Morgan sits there in her practice chair, hugging her knees and rolling her toes in little circles in the air, watching the tree go black outside, tears on her face. Maybe she won’t try again. There’s no reason she suddenly has to have a boyfriend. She’s been doing fine without one. She’s only seventeen. Well, almost eighteen, but the ticking of any putative biological clock can’t be too loud yet.
No, she won’t try again. She dries her eyes, picks her battered old cello up from its open case. She has a “nicer” one at school, newer, higher quality. Daddy bought it for her for Christmas two years ago. But this one’s nicer in ways that only matter to her. It’s ninety years old, and it’s smooth and mellow, and it loves her as much as she loves it. She cuddles it into place between her knees. Her scattered, fractured thoughts demand Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff, her practice schedule demands Bach, but instead, she braids together random bits and pieces of Ravel, Brahms, Beethoven, a long drifting veil of music seeping from her soul, through her closed eyes and down her upturned face.