Author: Cheshiremask PM
Silent moments are never truly silent. The words just pile up inside one's mind.Rated: Fiction T - English - Kristoph G. - Words: 935 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 6 - Published: 03-18-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4931176
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I remember, sitting here in my study, late at night. Long days make me crave the silence of this room, engineered to be like the ones of my far-gone childhood, the warm silence punctuated by the gentle ticking of the antique clock I had shipped here from Germany, from my Father's study, just so I could listen and think back to that same ticking, precise as any metronome, that counted out the moments of the idyllic summers or long, quiet winters before everything went wrong. Looking out of the window, into the unlit yard, I can almost imagine that I'm there, back home, staring at the lush gardens of the summer mansion where I used to play in innocent ignorance rather than the reflection of my own face, enough like my Father's that I have, by degrees, come to hate it.
It is a beautiful face, though. One I would not mar. But a hated face nonetheless, smiling as it always does, even in these times of silent repose, when there is no one around to impress.
I remember to take my mind off of other, less pleasant thoughts. I remember back to the days when everything seemed perfect and God smiled down on our family. When my Father smiled, and my Mother's voice – that beautiful voice now only found in recordings, scattered across the world in jealously hoarded private collections, far outside my reach – still rang through the halls when she rehearsed, and then through my own ears when she would set everything aside and sing to me, lullabies that no one else ever got to hear. I remember her warm blue eyes, her gentle smile, and the feeling of her soft hands against my face and hair as she caressed me, calling me her Prince, her little loved one.
I inevitably remember the day she died.
She knew that it would happen; I see that now that I have grown and matured. Sometimes God is kind enough to give his children – his lost, base children – some insight into their own ends. She had Father bring me to her the night before she left us, had him take my new baby brother with him so we could have a moment alone. Klavier, the healthy tiny thing he was, didn't wake up for once as Father took him from her arms. She had given every last bit of her strength to him, I sometimes think, and he slept on to spare her enough to see it through the night, to hold me in her arms one last time and tell me to love my baby brother and my Father and never, ever blame anyone for the bad things that happened in life, because God's will was mysterious and unknowable to man, and I, eight years old and suddenly frightened by the way her beautiful voice trembled as she spoke, kept my peace and stroked her silken hair and wondered why when she said 'goodnight' that last time it sounded like 'goodbye'.
Klavier didn't cry at her funeral, the nanny Father hired to care for him kept him hushed and fed and sleepy throughout the ceremony. Father didn't cry either, because something in him had broken. And I…I couldn't cry, because Father didn't, and a man, a son of the House of Gavin, did not. And besides, I had already shed a lifetime's worth of tears when they had taken her from the house, still and cold and unresponsive as I asked anyone I could why she wasn't answering when I cried out to her, why she wasn't waking up, why she had to go away.
I didn't cry when Father died either, nearly an eternity afterwards, though Klavier – my sweet, dear Klavier who had become my whole world, who had her eyes and smile and was the only sunshine in my life after the dark days of her death – wept, unashamed. I felt hollow when the police informed me that he had stepped off of the highest balcony of the house. I oversaw the cleaning of the bloodstain on the terrace, to make sure that Klavier didn't see it. I took the note he had left because he scrawled it on the last sheet of his final composition, a work I still have bound in a folder which sits on the bookshelf next to my grand piano, the red ribbon that marks it falling off of the shelf like a thin line of blood, or perhaps fire.
I haven't cried in all the intervening years. I have no illusions that I am a broken man, a soulless shell, perhaps. I still believe that God's will is unknowable by mortal men, though I am less inclined now to think that no one should be held accountable for the bad things that happen in life. As I sit here in my study, the clock on the mantle ticking down the seconds that lie between me and the ruin I have brought upon myself, I take a sip of tea and eat a square of dark, rich chocolate, and for a moment I can almost remember what it felt like to know the heat of tears running down my cheeks, and the thick, numbing taste of sorrow and desperation in my mouth, and yet the reflection in the dark window in front of me remains as serene as ever, smiling the devil's own smile as the sun comes out behind me and Klavier comes to tell me goodnight.