It was truly a pitiful sight to see; a pathetic figure lingering on the 6th floor balcony.
My apartment was an absolute mess. Papers upon papers scattered randomly across my seemingly nonexistent floor. It was once a dull, gray carpet. It was once a comfort to my aching feet.
It was once the floor to a comfortable home. Oh, how I hate it in this room. The air seems to only suffocate me, dragging me down to a lower level of nothingness. At times I even wonder whether or not it would be worth embracing this horrible feeling, sinking further into a lonely, lonely place. A distant thought, a hopelessly painful thought to think. What if it were all to stop if I simply accepted this horrible, horrible thing? A possible ending, that may or may not be true. What if, what if, who knows? I'm not entirely sure myself.
I'm tired. I'm completely and utterly exhausted with everything, anything, and nothing. What was the true purpose of all of this? Is it some sort of trial I must go through before I can experience true peace and happiness? Possibly, that may or may not be true. Life, I mean. Is it really just a trial? I don't believe that, not at all. It is a hopeless thought filling my empty mind. Are they my thoughts or is it all just a lie as well?
Lies, lies, lies everywhere and anywhere. Everywhere I go, lies will follow. Am I saying it? Is it another being who is speaking the false words? Possibly, maybe not. I am a liar, so it is impossible for me to tell you the truth of the situation. Will you believe my answer? Will you ignore it and call it yet another lie from my twisted mouth? Possibly.
Thoughts everywhere, clouding up both my vision and my mind. Why is this happening? Was it something I did? Will you forgive me if it was my fault? So many unanswered, unnecessary questions for the pitiful souls who need them. Something to fill this emptiness. That's what I need, right? Something, anything, to fill this horrible emptiness inside me. My stomach growls loudly. I haven't eaten all day, my mind being polluted by other things. My vision is obscured by an unknown nothingness; it feels almost as if my eyes were simply melting. Perhaps I will never see again. A dull thumping from my heart. Empty. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
A tear seems to have rolled down my cheek, the sudden noise of it hitting paper waking me from my temporary trance. It seems that during the time I was thinking, I had wandered back into my pathetic little apartment. Perhaps I collapsed in the time as well, the papers on my floor serving as a temporary 'bed' of sorts, at the moment. I was laying flat on my back, my eyes facing the white ceiling above me.
White. Such a disgusting color.
Tears continued to pour out of my eyes as I did nothing to stop them. Why should I interfere with what was currently happening? It would prove to be useless. Completely, totally useless. Like the rest of the human population. Why must we continue to try to stop what was currently happening? It won't do any good. It's a useless effort that was wasted on a useless being. I am disgusted with myself. Crying like this. A pathetic figure, useless to everyone. Right? That's what I am, right? Of course it is. Of course it is.
A distant sound brought me back once more from my continuous thought train. The train must have hit me once more, how sad. How useless. I glared up at the ceiling, the noise beginning to surround me. It was the sound of…a piano.
A strong beginning, fading into a more delicate melody. Hopelessness, grief, lost hope and lament. The delicate playing surrounded me, filling the vast space of a 'room'. I closed my eyes, listening carefully to the playing as it continued on. It sucked me in, grabbing onto my consciousness and never letting go. Building up, the sound grew strong once more. Confusion, where to go, why has this happened? A rush, a flurry of emotions rushing into me as it grew into a larger, greater existence than myself.
And then, it disappeared. It stopped suddenly, forcing me back into this pitiful excuse of a world. I wondered where it went; why it left me in such a disgusting state. Come back! I began to plead silently in my mind as I looked at my ceiling in desperation.
Please don't leave me!
It never came back. The rest of the night was spent in silence as I cried myself to sleep on the bed of papers on my floor. Not like the papers mattered, they were most likely ruined beyond comprehension. Why do I keep them? I forced myself up, standing on my feet once more. The beautiful sound from before…I doubt it will ever return. Perhaps it was just a person watching TV. Perhaps it was just a temporary thing to grasp my attention and fill the emptiness inside me, only to leave once it left an impression. Cruel. It was a cruel thing to do. I hate crying.
