A Little Baby Grand

Sebastian walks into the young man’s flat, walking through it with a careful gaze finely tuned by military training.

The flat is exceptionally neat, sparse, lacking in personal touches – family photographs, with fairly new furniture. Barely any large pieces had been donated by friends or family members.  Seb’s mind glazes over IKEA countertops, modular sofas and a series of off-beige textiles of another apartment in London.

And then another, in Dublin. And his house in Thailand with his wife. The slanted little cottage in Finland. And all the places he’s ever lived.

The apartment lacks the usual clutter – piles of papers, bills, old magazines, pens, clusters of remotes and boxes of tissues. The place was small, but bigger than Sebastian’s month-to-month one-room accommodations.

The only thing that stands out, is the piano. An instrument under close scrutiny ever since it was made – was it a string, or percussion instrument? Moran didn’t know why it mattered.

“An underaged server at a bar, who would receive considerable staff discounts doesn’t drink – not even socially when you’re out with your mates?” He called, from somewhere in the living room, eyes skirting over a small collection of books and DVDs.

The colonel approaches the piano. It has a square ON/OFF button.

“I had sex with a girl on a piano, once,” he says, smiling fondly at the memory. The keys make a strange, plastic thudding sound when he presses them. “Was at a musical college, a little baby grand.”

He remembers fondly that there was no way the piano would hold his weight, but she was a tiny, petite little thing. “Apparently they have auctions, like. Can go buy the used pianos for cheap – she went back and bought it,” he grins, because he can keep himself company when he has to.

Only he’s not entirely sure if he wants to anymore.

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