The Red Piano

  • 15 Sep - 21 Sep, 2018
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Poor?” I began to lose my temper. “Don’t call him poor. He was responsible for your father’s death.”

“Oh, come on. Please don’t tell me you killed him because he couldn’t save my father.”

“Well, I did,” I responded to him. “Maybe I shouldn’t have but what’s important is that your father has been served justice.”

“Amir, listen to me. Please! No offense, but on a very serious note, you are losing your sanity. Your words are making no sense, whatsoever.”

“I understand your concern but I really don’t care. I just need to get on with this meeting.”

Someone came by our side and said, “The doctor is here, it’s your turn to see him.”

We both immediately stood up.

Minutes later, we sat across the neurologist. He was a smart man and asked us about my condition. After I had told him about my black outs and their estimated duration, he came to a simple conclusion and said, “It’s a seizure.”

“Sorry?” Raheel uttered.

“We call them seizures. These are minor black outs. They take place for thirty to sixty seconds when a person is under a lot of stress.”

“Can these be cured?” Raheel asked the doctor.

“Yes, of course they can be cured but the actual issue is that they can be very dangerous for the patient.”

As they continued their conversation, I started losing interest.

I stood up and said, “Gentleman, please excuse me for a minute. I’ll be back after having some water.”

I left the room and immediately rushed outside the hospital. In short, I had just escaped from the hospital.

I came back to my apartment and despite spending just a few hours outside this place, it felt like I had been out for several days. Inside this apartment, I could feel as if I was safe. I felt as if nobody was watching me and I was free from everyone’s sight. This was home. This was my hideout where no one could catch me for whatever I did.

I had survived several times as a criminal. It was now time for me to repent and become a good person. That was, of course, easier said than done and a lot easier thought than spoken in public. I was living a lonesome life without any weapon in possession. I hoped that things wouldn’t get worse this time. But the piano – I just couldn’t live without it. Its music was now a basic necessity. Just like I couldn’t live without food or water, I couldn’t survive without hearing the tunes of this piano.

I don’t think I’ll commit murders anymore. I’m positive that I have learned from my mistakes, and this time, I won’t get provoked or emotional after listening to the sound of this musical instrument. As far as my past is concerned, I’m just happy that there is no strong evidence for anyone to convict me.

Although I’m worried that red colour of the instrument shall remind me of the crimes I had committed. Can that be stopped? Well it’s worth a try.

Criminals are innocent. Yes, this is what I believe now. For years I’ve been cursing all the killers who are out there on the streets but now I’ve gained their perspective. I can understand that a person who is triggered by his emotions is not worthy of hate but one needs to be sympathetic towards them.

A lot of you won’t agree with me but I just say this to suppress the feelings of my conscience. I live by my rules. A lot of people don’t like it but that’s my way.

But what nobody knows is that things are not what they exactly appear to be. There’s something we all are unaware of, and we all will be shocked after the first time we’ll hear about it. I would just suggest you to wait until you’re familiar with it.

That’s what my life was just a few weeks ago. I was a normal man, not so happy though but not guilty as well. I’m a different man now. And it doesn’t feel good to know that. My choices have made me what I am today.


That day after 11 o’clock, I played the piano for the second time, rather randomly. No tune or music in mind, I just kept on pressing random keys – whatever came my way. Playing this piano is the only thing that has given my life some purpose. I feel as if I’m the most talented person and no one can play the piano the way I do.

Self-centred – that’s what it has made me. Well, it’s better than getting involved in gossips and caring about what people think of others. Is it or not? Well, I don’t care. What I care about is the sound and touch of what I’m listening to and what I’m playing. And to be honest, red has become my favourite colour. Nothing excites me the way this colour does. Although it does remind me of the crimes I have committed but doesn’t always make me feel guilty; because it’s the same colour that encourages me to move on and start a new life, with a different approach.

My new and different life would be away from here. But I will purchase this piano even if I would have to pay from all the money in my account. I was planning to buy it. While playing the piano, the music motivated my thoughts and my hands felt relaxed while I did so.

I either started to feel a little sleepy or I blacked out completely, which caused me to fall on the ground. But what happened next was something entirely different. As I woke up, my mind was filled with guilt. It was quite dark in the room. I had no idea who shut the light off but I was at the moment quite uneasy.

What have I done? I asked myself.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the crimes I had committed. Those two people I killed looked innocent to me. Now, I couldn’t find a reason to have killed them. I only felt that they were two harmless, innocent people I murdered for no big reason.

I want to die. I must die. Two lives have been destroyed because of me. I wondered.

