this to keep Cedrik safe and well. She knew she would be all right as long as

he was fine, even if he was not with her. But, still, every night she dreamed of him and

their piano keys playing for them.


More years passed and the piano became forgotten. Dust covered it first, hiding the

once shiny wood, then it slowly began to dry rot. It had been sixty years since it’s

dancers had danced together, and they now laid on their death beds, each a thousand

miles away from the other and the hotel that had brought them together. Harmony

wrapped her old frail fingers around her necklace that she’d received so long ago and

whispered, “I love you” softly into the darkness wishing that he were there to hear her.

Cedrik grasped onto his handkerchief with a sad desperation, as though he believed the

harder he held onto it the closer it brought him to her. They were both now alone and

forgotten, lost in two separate nursing homes. Together, as if in step to a song, they took

their last breath and released their souls.


If you happen to be at that old hotel you might hear the soft notes of a song being

played by a ruined piano. And if you happen to be there, if you look closely, you might

just see two radiant dancers sweeping across the floor of the magnificent ballroom. If

you happen to be there you might just smile as they, once again, fill that abandoned hotel

with joy. Because they both know they will never be separated again.




Join the Discussion


This article has 21 comments. Post your own!

FizzyL25 said...
Feb. 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm:
This is such a beautiful story! I loved it, except the spacing did bother me a bit.  Apart from that, it's great and I like the unexpected ending :)
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm :
Yeah the spacing is messed up, but I'm glad you liked the piece. :)  
 
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Allicat001 said...
Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm:
This was a beautiful story and you kept my attention throughout the whole of the story!  The only thing I noticed was that the spacing of the document tended to be distracting to the story, but other than that, great job!
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm :
Yeah, TI messed the format up. I'm glad you liked the story though. :)
 
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guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm:
Thanks to everyone who has read this! I really am thankful for the time you took from you day to!! A BIG thanks to those who've posted/ rated! It means a lot to hear what you guys think! :)
 
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jetta.bugThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm:
That's so beautiful. I truly do love this. I honestly thought that they would see each other again, but you twisted the ending and made it better than I would've ever though possible. WOW> Great job.
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm :
Thank you!! :)
 
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NavyCopperQuill said...
Nov. 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm:
This literally took my breath away. I thought the spacing added drama and suspense to the piece. Amazing job, please keep writing! :)
 
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NavyCopperQuill said...
Nov. 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm:
This literally took my breath away. I thought the spacing added drama and suspense to the piece. Amazing job, please keep writing! :)
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm :
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it !!
 
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Courage-and-HonorThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm:
Alright this is sad, and well written in most respects, except the format is a little bit weird, making it hard to read.  But that could just be TI's fault.
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 24, 2013 at 1:11 pm :
It wasn't supposed to turn out like that....
 
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Davidson This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm:
I like it, nicely written and I like how the chicks name corrolated to the whole piano thing. Was the format of the story also intentional, with the breaks and such?
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm :
Thanks :) I was trying to name Cedrik a name associated with music, but I like Cedrik because it means "one who is loved" and I thought it matched him.  The format was not intentional. When I posted it it turned out like this.  I hoped it wouldn't destract the readers. Do you think it did?
 
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live4words said...
Oct. 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm:
This is fantastic! At first, I was not quite sure what the piece was going to be about, and the plot kept me guessing until the end! Your descriptions of the hotel, the piano, and the dancers were amazing! :) The conclusion was very powerful as well! Nice job :) 
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm :
Aww! Thanks!! :D
 
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guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm:
Thank you!! :)
 
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KylieKThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm:
Wow. This was simply breathtaking!!!
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm :
Thank You!! :)
 
AthenaMarisaDeterminedbyFateThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm :
This was so sad and beautiful, like a bird that hit the window, when you can't help but admire it's smooth feathers and beautiful wings while you grieve that such a life could be ended that way. I LOVED IT!
 
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