E7 ran his hand over the aged surface of the instrument, relishing every fast beat of his heart. Seven should have been warning him of the dangers of increased blood pressure, but his mind was uncharacteristically, blissfully quiet. Even without her, however, the boy was painfully aware of every second that ticked by.
“January twenty sixth, two thousand six hundred and eighteen,” Seven should have recited this morning. The day before the reboot.
“Eleven fifty one p.m.,” The boy whispered to himself, as if to mimic the electronic voice that had once been his constant, incessant companion.
As he stared at the beautiful dark wood beneath his hand, it occurred to him that he and the thing were very much alike in an odd sort of way. The living breathing glow of the wood mimicked the shade of his human skin. The cold metal of the strings stretched across its surface was the metal that replaced both limbs on his left side. He stared at the twin holes on either side of the bridge of strings and thought of the missing piece inside his skull; the hole where Seven — and the numbness — had been for as long as he could remember. Now that she was quiet, what would become of the empty space? What was he without the endless grayness?
E7 smiled to himself. He was whole. Whatever space Seven may have left had been more than filled — filled with passion and hope.
No, the empty hole in his skull wasn’t what worried him. It was the fear of being thrown back into the darkness. He feared the place where all was dull and dead and routine and ticking cranial clocks. He would rather die than be reduced once again to that meaningless existence.
What he had lived was not a life. It was only consciousness.
Yes, the colors were both beautiful and painful, but the pain was precious in it’s own way.
He sighed and rested his head against the neck of the instrument, the strings creasing his forehead. He felt he was standing at the edge of a vast and endless darkness. If he let himself fall into it — if he allowed himself to dwell on all that would be lost, and truly mourn what could have been — he would never make it out again. And so he had to restrain himself. If only for a few minutes longer.
Beauty and pain. They would be his friends this night. It would be them dancing on the strings and pulling at the bow. They would be his message to this lonely, barren world.
They would give life to those who had never known it — fill with a color a world of black and white.
But still he feared. He worried that it wouldn’t work. He worried that his final act would be futile.
‘Eleven fifty five,’ He mumbled as he felt the time change. Five minutes and his concerns would be irrelevant. He had made his choice.