Kaylee woke up with the smell of sulfur in the room. She looked around but her mother was gone. There was a note. “Kaylee, there is a yogurt and some fruit in the mini fridge. Please only take them or I will be gouged for eating the hotels overpriced crap.” In the fridge was a container of Greek yogurt and a banana. She also saw bottles of liquor and chocolate bars. For the first time in a while her mind felt clear. She could remember her brother. Actual memories not just forced memories based on other people’s recollections. She decided she wouldn’t fuck with her mother today. She took the yogurt and banana. As she ate she stared at the book from across the room. Her mother has taken to not explaining anything to her. She would go places just leaving a note telling her what to do and not where she was going. She knew where her mother was going. To meet her father at the house with the police.
The police pulled away. Donald said, “a locksmith will be here soon as well as a security company.” Cathern told him she wanted all the copies of the keys and she wanted to set the alarm when installed. It was clear she wanted him there to pay for the system but not to stay. The door was shut to him. He went to say something but she interrupted him, “Donald I am not ready to talk about it.” She could smell the alcohol on him. He was disheveled. He looked nothing like the man she married. Part of her wanted to take him in her arms and fuck until her anger was gone. Another part wanted to beat him to death with a stripper pole. He waited in his car with a thermos of Jim Bean and Pepsi. She went inside and opened a bottle of wine. It was 9:30 in the morning.
Cathern went to pick up Kaylee. There was some sort of commotion in the lobby of the hotel. She walked past it. Someone was playing a piano. The sound broke her heart. Before the accident Kaylee played the piano. She was self-taught for the most part. One-day Cathern came down to the sound of a piano. She found her 7-year-old daughter playing it. No lessons, no training of any kind. She was playing the opening to Sponge Bob Square Pants. She missed a note here and there but the overall performance was captivating. She opened the door to the room and found it empty. No Kaylee. She panicked. The elevator ride took forever and the lobby was full of people around the piano. Cathern started to run to the front desk when she recognized the music. It was the Sponge Bob theme, but this time it was perfect. Kaylee was in the piano playing it like someone who has done so for many years. Kaylee went from Sponge Bob to something that seamed classical until she heard the familiar notes to the song Limelight by Rush. The crowd broke up and Kaylee saw her mother. Her mother sat down next to her. She ran her fingers over the keys. A memory ran through her mind. One long dead. Cathern started to play a song. Soon Kaylee joined in. Together they played the song Paradise by the Dashboard Lights. A piano only version.
They drove home in silence. Her mother yelled at her in the room for leaving it. Kaylee said, “I saw the piano and something said I can and should play it. Like a memory or something.” The word hit Cathern like a punch. Memory. She had sold the piano after the accident. It was too hard to see an object that reminded her of what her daughter lost. Now she would pay anything to have that piano back. Kaylee was having memories and just maybe some sort of breakthrough. But back home, there was no music. Kaylee stared out of the car. As the car moved it would bump up and down. As it did the book opened and closed. Every time it did the scenery changed from the typical streets and houses to a medieval castle and a sight that could best be described as hell.
Back home Kaylee went to her room and her mother went into her study to call Donald and tell him about what happened. As they spoke she went online to find a piano. She then really regretted selling the old one. The prices were from $3,200 to over $8,000 for a used one. Donald said, “don’t worry about it I will have one there today.” Within three hours there was a knock at the door. Delivery men with a grand piano. It was a black Steinway. It had a paid in full slip on it for $29,000. She would later find out he sold his Porsche to get the money. That car was his precious. She didn’t understand how this man can do something like this and be the man that cheated on her. She thought maybe she could get past the strippers. She knew that as soon as she saw him again all the lies he told trying to save his ass could come back. Maybe if he hadn’t lied then maybe it would be easier to forgive. The new piano was larger than the old one. It just fit the room. A piano tuner came with the delivery and he tuned the piano. Cathern didn’t tell Kaylee about the piano. She just left the door open and hoped she would find it and some memories again.
By the end of the day she found Kaylee playing the piano. It had a beautiful sound. The old piano needed some work and never offered a rich full sound. Not like this piano. Kaylee started to play something Cathern didn’t recognize. It switched between highs and lows and a growing rhythmic pulse that grew as she played until the notes almost blurred together. It had a hard edge that was captivating and a little disturbing. When she was finished Cathern asked her what that was. Kaylee said, “I don’t know it just came to me.” In her mind, she thought of it as the pulse that was in her head. The one that seemed to block her from remembering anything.
That night Kaylee didn’t dream of the knight or her brother. She was in the back seat of a car with a boy. His face was blurry. In the front was two blurry figures. They were going down a road a fast. As they went she was kissed the boy. His face cleared. She remembered him but not his name. She made out with this boy in the back of the car. He was trying to go to second base. Kaylee looked at the two in the front. Their faces were also unblurred. She looked back at him and untucked her shirt. She led his hand to her breast underneath her shirt. She slid down deeper into the back seat as he came closer. She could feel his erection against her side. Then Everything stopped. The whole experience went into slow motion. Broken glass and blood shot over the boy. Then the head of the girl in the front passenger’s seat. The boy was picked up and out of the car as the roof ripped off, then the car flipped over and the ground came rushing to her. She woke up to find her sheets soaked in sweat. Then she remembered, the girl was her best friend Anne, the driver was Anne’s boyfriend Aden and her boy was named Brian.