The piano was nice; far nicer than the one they had at home, which they'd gotten for free but could never keep in tune. Far nicer even than the small standing piano in the music room at his school, or the baby grand in the park that he used to play. And fortunately there were no dormitories on this floor, or he would feel bad playing so early in the morning when other students might be sleeping. It felt like his brain could finally switch off as his fingers moved, making up the notes as they went along. With no formal training, he could barely even read music. But instead, he would listen to a song over and over and over until he got the basic melody down, and built out from there.
He had a close friend from primary school who was an excellent pianist. She was the one who taught him how to play. And though he learned later than his friend, he practiced nearly every day, and had gotten quite good over the years. Though she used to say how much she liked to hear him play, and often joked that the student had surpassed the teacher, in his opinion, she was still better than him by far. She was a proper, classical musician, with a deep repertoire and subtle, effortless grace. He'd been missing her terribly, which was probably what guided his hands that morning.
This was one of the pieces she'd played at a piano recital. He didn't know the full song, but remembered the core melodies and Frankenstiened it together with the kind of music his mother liked to listen to. A kind of Ragtime Classical fusion. Ever since he'd played a jazzed up version of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman' for a school talent show, that had gotten some praise, he'd made a hobby out of fusing styles like that. And Jazz was one of his favorites. It was one of the benefits of not knowing anything about music, like how to read it, or what the proper way to play a song was. You could just bring in different elements that you liked and make the rules up as you go. Which was probably why he'd always found piano so relaxing, and she'd always found it so stressful.