Day broke, and the morning birds busied themselves with waking up all the servants in the big house on the hill. The butler was already awake, placing restrained little tick-marks next to the completed items on his schedule. The maids danced silently through the house, dusting mantles and lighting the bundles of fragrant wood in the fireplaces. The scullery maid crept upstairs quietly, peeking through the keyhole until she was slapped away at the room that was always left alone.
He sat by the window, hunched over the black music stand in front of him. His violin, like a lover, nestled itself close to his neck, and gently he drew the bow across the strings. Notes poured out like honey syrup from the spout of a fine china pitcher, sliding melodiously down and pooling on the floor of the small room. The music seemed to coat the walls, obscured by the shelves and shelves of sheet music and composer's biographies, and it glided into the heating grates where it resonated through the large house.
"Mr. Andras?" Came a timid girl's voice. The door swung open as the Violinist sharply drew his bow across the strings, making them scream and shiver.
"Mr. Andras," she tried again. "Your wife would like a word with you. She says it's important, sir--" The man exhaled.
"I do not have time for her right now. I cannot be interrupted."
"But, please sir! She made an awful fuss--" The girl wiped her clammy hands on the front of her dour maid's uniform.
"Fine. Send her in--for a moment." Bowing, the maid exited, stepping aside to reveal a tall woman of about twenty. Her slim hand swept nervously up to pat the twist of dark hair that framed her delicate face. The Violinist looked from the bottom of her white lace nightgown to her green eyes, and turned away.
"What is it, Ilona?" He said, forcing his hand through a short crop of hair. The woman paused, watching him. She could almost see his profile, the strong nose and sharp cheekbones that traced the shape of his face, the dark brown eyes and jet-black hair, his stubbly, unshaven chin. Her cheeks turned petal-pink as she realized she was staring. She adjusted the neckline of her long dressing gown.
"Andras," She began. "Please eat. You didn't come to bed last night--"
"--I have something to finish. I will eat when I am hungry, but now I have to work." He felt the sudden urge to turn, to set his violin down and go to her. He imagined having her face beneath his chin, replacing the deep mahogany one that sat there. He would kiss her, making a different kind of music.
No, he thought. Fairytales. Don't be so silly.
He turned his face to look, over the wall made by his shoulder, at the woman he had married two months ago. Guilt buzzed around in his mind, but he swatted it back. She'll be alright.
"There's kifli," she said. "You like kifli."
"Yes, darling, I do. But I need to get this done. I'll eat my kifli tomorrow. Please, just go. I need this to be done."
Eyes downcast, she left the room.
I just have to finish this. Then I'll see her. Then she'll understand, he told himself, picking up his violin once more. He sank his thoughts deep into the gentle rhythm of the bow, the perfect way it arched every time a high note came along. Eyes closed, the Violinist smiled.