by ANAIRA NOCAED (United States)
Issue 1.2 September 2019
I'm sorry. You deserve so much more. Your cracked case, covered in a few carefully placed stickers, is covered in dust. You lay beneath the couch, just visible beneath the leather cushions and the metal frame. Your strings are in dire need of replacement, but I've never gotten to it.
It's been a month since I've flicked open the case with that satisfying sound of a click! The sensible part of me is afraid your wood is warping in all this winter weather and from possibly being too close to the woodstove.
You deserve so, so much more than this: a musician who doesn't play music.
You are a beautiful creature of cherry wood. Made in Japan, 1960s, you don't act your age. You are deep and warm. You sing when played right.
I'm sorry. I don't know what happened—when I became afraid of you. It's been so long since I played that monsters have grown in your absence.
I don't hear you. I hear them.
You were my voice; now I'm afraid to sing.
Maybe we can meet somewhere. A place of loneliness and solitude. A place away from eyes and warmth. A place where you can be me and I can be you.
I'm sorry for what I've done. You deserve so much more.
Anaira Nocaed, 18, is a national gymnast, guitarist, archer, and, most importantly, a writer from the forested mountains of Northern California. With an eye for detail and a habit of overwriting (she has written a 71K word novella, and is currently writing a 144K+ word novel that was supposed to be less than 120K), she will happily discuss writing long into the night like a proper nerd.