There was one room he was not allowed to go into when he would return home from school. He went to a boarding school in Brighton, United Kingdom. It was called Brighton College, of course. Nothing fancy or original (just like everything in his young life), just a school full of children sent to get out of their parents' way. Savon spent seven years away from his ancient family home, only returning during breaks from school. This room he was never allowed to go in became the obsession of his curiosity. So, one day he snuck in while his father was away on a business trip. He was surprised to find a black grand piano in the center. Checking for any servants, he continued into the room, closing the door soundlessly behind him.
For years, he went into this room when his father was on business trip. He began to understand why his father was obsessed with it. Playing the piano became a passion of his. No one could hear a sound through the thick walls. After finishing his seventh year at Brighton College, he became a full-time occupant of the family home. Even though he was eighteen years old, he still felt like a young child in front of his father. “Father, may I buy a piano," he asked one day. His father stopped reading his papers so he could glare at his son. The silence made Savon squirm uncomfortably in his seat. “At school, I played all the time during my free time and…I… um, I would like to have one here.”
“There will not be any time for that. You will be traveling and doing business with me. There will be no use in you having one in the house. It will only gather dust,” his father said. His tone meant there was no arguing on the matter. His tone was set, but his eyes were filled with sorrow, and a hint of something that Savon could not place at the moment.
“Please? I will do anything you need for me. It keeps me at peace.”
Savon gave up. He still did not understand why his father did not want him to play the one in the mansion. One day, Savon skipped out on a business trip because he was not feeling well. He wasn’t faking it. He actually loved going on business trips with his father. His father was more attentive and father-like during these times. Thinking his father would not be home for hours, he ventured into the room, began to play a sickly sweet melody. Yes, he had a fever and his body ached, but it was worth it. The room had a great view of the front of the mansion. A grand fountain stood in the middle of the front yard. He watched it as he played, smiling at memories of when his mother would let him play in it. His smile soon went away when he saw that he missed his father’s limo pulling up. He stopped playing abruptly and stood. His father was supposed to be in France!
Before he knew it, someone was entering the room. Already planning for a moment like this, he ducked in the servant door. There were a series of passages that servants used to use to that they could move about the mansion faster. In less than a minute, he was back in bed. The excitement spiked his fever, but it was worth it to him. His father entered his room some time later. “There you are, Savon. Where were you?” he asked, worry clear in his eyes even though his face seemed distant.
“Bathroom, then out to get some air.”
“Oh, I did not bother to look for you there. Anyway, I was doing some thinking about what you were saying sometime ago about the piano and… Well, I thought I should show you something.” With the help of his father, Savon made it back to the room. They stood outside the door for a few seconds. Savon stood in shock.
“Father,” he questioned.
“Your mother…she loved the piano. Music, in general. She um…played in here, every day almost. She played for you all the time.” Even though he spent all of his free time in here for the past few years, he still felt like he was entering the room for the first time. Knowing that his mother had been here changed everything about it. The father and son sat on the bench, and for once, Savon did not play. He laid his head on his father’s shoulder and listened to his father play for him.
“Father, why didn’t you want me to come in here?” Savon asked.
His father smiled a sad smile. “When your mother was sick, she and I would sit in here and play together. You’d sleep on the sofa next to the fireplace, or draw, and listen to us. We spent our last moments here. I couldn’t let her die in a hospital. She didn’t want that, either. Our last night together was spent here. I played for her because she could barely move. We slept on the sofa with you nestled between us. She never woke up after that.”
“Thanks for sharing this with me”
His father laughed softly.
“I know sometimes we forget, but I am your father and I do love you.”