Exclusive for Glenn Beck’s listeners and viewers
by #1 New York Times bestselling author
Richard Paul Evans
Part 1 of 3
THIS is a true story. You might not believe it, but it is. All of it. I didn’t even exaggerate, which is something my wife accuses me of a million times a day. But in this case, you’ll just have to believe me when I say it’s all true. Fact is oftentimes stranger than fiction. And always a whole lot more painful.
Let’s be clear about something from the beginning: I didn’t want a new piano to begin with. Frankly, I didn’t even want the one we had. Most of the time it just sat in our house dormant like one of those revolutionary exercise machines that you bought at two in the morning because you were half asleep and they convinced you that it might make you look like Chuck Norris.
Richard Paul Evans is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box and fourteen other bestselling novels. He is the winner of two first-place Storytelling World Awards and the Romantic Times 1995 award for best women’s novel. His newest bestseller, just in time for Mother’s Day, is called The Walk–the story of Alan Christoffersen, a man who loses everything and begins a journey from Seattle, Washington, to Key West, Florida.
Actually, to our children, the piano was like a torture device in the house, something they’d hurry by lest my wife associate them with the piano and say, “before you touch that TV [video game, internet, brownie] you need to practice the piano.”
I can’t blame them for not liking piano lessons. My own history with pianos was less than stellar. In spite of my mother’s faith in my musical promise, my piano career ended in childhood with Schumann’s first book of annoying finger exercises. So when my wife, Keri, announced that she wanted a new piano for Mother’s Day, I was less than excited.
“We have a piano,” I said.
“It’s a bad piano,” she replied.
How could I argue? From my perspective there was no other kind. So when I found myself following her into the piano showroom the next day, it was with the intent of shocking her with the prices and walking out, consoling her with a “maybe someday.”
At least that was my intent.
Initially, our visit to the piano store went as anticipated. Keri floated from instrument to instrument, her smile falling a little more with each inspected price tag while I smugly watched her, my wallet safely intact. All according to plan, I thought; another fifteen minutes and we’ll be driving home piano-less.
Then I saw it.
The Queen Anne Mahogany Baby Grand. It wasn’t just a piano. It transcended piano. It was art and beauty. It was all that was right with the world–a piece of skillfully crafted woodmongery that had fallen from some loftier sphere into this humble showroom. It didn’t matter what it sounded like. We could just put it in our living room and stare at it like a fine oil painting.
The salesman knew love when he saw it. “She’s a beaut, isn’t she?” he said, sidling up to me. “Too bad it’s the only one in the state. It will probably be gone by morning.”
Panic gripped my heart. What? Someone take my piano?
For what it’s worth, I pride myself on being a sophisticated consumer. I was, after all, an advertising executive by profession, an abuser of such obvious sales tactics