I grabbed my keys and put them into my pocket as I walked outside into the freezing winter air in only a t-shirt and some shorts. Let me freeze to death. Let me leave.
I wandered around town, but the emptiness still lingered inside. In desperation, I entered a local music store which sold instruments. I bought every piano CD they had in stock. That wasn't enough, though. Of course it wasn't, it would never be enough for the greedy person that is me. Such a sinner, such a sinner; a sinner who sins with the sins they hate. A disgusting thing. Not worth anybody's time.
I threw them away. Every single CD. It was nothing, it meant nothing to me. Nothing at all, no use or purpose, those CDs. I felt so pitiful. The freezing air bit my skin as I made my way back to my apartment, my face stinging. Physical pain, mental emptiness…life was cruel sometimes, indeed. My hands were numb as I made no attempt to try and warm them. Let me freeze…
The apartment building loomed overhead as I simply stared upwards at it, seeing the balcony that was mine. It was the only empty one, after all. I made my way inside, a rush of warm air slapping me. Up the stairs, 6 floors. Elevators were for those who deserved it. I didn't. I did nothing to deserve it. Make myself suffer, understand the pain of everything else. Distract myself from what I do not wish to acknowledge.
The door opened with ease as I threw the keys in to some distant corner of my room, hearing a dull thud as they smashed into the ground, most likely landing on some papers.
The piano was still gone.
I screamed in agony, falling to the ground to lie on my bed of papers. I hated this. I hated it so much, why must I have to go through it? There were no tears this time as I finally fell into a silent sleep.
I suppose it was only a miracle that the piano returned the next evening. I had been lying on my papers once more, unsure of everything. The world, my own twisted mind, what was each of these things to me? Were they significant? Did they have a purpose? I wasn't sure, I didn't care. I suppose I only forced myself to pretend I cared. I had nothing else to care for anyways.
Work, work, more work to suffocate me once more. More papers to slowly fill up this empty space of a room. More things, more of everything, more of nothing. It soon became a habit for me to use my floor as a bed. I don't have one anymore. I sold it for its uselessness, completely and totally useless it was. It left more empty space for me to fill with more papers. I hate paper. I hate it so much. I despise it, I wish to burn it.
And I would have if it weren't for the piano upstairs. The lighter in my right hand had simply fallen as I heard the piano once more. Was it luck? It was a miracle, correct? Somebody didn't want me to burn these papers, along with myself and the others in the building. I couldn't help it. I cried. I cried to myself, angry for even considering burning everything and not thinking about how others would be affected. Ashamed, I was. I cried as I continued to think. If only I couldn't think. If only I couldn't think anything, everything would be okay. I could be a soulless shell; that would make me happy. I wish to be happy; I wish I had no soul. No mind. No chance for me to think anything.
"That's…cruel." I spoke to the ceiling as I cried like the childish being I was. My voice came out raspy. I hadn't spoken in such a long time, it hurt to say anything. Did they want to cause me pain? The piano upstairs.
It seemed to be a continuation of yesterday's performance. It started out softly, slowly. Gentle playing, tugging at my every sense. Losing everything that meant anything. Giving up. Giving up on everything. It was a depressing melody that had a faint sense of potential hope that had been crushed. Slowly, it began to become somewhat happier. This, however, was soon lost as it retreated back into sadness.
I listened. I listened intently with everything I had. This piano…this music. Right now, it was all I had and all I cared for. Nothing else. It got louder, it grew softer. It contradicted itself, what did it want? Was it sure of what it wanted?
My eyes snapped open as it became a happy tune. Happiness…such a wonderful song it was. It stopped though. After a few seconds of playing, it stopped. The player began playing it again, somewhat hesitantly, before stopping once more. The sound of wood scraping against the floor was heard as the music came to a complete stop.
They had given up on the happiness, hadn't they?
Well, I suppose you could say that the beautiful sound created by the piano had become my 'shining light' of sorts. It kept me in this world and not the world beyond my imagination and thoughts. It has saved me from the torturous thing I know as a 'mind'. It has saved me from myself.
I never thought I would ever think such a sentence. My mind was completely empty at this point. No thoughts, no emotions. There was nothing. Silence surrounded me, slowly suffocating me as it danced through my mind merrily.
