I Love You
There was silence in the church. The floor was a muted conflagration of stained-glass colors; the pews were all full; the air was thick with the sound of no sound at all.
She sat at the piano, hands poised above the keys. Normally, she would be terrified right now. No piano in the world played the same way that hers did. They had to be asked for permission first, and even then they might not play for her – they might refuse her touch. Playing another piano was never easy. But this time, she was strangely calm. She had to be. This time, she wasn’t playing for herself. This time, she was playing for her grandfather.
With a last resolved breath, she began. The first notes of Debussy’s Clair de Lune purled through the air, soft and coaxing, until it seemed like the moonlight that the song spoke of was all around and everywhere. The audience sat still, held in place by the power that only music can have. Closing her eyes, she leaned down over the piano, drawing the moonlight out of it, and it heard her and let the light go.
It had been her grandfather’s favorite song in life. Maybe at his funeral he was still listening, and she wanted him to know that this was for him. And so, even though they shook, her fingers kept coaxing meaning from the keys. And even though she wanted to sink into herself, her back stayed straight. And even though she wanted to cry, she kept playing, and the music meant, ‘I love you’.