A forbidden love that echoes with the melody of a piano, and the haunting secrets of the past.
Ada McGrath had been mute since childhood, communicating only through sign language. Despite this, she had a passion for music that burned within her. Her father had gifted her a piano before she left Scotland, and it was the one thing she had brought with her to her new life in New Zealand.
Upon her arrival on the beach, Ada felt a sense of loneliness and isolation. She had been sold into marriage with a local man named Alisdair Stewart, whom she didn’t love or even like. Her only comfort was her daughter, Flora, who was eager to explore their new surroundings.
As Ada looked out onto the horizon, feeling lost and uncertain, little did she know that her life was about to take a dramatic turn. She would discover a newfound passion, make unexpected friendships, and face life-altering conflicts.
Chapter 1: Arrival on the Shore
The waves crashed against the shore as Ada and Flora disembarked from the small boat that had brought them to New Zealand. Their belongings, including Ada’s beloved piano, were unloaded onto the beach. It was a beautiful yet unfamiliar landscape, and Ada felt like an outsider in this new land.
Alisdair Stewart, her new husband, greeted them with a forced smile and introduced them to his acquaintances; two Maori men, their wives, and a young boy named Hira. Ada was wary of them, unsure of how to interact with the locals.
Flora, on the other hand, was fascinated by the new surroundings and quickly made friends with Hira. They ran along the beach, picking up seashells and chasing each other. Ada watched from a distance, feeling like an outsider in her own family.
As night fell, Ada and Flora settled into their new home. Ada felt overwhelmed by the foreignness of everything. She longed to play her piano, to let the notes wash over her and ease her anxiety, but the piano was too heavy to move by herself.
Alisdair came into the room and tried to make small talk, but Ada remained silent, responding only with gestures. Alisdair grew frustrated and left the room in a huff.
Ada was left alone with her thoughts, feeling more isolated than ever. She looked out the window and saw a figure walking towards their home. It was George Baines, a Maori-friendly local who had taken a liking to Ada at their brief encounter on the beach earlier that day.
George carried with him a small gift for Flora, a doll made of woven flax. Flora was thrilled, and Ada felt grateful for the kindness shown to her daughter. George lingered for a moment, and Ada felt a spark of intrigue. She was drawn to his gentle nature and his genuine interest in her and her daughter.
As George left, Ada’s thoughts turned to her piano. She longed to play it, but it was still too heavy for her to move alone. She looked out the window once more and saw George waiting for her. Ada felt a sudden urge to speak, to say something to him, but the words caught in her throat.
Instead, she gestured towards the piano, hoping that George would understand her silent plea. To her surprise, he did. George nodded and motioned for her to follow him.
They walked along the deserted beach until they reached George’s small home. Inside, Ada saw a beautifully crafted wooden flute hanging on the wall. George took it down and began to play a soft melody. Ada was entranced, and for the first time since her arrival in New Zealand, she felt a spark of hope and excitement.
George motioned towards the piano, and Ada eagerly sat down to play. She played a simple tune, but it was enough to lift her spirits and fill her with a newfound sense of purpose.
As she played, George watched her intently, admiring her skill and passion. Ada felt alive, and for a brief moment, she forgot about her troubles and felt truly happy.
As the night drew to a close, George walked Ada back to her home, and they said their goodbyes. Ada couldn’t shake the feeling that her encounter with George was the beginning of something significant, something that would change her life forever.
Little did she know that her newfound passion for music and her growing interest in George would lead to tense, life-altering conflicts that would challenge her sense of duty and loyalty to her family.
Chapter 2: Ada’s Muteness
Ada sat in her new home, staring at the piano her father had gifted her as a wedding present. She longed to play it, to express herself through the beautiful music that it held within its keys. But she was mute and had been since childhood, unable to communicate with words.
Alisdair, her new husband, had little patience for her silence. He viewed it as a flaw and, instead, preferred to communicate through action rather than words. Ada felt isolated and alone, longing for someone to understand her.
As the days passed, Ada attempted to communicate with Alisdair through sign language, but he struggled to understand her. His frustration mounted, and he began to see her silence as a personal slight against him. Ada was hurt by his lack of understanding and found herself withdrawing even further into herself.
The only time Ada truly felt alive was when she sat at the piano, her fingers flying across the keys as she lost herself in the music. It was the only way she could express the emotions she couldn’t put into words. Her piano became her voice, her solace in a lonely world.
One day, while Alisdair was out attending to business, Ada decided to play her piano. She had been waiting for this moment, and her heart was full of anticipation. As she played, the music flowed through her, and her fingers danced across the keys.
Suddenly, she heard a noise behind her and turned to see Flora, her daughter, watching her with wide eyes. Flora had heard the music and had been drawn to the sound. Ada smiled and motioned for Flora to come closer.
