dusty piano by JoanneSharp on Flickr.

She stood there in the fading afternoon light, the curtains billowing off the windows behind her, and watched as his fingers stretched themselves over those dusty keys and realized that for him, she was no longer there. He was alone with it, far away from the room she still occupied, worn wooden floorboards and furniture long-since faded in that southern summer sun. He had gone, she could see, gone somewhere she had not known existed for him, a place where nothing could join him but the music that those graceless fingers—transformed upon those old and tuneless keys—created now with their flawless strokes. So she stood without moving, for fear her motion might remind him of what actually surrounded him, for fear she would break the spell. She stood frozen and listening, her eyes locked on his face, every muscle relaxed as if it had forgotten what it might be to move. And as his hands moved across those ivory bars, she knew that this was the greatest gift he would ever give her, and so she held fast to the memory even as it was being made; for what more can we give one another but a chance to stand by as we tear ourselves apart, leaving nothing but our soul, naked and chipped—but glowing in all its truest glory—for them to see?