Amor pequeno

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

An old man thinks back on his most famous composition and thinks it might be flawed.

Consciousness. Its something we generally take for granted, but as he lay dying, it seemed as if that normally ever present reality was a tiny, slippery fish he was trying to hold onto but which kept jumping out of his fingers, out of reach. In between moments of lucidity crept in moments of silence. But was it silence? Or was he just losing the ability to hear?


All his life, music had been present in his life, in one form or another. Was it therefore possible for that dreaded silence to be taking over? He felt his face wet with tears at times, as his mind danced over remembered chords, rose high on crescendos and dipped deep on diminuendos. Ah that melody. It was a melody with an intense personal meaning. But what was it? It flickered again, and then was gone. Lost. Sadness was all that was left as his mind turned black. Black. Black darkness, emptiness, silence, no its back.

The music was back. His heart leapt with joy. The music was back.It was a melody he knew. Oh yes, he knew it. He had composed it he seemed to remember. A little strength seemed to have returned to him. His eyes opened. The sunlight was dripping in through the curtains like honey. Yes, he knew the song. This was the beginning. The introduction. This was when he had met her for the first time. Oh, the aching pain of lust and desire she had evoked in him had been like a burning flame in his soul, but he had chosen to represent it as a soft gentle stroll in the park, hand in hand, silent smiles, cautious gazes at each other that hinted at an inner explosion of passion. The walk was followed by a dance. A soft, slow dance, cheek to cheek, their warm summery bodies pressed tightly together in the crowded garden. Alcohol had hardened his resolve to get what he wanted. The music flowed with their bodies, turning over and over, rising and falling like their love, and then bang, the climax. Yes he remembered that climax. Mutual, intense, lingering like jasmine in the warm evening air.

As he lay in his bed, his eyes closed folowing the music, he remember her once again. How things had gone wrong! His wife, the fight, the smashing of glasses, the screams of rage, the hatred, the anguish.

But wait, what was this? What's this? A gentle walk? No there had been no gentle walk! Not after all that! Why was the music gentle again? It should have been fiery, furious, breaking down, a music of destruction and loss! Not this gentle, smooth, endless loving tango of two souls. His eyes burst open with rage. His mouth twitched violently. Who had dared to tinker with his music? Who had taken the rage out of it? 'Nurse! Nurse!' He shouted. Or felt he was shouting, since his dry, aged throat was in no state for shouting. - Senor, what is the problem? -It's a travesty! Who is playing that music? -It is Senor Benedito, Senor. -Well bring him here! How dare he do this! How dare he?

The door opened. A man in his 50's entered, smiling, holding a deeply tanned, shining guitar. -You asked to see me, Alberto? "Who are you? Why are youdestroying my music?"

"But Alberto, it's me, Daniel. Your former student." -"Daniel? Daniel? Daniel! Yes, Daniel. I, I remember you.

"But Daniel, what did you do to my music? What do you mean?"

"You just played one of my pieces." 

"Yes, the 'Amor pequeno'. It's your most beautiful piece Aleberto. Your wife told me you were ill, and asked me to play for you." 

"But what did you do it it? Its wrong, all wrong!" 

"No Alberto, it's perfect, just the way you wrote it. It expresses a beautiful love story, your love story."

"No, its wrong! The end is wrong! Where is the violence? The screaming, the hatred, the sould destroying pain?"

"I, I don't know. This is the piece as you taught me Alberto." 

"Well it's wrong! Wrong!"

Alberto struggled to sit up but a nasty cough caught him. He aged body was racked with spasms and he shook as the cough seemed to tear his lungs out tiny piece by tiny piece.

"Relax Alberto relax. Here, lie back, have some water." The cough was a bad sign. So was the small trickle of  blood that crawled slowly down his chin.

"Daniel, please, you must promise me something, he whispered softly." 

"What Daniel? Anything. I am your humble servant."

"You must never play that song again. It is false, a terrible lie, an atrocity! It must be silenced. Promise me you will burn the score and silence it forever."

Another violent cough swept over him, and for a long time he couldn't breath or speak a word. When he was calm again, he whispered again.

"Promise me. Daniel took the old man's hand." 

"No Alberto. That piece of music is a part of you. You tore it from your soul, moulded it on your oh so very human emotions, at a time when you were happiest, you yourself told me that. I have adored that piece Alberto. It is now a part of me, it lives and breathes within me and when I play it, its like love itself is dancing with joy." 

"But its false Daniel! Hide it! Keep it to yourself! Hide its falsity from the world, for me. I cannot bare that my legacy to this world will be a simple, foul lie."

Daniel sighed. He stoked his old teachers hand. " I can't do that Alberto, and you know why. I have shared that piece with my own students, and many of them play it beautifully. My own son and daughter love it too, and can play it wonderfully. It is a masterful expression of beauty Alberto. You cannot hide it now. You gave birth to it, and as with all children, at some point you must let it go, let it live its own life, away from you."

"A lie. A terrible lie. Alberto's eyes closed." Final tears ran down his cheeks. His haggard, shallow breath grewsofter and softer, and then was silenced.

Across the city, a hommage was made to a great musician and composer. Hundreds of guitarist, saddened by the death of a great man, pulled out their guitars, tuned them, and played 'Amor Pequeno' as a dedication to humainity's love of small lies that paint a picture of sweet love and hope, and deceptively mask the darker side that at the end, Alberto had been unable to forget. The composition that had made him famous, that had bought tears to so many eyes, and achingly awakened young hearts to the possibilities of beauty in the world. He had tried to expose the truth behind it and reign it in, but it was too late. Like a freed songbird, the songs melody echoed over the city. And in that afternoon, with hundreds of guitars echoing the melody across the city, love won, hearts rose and fell with it, and the sun shone gently on a city and an old man's legacy

Submitted: August 24, 2016

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