I used to prefer having someone by my side at all times. It helped relieve the achey loneliness that had a way of crushing my windpipes. Then one day, a Saturday if I can recall, everyone was occupied. My parents were visiting family a city over and the few friends I had were busy with more pressing matters. I didn’t know what, but I knew they didn’t have time to waste with me. If I had stayed in the empty house, my ears would have started to bleed from the silence. I decided to set out to the abandoned houses on the street near my old elementary school. They’d been there all my life, so why hadn’t I explored them before? I went from house to house that day, seeing the same thing: garbage, broken furniture, and graffiti. It wasn’t only boring, but seemingly pointless. Uninvited thoughts started to creep into my head the longer I explored. Thoughts I didn’t particularly admire, and I knew that if they stayed long enough, they could become crippling. I walked into what I had decided was the last house, and came across an old piano up against the wall. I had never learned how to play, but in that moment, I suddenly wished I had. I walked over slowly and placed one finger at a time on the dusty keys, filling the empty space with the sound of faulty keys. I cringed at the noise and scrunched my nose in an attempt to hold back a sneeze as I looked down at instrument. The uninvited thoughts in my head managed to violently smash their way through again. That piano used to be beautiful. It was taken care of. Others used to spend hours hunched over it, memorizing its notes. They would lay their gentle hands on it and create melodies that would bring people to tears. Melodies that would make people smile. Melodies that would cause people to stop in their tracks to close their eyes and listen. Now what did it do? It stayed there to rot. Forgotten and unwanted. Did anyone realize that it was still there? Did anyone care? I cared. Yet, I knew I wouldn’t do anything about it. I would leave that place feeling worse than before I walked through the threshold. I would go home to my parents and tell them my day was mundane and insignificant. When in reality, I stood there and cried. I cried until my throat was raw and my eyes itched from the dust. After wiping away the tears with my dirty shirtsleeve, I noticed the room was growing brighter. The sun decided to shine through the cracked window directly onto the piano. The particles in the air made themselves known and the room become a touch warmer. Lifting my hand, I moved it into the bright light to cast shadows on the black and white keys. Only moments after, the sun disappeared and the piano was locked away in the dark.