FOR YOU... BROTHER
The hall was dimly lit, but the lights onstage were blinding. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the audience staring at her in anticipation. Slowly, she placed her fingers onto the black and white keys in front of her and closed her eyes. She could see him so vividly, his perfect, boyish face smiling back at her.
This is for you... Brother.
With that thought, she began. Her fingers moved slowly and rhythmically, as she thought of the person she was dedicating this song to.
She saw him sitting beside her at the piano, his long, slender fingers patiently guiding her short, stubby ones to the correct keys.
She saw him playing her favourite songs for her, while her six-year-old self stared at him in admiration.
She saw him giving her a motivational talk right before she entered the examination hall. The confidence and faith in his eyes chasing all her fear away.
She saw him picking her up and spinning her around after she got the results of her examination. He was so thrilled that he was whooping and jumping around like a kid, and she remembered being embarrassed by his antics.
She saw him after the accident, his scarred hands trembling on the keys of the piano at home. She remembered her heart breaking as she watched the helplessness and pain in his eyes as he tried and failed to play.
She saw him asking her to play for him. His voice was shaking and his fists were clenched tightly in his lap, and as she played his favourite song, tears ran down his cheeks, causing her heart to clench in pain.
She saw him, dropping the bags of groceries in the middle of the road, and instinctively reaching down to pick them up.
She saw the car speeding towards him, saw that horrifying moment when it crashed into him, leaving him lying in a pool of blood.
Her fingers flew effortlessly over the keys as tears streaked down her face. Image after image of him appeared in her head as she poured out everything into the song. His song.
When the song finally came to an end, the audience gave her a standing ovation. But she heard none of it. What she heard was a whisper of his voice, so soft that it faded away almost immediately.
Thank you... Sister.