The Red Piano

  • 01 Sep - 07 Sep, 2018
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

I could hear the soothing music of the piano, while having lunch at a local restaurant and had trouble eating because my fingers kept moving on their own, like they did on the piano. I stood up and kept the bill on my table. I stepped out of the restaurant and rushed to my apartment, because I was dying to hear the piano’s tunes. I ran as fast as I could and finally reached the house.

“Dear piano, here I come.” I uttered while entering inside.

I walked straight towards the piano, pulled a chair and sat next to it. Before beginning to play it, I closed my eyes and let myself believe that I was in a concert and numerous people were watching me play. I opened my eyes and began to play to piano.

The sound gave me the kind of relief I had never ever experienced before. It’s just indescribable. This piano cured me. Just the way a medicine cures a sick patient. When I touched the magnificent piano, it felt like I touched gold. The sound of the instrument rocked my world and I kept on playing until I exhausted my hands.

When I woke up the next day, I found myself lying on the ground, close to the piano.

Had I slept? I don’t know. Had I fainted? Probably.

Was this entire piano incident a dream? No, I don’t think so.

I stood up and looked around through the windows. It was gradually getting darker.

Then I looked at the piano and wondered. What’s happening to me?

And then I saw my cell phone broken in pieces, scattered across the room.

What am I doing? I think should get myself together and work on finding a better place to live. Or should I? I thought.

I walked and thought about my miserable life in this rented apartment. Then I came back towards the piano and thought. Instead of dying out of boredom, I would prefer dying because of this musical instrument.


For two days, I kept playing the instrument for 15 hours continuously. I spent one third of my day sleeping and the rest of the time, I kept eating and drinking. This beautiful instrument turned me into an ugly human being.

There were moments of my life that had given me really severe pain. They were wounds of my heart. But they were from my past and I had moved on from them quite a long time back. Now there were hardly any traces of those events left in my mind. But this musical instrument was also capable of activating the feelings of nostalgia in my mind.

I was playing the piano quite differently this time. I started pressing every key from the left and when pressing the black keys, I used the right hand, going right to left. In this way I could hear a different sound; however, it was quite slow.

The music was tempting and provoking. It reminded me about the painful moments of my life and also forced me to realise the kind of injustice that was done to me. I saw my ex-wife’s face. Then I saw her with another guy in my thoughts.

I opened my eyes and looked at the piano with anger. I raised my hands higher and hit the piano really hard. Then, I continued to play the same way as I earlier did but this time, slightly faster.

I remembered the sleepless nights, when I couldn’t sleep for several days – all because of my wife. She was not loyal to me. I also remembered the time when I lost my first girlfriend before graduation. I was so deeply involved in these thoughts that I didn’t want to let go off the piano.

Two years before I was about to graduate, I had just befriended a girl who was studying in a different department but we had a lot in common and were crazy about each other. She would always say, “You complete me. Without you I’m incomplete.”

I was so hopeful, for she had given me reasons to live. She was the one who had given me greater expectations for life. I was probably immature which is why I never considered the worst that could happen to me. I probably should have.

Her father was a conservative man. He wanted to marry her off to a trusted family in their community. One day, I went to her and saw her weeping. So I asked her what had happened and why she was so upset. She responded by saying something that left me completely shook.

“I’m engaged to someone else now. We can’t meet anymore,” she said.

That was the last time I saw her. She never contacted me again. I tried calling on her mobile number and email but she never responded. After this, I was heartbroken, as I had lost the love of my life.

Engrossed in all of these thoughts, I stopped playing the piano and found myself drenched in sweat. My eyes were filled with tears and I was upset, yet again.

I left the piano, stood up and I walked towards the opposite direction but I wanted to hear the piano’s music, as I couldn’t stand the silence around me. Listening to the tune of this musical instrument help me curb my frustration.

I went back and sat next to it. Placed my fingers on its keys and continued playing the piano again, even though I didn’t want to and I don’t know why.

My body was attached to it in a way. What should I do? How can I detach myself from it? I thought.

I don’t know what happened. But I do know that I fainted completely. Yes, I blacked out; maybe because I was taking too much pressure. I fell down from the chair and my face hit the piano.

The dizziness lasted for a minute only. As I got up and looked at the walls, I stood up using the chair as a support. Afterwards, I went to sleep.


