A mournful violin speaks from the garden. Dark. Swelling from a bruise on the soul to something very like a cry of despair. Mozart for all love? Something distorted from Don Giovanni perhaps. Looking out, his eye catches another figure watching the player. From the balustrade.
A warm northern night. She wears only a light wrap, immodest if they were not friends so old he does not notice. Her soft fair hair has gray he cannot see in this light, but the single bright streak shows at the forehead. She walks behind the player where he sits, and waits until the passage ends with a soft moan.
Professional habits die hard. A gentleman would not listen: "Again, darling? On such a quiet night?"
He squeezes her hand at his shoulder and lays his cheek on it. An expression not stricken, but long ago struck. The wound an old accustomed pain, but pain still. Sometimes quiet nights are the worst. The soft voice of memory more easily heard.
"Come, Jack. Come into my bed and hold me." They walk to the bedroom, he cradling the instrument and she his waist. "We have family coming tomorrow. Jacob and Mary and all their brood. My sister's boy."
Stephen stands for awhile, then returns to his bed. A warm northern night.
© 2003, Gary W. Sims