The Jack Daniel's was only half the problem. There were things Tom didn't understand even sober. But still he sat there listening intently, pretending to get it; pretending to be interested. Even while words flew over his brain, words like allegro and portamento, he stared into Jill's eyes. Jill was the sweetest girl he'd ever known. He was content to just sit and listen to her. While he enjoyed listening to music, he didn't have the passion for it that Jill had. He just enjoyed being with her; enjoyed her company and enjoyed sipping his whiskey.

“Not everyone gets the second Polonaise of Opus 40 in C minor. Chopin isn't for the faint of heart”, she prattled on. “, For those with a true ear for Chopin, it's just pure magic. Quite possibly his defining...” Her words trailed off in Tom's ears. She was still speaking but he was no longer hearing.

Pure magic. That's what it was, every time they were together. Tom had longed to tell Jill this, to describe in detail all the feelings he had for her. He just hadn't had the courage. He hadn't had the courage to do a lot of the things he wanted to do. He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to feel the warm flick of her tongue against his. To feel her breath on his lips. Every time he got up the nerve and began to slowly lean in toward her, she'd start talking about music again and he'd chicken out. This had gone on for months.

As Jill finished a sentence, Tom smiled at her, his eyes baring all his secret affections; his breath bearing Old Number 7. She smiled back, a little quickly. Tom started to lean in.

“But I don't care what they say. Chopin's flair for the solo piano is unequaled. His is the pinnacle of piano's repertoire. His style emphasizes nuance and depth. Don't take me wrong, his works showcase some of the most unbelievable technical virtuosity of any piano composer, but...” Jill's mouth was so beautiful. If only he could kiss her. If only she would shut up.


    Why must she always ruin the moment with music talk? I don't know ANYTHING about the things she talks about for hours on end. Can't she feel all the tension? All the longing that seems to smother me as it permeates the air in this little room? Doesn't she want all the things I want for us? Music is just a way for her to hide from the things she really loves; the life she really wants to have. If she'd shut up for two seconds, she'd see that her destiny is with me; together, loving each other infinitely and eternally. Is all this just in my head? Am I drunk?


“...the sheer expressive depth of the Second Polonaise is flooring. Anyone who thinks otherwise...”



Tom had begun to sweat. It seemed as if the months upon months of pent up rage were bursting the seal with which he'd kept all his emotions and disappointments bottled up. Whether it was the continued music talk or the booze, Tom snapped. He leaped at her and clenched his fingers around her throat, pressing his thumbs into her windpipe and feeling it crush under the pressure; hearing her gurgle and wheeze through what was left of her trachea. Was she gurgling about Chopin?



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