I was sitting in the common room when Liz came in. The week following the night out was awkward for us, but I didn’t know what to say to her. I thought it best if I just left it alone. I watched her for a moment before I went back to the music sheets in front of me. I had been working on my own music for a while. The piece I was currently working on was spread out over the table in front of me. I didn’t notice when she sat down beside me, my mind focused on the job at hand.
“Joseph, how long have you played the piano?”
Her voice startled me as she spoke. I looked at her for a moment, trying to figure her out. She had gotten that distant glassy eyed look of distraction when I had talked about music that night, but now she seemed interested. I looked down at the piece of sheet music I was holding and back to her.
“Well I started taking lessons when I was very small. I have always had a talent for it. Alice says I am obsessed.” A soft sigh followed the Melissa comment, because she was right.
She nodded and looked at the piece I was holding, “Is that yours?”
I nodded at her and held it out for her to read. She took it from me gently and smiled. I was totally confused by her, but if she wanted to act interested, I would let her. Liz was one complex girl – that was for sure.
“I have been working on it for a few months. There are several of us in the music program here. We all compose our own stuff.”
I watched as she ran a finger over the notes on the paper. She looked thoughtful as she reached for the other sheets in the table in front of me. I didn’t know how to react to her, so I just watched her. When you watched her normally you could see she was guarded, but at that moment her face was an open book. I wondered just how many layers there were to this girl.
It had taken me a week to find the piece I wanted to leave for the mystery piano player. I had finally settled on Claire de Lune. I had grown up listening to it, and it was one of the few things in my past that made me smile. Once I had gotten a copy of the music, I had headed to the music hall. It was after six in the evening so the hall was pretty dead. I slipped quietly into the room that the music always came from and looked around, turning on the lights. It looked like one of the teacher’s private studios. I had heard the school gave private lessons to the more gifted students, so I was not surprised.
I stood, admiring the piano. I smiled softly as I thought about the music I heard the nights I did make it into the hall. It seemed the player was here every night, but I could not always get away to be around to listen. I ran a finger along the keys before I dug out the sheet music I had for the player. I don’t know how long I stood there, but after leaving the music, I headed back to the room. Joseph was there when I walked in. I saw the sheet music on the table in front of him and sat down beside him. He looked surprised when I asked about it.
I had been interested the night we had gone out, but for some reason my mind had wandered to the past. As he had talked about music, my mind went to the night I had found my mother in bed, half dead. After my father had died, my mother went into a really deep depression. For years, none of us could do anything to bring her out of it. I had not gotten to know my father, but she had loved him. It wasn’t until I found her in bed almost dead that things changed. I guess taking a handful of sleeping pills opens someone’s eyes. She came out of the depression after that night. I was six years old, and it had stuck with me. Seeing your mother almost dead was sure to stick with anyone.
I was actually very interested in what Joseph was working on. Honestly though, I was trying to figure out how many students at Moonlight Cove actually played the piano. The sheet music he had been working on looked beautiful though. The notes he had written on each page were done in beautiful handwriting. I smiled softly as I touched each page, fingers trailing over the notes. I looked up at Joseph and studied his face. His green eyes were intense as they looked into mine. I felt like I was missing something as I sat there talking to him about his music.
“So Joseph, what are your plans for the night?”
I broke away from his stare and looked back at the music in front of me. I don’t know what answer I was looking for from him. I almost wished the night had gone better a week ago when we had been dragged out. He was an intense person, and for some reason I almost felt like I could trust him. I don’t really know what I was thinking though; I was totally obsessed with who had been playing the piano every night.
“Well I think this piece is my current plans. I am hoping to have it done soon. You want to hear it? I mean, when it is doneâ€¦” his voice trailed off as he looked at me.
I smiled and nodded, “I would love to.”
The evening with Liz had left me a little surprised. She was not the same girl who had gone out to eat with me the week before. I didn’t know how I felt about it, but the idea that maybe a girl was actually able to understand my thinking made me smile. I slipped out of the room after she went to bed. My sheet music was in my hands as I headed to the music hall. Now that she seemed interested in the piece I was working on, I knew I needed to get it done. Of course, the hall was quiet as I made my way to the small room I always played in. I left the main light off again and only turned the small desk lamp on that was on the piano. What sat there shocked me. Someone had left sheet music there, and it was a piece I loved. There was a small note written on the top. Please play this; I would love to hear you play it. I looked around the room and stood up. Someone had been listening?
I went back out into the hall, looking around. No one was there but me. I went back into the room and stood there. I was not sure how I felt about someone listening to me at night. It was my time to play for myself. Although I never would know if they were there, so I could still be playing for myself. I smiled a bit and sat down at the piano. I played a few pieces to get my fingers warmed up. A few songs in I started playing Claire de Lune, and I hoped my admirer was listening.