1. Prologue: We all start somewhere
Deep hazel eyes amplify her radiant smile. She picks me up and tells me how much she loves me. She laughs as I play, I do everything I can to make her happy. It seems to work, her face lights up every time I play a muffled note on the pristine new xylophone in front of me. The keys are painted in bright colours, to make them more appealing perhaps, but I prefer the look of the black and white keys my mother plays so delicately. She puts me on her lap and lets me place my stubby fingers over hers. My notes are too loud, but I don't care, I play more and more, louder and louder until a shadow is cast over us both.
The darkness ages. The keys wear out, losing their distinctive contrast to grime and dust. Her face becomes tired and wrinkled, her eyes empty and unseeing. Her fingers slow, I help her to press the keys despite her weariness. But slowly she fades away, leaving me alone, with no one to guide me, no music to follow.
I stand from the stool and search for a new piece to play, but find only damp bricks that form the underside of an old bridge. The stone beneath my feet is cold and wet, freezing my feet through the worn soles of my shoes. A hand touches my shoulder, startling me, I turn to face the owner of the hand.
"Are you alright mate?"