This is a short story of mine that came to life from me listening to Chopin’s Nocturnes on repeat for the whole night. In no way do I say that the male character is him in this story… And I just love the word “pianoforte”, it sounds beautiful to me.
I use the help of AI for punctuation (I do change some things) and the help of Grammarly to do my own edits, while they don’t replace editors I do have to make do with free-to-use tools currently.
Pianoforte – a Short Story
With her fingers lightly gripping the quill, the black ink smeared on her fingers and across the paper, if I may paint her clumsiness and lack of etiquette, she tried to write him another letter. But what was there for her to write about? After all, they had never met. She had seen him once from the crowd as she watched his fingers dance across the keys of a pianoforte while clutching her mother’s hand to calm her nerves.
Her father told her to behave well, for she could meet a well-dressed lad. But she only had eyes for the old man behind the piano, and it felt as if the musician was laying his fingers across her soul. And every beat of her heart seemed to be in tune with the piece.
She wanted to confess her admirations but felt as if that might have been a little too foolish. For the man was thrice her age and a complete stranger, so she wrote about her day and her dreams, as much as there was to write for a 14-year-old lady.
“My Dear Sir,
Mama and the girls did some embroidery today… Such a bore.
Well, pardon me, but reading Oscar Wilde seems much more of a pleasurable activity. She insists that a woman must know crafts, but what about knowing arts? Isn’t it something that makes an intelligent woman? I want to drown in books, and I have been begging my papa for a piano, but he always tells me that I should come back to earth from the clouds, for it is not something that we could afford.
It saddens me so, for all the proper ladies learn to play from a young age. And yet, here am I, stitching and getting needles stuck under my nails every single day after a long labor. Scrubbing the floors and dishes of old Miss. Fart… tiresome, but such is my destiny. I wish I had a way to turn it around. Perhaps pops is right; I have to learn to act like a lady. Perhaps a well-made man could fall for me. And he said that he would make sure that the dowry was proper, even if it meant his demise.
I am on the other side of the spectrum, as mama often tells me, and that our papa got us to see you on my birthday last week. She said she is afraid of him soon being held in a debtor’s prison. Oh, how I wish my fingers could dance on the keys as yours do. Such a mesmerizing scene it was indeed.
But farewell, my Dearest. I am afraid of my papa finding me writing these letters, so I must hide it well before I can send it.”
It was a Wednesday afternoon when she received a letter. With her hands trembling and her heart seemingly wanting to free itself from its cage and pounce out of her chest, she carefully opened the emblem. Could it be? Had he received hers?
Your father seems to love you dearly, and as a man, he seems to understand that marriage is a deal not to be taken lightly. Perhaps an arrangement could be made, for he is in no place to afford a piano, and as I find myself to be an excellent teacher.
I will come over on Sunday afternoon and have a chat with him, if it is okay with you, my dear. For I do have a house that needs a new mistress and a piano that longs for the touch of a girl.”
And so she fell asleep, happy for the first time in a long while, clutching the letter in her hand.