I continued to stare at the ceiling. This must be 'obsession'. I've known the word for as long as I can remember; many of my 'friends' had these things. I never understood the word itself. To be honest, it seemed rather meaningless. Why must one do such a thing towards something else? It must be insignificant. Everything in this world and not. Everything is insignificant. Why must we, such unimportant people, worry about trivial things like such? It completely confused me. I never understood how such a thing could ever develop. I never understood how we could allow ourselves to be fooled into believing such things with such force and power. It would mean nothing in the end, correct?
I was rethinking my previous thoughts. There we go again. Thoughts. A disgusting word for the useless. Obviously this piano had some sort of significance to me. I did not know who was playing it, nor did I know what was being played. I simply listened to the sound and tried to make sense of it. Why?
That was all I wondered.
After a few hours, the piano returned. Well, it may or may not have been a few hours, to be honest. It could have been days. Months. I would not have known. My mind had drifted off to some unknown, foreign imaginary land. Time was insignificant in such a place.
I could hear faint voices coming from above me. They were muffled and low; it was a surprise I could hear them at all. Separated by a thick layer…it was a surprise indeed. The piano began playing once more, a soft melody…no, accompaniment. After a few seconds, a beautiful sound joined the already marvelous piano. A violin, I believe it is.
The melody was heartbreaking. Truly a tragic piece for one's soul. Full of desperation and grief; it was absolutely spectacular. My eyes closed as I listened to every detail of the beautiful composition.
A small mistake. It got louder, gradually getting softer. Stronger notes, fading into more uncertain ones.
I'm surprised. The me of before would never have noticed any of these things. I would have simple called it 'music' and listened to it halfheartedly. Maybe I would have not listened to it at all. A true change of heart for myself, I suppose. I guess I can thank that terrible silence for such an opportunity. Even if I were to slowly lose myself to my mind, it was a comfort to know this music could bring me back.
The sound of things falling against a wooden floor; what happened? Questions filled my mind in a sudden, half expected flood. Of course such a thing would happen, correct? It must happen to others as well.
The walls surrounding me seemed to close in, slowly decreasing any and all space I may have once had. The walls melted off, revealing a vast space of gray nothingness. Where was I, why was I, who, what, where?
I simply continued to lay on my floor as it slowly disappeared beneath me leaving me to fall into the unknown abyss.
My eyes opened slowly. Light had filled my room, signaling a new day. Had I fallen asleep? Pity.
I stood to my feet once more, a dull aching in my back. I did not stretch and simply changed into some new clothes, putting my old ones into the hamper. A shower…that could wait until later, I suppose. I opened my door and left the terrible room, locking the door behind me. I still do not understand why I bother locking the door when there is nothing of importance to me in that room. Only a vast amount of papers with unknown scribbles on them. Words? Letters? Pictures? Nothing. I wasn't even sure what was on them.
I walked over to the stairway. It was completely silent, save for the light tapping of feet every now and then. My footsteps echoed loudly as I began to slowly make my way up the stairs. Each step took a large amount of effort and energy from me. I felt weak. I was weak. This was a torture to my fragile body. The coldness of the stairway stung my face and hands. I forced myself to hold onto the railings which seemed to only further freeze the naked skin of my hands. I wanted to feel this pain, yet I needed a support to make my way to my destination.
It seemed to take forever. Only one floor seemed to take an eternity to reach. It was almost as if my body was refusing to let me go to this floor. It was as if something were preventing me from seeing the wonderful piano player of this world. I closed my eyes, taking a few deep breaths. In, out. In, out. It was almost like an exercise for my mind.
I went to open the door at the end of the 7th floor stairway. The stairs to the 8th floor was simply a background image to the beauty of 7. My hand was shaking as I gripped the freezing cold, metal handle. My mind was numb and my breathing was rushed. With a quick tug, it opened.
I suppose this is the part where I should be saying I met the love of my life. A beautiful being who matched the beauty of the sounds the piano made. Love at first sight? A certain 'spark' of 'chemistry'? Our eyes locked together, unable to escape?
