His hands were reaching out to him, his thin voice breathless. "Again, won't you please?"
Father smiled softly, and stretched towards his velvet box. His son eagerly ran his hands over it, giggling like winter pines tapping on his window.
"Yes son, I will do it for you."
He withdrew his violin, freshly polished, shining silently; it almost looked red against the firelight. He withdrew his bow, gently plucked, making a rich tune.
His son clapped in anticipation, his body trying to keep still but still quivering. "Play it Father, play it!"
And he did, stroking the violin like it was his infant, cradling the violin like it was his lost love. He played sweetly, for loss, tons of loss.
The boy could hear it and his breath slowed, his exhales reverent.
Father closed his eyes, tried to understand through the sounds he made, but no matter how tight he closed them, he never thought he could reach what he longed to grasp.
His son sniffled.
Father opened his eyes, saw his little one, tousled his hair. "Well enough of that I say." He starts a fast rhythm, the violin screaming and laughing.
The boy does too, as he bounces and claps to the violin's fun. Round and round Father spun, and his son followed close behind.
He stumbled a bit, and Father scooped him up quickly and kissed him. The boy howled and wrapped his arms around his father's neck.
"I got you, son." He didn't know if his son was crying or laughing. He held him close for a moment, then looked at his son's face.
His long sandy hair was in front of him and Father brushed it away. He waved his hand briefly in front of his son's eyes. He didn't blink.
He set him gently down, listened to the pines at the window, wishing he could see what his son could see, no matter how hard he tried, he simply could not.