Marie entered the music room quietly, not wanting to disturb him. His very presence in the music room surprised her. Her brother hadn’t played any instrument for years, now here he was playing the cello. It was a strange sight to see him here playing such a sad, romantic selection, for he usually loved playing more inspiring music. Memories of him playing “Flight of the Bumblebee”, such a difficult staccato piece, but with a happy expression on his face, made her smile.
Robert had always supplied them with fun and exciting music, even when teaching the basics. He was patient and wanted his students to enjoy the music as they worked to perfect it. He was always positive and believed in being that way in all things.
The cello was belying his pain, and as she sat down in the corner of the room, she observed a tear from Robert’s eye. She wished she could help him but there was nothing she could do.
Robert had met a talented young woman while attending college. They both loved music, accompanied each other to music instruction, and graduated with similar degrees. This led to them teaching and performing locally and finally marrying. A few years of happiness ensued for them both. Music lessons in their home was a delight for the neighboring children. Their life was almost complete when they decided to have a child. The baby was born perfectly healthy, but Laura had postpartum difficulties resulting in an illness that took her life.
Robert was devastated, but tried his best to raise their child with his sister Marie, who was always there to rely on. Robert had given up on music, and teaching lessons. He rarely went into the music room and didn’t touch the instruments.
On this evening, Robert was once again roaming their home, thinking of Laura. He missed her terribly and even the company of their son would not console him. He passed by the music room door, wishing he could see his beloved Laura there. He walked in and sat down to the piano. He couldn’t bare to touch the keys.
He dropped his head in sorrow, unexpectedly feeling a presence behind him. Two hands were placed on his shoulders. He knew it was only a dream, he must have finally fallen asleep. The pressure of the hands increased and then touched his cheek. A familiar scent followed, Laura’s perfume. He tried to turn, see if by some miracle she was there behind him, but could not. He felt the touch, her touch, this could not be happening. His hands moved not by his will, they just moved onto the keys. He started playing their love song, but it wasn’t him playing. He didn’t know what was happening, as his fingers played their music on the piano. Suddenly the presence was gone. He was able to move and turned quickly, hoping to catch a glimpse of his wife. He knew it was Laura, but how could it be?
He woke the next morning and went to the music room before breakfast. He wanted it to happen again, feel her presence again. He thought if he sat there long enough, she would return. He didn’t care if it wasn’t real, he just wanted to be near her again. He tried to make sense of it, secretly yearning for it not to be only a dream, but to feel her visit again. He moved to the instruments and chose the cello. He would play one of her favorite songs. Robert started playing, all the while concentrating, wanting to feel her touch again. He played a second and third piece, willing to feel her again, even smell the perfume she always wore. He never noticed his sister entering the room. His lonely state of solace was in the music.
Eventually, Robert began teaching again, resuming a somewhat normal life. Robert, his sister and son were once again a family. He tried his best, but never gave up playing “their song” in lonely moments, wishing to feel Laura’s presence again.