Rochelle hosts Friday Fictioneers here: https://rochellewisoff.com/2023/03/29/31-march-2023/
Tony pulled up to the curb slowly, not wanting to risk having a small child run in front of the car. When you stopped at these roadside tag sales you never knew what you would find and if they had a big section of used toys you would usually find a few kiddos running wild. He was looking for a shelf for the kitchen. Nothing too big, nothing too wide or fancy, just something to hold the spices and maybe a few dressings.
Getting out of the car, Tony started scanning the sale to see where he might find this kitchen shelf when he saw it. He stopped, almost feeling like he might pass out, as if in a dream state. Sitting on an old whicker chair sat the old violin, his old violin, that his granny had given him when he graduated college. He hadn’t necessarily loved the ornate design but granny had had it painted special for him and for that he loved it. When he had moved into his new place he had left a few boxes at his parents house, figuring he would get them at some point that he had the room. He didn’t know that they would have a clean-out day and donate all of the “stuff” in the garage. When he realized what he had left in that “stuff” he was heartbroken.
Tony walked over to the violin, almost as if to not catch anyone’s attention, feeling like if he caught someone’s attention they would want the violin and snatch it away first. Picking up the beautiful instrument he could feel the tears welling behind his eyes and his throat starting to get tight as he held back his emotions.
The guy running the tag sale walked over. “Hey, what do you think of that old thing? My mom had picked it up at some thrift shop thinking I would love it but its a little too girlie for me. Do you play?”
“Um, well, sort of,” Tony stammered, now that he knew the guy thought it to be too girlie he didn’t want to admit it was his. “My niece is starting to play and her birthday is coming up. I’m her Godfather too so I wanted to give her something really special.”
“Well, I was asking $25 but if you really want it you can have it for $20. It would be nice to know someone loves it. I won’t play it,” the guy said laughing.
Tony took his wallet out of his pocket and took out a twenty-dollar bill. He handed it to the tag sale guy and nonchalantly walked away, not wanting to show this guy how ecstatic he really was. Getting into the car he laid the violin on the front seat next to him and smiled. “Thank you, Granny, I love it!”
This story is pure fiction but I wrote it after remembering a story my dad told me a long time ago. Apparently, he, Tony, had a beautiful violin, something expensive and a brand that most violin enthusiasts would know. He loved it and cared for it, as he learned to master playing it. One day he took it to a music shop to get tuned and cleaned properly. He picked it up and put it near the music stand in his living room. He didn’t play it again for quite a while, not really recalling why. He did remember that when he opened the case the next time it was NOT his beautiful instrument. The shop had switched it out with a typical, store-bought brand that was sort of cheap, maybe the kind for beginners who don’t want to put a ton of money into the playing until they were sure they liked it. He had been heartbroken and he never played again. It still breaks my heart to think of that.
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