Ruby Astari
Ruby Astari Pengajar, penulis, dan penerjemah

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That Lonely Piano is Longing For Your Tunes

20 Maret 2017   10:13 Diperbarui: 20 Maret 2017   10:45 24 2 1

That big black piano looks dusty in the living room. A week has gone by and I haven't even cleaned it up.

I don't even want to touch it.

That piano used to be very well looked-after, down to the edge of the string and keyboard. Black and shiny on the surface, looking elegant.

To you, it was more than just a musical instrument. It was your partner-in-crime, whether in composing or performing on stage. Its clinking sound had always been perfect to go along with your beautiful singing voice.

I understood and shouldn't be jealous. Silly, it was just a piano. Besides, this was how you made a living - especially for me and the kids.

Did you have any idea just how proud the kids and I had always been with you? Once they told their friends at school:

"One of our dads sings and plays piano. He's on stage and on TV."

I remember that worried look on your handsome face. (Your ageless, handsome face - no matter how old you'd get.) You never wanted us to be the media target. Spare the kids. Let us be the only who know this love. Not all could and would understand. A lot would simply judge.

Let this love be our business for always. I understood. Your over two-decade-old career was still at stake. It didn't matter that you had the talent and charming personality. Moral issues were always there. Well, even when this was supposed to be between us alone.

A lot of things I could get and also cherish. Your seemingly nonstop work schedule. I was the one who mostly did the house chores and took care of the kids.

But when you returned home, you really did come home. Your cellphone was mostly off. You really spent your time with me and our kids. I was so happy.

I miss waking up to the clinking sound of your piano. No matter how late you'd slept the night before, you always woke up earlier than me. Perhaps inspiration had been your biggest energy. I'd always stayed next to you with a cup of your favourite hot mint tea. Just sitting there and quietly listening to you, before the kids woke up and I had to drive them all to school.

Didn't you know? You were my earthly paradise. The kids are missing you too. This house has been too quiet and gloomy lately.

There were other things that I couldn't understand about you. Your vacantly staring eyes. Sometimes you pondered in silence alone.

Then, those suspicious minor tunes. The gloomy lyrics you'd never got to finish. (I'd checked the bin under your piano.) Those nightmares that had stolen the peacefulness in your sleep, even in my arms.

Love, what kind of ghosts that had burdened your thoughts? You never wanted me to know. Sometimes we argued about them. Not long after that, you started growing quiet and quieter...

...until a week ago...

I don't know when I'll ever get to understand. My love, the love from the kids, the music...as we had here. None of them were good enough to keep you here, to stop you from leaving...

...to wake you up from your eternal sleep, which you'd been after and worked on for so long...

May have sympathised, a lot have been wondering. I still don't want to talk about it. They only know that I was the one who found you.

Now your face is everywhere, but this time with grieving headlines. I want to get angry, because you're no longer there. How could you? Now I'm hurting and suffering. Why? Why, love? Why did you choose to die instead of staying here with me and the kids? Why? The kids are very sad. They asked me if somehow, they'd made you angry.

I'm staring at the piano, now as lonely as I am. Your tunes are no longer heard. This silence feels eternal, a frozen symphony.

The kids are away. They don't need to see what I'm gazing at the mirror right now:

A heartbroken man, with tears running down...

"Whatever happened to love, sweet love?
Did it fade away and die?"

("Minetta Lane" - Tommy Page)