Beside his bed was a piano. Victoria would play it sometimes.
She would make the long trek from her home to the hospital, her white sneakers stained yellow by the dusty road, holding the sheet music she had been learning.
They were strange recitals, meant for an audience of one, yet she spent so many weeks learning each piece that the hospital staff would gather around whenever she came. They knew they were in for a treat, even though they knew it wasn't for them. It wasn't for them that she dedicated so many hours of her life, but they didn't mind.
It was always an event to look forward to, and she would never show if she didn't know her performance would be a thing of beauty. Though she did make the occasional mistake, it didn't matter. Who can really say if a tree were out of place in the midst of a vast green forest?
She would sit quietly for a few moments before beginning, and then her sound would envelop his room, taking it to another world. Maybe his world, if he were lucid enough to tell them.
But he never did.
Still, she didn't mind. Sometimes they imagined that he could be seen smiling when she played, but nobody could ever be sure. But it was enough to keep her coming back, enough for them to hope she was getting through somehow.
Inside himself, he could hear her play. He could hear the music. It would surround him.
He would imagine a piano.
He would imagine sitting at that piano. He would imagine playing the music he heard, on the piano he imagined. Music he never learned. Music he had never heard before. Yet somehow music flowed out of his fingers, through the piano, and back into his ears. It was some kind of magic he couldn't explain. It just happened.
And so he played that way, for years on end. The other people in his dream thought him some kind of piano prodigy.
It was a dream he never woke from.