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I press into the keys, the tears streaming down my face. How? How in the world could this have happened? I press into the keys a little harder.
On my birthday, too. My "sweet" sixteen.
Not.
I lost my father, the one person who believed in me, in my talents. He's dead, and he's never coming back.
The tears flow a little faster, a little heavier, and I press into the keys a little deeper.

You see, the best part about staying after school in my school on a Friday is that there's nobody there, so I can just play on the piano, no worries. And when I'm ready, I get up and walk home.
It's my one stress- free, pure bliss moment of the week. So I make the most of it.

But now, I can't even have that. Because I'm crying too hard to even see the keys, to know what I'm playing. I must look terrible: my eyes puffy, my face red and blotchy… but I don't care.

As I sit there, pounding on the keys, I manage to launch into my jazzed up and personalized version of Beethoven's Opus 27, Number 2, also known as the Moonlight Sonata. I love it because it reminds me of the deepest love that there is.

My father used to love to hear me play. He'd sit there for hours, just demanding more of my playing. "I love it, Treble" he would say, clapping his hands together. "Your playing gets better and better by the second."
Treble. His special nickname for me.
"Why do you call me Treble, Papa?" I asked him one day. In answer, I received a hearty laugh.
"Etta," He had said. "You are my little one, my musical note. Your beautiful singing voice and phenomenal talent at the piano make you remind me of the treble clef: strong, bold, and powerful, and yet so soft, feminine, and endearing." To this day, it has been our little secret, and he has always called me his Treble clef. His little one.
The reminder of my nickname brings fresh tears, and I abruptly stop playing, suddenly unable to finish the song.

"It sounds beautiful." I hear a voice say from the doorway of the room. I immediately sit up and whirl around, only to come face to face with the one person I don't want to see.
Adam.

"Adam," I breathe, unsure of my voice, "what are you doing here?" he walks across the room and sits down on the bench next to me, on my right. How it used to be. He looks at me and says the three words that I've been longing to hear since the day I walked out of his life.

"I miss you." I wipe my eyes, trying to stop the uncontrollable tears flowing down my face now that I'm not alone. I nod my head.

"I know." I open my eyes and look at him. Adam. He's been my best friend since I can remember, stuck with me through everything: diapers, cooties, our first day of school, my first boyfriend- and heartbreak. My father's death. But then there was that day.
I turn back to the piano.

"What happened?" he asks. I stay silent, a stone gaze at the keys. No way do I want to tell him just how I felt after Papa's death. "Etta," he says. I look at him. "Tell me." He says quietly. I look into his eyes. They're sad, almost pleading. I relent and look away.

"It's just…" I start, but bite my lip. "I mean, he was the only person that I could 100 percent count on. You, when you told me that I was going to end up doing nothing with my life, I mean, I had to. I had to walk out." I turn to him. "I mean, who would, and could, say that to someone?" My voice cracks. "Your best friend?" I turn back around. "Right after our fight, he got sick. Desperately sick. I had no income, no job. We were struggling. I had no one and no where to go to."

"Why didn't you come to me? I would have helped you."

"No," I say suddenly, startling myself "You wouldn't have." I can almost feel his hurt expression burning through my core, but I don't care. This has to be said. I feel a few delicate tears fall down my cheeks as I recall my sixteenth birthday just four short weeks ago. "I remember bringing him his medicine the morning of my birthday. I had tried waking him up. His hands didn't feel right. They were too cold, too…" My voice catches. "Too lifeless. I freaked out and called an ambulance, rushed him to the hospital. But it was too late. He was dead." I take a deep breath and continue. "I've been living alone for about a month now. I went and got a job, so I've been scraping by." I raise my eyes and look at him. "It's been okay."

"No." I hear Adam say. "It's not."

"You know what?" I say, my voice raising just a little higher, not noticeable to Adam, just to me. "You're absolutely right. It's not. Because when I came to you, it wasn't just about the piano. It was about so much more." I stare right at him and feel my eyes burning into his. "I had fallen in love with you. But that day, you proved to me that you weren't worth it." I look away again. "So I gave up." I feel two fingers reach underneath my chin and turn my face.

"Etta." Adam says. I turn my eyes away. "Treble," he says, and my eyes snap to his. How in the world could I forget? He's the only other person besides my father and I that know my nickname. "I love you. I have always loved you." Then he leans forward and kisses me. It's a kiss full of promise, and hope.
Of a better tomorrow.

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So. I wrote this forEVER ago. Yahoo~ yeah. So. I really like the name Etta. Just saying.

I phail so bad at A/N it makes babies cry.

Reviews? They make unicorns puke glitter~

~LinedWithCharcoal~