Windchimes
By Simply Shelby

"Music moves people," his mother tells him one night, hand in his hair, as he is busily scribbling out the last notes for the night. "It harmonizes with thier emotions and pulls. Like the moon pulls the tide." August finishes with a flourish, his marker swinging upwards, and he smiles at his mother. She is frowning, her face a picture of something August has never known. "But," she's whispering now, "Not very many people listen."

"You did," the boy's smile is so blindingly wide and he is quick to defend his mother. He's been defending his parents for as long as he can remember. 'You heard the music and you followed."

Her heart broke at his words and her hand stilled in his floppy hair. His beautiful, burning, misplaced faith in her and Louis drove her to explain, "Not for a long time, honey. For a long time I didn't hear anything but silence." Her tone is guilty, pleading. But she looks at him and realises that he doesn't expect explanations, excuses, apologies. Just his parents.

"Professor Fletcher says," he starts and glances over as his father settles himself against the doorjamb, "that sometimes the sound of silence is just what we hear while we're waiting for the right tune to follow."

His mother makes a noise of joy and sorrow and love and pulls him into a tight embrace. He hugs her back fiercely, burying his face into the crook of her neck, smelling the light scent of perfume and feeling wanted, whole, loved. When he speaks again, his voice is small and tight and thankful, "You heard. You heard me. And you found me."

His father is still hanging back against the door, watching with understanding eyes. The same eyes that had watched August in the park as he had played, as they had played, as he had turned back as he was walking away. The same eyes that August had seen and had known and had wished and had wanted to belong to his father. The man whispered to him, his voice lilting like lyrics in a lullaby, "And you, August?"

August pulled back from his mother and put his hands on her cheeks, his palms soaking the salty tears. He looked into her eyes, licked his lips, and whistled. Lowly and softly and he looked at the windchimes hanging outside his window. "Windchimes," he answered, meeting his father's gaze. "There were windchimes at the place I grew up. I could hear them from my bed."

Lyla froze and looked up at Louis. She had heard those windchimes. She had sat on his bed and had listened to the same windchimes that had lulled her baby to sleep. Windchimes had lulled her baby to sleep because she hadn't been there to do it. He met her eyes, understood, and stepped forward.

The next moment, they were all together on the bedroom rug, wrapped up in each other. "Then Mr Jeffries told me there was a whole world of windchimes. And so I followed them."