Flora sat beside her mother, and the two of them played together, their fingers working in unison. Ada felt a sense of joy and connection with her daughter, and for the first time in a long time, she felt as though she belonged.
As the days passed, Ada played more and more often, sometimes accompanied by Flora. Alisdair would often come home to find them at the piano, but he remained distant and uninterested in the music. Ada felt as though he disapproved of her passion, and it only served to make her feel more isolated.
One day, Ada received a letter from her father. He had heard about her new life and was worried about her. Ada had always been close to her father, and his concern touched her deeply. She wrote back, telling him about her new home, her husband, and her daughter. But she couldn’t bring herself to tell him about her muteness.
As the weeks passed, Ada found herself growing increasingly frustrated with her silence. She longed to tell someone about her feelings, to express herself in a way that was more than just music. One night, she sat at her piano, feeling lost and alone.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Ada wondered who it could be and, hesitantly, made her way to the front of the house. As she opened the door, she was surprised to see George Baines standing there.
George was one of Alisdair’s acquaintances, and Ada had seen him around town. He had a reputation for being friendly to the local Maori people, and Ada found herself drawn to him. He smiled at her, and Ada found herself feeling nervous and uncertain.
George spoke to Ada, and she watched as his lips moved, but she couldn’t understand what he was saying. She realized that she had never seen him before, and she felt embarrassed by her ignorance. George seemed to understand, though, and he motioned for her to follow him.
Together, they walked out into the night air, the stars twinkling above their heads. Ada felt a sense of freedom and exhilaration that she had never experienced before. She followed George without hesitation, her curiosity piqued by this enigmatic man.
As they walked, George began to talk about his love for the local Maori culture. Ada listened intently, feeling a connection to his words. She had always been fascinated by the culture, but she had never had the opportunity to learn more about it.
Suddenly, George stopped and turned to her, his eyes dark and intense. Ada felt a surge of fear, unsure of what was happening. George spoke again, his words coming in a rush. Ada realized that he was asking her to play the piano for him, and she felt a sense of relief.
Together, they made their way to George’s home, a small hut nestled in the woods. Ada felt a sense of trepidation as they entered, unsure of what George wanted from her. But as she sat at his piano and began to play, she lost herself in the music.
George listened intently, his eyes fixed on her fingers as they moved across the keys. Ada felt as though she was finally being heard, that someone was truly listening to her. As she finished playing, she turned to George, her heart racing.
To her surprise, George offered to buy her piano, revealing his fascination with the instrument. Ada felt a surge of emotion at the thought of losing her piano, but George made her an offer – he would let her play it whenever she wanted in exchange for the piano.
Ada was torn. Her piano was the only thing that brought her comfort and joy in her new life, but the thought of having someone to play for was tempting. She struggled with her decision, unsure of what to do.
As she made her way home, Ada’s mind was in turmoil. She had been offered something that she had always longed for – a way to express herself vocally. But it came at a price, one that she wasn’t sure she was willing to pay.
When she arrived home, she found Alisdair waiting for her. He looked angry, and Ada realized she had been gone longer than she had intended. As he questioned her about where she had been, Ada struggled to explain, unable to voice her feelings.
Frantically, she signed to him, hoping that he would understand. But instead, Alisdair grew angrier, mistaking her gestures for defiance. Ada felt trapped, unsure of how to escape her silent prison.
As she sat at her piano that night, Ada wondered if she would ever be able to fully communicate with the people around her. She longed for someone to understand her, to see her for who she truly was. But as the night dragged on, Ada realized that her muteness was a part of her, a part of her that she couldn’t change.
As she played a mournful tune, Ada felt a sense of longing wash over her. She knew that things would never be easy, that she would always be an outsider in this new world. But she was determined to find her voice, to express herself in a way that was uniquely her own.
As the night drew to a close, Ada made a decision. She would not let her muteness define her, would not let it control her life. She would find a way to express herself, no matter what the cost.
And with that, Ada played a final note on her piano, a note of determination and hope, a note that echoed through the silent house.
Chapter 3: George’s Interest
Ada had never felt so alive as she did playing the piano in George’s home. The sound of the keys, the smoothness of the wood, the weight of the hammers striking the strings – they all combined to transport her to another world. And George was the perfect audience. He listened intently, his eyes closed, almost as if he were lost in the music as much as she was.
Afterwards, they sat in silence for a few moments, Ada feeling timid and unsure. But George broke the silence with a soft chuckle.
“That was beautiful, Ada. You play with such feeling.”
Ada blushed, not used to receiving such compliments. Alisdair had never shown much interest in her music, or anything else about her for that matter.
“Thank you,” she signed, her hands trembling slightly. “It’s been so long since I’ve played for anyone other than myself.”
