I miss playing a piano. We had a piano back home in Indonesia from when I was in Grade 3 to six months after my mum passed away. My dad sold it so he could get remarried. I wouldn’t leave my room when they came to pick it up. I couldn’t bear to watch it. The guy who bought it smoke a cigarette inside our house. My mum wouldn’t have let anyone smoke in our house. My dad didn’t seem to care. It was a bad day. I felt like screaming. Instead I just locked myself in my room and cried.
Our piano was a shiny, black, Yamaha upright piano. It was beautiful. My parents bought it because they wanted all their children to take piano lessons. I was the only one who didn’t quit taking the lessons after a few months. I took piano lessons from Grade 3 to first year of high school. That made me the only person in the family who could play the piano properly. I wasn’t great at it. I couldn’t play by ear. I could only play by reading the partitur. But there were songs that I had played so much that I could play by heart, and those songs I could play by heart I would have a hard time playing if I had to play them by reading the partitur again. My brain is wired weirdly.
My mum used to drive me to the music school every Saturday. I loved playing the piano but I really didn’t enjoy taking the lessons. I didn’t quit only because I was worried that if I did, my parents would sell the piano. Sometimes I would talk my mum into letting me skip the piano lessons. Sometimes she was game because she was an awesome mum and we were buddies and we would go to the market near the music school instead where we would shop and eat our favourite street food. It’s funny because my mum paid for my piano lessons.
Thinking about the piano always makes my eyes go wet.