I walked towards the balcony, opened its door and stepped outside. As I looked up at the sky, I realised it was a night of full moon. After a minute, I was standing at the balcony. I looked inside the apartment through the window and saw a vacant place; it was as vacant as my soul. I really wished my conscience was as empty. However, I was afraid of going inside. I asked myself why, since there was nothing that could harm me inside. The answer I received was: You are dangerous. You are the one who can be harmful to others.

As I looked at the moon, I felt like someone was looking at me. Nobody really knows about what I did. And the moon here is looking at me as if it knows about all my crimes. Well except for Raheel. So yes, the moon is Raheel.

What am I saying? This makes no sense. I wondered.

All I want now is freedom. Freedom from my own self. I want to undo my actions. Just like the computer. Click the undo button and viola!

Crime is one thing but committing a sin is worse. The law may spare you but your conscience never does. I ask myself why exactly I did all of it. Was I forced? Maybe yes, maybe no. Did I do it to get compensated for my right? No, not at all.

Questions are infinite but the answers are none. All I need to know right now is that whether I’m capable of doing such a thing again. If yes, then a person like me has no right to live. I did not have the courage to kill myself. I cried thinking if someone could make it easier for me.

Standing at the balcony will not resolve anything. Either I should jump off it and save others from being murdered by me or I should go back inside and reunited with the piano. I first closed my eyes and saw myself playing the piano like an obsessed man. I opened my eyes to exhale.

The instrument is a reminder of what I am. It is not just any musical instrument but a reflection of my true image. It has made me what I am today. Yes, there’s no logic involved and no logical explanation whatsoever. Because my story involves obsession and when there’s an obsession then it doesn’t need any logic to support it.

My body was shivering. Not because of cold, but because I wanted to sooth my ears with the piano’s tunes. I looked towards my left and saw a huge pipe attached to the building. It was between the apartment’s windows. I instantly thought of an idea.

“How about I climb down the building through this pipe? If I die, it’ll be fine; but if I survive, then maybe it could mean that I have a right to live and forgive myself.” I said to myself.

I walked towards the narrow edge and then stepped over the railing. As I kept one foot on the pipe, I started to fear that I might fall and yet, I was doing this only to see if I actually die.

I kept on climbing down the pipe very carefully and managed to cross half of the distance. I was literally frightened that my feet might slip but I was determined to succeed. This was not easy. I was afraid to die and I had just realised that I loved my life. I valued it despite the flaws and shortcomings.

As time went by, I saw that I had successfully managed to land on the ground. I had just discovered an interesting fact about myself, which was that I had a talent of performing dangerous stunts within a short period of time.

“I did it!” I whispered to myself.

I was glad that I had succeeded. And I was constantly telling myself that I had a reason to live as I was an innocent person.


Next afternoon, I was sitting on the piano’s chair but I was not playing the instrument. I was drinking cold water from a bottle. My guilt was suppressed and I was feeling comfortable again. I rested my back on the piano and thought for a moment about owning this house and whatever was inside it.

Someone began knocking the apartment’s door. I felt terrified but then I stood up and went to answer it. As I opened the door, I found the apartment’s owner standing outside.

“You? Well, how are you?” I asked.

“I’m good, Amir.”

“So, what brings you here?”

“May I come inside?” he asked.

“Sure,” I replied hesitantly, and did not like his presence in the house.

I moved back and he stepped inside. He walked around to see his apartment and asked, “So how was your experience?”

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“I mean to ask, how was your stay at this place?”

“It was fine. It was good”

“Really? Nothing changed you or made you feel different?”

I understood at once that he was sent here by Raheel and I had to handle the situation quite carefully now.

“No, everything is cool,” I said.


“Alright,” I spoke getting fed up. “What is it that you want when you know the truth? What exactly do you want to say?”

“Oh!” he said, getting straight to the point. “Well, in that case, I want you to vacant this place right now.”

I got to admit that I was shaken. But I stood firmly and answered, “Why? That’s no way to remove your tenant. I had a booking for longer time.”

“I don’t care,” he interrupted. “I want you out, right now. You are a murderer and I know that.”

“Alright, fine!” I changed my mind about purchasing the house. “I’ll leave. I’ll leave your apartment, right now.”


“But in exchange I want this piano. I want you to sell it to me.”

“This antique is not for sale.”

“I’m willing to pay you twice more than its original price or even thrice, if you ask.”

“I’m sorry; I simply can’t sell this to you.”

He came closer towards me and with a bad attitude, he said, “Get out now. I don’t want you to stay here for a single moment now.”

I lost my temper and held his neck angrily with my right hand but I immediately realised that I was doing the wrong thing. After that, something happened and sent me into a blank out state, yet again.

A minute after I woke up, I was got shocked to see the owner of this apartment lying on the ground. As I looked closely, I could see that he had died. I had no idea about how he died but it was pretty obvious that since no one else was in the room, I could have been the murderer.