It's the same song every night. The same harsh tune that's full of sharps when it should be flats. My pace mimicked others and quickened when the first notes hit my ears. The times I caught a few glances down my eyes would have to search for the glint of silver. Would never catch any gold.
There was one night where I had to pass him again later. He still stood there, tapping on that violin, spitting out that same tune. I wondered how long he would stand it the cold, but had no patience to discover.
Yet on this day, it was a different sound that reached my ears. AS sweet melody of crescendos and fortes. I had to pause a moment, to let the glory of the music touch my mind. Then I could round the corner. And there stood the same old man, with the same old violin, without the same old song.
I went up to hi, agape with this sound. And I had to ask him. "What changed?"
He stopped his playing, took his violin off his shoulder. "Nothing's changed."
But I knew something had. "Tonight you sound so sweet."
"I play the same each night, nothing's changed."
"Last night. No. Last night your music was filled with wrong notes, but tonight." I shook my head, knowing I must be right.
Bow tucked under his arm he took my arm with one of his. "Sir. Each night I play this same song for my lost son, hoping he will come home."
Oh. "How many years has it been?"
"Thirty-three." It was as if each year hurt him more than the last.
"I only knew him a few months, the only thing I left him with was this song."
The song of flying tunes and sweet melodies.
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"So am I."
I realised he was still holding my hand. He let it go now, picking up the bow once more. "The name is in the melody."
I walked away as the tune played to me ears. The beautiful tune that searched for the lost son.
Later that night, as the song refused to leave my head, his last words slipped in between. The name is in the melody.
I had always known music, been able to recognise the notes with ease. B D A C E F E. D A C E F. A C E. ACE. Ace.
A name. A name of a lost son. Ace.
The last thing I saw as I raced from the house was the framed picture of the only parent I have ever known.
The street was deserted, the music gone. I waited a moment, as if expecting him to appear with his violin.
Nor was he there the next day. He was never coming back.
It was dark when I pulled out the dusty violin, and took the place on the empty sidewalk. The same harsh tune full of sharps when it should be flats, emanated from my bow.
Playing the tune of a son searching for a lost father.