The Guitarist

An old six-string acoustic Taylor guitar sits in the corner of the room. Its body is scratched and faded, and in the lower left corner it is cracked and dented. The imprints of the pads of fingers are etched into the tuning pegs, and the back of the head had a name carved in: “SOPHIA”.

The guitar belonged to an old man, whose name has been long forgotten by now. Long ago, this guitar was gifted to him by someone he loved. Someone who’s gone now. They used to travel the country together; the guitar player and his singing lover. Town to town they went, and were known everywhere as an icon of the perfect romance. The crowd saw the love in their eyes on stage, and their voices in perfect harmony.

What they didn’t see were the screaming matches in the motel parking lot. The nights that the guitarist spent alone at the bar with nothing but a double bourbon to keep him company. Some nights, his woman would run out of their rented room in tears, slamming the door behind her, and the guitarist never knew if she would come back. She kept saying she wouldn’t. He should’ve believed her.

One day the singing couple was on stage, performing their hit song. However, the fans noticed something. The guitarist and his over looked at each other with blank stares–the love had left their eyes. Their harmonies were off somehow, and the fans suspected something was amiss. That was the night she didn’t come back.

Months later, the guitarist collapsed at his favorite bar in Nashville. Slipped right out of his chair and hit his head on the edge of the table. He went into a coma, but came out long enough to whisper: “Sophia…don’t leave me. Don’t leave me…”

Now the guitar collects dust in an attic in his brother’s house. His brother’s son wandered up there once, and tried to pluck the strings, but they rang out flat and tinny. He tried tuning it, but it was of no use. It seemed the guitar had died along with its master.