Next day, I woke up around one o’clock. The first thought I had after waking up was about the piano. I freshened up a bit. Then I saw myself in the mirror and realised that my face had changed. I had become weaker than ever before. I asked myself if I should be worried about this change but then I wondered, Of course not, as long as I have the piano and its tunes, I am healthy enough to survive.

Then I sat by the piano and started playing it. Everything was calm until I started recalling my past and especially, my wife.

At first, I remembered how my wife and I would laugh together. Those were the best days of my life. Life was never as beautiful. I was married to the woman I truly loved. She used to smile because of me. She valued me more than anything. But what happened later was unforgettable.

She didn’t value my love at all and had no importance for me in her heart. Her conscience was dead. Maybe it was my fault. I had given her complete freedom but she misused the liberty.

I saw her in a car with another man. Days later, we got divorced. She took more than 50 per cent of my property after the divorce and worst was no chance of having her back in my life. She never cared to ask how I was doing, as she was happy with her new husband.

I stopped playing the piano and my eyes were blazing with fury. The music provoked me to demand justice, so much so that I wanted my matter to be settled then and there.

I picked my cell phone and dialled Raheel’s number. I felt really desperate in that very moment. He answered my call after a while and said, “Amir, where have you been?”

“Look Raheel, I need a…”

“You left my house?” he interrupted, “I was so worried. Is everything alright?”

“Your gun...”


“I need your gun,” I sternly spoke.

“What? My handgun?”

“Yes, and with bullets.”

“With bullets? Dude, what are you up to?”

“Just do as I say, please,” I spoke to him while trying to control my temper, “I need your gun, now!”

“Wait a minute, you’re not living in that haunted apartment are you?”

“No, I’m not. But I need your gun and the bullets. Let me know when I should come to pick it up?”

“You can come anytime but we need to talk about…”

I disconnected the call without listening to what Raheel had to say.

Within 45 minutes, I reached at Raheel’s place. He greeted me at the door, but I was only there to take the gun.

“Give me the gun,” I said.

“Look Amir, I just can’t hand the gun over to you without enquiring about it.”

“Give it to me now!”

He kept quiet but looked very angry, so I politely asked him, “Please my friend, just give me the gun. I’ll return it to you soon.”

“I don’t want it back. I need only to know one thing, what are you going to do with it?”

“I need it for my own protection. Some goons are after me. I just need to terrorise them, that’s it.”

“Okay. But there’s another solution to that,” he said.

However, seeing the anger on my face, he stopped speaking and went inside. After five minutes, he came outside holding the handgun and some bullets. He reluctantly handed them over to me but I snatched the items and while doing so, I dropped one bullet in the process.

Next minute, I stood outside his building waiting for a taxi and was wanted to go to the house of my ex-wife’s husband. Within 30 minutes, I found a taxi and headed toward his house.

Fortunately, he stood outside his bungalow washing his car. Even though I was a bit afraid, I was also angry to see him so happy in his life. He had stolen my life’s happiness from me. I paid the taxi driver and asked him to leave. Then I looked at my prey and loaded the gun.

Next thing I know is that I was lying on the ground and had just blacked out. As I woke up and looked at the handgun, I saw smoke coming out of it. I stood up to see around and found my ex-wife’s husband lying dead, as he had just been shot.

I was obviously startled at what had just happened. However, I had no memory of shooting him whatsoever but I knew that I had done this. Now, I had to run. I turned around and started running and hoping to find a taxi driver. The gun was still in my hand, as I had to hide the evidence.

I kept running until I reached a bus stop. I stopped there and waited for a bus.

Why can’t I remember anything? I thought to myself.

After few minutes, a local bus arrived, so I climbed on it and secured a seat. I didn’t know where it was headed but in that moment what concerned me was getting out of this place as quickly as possible.

You are a murderer. You are a killer. You are an evil criminal. I wondered throughout the journey.

I didn’t really want to do this. Or did I? It wasn’t meant to happen this way. I just wanted to scare him. But I shot him and the voice of the gunshot blacked me out.

Whenever I get under pressure because of loud noises, I lose my consciousness. Then I don’t remember anything later or what had happened a few minutes before I was blacked out. I was worried because of what had happened.

Don’t worry. I told myself. I thought of going home and playing the piano once again, as that is the only way to make myself feel better. Music is my soul’s soothing partner.

I felt relaxed, so I stood up and got on a bus. However, after having enquired about the routes of this bus, I found myself on the wrong bus, at least that’s what the conductor told me. Then I asked the driver to stop the bus.