Part FOUR: Pianoman
Haunting in every second.
Khal plays his Baldwin in melodies that he can’t even define, then loses himself to the emotions. It is an old inheritance, from his great grandfather, a dark wood type. How appropriate, he thinks, “Suits my dark heart”, he speaks within. The keys are disorderly serenaded, but surprisingly fit to the mood in the room, just right. He presses his fingers firmly, without thinking of the next note after another.
I have been standing by the door for quite some time, looking at him. “I heard it” I break his song. Or was it one? Such distressing sounds, I cannot feel comfortable. What song is this? I have never heard it.
He turns his face and smile, but not that kind of smile that you have in your head, the one kind that only he can do. It comes with chills in the nightfall of extra-ordinary night that, if unnoticed and untreated, could spread a plague-like into passer-bys, in this case, me.
“Play me a song, sweetheart” I say.
“What song?” he says
“I don’t know…a love song, Khal. You never played me one” I say. In the silence of this room, I hear him say, ‘I have, Lara. Every night, when you’re asleep’. But I let that go, pretending.
“All right” he says. He begins a song that is much familiar, an imitation of The Blower’s Daughter – a song, not about love
“That’s not a love song” I say
“Yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry” he says, the room suddenly fills with calmness and romantic desires, making me wanting to sit next to him. He brings The Look Of Love alive, like a pianist wizard casting spells. But not for long, he stops.
“I can’t” he says. He gets up, leaving the piano. He takes a glass and fills two ice cubes. He pours the bourbon without offering.
“What’s going on, Khal?” I say
“You don’t have that look” he says
“What look?” I say
“Look of love” he says.
“How does love look like, Khal?”
“An exclusive image of me. I’m in love, Lara”
“So am I” I say
“Damn it, Lar! When are you gonna stop lying?”
“I can’t breathe in this room. How can anyone ever breathe in here!” I say. Trying to exclude myself from his interrogation. Stop it Khal, please stop this.
“Write me something!” he yells. His eyes filled with anger and I can’t bear. “Write it! Like I played you a song!”
“Khal, you have got to chill, baby. Stop testing me…” I say, a non-classic defending, more like surrendering.
“Just do as I fucking say!” he yells
“Fine! Goddamn it! You sick bastard! Gimme a paper!” I scream, losing, weaken my shields, falling apart right in front of him. Tears getting the best of me.
“You’re a writer, Lara” he says. And gone. The room seems so empty, not in a cliché kind of way, but his kind. I have a pen and a paper, and a thousand of words. Instead,
How I wish, you and I, are children. So we can grow up from all of these, and meet again, in the next twenty years, for atonement.’
I drop it on his piano and be gone.
From across the sub-urban, I can hear him says. Ahh Lara, but we are not. Next life is all we got, for atonement.