it is dark, and the silence is drowning out the whispers inside.

i can see your eyes in the darkness, glowing like a cat's through the dim light, intense and rich and alive. are you ready? they ask. is it time?

i nod. hurry up, i want to say. get it over with. but you've never missed it—your sense of time has never failed either of us. so i wait, with bated breath and trusting eyes of my own.

a pause.

a collective breath.

then you strike a note, and we begin.

a slow introduction at first. the sound in the air is like nothing i've ever known. i don't want it to stop. there isn't enough melody in the world these days. and what is between us, well...we make beautiful music, you and i.

and for us right now, the music is crystal-clear notes weaving in and out of sighing tones. we learn about each other in an exposition of dazzling brilliance, and accept what we are in the underpinnings of rhythm and time. you are my stability. you keep me grounded. and i give you the animato, the vivace that chases you into laughing playfulness. together, we melt into a whole and complete each other.

...but this first theme is not enough. it was not enough. it can never be enough.

and so the development is where we disagree. if you prefer calmato, i counter you con brio. my liberamente contradicts your metronomical bent. and yet somehow, we create something through all of this. something new—an espressivo that sends me swooning and fogs my mind into a slow rubato. this theme, this melody, is the one i've been waiting for. and this connection is heady. so sacred. and more intimate than anything physical ever could be.

and i know we are playing a composition written for two, but as we recapitulate our beginnings, the music is such a presence that it becomes a trio. and this sighing, this love-affair between you and me and the music is so intense—more than it ever has been.

when i'm in this state of mind, i think i'd like to keep playing with you, being with you forever. i am at my happiest when confronted with you. and so i breathe the coda sognando, a dream in which our eyes lock and harmony intersperses with melody until the lines are swept into an all-encompassing motif that is to be con amore to the end.

once again, there is silence. the whole world is still as the lingering romance in the air swirls around us in a caress of satisfaction. and we are the only ones who can comprehend this love.

so you and i and the music slowly ride in on the tide of clapping hands, float in on a reality that is invading once more. and as the sound and the music fade away, you and i are left with only each other.

not that this is a problem, i think, as i lift my eyes and hand to yours. exhaustion bends us over as trees in the wind. i have been asked, why? why, with the work, the insecurities, the requirement for every part of your mind and body? i tell them—why? for the world—for ourselves. but this is not merely about me and you. we do it for one reason only—the music. we put our souls into music, and are duly rewarded. but why the heart? they insist. the heart between yourselves?

i don't know about your reasons. but for me, it's because you understand the important things in life. and because you are the only one who knows that for us, appassionato is not only a musical notation. it is our music, our lives, and ourselves.