The old lady was blind. She said she had picked The child when he was a baby. “I hired you coz he still needs some care. But don’t worry. He doesn’t need a lot. “
The child, three or four years old, was pale, never to open his mouth, but everything she said he understood and obeyed. In fact, there was little for the child to do. Eat, sleep and grow quickly was all the old woman wants.
Like a fish in a vacuum, the child hovered quietly in a small room. Only the piano being played every night was his voice. The sound of it, without any piano score, was as quiet as he was.
The house was old but wonderful. The three-story house, which was built out of logs. One had to pass through a tunnel-shaped whole glass passage for a long time to go outside. It was a place in the deep mountains, so it was scary at night, but in the daytime it felt like walking through the light. But the child has never been there. He’s been staying in his room all this time – the old lady never let him go because it’s dangerous.
A year passed. Little has changed. Her work, her awkawrd relationship with the old woman, the boy’s behavior and even his appearance…
Suddenly, she wondered when the child’s birthday was.
“He had too many birthdays. I can’t remember because there are so many.”
The old woman’s memory seemed to be darkening with her eyes. Sometimes with rationality.
The child was playing the piano in the room as usual. She sat side by side on the child’s chair with an old piano lesson book for beginners she had found in that house.
“Hey, there’s a gift I want to give you…
Actually, this book may be way easy for you, but… First of all, I’ll show you how to read it, while playing.
Shall we try? Well…
The child stared at her.
“Yes, it’s a birthday song.
What is birthday? The day you were born. You know what I mean, right?
I’ll keep trying.
The child looked somewhat nervous.
She kept talking carefully.
“It’s a blessing to be born.
Everyone in the world listens to this song on their birthday.
That day… It’s only a gift for them.
I don’t think you’ve ever received it yet.”
The child buried his face in his small hands and began to weep. The crouched shoulders wriggled violently.
It’s the first time in a year that she hears his voice. But it sounded too miserable to be a child’s voice.
Without knowing what to do, she just looked down on him.
The child, who stopped crying after a long time, looked up.
An open sheet of music. The instant the child seemed to understand how to move the symbols in front of him to reality.
The child raised his hands and began to play the next verse. It was a baroque interpretation with colorful chords of that simple, monotonous melodies .
She sang again to that.
“Happy birthday, dear…”
The fermata of original score was brought back to life in a brilliant and technical contrapuntal manner, with grand tremolo.
The sound turned into a sheet music and poured out before her eyes. Oh, that’s… The procession of notes facing me is like a long passage, yeah… It’s like that path of light. The child is running through it.
The echo that resounded in silence finally stopped and the child opened his mouth for the first in forever.
Oh, that’s… It was the voice of a boy who had already passed puberty.
“Happy Birthday…to ME…”
The child’s tears had dried up. In that short time, the boy’s look got very different.
The moment he realized it, the child kicked up his chair.
She just stood eye-following the fearless, barefoot running towards the glass passage.
Soon the light swallowed the child’s figure, and she could no longer look, covering her face.
You know the way.
Keep running. Don’t stop.