Emily sits there alone, next to the shiny black piano, locked inside of her own mind. Her eyes stare at the keys, scarcely blinking, while her hands rest motionless upon her lap. Her calcified fingers lay there, inert, perpetually curled and virtually useless. These are the same fingers that once danced across the keys pounding out symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven and concertos written by Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Whenever she played, she was as one with the music. Every note coursed through her veins as her heart beat in rhythm with the melody. She had been blessed with an amazing talent which had afforded her the opportunity to travel the world. She’d played for sophisticated audiences in Paris and Berlin, London and New York City; but that was oh so long ago. Things were different now.
Today, just like every other day, her wheelchair is rolled up next to the beautiful old piano, which sits, as she does silenced and ignored in the corner of the room. They leave her there alone for hours as they rush around to complete their daily tasks. The torture of being so close yet so far away from her treasured friend is almost too hard to bear. Though she sits motionless, she still remembers. She remembers the feeling of her fingers gliding across the ivory colored keys, her heart racing as her feet pumped the pedals beneath the magnificent baby grand piano. She pictured herself in perfect posture, as she was, a stunning young lady with scarlet red hair and emerald-green eyes which danced back and forth across the brittle, yellowed scores of music. The sheets of composition were there but for appearances only, for she knew every bar, every rest and every note by heart.
The young do not understand the longing of the old. There is no comprehension of life slipping away and no consideration for why the aged try so hard to hang on to the little things they have left in life; a photograph, a locket or maybe a simple teacup. They do not grasp the emotional devastation of it all, but they will one day…they will, for they too are growing up and like it or not, they too are growing old. Their music, like Emily’s, will one day fade away and they will find themselves being wheeled around like a piece of furniture, talked about but never spoken to.
For Emily, the music still plays in her mind with every imagined crescendo crushing the unbearable silence which suffocates her soul. Oh how her hands beg and plead with her mind to allow her to touch the keys once more. Her heart aches to make the music come alive again. If only she could hear the thunderous applause overpower an electrified auditorium just one more time. She would have appreciated that final concert so much more, had she only known. The trouble is, you never realize that it is the last time …until it is.