The memory I have of him—the everlasting memory, the one that comes to my mind when I suddenly think of him, after all these years—is of that night, when he sat at the piano and played that beautiful, but sad, song. It was the night of our farewell, the night when I told him that we had to face that we had no future together, and he kissed me his trademark kiss—firm lips, just a touch of his tongue—and he said that we did love each other, one day we'd realize it, and know how foolish we had been to break up. I had thought he would have tried to sleep with me one last time—something that, in the rehearsals of my farewell speech, I had vowed not to accept. But he didn't. He spent the night being someone who is to face execution at sunrise, but decided that his last hours of life are too important to be spent worrying about death. He danced with me, he told me funny stories of his life, and he sat at the piano. “You said you didn't play it,” I accused him, half laughing, half drunk, my mind ready to be swept once again—only now it was by the inner self that he was showing for the first time—my body starting to lust for him, too much. That is the exact moment that comes to my mind, he sitting on the piano stool, looking back at me, the grin in his Caravaggio-shaded face promising a world of discoveries that I was still to make—if I lingered by his side. “I said I hardly played anymore,” he said. I accused him of being a liar. “Certainly, every phrase I utter is a lie,” he whispered, playing the piano as softly as he could—it was three in the morning, after all, and I doubt he wanted a neighbor destroying that moment. That song—the one he played after jamming for some time on the piano—was like the scream of a soul baffled by the sounds of a nearby party. I was afraid to ask if he was the composer. I was afraid he would say yes, and then I'd not leave him anymore, I would stay with him for ever, shackled by the invisible chains that held him. When the song ended, the last chord dying slowly, lingering even after the piano strings had silenced, he took his fingers out of the keyboard and stood still.
I've dreamt that moment, many times in my life. In my dreams, he stands up, but he can't reach me. It's impossible, I know it, I beg him to try harder, but he just can't. That night, one billion years ago, he reached me, he sat by my side on the sofa, and he kissed me, for the last time, before he smiled and said that it had been great to be with me. “Another brick, made of a lovely but short eternity, to build our lives with,” he said. My tears were falling before I heard the click of his door, but I never came back.