I suppose that's what I should be saying, if this were any romantic story. That would have been the romantic encounter, correct? However, this was not my story. Beyond that door…
…Was an empty hallway leading to yet another door. I closed the stairway-side door behind me, a rush of warm air surrounding my cold body. Slow steps were taken across the empty hallway, my feet making no noise against the red, carpeted floor. I didn't understand why I was doing this. I couldn't understand the purpose of this journey.
Useless, trivial details that I ignored.
I opened the final door with a hesitant hand. Was this what I really wanted?
Beyond the wooden plank I had opened, there was a piano. It was a beautiful thing; A black, grand piano that stood at the center of a well-lit room. Windows surrounded it, allowing sunlight to pour into the room and onto the beautiful instrument. The floor beneath it was raised; there were many steps around it to allow the player to get on there without difficulty. The blackness of the piano allowed me to see there was a fair amount of dust on it. I couldn't help but walk over. I hope the owner would understand.
My fingers gently drifted across the smooth surface of the keys. I ignored the dust that came with the action, my mind still in a state of amazement. I pressed down on one of the keys.
My mind was calm. This piano was in tune; it played the A flat perfectly.
I cut off my thoughts at that point. What was this? Why did I know this? How could I know such a thing? I've never played piano in my life. I've never been musical. I've never had an interest in it, why did I know this? I backed away in slight terror and confusion, my foot going over the edge of the platform the piano stood on. I fell back, landing roughly on the dirty floor. My eyes wandered everywhere, trying to make sense of this new revelation. In the corner, there were a few stacks of books and papers. I hesitantly made my way over, my legs shaking with each step. I took one of the stacks of papers from the top of the pile, my hands beginning to tremble.
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor Op. 111
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Why did it seem so familiar? I reluctantly made my way back to the piano in the center of the room, placing the music on the small stand that was built in the piano. I sat down on the small stool in front of the piano, my foot automatically going to one of the petals at the bottom. I looked at it strangely, moving my foot back to under the chair with my other foot. I opened the piece of music and looked at the score, humming the melody. It was a familiar tune.
I closed my eyes for a moment, still humming, as I tried to recall where I had heard the wonderful melody from. The sounds of a piano filled my ears as I remembered where I had heard it.
That night; that first night when the piano began to play and saved me from my mental turmoil. I snapped my eyes open at the realization that the piano player must be playing the piano at this moment. When I looked down, I could feel my heart breaking.
My fingers were causing this sound. They moved automatically. On their own. My feet joined them, one of them tapping the tempo. I could feel tears in my eyes as my hands stopped moving. What was I doing? How could I do this? Why was I doing this?
Almost as if they were reading my mind, my hands began moving once more. They played a depressing piece, as far as I could tell. A bit further on, I could almost hear the name in my mind.
Prelude in C Sharp Minor Op. 3 No.2
I forced myself away from the piano, the stool I had been sitting on clattered behind me as it hit the floor.
"What have I told you about violence? Useless child!"
"Shut up mother! I never wanted to do this! Stop forcing me to!"
"You will listen to your mother!"
"Leave me alone!"
I clutched my head with one of my hands, the other supporting me as I leaned against the wall, far away from the black beauty in the center of the room. I forced my way out of the room, slamming open the door to the hallway. I ran across the empty space as if my life were in jeopardy. Which may or may not have been true. The door to the staircase opened with ease as I raced down to return that horrible place of a room. Surely there will be answers there. Surely.
I fumbled with the keys in my hands, my mind in a nervous panic. Nothing made sense, I didn't understand it, why?
"I'm sorry mother."
"No, it is I who should be sorry, my child."
"I should have listened to you."
"Even if you did so, it would not change the inevitable. You must accept that."
I threw papers across the room, digging for something. Digging for answers, digging for anything. I needed something to ease my mind. Something, anything!
In a desperate panic, I had managed to scatter all of my papers around the room. All of the papers with unnecessary scribbling on it that made no sense. Why I had it, I finally knew. Tears fell from my eyes as I stared helplessly at the loose sheets. They were crumbled, some were ripped, and others were completely illegible. I recognized these useless sheets of no importance.
