“Monsieur, the all-time pianist, Madame Agustin is inviting you to do a show with you—that is if you want to." The assistant, Andre offered him.
“Andre. What have I told you about my relationship with music? I said I don’t ever want to hear it again. That includes not playing it. I haven’t even touched my violin for 10 years. Go away and tell her that I refuse.” Jean Ander replied coldly.
“But Monsieur—” Andre got interrupted by Jean.
“Do you want to have no job? Do you want to go home with no money starting from tomorrow? If not, do as I say.” Jean scoffed as he put on his gold chained barrette and walked outside for his daily stroll around the park.
Poor Andre started heading back upstairs to get Jean’s schedule all ready. He remembered, boasting all about Jean’s violin skills. How hard he had worked for her to even offer a seat for him. His raspy and cold-hearted words still circled around him, in his mind. He couldn’t believe the way Jean had just easily refused. He just couldn’t.
If only Monsieur could get over the sad fact, would he ever play his violin again? Andre mumbled to himself, as he continued walking up the stairs.
10 years ago...
It was a cold, and rainy morning. The couple was living a peaceful life. Mrs. and Mr. Ander were going about on their daily routine. They were very rich couples. That’s because Mr. Ander was an all-time famous musician and composer. He had many famous works named after him, many concertos he has written by himself and has been performed by him. His tour de force was the 10-hour-long music he wrote. He has even performed it, without even taking a break. He devoted a lot of time to make his wife happy and playing his instrument. The Ander mansion was never quiet but always filled with music, happy cheers, and excitement.
Jean Ander was a very well-named and famous musician, not only in Paris but all of France. He has slowly started going to perform in other countries such as Madagascar, Belgium, Finland, United States, Norway, and New Zealand. Many of the times, he has performed solo but has also performed with other famous musicians. His all-time dream was to perform with France’s famous pianist, Alexandria Augustin. That was his dream forever. Starting from when he learned to talk, to now, as a grown adult. That could never change, can it?
He was living a happy life, with him, his wife, his assistant Andre, his head butler Beau, and his chef Charles. Though he had long wished for a child to also join their family, they never had one, and never wanted to adopt one either. He kind of did feel like he was missing out on whole other life, with giggles and chuckles of children, their mischievous deeds, and watching them grow up into an adult, he soon felt that a quiet life for him was better.
One day, he and his wife Jules were strolling along a park that was reserved for them.
“Ma femme Jules, how are you doing?” he asked.
“Mon mari Jean, I’m feeling just alright. Nothing too special today. Though the park looks excellente! Ha! So beautiful.” she replied and continued to wonder and marvel at the beauty of nature.
“Mon amour, do you think I will ever get a chance to perform with Madame Augustin?” Jean asked as he started kicking the small pebbles and stones on the ground.
“Bien sûr! They will me amour, they will. I have a very strong feeling that one day, you will play your excellente violon piece in front of France. You will make us proud mon mari.” Jules replied.
“Merci, mon amour. It is because of you, why I get the urge to play violon. You have always stood next to me and supported me in how much you can. Know that I am very grateful for this Jules.” he spoke softly, as they continued strolling around the park.
“One day you will Jean, one day you will,” she spoke again.
The couple continued taking their morning walk. The park really did look so beautiful and magnificent, so inspirational that Ander felt like writing a song about it. A tune, a soft and melodious tune about the park. He decided to make his song in a minor scale, making it sound melancholy, yet still a little happy. The major key was going to be a bit too high and exciting, which was not the tone and feel he wanted to create when writing this ensemble.
He wanted to write about his time with Jules as well. How happy he felt when being with his lovely wife. He honestly couldn’t think of anything better than what he was experiencing right now.
“Jules, after our walk, do you want to visit the Eiffel Tower? I heard there were fresh, hot, and nicely made croissants!” he asked her, hoping she would agree.
“Ah Jean, always so fond of croissants. I can help our butler, Beau, and the rest! No need for going there!” Jules spoke, laughing softly.
“Oh, but you know how much I like croissants! It has been such a long time since it was just us two, spending time together, in the Eiffel Tower mi amour! After all, Paris is all about I’amour! S’il vous plaît?” Jean begged his wife, and hesitating, she agreed.
So, the two were walking outside of the park and towards the street. The Eiffel Tower was only a couple of minutes away from where they live. The walk wasn’t too hectic either. The same old laughing and happy faces they see, and everyone telling everyone Bonjour!
“Jean, let’s go back home.” Jules pleaded.
“Mi amour, Pourquoi?” Ander asked, looking very confused. “If you do not want to eat the croissants from there, then you should have told me from the beginning!” he spoke, with a little sorrow in his voice.
“No Jean! It isn’t about the food! I—I don’t feel good. I cannot walk anymore! Mon mari, Aidez-moi!! Help! Merci! Help!” she yelled, and slowly Jules passed out.
