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Summertime Sadness

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Summer made him think of pianos, falling leaves, and fast cars.


The summer of his fourth birthday, Talia taught him how to play the piano. Derek had always wanted to learn how to play an instrument. Everyone in his family was naturally gifted in something except for him. His father could sing, his older sister could paint, his mother could play any instrument put in front of her. He asked his mother one day during the summer to teach him to play, and so she did. She purchased a lavish grand piano and sat him down to play whatever came to him. It took him a while to really learn, but he kept at it because she pushed him to try harder.


When she died, he couldn’t bear to look at the piano for more than a second. Every time he heard someone playing the piano, he would tear up and then get angry and yell at them for touching his mother’s piano. After more than a decade, he dragged it out of storage to put it in his new home. Now whenever he sees his mother’s piano, he smiles fondly like he and the piano have a shared secret.