The Girl in 9A

“Chopin. Again,” he thought to himself, listening in the night as the woman in 9A practiced piano. She always fumbled at the same place.

He had seen her in the hallway. A hurried cloud of ennui, she never seemed happy. He wondered when the tsunami had hit and left her so. He imagined a day job where she played the part of a happy young person full of promise and youthful energy. Or whether she was so outrageously happy somewhere else in her life she had no more to share elsewhere.

He wondered if her time at the keyboard made her smile. The smile she purposefully hid from everyone else.

He always hoped for her. Always hoped.

He lay in dark and counted how many times she tried, like some might try counting sheep. He listened patiently until the splattered chord of desperation ended the recital.

“One day, darling, one day. And it will be glorious!”, he thought, drifting off to sleep.