Believe it or not, but my last post was my 300th post! I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed it wasn’t a fiction piece, but we’ll survive. To make up for it though, I have a small flash fiction piece for you all today. I hope you enjoy!
The piano wouldn’t fit in the doorway. There were no windows for the workers to lift it through. And the hallways were too narrow to hold it vertically. “I don’t want to hear there’s no way,” said Don. “There has to be a way. The neighbor upstairs plays the piano for five hours a day and it’s beautiful.”
Don was proud to live in what he thought was the last middle-class neighborhood in Manhattan: the Upper East Side. He lived at the same address his entire life. His parents were born in the same third-floor, three-bedroom apartment and passed it on when they passed away. Don worked around the corner in a small office that paid just enough to cover the taxes.
However, he’d been saving for this piano for years. His upstairs neighbor has been playing the piano every day since he moved in three years ago at 2pm. Don liked to prep dinner to the melodies and scales. He would pretend he was on the set of a movie and people were watching. “Like The Truman Show, but happier,” he’d explain. It wasn’t enough, and the white wall in the dining room against a black piano would make the whole room pop.
“The only way you can get a piano in this apartment is if we assemble it here, and that’s going to be impossible unless you want to let us stay for the next year.” Don pondered the idea longer than the representative for Steinway Pianos was willing to put up with. “I’m going to Europe to visit family for the next three months,” Don explained. “We could have it done in three months if there’s a round-the-clock team. That would obviously cost extra.”
When Don returned from Italy, the bill was on the table, and the piano looked magnificent against the white wall in his dining room. It was exactly as he imagined. Everything worked out perfectly. He ran up the stairs to finally knock on the upstairs neighbor’s door. They never met, but the timing, Don thought, would be great. The neighbor was beginning to practice, going through chords and scales. “It’s nice to meet you, I’m Don,” Don said, rushing through every word. “I live downstairs and listen to you play all day and you encouraged me to buy a piano of my own, a Steinway.” Don looked everywhere for the neighbor’s piano.
The neighbor invited Don in and thanked him for the kind words. He took Don to the living room where his piano sat in the middle of the floor. “What’s that?” Don asked pointing to what looked like a giant electric keyboard. “An electric keyboard,” said the neighbor. “There’s no way to get a real piano up the stairs and through the hallways.”
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