Donato.

There was a town known for its natural beauty. The flowers always enhanced the atmosphere of the town, the paint on the buildings always complimented the mood and the beauty of each citizen made this town truly remarkable. Travelers from around the world found comfort in this unique destination and often described their experience similar to that of returning home after being gone for some time. Never a negative word was uttered about this place because everyone who had the pleasure of staying, however briefly, felt a unique familiarity. The town had one or two cafe’s that citizens and travelers found particularly enjoyable and the restaurants served only the most delicious food. The local farmers would supply the local businesses with only the freshest stock and it was this sense of community that added to the already remarkable reputation the town had. Every day people enjoyed the simplest pleasures they somehow contributed too. The breeze from the coast line cooled all the sunny days and made the evenings spring to life. At any given moment you might find yourself smiling in ways you read about because the climate agreed with a life worth living. On occasion, rain might fall upon the town but it was always short lived and the towns people would often use this time indoors to share stories of life and laughter. There was great love felt for this town. This was truly a remarkable community.

Donato, a local musician who the people believed was gifted with song, provided incredible music each night on his guitar. His playing could be heard across the town square after the sun had set and it was the soundtrack of this town. The men found themselves inspired by his playing and the women all felt a connection to the melodies he played. Every note and every chord resonated within the hearts of his neighbors. It was said, no heart was the same after hearing his songs. Donato’s music touched lives. He was a quiet man who preferred listening over speaking and for years tirelessly worked on his craft. He played as often as his fingers would allow, and then some time more. For decades he played each night for the town. He never neglected anyone with his music for he believed he was the heart of the town. It wasn’t arrogance that made him feel this way, quite the contrary, it was passion. The passion every person shared with him regarding the incredible impact his music had on their lives. He was a humble man, and that shared passion for life was enough. He played for others, never for himself. He shared his soul in music… his guitar. It was the music of his towns life and the soundtrack to countless stories.

It was a late Fall evening when Donato realized that he couldn’t enjoy the sounds of the night as much as he once did. He finished playing his guitar as he always would and retired home. He found himself lying restless, curious, as to why the world seemed much quieter. The days turned into weeks, weeks to months, and months to a year when one day he found complete silence. Donato fell to the floor in heartbreak. The stories of his towns life, he felt, would be no more. No longer would he be able to share laughter with each person he came in contact with. No more would he be able to enjoy their stories that were the inspiration for his songs. Quiet and alone he cried.

The next evening Donato was found in the town-square, guitar in hand. A lifetime of playing had taught him everything he needed to know and so he played, without being able to hear, his songs. There was not a new story to be shared. They was no thanks he could hear. Donato, as he always has, played on. His hands were experienced and knew the chords and strings on his guitar. He had played these songs before and he played them again. The most familiar he played with as much passion as he always had because these melodies were as much a part of him as his smile. If ever someone approached him, he smiled gracefully. When he finished his playing he retired to his home as he had always done before. His town never knew about his loss, but they always were able to enjoy their cherished stories as he played them on his guitar.

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