Her Voice is Music
Music filled the house. Every room and every corner was flooded with a feeling of peace and happiness. Anyone who entered could hear and rejoice with the loud, yet calming harmony. Anyone could, except her.
Her fins caressed the keys on the ornate grand piano in front of her, and the melodies were the result of such act. She was closing her eyes, enjoying herself. She could feel the vibrations of the music in every inch of her body; but meanwhile, her world was silent, for she was deaf.
The Starry Flotsam perceived a sweet chocolaty scent and turned around. She had ended the song abruptly and it felt like the last notes still lingered in the air. Her sister, a Biscuit Kiko, was standing under the doorframe. The Kiko waved and smiled shyly.
“I didn’t want to interrupt you,” she apologized. She always talked to her sister, even if she couldn’t hear. She had never learned sign language, but her sister seemed to understand. She suspected she knew how to read lips. Maybe she didn’t catch every word that was said, but she could feel every emotion.
The Starry Flotsam smiled back and nodded. She turned to the piano again, and played a very short, happy tune.
The piano was the sisters’ most prized possession. Allure, the Biscuit Kiko, had never learned to play, but she had learned to listen and appreciate her sister’s music. For Allegra, the Starry Flotsam, it meant her voice.
The room with the piano was the biggest room in the house, and they seldom left it. Acquaintances found it odd that they spent so much time there, as the piano was the only thing in the whole room. The walls and floor and even the ceiling were made of wood, and every time the piano was played, the sound echoed and traveled to all the other rooms.
“I went to the marketplace today and found something really pretty. I really want to show you.” Allure left the room, with Allegra close behind.
One of the sofas they owned was overflowing with shopping bags, to the point that you couldn’t see the cushions beneath. Allure started rummaging through the bags.
“Where is it? I hope it didn’t break under all this stuff!” she said to herself while her sister watched, amused. Allure was a mess.
“Here!” she sad finally, pulling a large spherical object from one of the bags.
The sunshine that entered through a window behind the sofa reflected on the globe's surface and the light bounced off in a million directions, illuminating even the darkest parts of the room. It was a disco ball.
“It’s so shiny! The moment I saw it I knew it had to be mine,” chattered Allure excitedly, hovering up and down, making the reflections on the walls dance. “It was a bit expensive, but I love it.”
Allegra nodded in agreement, unable to restrain her grin. She had to admit the disco ball was pretty, and what made her the happiest was to see her sister in such ecstasy.
“I thought we could put it in the piano room,” Allure commented, while pointing to said room. The grin on Allegra’s face vanished at once. She shook her head vigorously. The piano room was her sanctuary, and it was perfect the way it was now.
“Why not?” protested Allure, disappointed.
Allegra, no longer smiling, grabbed some bags of groceries and, turning her back on her sister, walked to the kitchen. It was lunch time.
Allure had no choice but to accept her sister’s decision. She knew she wouldn’t change her mind.
“Can I put the disco ball in our bedroom, then?” she asked tentatively once they had both finished their sandwiches. It had been a quiet lunch, rare for the sisters. Usually, Allure was very talkative, but she felt her sister would be offended if she brought up the disco ball again. She hoped she wasn’t offended now. There was nowhere in the house she could think of putting it instead.
Allegra nodded. She liked the disco ball, after all. She just did not want it in her special room.
Allure returned to her usual happy-go-lucky self after that. Their bedroom was a better idea, she reasoned. It had bigger windows and more light entered than in the piano room. Maybe at night, if the moon shone bright enough, it’d look as if they were dreaming among the stars.
The novelty of the disco ball faded away quickly for Allegra. She got used to it being another piece of furniture in the house, and while she looked at it sometimes, it was no more important than any other painting on the wall.
Allure, however, became more fascinated with the disco ball every day. She would lie on her bed looking up at it, mesmerized for hours on end. She no longer spent her time standing next to Allegra in the piano room, just looking at her play and feeling her music. Instead, she sneaked to the bedroom every chance she got. The light reflecting on the walls made Allure go into such a deep thought that she forgot everything and everyone around her.
Soon, Allegra started playing less lively songs. One day, a few weeks after the disco ball entered their lives, Allegra went upstairs only to find that Allure had closed the bedroom door, blocking out her music from entering. The next day, the Flotsam’s songs expressed nothing but melancholy, and the feeling echoed all over the house. But Allure did not notice. The Kiko lived in a world of light-hearted happiness. It was a world designed to fit only her and her disco ball.
Allegra didn’t know what to do. Her only way of communicating was her music, and her sister seemed to not enjoy listening to it anymore. The only thing left was to resign to playing alone. Playing gloomy melodies was no use either. If she was going to get back on her feet, she needed her old cheerful music. Maybe if she played it enough, it would convince her to truly feel that way again.
Life returned to normalcy after that; or at least as normal as it could be now. A small breach had been born between the sisters, growing slowly as each was interested in their own joy. But in the end, they both thought they were happy. They spent a lot less time together, but still lived in the same house, chatted over meal times and cared about each other.
One morning, Allegra woke up to find herself alone. She found this fact strange, as it was early, and Allure would usually take several minutes in the morning to stare at her precious disco ball. The Kiko had even made her bed, a rarity. The green covers were arranged neatly.
Allegra didn’t worry. So Allure had started her day before her once in her life. That was good.
The Starry Flotsam scrambled out of bed and got dressed. Then she went down to the piano room. She sat and started playing with her eyes closed, as she used to. At some point she felt a presence at the door and a sweet smell, but she didn’t stop or open her eyes. Allure didn’t enter the room or approach her in any way either. When she no longer felt her presence, she assumed she had gone upstairs.
Allegra skipped breakfast and continued playing. She played for so long she found herself playing songs from long ago, songs she thought she had forgotten about. After a long while, she ran out of ideas and paused. And then she felt it. It was a rumble as aggressive and strong as the final note of a loud symphony, but not as beautiful. What she had just heard couldn’t be music by any means.
Allegra was scared. She needed to warn her sister. She climbed the stairs but the door to the bedroom was closed. She turned the doorknob only to find out the door was locked. She knocked and waited, but nothing happened.
The piano was her voice. If she was to warn her sister of the danger, her piano was what she should use. She ran downstairs and started playing the loudest, fastest melody she knew. The combination of high and low notes was almost chaotic. Her fins hurt as she played the keys rapidly, but she had to continue, for her sister's sake. She hit the keys with all her might, and hoped.
Finally, the sweet smell appeared. She turned around, shock replaced with relief on her face.
Allure looked annoyed. “What’s going on?”
And at that exact moment, a crash was heard from upstairs. The sisters ran to the bedroom to find the disco ball shattered on the floor, shards scattered all over the room. As Allure stared, she realized she had been standing in the exact place the disco ball had dropped moments before.
The Kiko was speechless. Tears filled her eyes. Allegra was afraid she would be blamed for the loss of her sister’s favorite item. But Allure wasn’t sad. The tears were of gratitude. Her sister had saved her. She hugged her tightly. Later, she would throw away the remains of the disco ball. She did not want it anymore.
The sisters walked together to the piano room, where Allegra played Allure’s favorite song of all.