“Oh no...Jules! Jules! Oh, hôpital!” he called out and started wandering to find a hospital for Jules.
Back at home, after the hospital trip...
“Beau! Andre! My wife, she...she is ill. The doctor said her last day is tomorrow. She won’t get to see the world after that! My point of living on this Earth is fading away!” he yelled, sobbing continuously.
“Monsieur? How can this ever be possible? No! Monsieur? Are you telling the truth? Madame Jules, is she, is she going to die?" asked the worried assistant.
“Y—yes. Please, give her some water and a hearty meal. Let her last days of living be splendid. I will compose a piece of music for my Jules. She was my seulement I’amour! I need to do this for her. Now, Beau, Andre, please go. I need some alone time with her.” he spoke, upset, and the two listened to him.
Beau and Andre alerted everyone else in the house and told them about her devastating condition. They all decided to take care of her the best they can, and maybe, just maybe they could save Jules from dying.
Everyone prepared the meals, making everything the Madame enjoyed. They made sure that Jules was comfortable, and they gave her whatever she wished.
Though everyone in the house was very depressed about her condition, it impacted Jean a lot. He was quickly finding himself in depression, and he couldn’t get out of his state. Andre tried to cheer him up by telling him about Madame Augustin, but now his dreams were all secondary. The only thing that mattered to Jean was his wife. Nothing else. Not even his violin, not even music.
The day she was about to die...
“Mi amour, I want to play the piece I have worked so hard on for you, and I swear, that after you die, I will not touch my violin again,” he spoke gently, as he began to play his music.
Jules was shaking her head, urging him not to give up, but he ignored her. Jules wanted her husband to perform with Madame Augustin, but she was too weak and tired to even speak to him. Her mouth couldn’t move, and sadly, after he finished playing his music, she closed her eyes forever.
After Jean was done with his walk, Beau met him at the front door.
“Monsieur, I want to talk to you. Andre told me about your affair with Madame Augustin, and how easily you refused. I want you to perform with her, Monsieur Jean. Please, listen to me. I know you have sworn to never pick up your music, or even not listen to music, but I think this has to change.” he continued, hoping to change his mind about the chance he got.
“How can I Beau? How?” he asked.
“Let me explain. Remember? It was your dream, Monsieur Jean! You cannot just slide it away, especially when you are this close to achieving it! How can you even think to say no? Poor Andre had waited to talk to Madame Agustin, and it wasn’t so easy. He only got a chance to meet her after waiting in queue for more than a couple of hours! I advise you Monsieur, to rethink your entire life. You have been doing nothing for the past 10 years, other than sulk. Please try to forget about your past. Please—do it for Madame Jules! She never wanted you to give up on your dream! She never ever did! She would like it if you would continue doing what you love Monsieur Jean. Again, I suggest you to please rethink your decision and let Andre know by tomorrow morning because the show is next week.” Beau told him, and he walked to do his jobs.
Should I start playing my violin again? Jean kept on thinking, as he hung his coat and barrette on the hanger.
The entire time he was thinking about what Beau had just told him. How correct he was. He was the one who chose to waste his dreams, not Jules. She never wanted him to stop playing. He wondered and thought about how he has been acting like a fool this entire time. How terrible he behaved to Andre and the rest!
He had to change everything somehow, and he knew a perfect way.
Later that same day...
“Beau, Andre! Please come. I want you all to invite everyone and ask them to come to the gathering room. I have a surprise in store for all of you.” Jean exclaimed, and his words also surprised the two men.
“Right away Monsieur!” Andre spoke.
“Oui Monsieur!” Beau said, and they both rushed around the house to invite everyone.
“Andre, what do you think Monsieur is planning? What surprise does he mean?” Beau asked Andre in confusion.
“I don’t know either Beau. But I think it is going to be exciting! Just hear the excitement of his voice! It must be something good, I am pretty sure about that no doubt! Well, let’s just call everyone and tell them about this grand invitation.” Andre said, and Beau nodded his head, and they continued calling everyone.
While they were calling everyone, Jean opened his violin case and put the stand in front of him. He rosined his bow properly, and put his shoulder rest, getting all ready to play. He stood up, and as he set it, everyone came downstairs, looking pleasantly surprised.
“Monsieur! You are—you are playing your violin! Oh my!” one of the chefs yelled.
“Yes, Louis! Yes! That is right! Andre, I accept your request. I will perform with Madame Augustin. But first, I want to give you all a treat! This year, I will continue to practice my violin, and there is no doubt about it!” he yelled.
“Yes Monsieur!” everyone cheered him on.
As he was playing, he thought about his wife.
This is for you, Jules. I made this vow for you. Jean thought and continued to play.