The Piano

The walls of my old, shabby apartment used to be so thin; I was terrified to touch them for they might have collapsed instantly. I remember lying in my bed, unable to fall asleep, and listening to my only neighbor play his piano. It was a bit out of tune, but rather lovely. Each night was a different song; a different melody, a different story to be told. I had never officially met my neighbor, but I had seen him walking into his apartment a few times. He never said hello, and the only noise I ever heard coming from him was the sweet tune of his worn down piano. Occasionally, I'd catch myself humming along to the songs he'd play, even though I had never heard them before. They were so captivating and arresting it was hard to resist listening to them. After so many weeks, I longed to talk to my neighbor. I wanted to learn everything about his passion for playing the piano. One afternoon I decided to pay him a visit. I knocked on his door, which I noticed was poorly painted and very unattractive, and waited for a reply. When none came I knocked again. And again, but still no one answered. Disappointed, I trudged back to my apartment.

That night I heard him play again, but there wasn't a sweet tune emanating from his apartment. An eerie, horrific sound burst through my walls, the ill song haunting my every move. The air in my room changed from pleasant to dead in seconds. Terror flowed through me like blood and my heart hammered inside of me. Then, silence.

No other song was played that night, and eventually, sleep overwhelmed me. Despite what happened, I managed to fall into a deep slumber. The next day I decided to talk to the couple who lived under me to see if they knew anything about my mysterious neighbor.

They answered the door after a few knocks and seemed happy to have a visitor for once. They were both in their seventies. The man was wearing a polo shirt and the woman a floral print dress. "Hello," I awkwardly greeted. "Good morning dearie," the woman said. "What can we do you for, son?" The man obviously wanted to get straight down to business. "I was wondering if you knew anything about the man who lives next door to me. He plays the piano and I wanted to-" The woman interrupted me, "Man? What man?" She asked. "Listen, son, we've lived here for the past thirty years and there isn't anyone who lives in that apartment, nor has there ever been." "But, sir, I've seen him before." I protested. "Well, what does he look like," the woman asked. I began to speak, but halted. I couldn't describe him. I felt foolish. "I gotta go," I exclaimed before running upstairs. I walked over to my neighbor's apartment. I knocked on his door again with the same result. Without thinking, I grabbed the doorknob and pulled on the door. It opened outward, revealing a brick wall. I slammed the door shut and ran back to my apartment. Not knowing what else to do, I climbed into my bed and pulled the covers over my head. It wasn't until I closed my eyes that I could hear a sweet tune playing from next door.