I created them, right? I made a living of creating such things. This apartment…no. This was not an apartment. This was my home. The top half, at least. It was bought by my parents for me as a congratulations gift. I had finally done something worthwhile. Useful. I had proved my worth. Right? Is that the truth? Really?
"Please, my child. My ears get worse with each passing day. Please, play a piece with me before it's too late."
"It's not that bad, is it?"
"It is, my dear."
"I suppose so. How about a transposition of Rachmaninoff's 'Vocalise'?"
"It is a beautiful piece…yes. That would be perfect. Thank you, my child."
I had created such pieces before. I had composed piano pieces before, right? My mother used to force me into piano lessons. She was too old to earn for herself; so she wanted me to do so in her place. A cruel thing for a parent to do to the unwilling. I protested, called her names, but she still wouldn't allow me to quit.
I had given in. I lost hope in any other dreams and soon began to play magnificently. My mother loved it. She would always listen to me play with such a happy look on her face. I began to play just for her. She always asked to play a duet with me. Her violin skills were absolutely amazing.
I never thought I would be good enough to do a duet with her. I always refused. Soon, she began to grow weak. Her ears were getting worse. The doctors said she would go deaf.
"I hope I will play well enough next to you, mother."
"Of course you will, my child. The sounds you create are beautiful. They calm the soul."
I remember being confused. We began playing, but she wasn't playing like how she used to. She made a mistake near the beginning and began putting crescendos and diminuendos in the strangest places. I had wondered what was happening as I continued to accompany her violin. She still played with her usual intensity, however it seemed more desperate this time. The mistakes grew as we continued on with the piece. We had almost finished.
"I can't hear anything! I can't hear anything!"
She collapsed into a hopeless mess, grief filling her every feature. An image I never imagined I would ever forget. The violin fell with her, breaking in half. When she had first fallen, she was only desperate to know what was happening. When she saw her precious instrument in two, her eyes had widened and she fell began sobbing loudly.
I had never seen my mother so weak. I remember crying so hard that day, unable to contain it.
We only had 3 bars left.
I gave up on my compositions. Nothing was good enough. Everything I had worked on was a waste of time now. My mother wouldn't be able to hear it. Ever.
I only began to believe this after my first 'concert' of sorts. It was a piano concerto I had created. I was so proud of it. I got a standing ovation. Afterwards, I met my mother and father who had been in the crowd.
"You did well."
"Thank you, father."
"It was good."
She had complimented the performance she couldn't even hear.
Do you know how it feels for something like that to happen? It's a horrible, horrible stabbing in the chest that burns with poison. She didn't mean to hurt me like that. She only meant good. I understand that.
But it would never be enough.
I sat in the middle of my room, surrounded by my hopeless dream of the past. My mother would never be able to listen to them. Standing up, a strange silence filled the air. I didn't understand it, it made not sense.
I walked back up to the floor above me, my eyes facing downwards. I watched every single step I took. My hand could only grip the railing tighter.
The door to the room with the piano in it was still wide open. I hadn't been gone for too long. My footsteps seemed heavier with every step I took as realization began to slap me in the face. I could have begged that it was just my imagination lying to me once more, but I didn't. As my mother once told me:
You cannot change the inevitable future. You must learn to accept that.
I picked up the fallen stool carefully, placing it back in its original position. As I sat down, my breathing seemed to get heavier. Calmer in a sick sense. My fingers hovered gently over the keys as I began to play the accompaniment to Vocalise. My eyes closed as I played it all from memory. Tears began falling from my eyes, but I did nothing to hold them back. I had to accept it, right?
I couldn't hear anything.
Seriously, I spent like, the last few months debating about possible endings for this. Everything was planned out except the ending aagghh
And so like, the last 3 days I had finished everything but the ending so it was 3 days straight of wondering about it.
x___x finished it though, so that's good. If you're confused about anything, feel free to ask in a review~
Also, the character has no gender, age, or name. If I typed out anything with a name, gender, or age regarding the character...it was a mistake, I apologize.
I apologize for grammar and spelling mistakes. However, some things are suppose to be grammar-dead so I do not apologize for those.
....I apologize for rambling. Congrats on reading this, if you actually did. Please review? (: