Sergei Rachmaninoff | Teen Ink

Sergei Rachmaninoff

November 18, 2018
By A-Writer SILVER, Pleasanton, California
A-Writer SILVER, Pleasanton, California
8 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched-they must be felt with the heart."- Helen Keller

   I found myself planted in the streets of Moscow once again. The sky was a dismal gray ocean that seemed to sweep across the heads of all things tethered to the Earth. There was hardly a single soul I could recognize, save the three orphaned Ivanov children, who bore an expression of silent grief. They, like black lillacs, were sunken into a rolling wagon, which I fancied bemoaned to the icy wind as it took its rickety travel across the paved town. I ran after the carriage, for, after recognizing the familiar faces in such an abject setting, felt a sense of agitated curiosity towards this heavy agony that interweaved itself into my former home.

   As the vehicle came to a halt, I hurriedly attempted to exchange a few words with the young children, as well as a woman enveloped in dark linens (the new caretaker, I supposed, for though it had been seven years since I left the city, I was accustomed to hearing about the frequent flights of the orphans' governesses due to the zealous and unfettered merryment the neglected darlings were obligated to dispose). I approached the wagon, and, as they stepped out and walked into the streets, started:

  "Ah, poor souls! What misery has befallen these sullen streets? Why do you grieve so?"

   The woman, however, drowned out all inquisition with her cries, and lifted the veil that blocked her countenance to wipe her tears. I was stricken with astonishment. The same stern face, the same deep eyes of Natalia Satina, my wife, who I had not seen ever since I left home. She perpetuated her lamentation, as the children silently whispered, "Sergei, Sergei!" They simply walked past me, which I found rather unsettling. The dame wearing my ring looked completely through me as she walked with the three orphans tailing behind her in the direction of a procession. 

   I strove to briskly follow them to the heart of the town, where many townspeople gathered with an air matching that of the Ivanovs. A coffin stood at the front of the ceremony, as well as a priest on the podium. I was able to overhear a sermon, as well as faint whispers among the crowd. 

   " Oh, poor Natalia!"

   " Indeed, I hear she has taken the poor Ivanovs with her."

   " Yes, yes. How kind of her, to oversee those forsaken children!"

   "I am sure that is what her husband would have wanted. The man could hardly satify himself, always out and about countries with a piano as a solace!"

   With this, a bit of my heart clenched. I did not wish to delve further into this conversation. Surely the bitterly cold wind must have penetrated my senses just as it had penetrated my spine. This seemed the perfect explanation for these cries, these whispers bouncing back and forth in my head: "Sergei, Sergei". And yet, as I jostled my way through the crowd, I wasn't regarded in the slightest. This treatment, I feared, led me to question my own existence. 

   "Sergei, Sergei"

   Rubbish, I thought. This hapless man Sergei must have been some aquaintance I made long ago in my travels, though I couldn't seem to remember now. 

   I ventured to the coffin at last, ready to put an end to the ridiculous notions that surrounded me. What kind of place was this, anyways, that I couldn't be seen and could simply open a dead man's case? 

   " Sergei, Sergei".

   No! I shall put an end to such fancies. And I did. I turned to the coffin, and opened the lid very slowly. This will bring me peace, and end this ludicrous oblivion

   The lid rose, and within seconds, I could feel my consciousness slipping away. I saw a cold, eternal darkness, and was grasped by a fire that seemed to anticipate my every move. I felt it drag me down deeper into an eerie passion fueled by euphoric madness. For it was his lifeless face I saw, the face I knew and wore every day and night I could remember. For it was him. 

   Sergei Rachmaninoff. 

The author's comments:

This story was inspired by the pianist Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C# Minor", aka Op 3 No. 2. According to rumors, Rachmaninoff experienced this piece in a dream where he was suddenly at his own funeral, and saw his own body inside the coffin. He was a bit of an eccentric composer, and this story is written in his perspective. 

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