I play the piano; quickly, slowly, smoothly. I play it when I'm happy; a jovial, enthusiastic rhythm that engulfs the empty room with it's quick and bouncing cadence. I play it when I'm sad; a mournful, slow melody that leaves the room lacking, taking from it colour and warmth. My fingers dance along the keys, no matter how I play it, and people tend to stop by sometimes to listen, no matter how I play it—but I don't care about them.
Because no matter how I play it, I'm only playing it for you.
I remember we used to sit in the same room while I played, and you would lean against my shoulder, sometimes falling asleep when the light began to dwindle. You were a quiet girl, always distant from everyone, and I swell with pride knowing that you felt you could open up to me. Though I was so far below you, you enjoyed being around me; even going so far as requesting my presence.
It was inevitable, I think, that I should fall in love with you.
Days seemed to melt together when we were with each other, and I can still remember the first time you asked me to accompany you on a walk. It was the first time either of us had proposed seeing one another outside of the piano room. Of course, I agreed immediately. You wore a sundress, and such a large, white hat, while I wore my usual clothes—servant clothes. I was little more than a butler to your family—but to you, I was something more. I dedicated all of my time to making you happy.
Funny how, once we lose things that we worked so hard for, we tend to grow indifferent to everything else.
I remember the day that we shared out first kiss.
It was autumn, and we were walking through the park, listening to the birds that sung in the trees and chatting about very little that mattered. You took my hand and lead me to a Willow tree, overlooking a creek, and you asked me if I thought it was beautiful. I said yes, and it was hard to tell whether it was you pushing yourself up to meet me, or me leaning down to meet you. The clearest thing of all was the contact of our lips against each others, and the bittersweet feeling of pulling away.
There were tears in your eyes, and you wouldn't tell me why you were crying.
I had to hear it from someone else.
More clearly than anything, I remember the day that you said good bye.
We were at the train station, and you said you would be back one day. You promised, no matter what happened, you would be back. I knew you were lying, though, because I had been told that you were arranged to marry. You weren't leaving to finish your studies abroad, like you told me, you were leaving to be wed, and you would never see me again. Even if you did, there would be no more feelings left for me.
One of the other servants showed me his picture. He looked handsome. I can understand why they picked him for you.
It was hard at first, accepting that you were gone, but then I had known from the beginning that nothing would ever become of us. You were too high class for me; we were from completely different worlds. For a long time, though, I couldn't play the piano. I couldn't even stand to look at the instrument. For a long time, I was angry with you. Angry for my feelings, angry for your wedding, angry for the world I had been born in to, angry that you had let me think you would ever want to see me again. I knew that it was too good to be true, after all. I was merely a lowly servant.
It was a long, long time before I could bring myself to forgive.
I started playing the piano again, and it was like greeting an old friend. My heart still aches whenever I think of you, but I hope you have found happiness. Sometimes I let myself believe that you will return to visit me, even though I know it will never happen. Whenever I'm in that room, playing for you, I can even let myself believe that you're still there. Sometimes I can even feel you, leaning against my shoulder as the light dwindles.
No matter how long I have to wait, I will always play for you.