The reason of a resolution

is more to be considered

than the resolution itself.

— Sir John Holt

I seated myself on the piano bench, trailing my fingers lightly across the keys. Saying goodbye.

It wouldn't take long to spread the story of my and Esme's mother being ill back home in Ohio. We would board the train tomorrow evening. Maybe our next house could accommodate a grand piano instead of an upright…

I knew Esme could hear me, so I played the new song for her again. As I transitioned from one note to the next, I felt the tension of the day working itself out through my fingers. My feelings regarding the boy's death, Esme's remorse, and the jolt of being uprooted colored the music, giving a new depth to the melody.

I remembered Carlisle at the cabin, his thoughts torn between grief for the loss of an innocent and concern for his beloved wife. He'd felt more than he'd said, and he'd said more than Esme had understood. Her time under the abusive hand of her first husband had left her broken—venom didn't heal emotional wounds. It was difficult for her to accept love, though she had so much of it to give.

Thinking of tonight, remembering Carlisle's determination to heal the woman he loved, who had saved him in ways he hadn't known he needed saving—without any conscious effort, I had found the composition's rightful end. My fingers pressed the keys and the chords resolved, bringing the song—their song—to the most perfect place.

"Thank you, Edward," Carlisle whispered from upstairs, where he stood folding clothes into a suitcase. Esme had told him about the song.

"Yes, thank you." For everything. Esme sat behind me in her rocking chair, a square of paper in her hand. She'd taken the picture from the young man's pocket when she'd laid him in his grave. I looked at it and then at her. She smiled a sad smile and answered my silent question.

Just a reminder. Someone should remember him.

Her tenderness was touching; she truly was meant to be a mother. I kissed her forehead as I passed on my way to pack my things.

She placed the photo inside her sewing basket and fastened the lid, before she stood, placing the photo inside her waiting suitcase.

Moving on, but not forgetting.

~ fin ~