Benji thought. He thought and he thought and he thought. Then one day he knew what he would do. There was a man on the hill. He was a very wealthy man. He would go to him. Benji put his guitar on his back and started the long climb up the mountain.
When he reached the estate, he walked across the tiny gravel on the drive hearing it crunch under his shoes. The heavy oak door in front of him mysteriously creaked open.
“Come in,” said the butler. “I saw you walking up the hill. Master and I and have been waiting for you.”
He walked up the meandering staircase, his feet padded by the plush red carpet. He looked up and saw a huge glass chandelier. On the walls he saw paintings the size of Rosa’s family home. His heart started to beat faster. He had never been in such a grand house before. He was frightened.
“What can I do for you, Son?” said a white haired man behind a big desk.
Benji took a deep breath. “I came to see if you would be interested in buying my guitar.”
“Your guitar? Now why would I want to buy your guitar?”
“It’s a beautiful guitar, not another one like it in the whole wide world. My grandfather gave it to me. Its surely an antique.” Benji knew rich people liked to have antiques.
“Why are you selling it if it is so precious to you, Son?” asked the white haired man.
“I have found love and her name is Rosa. I want to marry her and take her back to the United States with me but I don’t have enough money.”
“Fair enough. Why not play a little for me so I know it’s as special as you say it is.”
So Benji did. And because he knew it was the last time he would ever play his beloved guitar, he played as he had never played before. The love he felt for his Rosa, for the future they would have together, for the life they would share for years and years to come poured from his elegantly sculpted fingers. He felt a richness inside that he had never felt before, a sense that what he was doing was indeed a gift from the heavens, something he had been put on this earth to do. And when it was all too much to continue, when he felt as if his own heart might burst, he stopped. Slowly, he raised his head.
Benji looked at the white haired man. He had tears streaming down his face and his eyes were sparkling as bright as Rosa’s on that first day the two lovers had met.
“How much do you need to bring your bride home with you to the United States?”
“Three thousand US dollars, Sir.”
The white haired man cleared his throat with a loud grumble and then he said, “I will pay you that much to never sell your guitar, Son. It was made for you as the sun was made for the earth, as the sea was made to quench her thirst and as the wind was made to blow her dry.”
Benji couldn’t speak.
“Promise me though, promise me you will never sell your guitar. Promise me so I can sleep at night.”
Benji nodded his head. His eyes, just like the white haired man’s, sparkled with tears.
“Go then, go to your love and tell her what I have told you so that you may always remember this day, never doubting your life’s purpose again.”
Benji nodded his head as he put his guitar back in its case, tucking the three hundred dollars into a little pocket near the back. He shook the man’s hand and the butler’s hand, too, each their heads bowed in honor and humility.
“Thank you, “ whispered Benji, his heart now a lump in his throat.
As Benji walked down the gravel drive to tell Rosa the good news, a million things raced through his heart. They could leave tomorrow if they chose and they could even buy an ice cream on the way. ”Rosa would like that,” he said to himself. Benji reached up to feel his guitar on his back when he felt an urge to look up into the sky. Above him way up high was a bird— not big or small, not white or black, or even particularly pretty. In fact, it looked quite unusual. Benji blinked the wetness from his big eyes. The bird was soaring and it was swooping and its wings seemed free and alive in much the same way Benji felt right then himself. That was when he remembered.
“Please, dear Benji, please give the instrument your love and believe you me, it will return your love many-fold.” Benji smiled. His Grandfather was right. The guitar had returned his love many-fold, many-fold indeed.