Author's Note: This is for the Village Square Forums' contest under the theme Learning/Education, and while it's a rush job, short, and not very original, I hope you all still enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon nor its characters. Nor do I have any rights to the song Piano Man which was written and performed by Billy Joel.


Piano Man

"No, no... You're doing it all wrong. You have to feel the music before you can actually play it. Start again, and this time I want you to really throw yourself into it."

I only sighed at first as I reminded myself to be patient and understanding. After all, I was not wasting just my own time while sitting there, and so the only thing left to was righten myself and begin once more.

"You're too stiff," the voice reprimanded me yet another time. "Mind telling me how the hell you plan on playing anything when you're so damn-"

"Well, maybe I could relax if you would just let me be!"

The man only stared at me, his brown eyes no wider than before, but not long afterwards, he smiled and then began to laugh. "Now that's better! Try it now before you get all prissy on me again."

My eyes narrowed at him, but he just continued to grin as if I had done nothing at all. It only frustrated me all the more, of course, but I had a feeling that was more or less the point. After all, he did seem to be the kind of person that would find pleasure in seeing another such as myself lose control.

As it was, however, he had a very unassuming appearance. In fact, upon first meeting him, I had been convinced he had simply walked out of one of my grandmother's photographs what with his white button-down shirt and suspenders. Not to mention the way in which he rolled up his pant legs made him seem far younger than his years. Even Sebastian agreed that all he needed was a newspaper boy's cap and the image would be complete.

"You're getting distracted on me, kid," he scolded me. "I know I told you to chill out a bit, but I still want you to know what the hell you're playing."

"Jack..." I sighed once again. "We have been over this before. My name is Lumina, and I most certainly am not a 'kid.'"

"Then you better stop noting like one because I could play this kind of shit when I was ten years younger than you," he snapped back. "You were the one who asked me to help you out, so don't be half-assing it if you're really serious about this. I'm wasting enough time as it is without you-"

"Very well," I agreed. "However, before I start again, I must remind you to watch that foul mouth of yours. Auntie Romana has mentioned it to you once before, and we both know she does not care to repeat herself."

He only shrugged, but knowing him as well as I did, I knew he would keep it in mind. For a short time anyway.

The man was right on one account at least. After all, I had been the one to seek him out in the hopes that he might teach me how to play the piano more freely. To be honest, had I not heard him play myself, I probably would not have done so.

It had been in mid-spring that I came upon him. The foyer was unusually warm for the season though the sunlight streamed through the long, slender windows, and he was seated on the bench. At first, I thought he was merely curious, but it was then that his fingers began to dance across the keys.

There was no doubt in my mind that he had prior experience in playing, for while he would miss a note or fall out of key every now and again, he had the energy of a man who knew his instrument. What troubled me was not just this, however. It was also the way in which he moved that caught my attention.

His body was loose, and though I was by no means a poet, it had seemed to me that the piano had been the one to play him.

"You're daydreaming again, kid." I merely blinked, the music sheet coming back into focus in the same instant, and as soon as it did, I felt my face grow hot. Even so, the man only sighed. "I can't do this for you, you know."

"I know." And I did know... The only problem was that I had no way of knowing just how I was supposed to do it. "I think that will be all for today."

"Best thing I've heard all afternoon," he agreed as she stood up from his chair. "I guess this means you're learning something, after all."

"And how is that exactly?"

The man only chuckled, coming to stand beside me in front of the piano, but I was surprised to see just how pleased he appeared to be with me. Grinning broader than he ever had before, he then tussled my hair. I, of course, blushed to be treated in such a way, yet for reasons unknown to me, I still allowed him to do so without any complaint.

"Because sometimes you just have to know when to call it quits and save it for another day."


Author's Note: I've actually had this idea for over a year now, but my first plan for it was to have it be a part of a longer story. However, with my having so many stories started as it is, I know I would never have time to work on it.

Thus the moral portrayed here.