The security guard gives me a suspicious look. I’m sitting outside of the concert hall on the brick stairs. The concert has already started. I didn’t buy a ticket because I don’t like Brahms.
This is a public space. There is nothing wrong with sitting here. I lie to one of the security guards that I’m waiting for my girlfriend, we are going for dinner after the concert. I don’t think he believes me because I’m in the pouring rain without an umbrella.
I swallowed all of my anti-anxiety pills in my pockets before they melted in the rain. I don’t know how many I had.
People are coming out from the concert hall, I am going into the hall. There are a lot of people around but nobody notices that I’m walking into the concert hall. I find a VIP room. I peek inside carefully. Women are in fancy dresses, men are in nice suites or tuxedos. I don’t see him.
Someone is walking down the hallway. I quickly hide in the next room. I see the man’s face. Takao, the solo pianist tonight. I haven’t seen him for two years. All my memories come back, he was my piano teacher.
This room is dark, a weak light comes from the window. I see an old piano. I open the lid and touch the keys. I haven’t played the piano in so long. I walk around it and step on a violin case lying on the floor. This must be a storage room.
The anti-anxiety medication is working well but it makes me tired and my fingers become numb. I feel sleepy so I lie down on the dusty couch. I can still hear the people in the party.
I woke up because I feel very cold. It was stupid to sit in the rain. I put my hands in all my pockets like I always do but I can’t find any pills. My clothes are still wet. Summer in Tokyo is unbearably hot but humid.
It’s weird, I feel like I can hear music from the 100 year old building. The concert finished a few hours ago. I can still hear its echo floating in the old concert hall. The spooky feeling made my body shake just like a wet dog.
My psychiatrist doesn’t give me anti-anxiety medication any more. He thinks I’m addicted to it. I’m not comfortable living in this world without it. I always feel a gap in my life, like drinking coffee out of a tea cup.
I go to see the VIP room. All guests were gone. I walk around and find a little dressing room, I hear the voices. Takao and a young woman. They can’t see me, I’m standing in a shadow. I guess the woman is his agent, telling him the next concert schedule. I look at him, he is facing a big mirror. His tuxedo shirt is open and I see his sexy chest that I’ve dreamed of. He is taking his tuxedo pants off. It’s funny that she hides behind the screen, not him.
I hear the echoes again. They are from the ceiling, walls and floors. This old building is haunted by the music that had played here for the last hundred years. I got scared. I go inside the dark storage room, pick up the old piano score from the shelf and play to escape from the echoes. I don’t have any anti-anxiety pills, I can’t stop playing, I play louder and louder.
Someone turns the lights on. I still can’t stop playing. A strong man’s hand grabs my arm. We look at each other. I remember that Takao loves this Ravel. “Koji,” he smiles at me. I’m surprised, I thought he hates me. Two years ago, I said that I loved him but he refused me. I quit piano at that moment. I was a teenager, he was my teacher. He had no choice, I know.
“Koji, what are you doing here?” he whispers, he is still smiling. My hands go into my pockets automatically but I can’t find anything. “I have turned twenty three days ago,” I said seriously. I came here to tell him that. “I didn’t think you’ve been waiting for me,” Takao says and kisses me on the cheek. He starts playing the Ravel from where I stopped.
I wonder if it’s possible to go back two years and live again? Can I live without a psychiatrist and anti-anxiety medication again?
Takao finishes playing. “Koji, Can you play something for me?” He asks. “I haven’t played the piano for two years,” I reply. He holds me. “Why are you so wet?” he shouts and takes me to the dressing room.
He takes all my clothes off and holds my cold body. The agent woman goes outside and closes the door.
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