I was six when I first asked to take piano lessons.
My first piano actually belonged to our landlords. It was a large, black piano that stood along the far wall in the dinning room. I'm sure it's only because I was six, but I just remember the piano being massive. It towered over me as I learned to find middle C. When my mom and stepdad bought a house we couldn't take our landlord's piano with us so we purchased my second piano, a spinet piano.
Then we got you and you became the love of my life. Your keys were weighted properly and your tone was so full and gorgeous. In my dreams I owned a baby grand but when I played you I knew that you were better than any baby grand I could ever own. We would spend hours together. Sometimes I'd hit all the right keys and you'd reward me with beautiful music. Sometimes, like lovers do, we'd quarrel. The notes were wrong, I couldn't get you to understand what I was trying to do, and I would pound on you in frustration. I would yell words I would later regret. I was always sorry. It wasn't your fault. It was me. It was always me.
You supported me through years of lessons. You were my constant as I struggled to learn all that was expected of me. You celebrated my highs and felt the depth of my lows until one day I just quit. I could feel the joy slipping away and you deserved joy. I had reached Grade Nine. I knew that I didn't want to become a professional pianist, so why continue if all it was doing was removing the joy from playing? I knew you understood and we returned to playing just for the pleasure of it, just for the sheer love of making music.
I used you to teach children to love music as I loved music. You never complained. Through all the wrong notes and tripped over fingers, through all the hours of explaining what a major scale is and what a sharp is, through it all you stood fast and true. You were my rock. When the children were gone and we were all alone, I would thank you in the only way I knew how. I know you took pride in exposing another generation to the world of music. They may not have known how to express it to you, but I know they were as grateful for you as I was.
Then I moved to Europe. It was the beginning of the end for us. When I returned things were different. I moved out and couldn't take you with me. When I finally found a place for both of us it was with a roommate that thought he was a great musician but didn't understand that sometimes people just play for the fun of it. I didn't play you because I didn't want to listen to someone who didn't play the piano criticise me and, by extension, you. I should have stood up for you. I'm sorry.
I now live in an apartment and you've moved to my dad's. I know I always said that one day we would live together again, but how long should I hold onto that 'one day' for? You were so vibrant, with tones so rich and full. Now you sit quietly, collecting dust. It's not right. It's not fair. You are meant to be played and I can't play you. You should be with a family. You should be teaching children about the joys of music. You should be singing out Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Debussy, Mozart, Liszt, and countless others. You should be used and loved and adored like you were when I first got you. You should be happy. You deserve to be happy.
Ending our relationship and selling you is the right thing for both of us. It will allow you once again be used to your full potential, and it will allow me to buy an electronic piano with a headphone jack which I can play without ever bothering the neighbours. Letting you go is the best thing I can do. I hope you understand that. But please know, every time I play a piano from now until the day I die, I will think of you and hope that you are happy where ever you are.
Because I love you. I always will.