From Book One of Melody and the Pier to Forever:
And so with his words in her mind it came to her over the next two weeks the decision to finally end her life. She had figured it out, yes. And when the decision was truly made, so too came the means, and instantly, as if it, the decision, were simply waiting for her to consciously choose it to reveal itself in all its stark simplicity.
The large unopened cardboard box in the corner of her bedroom no longer frightened her—or even mattered to her. In the very early morning moonlight of June thirtieth, her chosen day to die, she woke, bathed very quietly, and dressed. She knew she could move about without detection if she did so gently: Adele D. Hoffman’s bedroom television set, which was on all night, every night, would drown out her movements nicely. She sat at the dining room table and completed a letter; she sealed, addressed, and affixed a stamp to it before wheeling back to her bedroom.
I wrote that more than ten years ago, and have wondered since what the letter said. I'd like to share it with you now. It's included in The Angel's Guardian, which will be released by May!
June 30, 2004
Mrs. Elizabeth Finnegan
Dear Mrs. Finnegan,
When I was just four years old, I imagined I was a violin. I wanted to play for the whole wide world. I wanted to reach into every heart and make it smile.
I did not know, however, what song I could play to make hearts smile, so I started listening to music. I listened to all sorts of music. If a song had a violin I listened especially hard and asked myself: Is that a song that can make hearts smile? But no longer how much I listened, I heard nothing that could make hearts smile like I wanted them to smile.
I knew that all I wanted to do with my life was to make hearts smile with my music.
My father noticed my obsession and bought me a violin. It was the happiest day of my entire life. I think he thought I would tire of trying to learn how to play it. When that did not happen, he bought me lessons.
I was in love. The violin felt like my very best friend in the whole world. I practiced hours and hours every day. Always I sought for the song that would make hearts smile.
One day I found it. It came to me, just a few measures of it at first. I learned how to play them as best as I could, with everything I had, even though it was music well beyond my ability. It was just those few tiny seconds of music for a long, long time. But then a few more bars came, and then a few more. I learned to play them with my whole being. Sometimes months passed before more came to me, and often I despaired.
I played on. I practiced and practiced and practiced. I had faith. My parents told my teacher about my melody and he asked to hear it, so I played what I had of it for him. When I finished, tears were in his eyes. From then on he wanted to help me complete it. Together we did. It took a long time. By then I was ten years old.
Only my parents, my manager, my teacher, and a very special friend in
ever heard it. I did
not want to play it for anyone else. I did not know why, and still don’t. Something
inside me told me to keep it private, between family and dearest friends only.
It felt too precious to share with anyone else. Switzerland
When I met you, an amazing thing happened. I wanted to play it for you. I wanted you to hear it. I did not think I would feel that feeling again. I had given up on feeling it. It was a very special moment for me. Thank you for bringing it back to me, Mrs. Finnegan.
Yaeko Aria Mitsaki
The Angel's Guardian is coming later this month or early May!