first love

by Hane L., 12

In the corner of my mind where no one dares to look, sits a piano.
In my childhood home where no one cared to look, sits a piano.

I remember you were way taller than me then, the brown piano that led me every step I could take. I looked up to you then, I yearned for my friend. When my tiny hands would reach to touch you it began.

“I feel so nice, Mom. I feel so nice.”

Playing softly on the keys, letting instinct lead. I didn’t know just what you meant back then. At the time I was happy to listen. I remember when grade school came to an end. At that point I was finally taller than your height. Despite that, I left you, no longer on my mind. Turned away from the jade keys where the dust piled up. Saw neglect upfront even then. I didn’t know you meant to stay no matter what. That’s what I thought… That it wouldn’t be the end. Look who was wrong.

You say, “Don’t you worry for me if I go. I know you will do well on your own. I think back to when I first held your hand, but at some point you grew taller than I stand. Though we’re ending our story, I need you to see—there is no reason to be sorry and even though I have to go. We’ll see each other soon. So I’ll wait ’til then to greet you, happily.”

I remember when was 13, we met again. I really did forget you then, stupid teenage me, feeling awkward, nervous, before I touched you. Even though I was gone for so long, it was clear to see. You still accepted me. Without you, I am nothing. Together, you and I stayed up just to greet the morning. I’m begging, please, don’t ever let me go again. Just grab my hand tight and I swear I’ll listen.

I remember then setting fire to my youth. Rising flames touching you, but we never saw a thing past our noses. Crying, laughing…

All our times together in my mind are now just a memory. I held my broken shoulder, thinking bitterly that my dreams were something I couldn’t achieve.

But if I ever tried to give up, you were right next to me saying, “You never walked alone.” Get up, get going, I remember when I was feeling more than too far gone. Depression and despair I thought were the straws I’d drawn. But despite pushing you or hating you, you stayed by my side, and it amazed me because you never batted an eye.

So now I mean it, don’t ever let go of my hand, and believe me when when I say I won’t abandon you again. From the time I was born to the day that I fall, I know you’ll run with me through it all.

In the corner of my mind where no one dares to look, sits a piano.
In my childhood home where no one cared to look, sits a piano.

Inspired by Min Yoongi’s solo