George smiled warmly. “Well, you’re welcome to come here anytime and play for me. I can’t guarantee I’ll always be as attentive as I was just now, but I’ll try my best.”
Ada laughed, feeling a sense of ease with George that she had never felt with Alisdair or any of his acquaintances. She found herself opening up to him, telling him about her life in Scotland and her love for the piano.
“I always feel like the piano is the only way I can truly express myself,” she signed. “I’ve never been good with words, but when I play, it’s like I’m speaking a language that everyone can understand.”
George nodded thoughtfully. “I know what you mean. Music has a way of transcending language and culture. It speaks to something deep within us all.”
They continued to talk for hours, sipping tea and sharing stories. Ada discovered that George had a deep respect for Maori culture and had spent years learning about their traditions and beliefs. He showed her a collection of artifacts he had collected over the years, explaining the significance of each one.
“As much as I love Scotland, there’s something about this land that has captured my heart,” he said. “The Maori have a connection to the land that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. They understand that we’re all connected, that everything in the universe is connected. It’s a beautiful way of looking at the world.”
Ada was fascinated by George’s passion and knowledge. She had never met anyone like him before – someone who seemed to genuinely care about her and her interests. As the sun began to set, she realized with a pang of disappointment that she would have to go back to Alisdair’s house.
“Thank you for letting me play your piano,” she signed. “I…I don’t think I’ve enjoyed myself this much in a long time.”
George took her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. “You’re welcome, Ada. And anytime you want to come back, I’ll be here.”
As Ada made her way back to Alisdair’s house, her mind was filled with thoughts of George. She couldn’t explain why, but she felt drawn to him in a way she had never felt with anyone else. Alisdair, with his coldness and indifference, seemed even more distant and unappealing in comparison.
For the first time since arriving in New Zealand, Ada felt a glimmer of hope. Perhaps there was more to life than Alisdair and his narrow worldview. Perhaps there was a chance for her to find happiness and fulfillment, if only she could find the courage to pursue it.
Chapter 4: Alisdair’s Jealousy
Alisdair was filled with a sense of jealousy and insecurity as he watched Ada grow closer to George Baines. He had always been attracted to her beauty and gentleness, but now he was afraid that she would leave him for George, a man who seemed more worldly, sophisticated, and fascinating. Ada noticed the growing tension between her husband and George, but she didn’t understand the depth of Alisdair’s emotions.
One day, Alisdair decided to confront Ada about her relationship with George. They were sitting in the parlor, and Alisdair was staring at Ada with a mix of anger and hurt. “I don’t understand why you spend so much time with that Maori man,” he said.
Ada looked at him, her eyes sad and bewildered. “George is just a friend,” she said softly. “He is kind and interesting, and he understands my love for music.”
“But he is not your husband,” Alisdair snapped. “I am the one who married you, who provides for you, who cares for you. And yet you seem to prefer the company of a stranger.”
Ada felt a surge of indignation. “I do not prefer anyone over you,” she said, her hands trembling. “I am grateful for everything you have done for me, but I cannot help who I am drawn to.”
Alisdair stood up, his face red with frustration. “I forbid you from seeing George again,” he said. “He is not a proper companion for a respectable lady like you.”
Ada felt a pang of fear and defiance. She had never liked being told what to do, and now she felt like a prisoner in her own home. “I will not be told who I can or cannot see,” she said, her voice shaking. “I am not a child, and I will make my own choices.”
Alisdair stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him. Ada sat there, feeling alone and confused. She longed for someone to understand her, to comfort her, to share her passion for music. But now she was trapped in a relationship that felt suffocating and empty.
In the days that followed, Ada tried to avoid Alisdair and George, not wanting to provoke any more conflict. She spent more time with Flora, teaching her to read and write, and exploring the beaches and forests around their home. But she could not ignore the ache in her heart, the longing for her piano, and the desire to connect with George again.
One afternoon, Ada snuck away from the house and made her way to George’s cottage. She knocked on the door, feeling nervous and excited at the same time. When George answered, he looked pleased to see her but also concerned.
“Ada, what are you doing here?” he asked. “You should be careful. Alisdair is watching you closely.”
“I know, but I had to see you,” Ada said, her eyes shining. “I miss playing the piano, and I miss talking to you. I feel like I am suffocating in that house.”
George nodded sympathetically. “I understand,” he said. “But we cannot be reckless. We must be cautious and patient. Alisdair is a dangerous man, and he will not hesitate to harm us if he feels threatened.”
Ada felt a shiver run down her spine. She knew that George was right, but she also knew that she could not live without music and friendship. “I cannot bear this isolation anymore,” she said. “I must find a way to play my piano again, to express myself, to be free.”
George looked at her intently, a mix of admiration and desire in his eyes. “I have an idea,” he said. “But it is risky, and it requires a great deal of trust.”
Ada felt a flicker of hope. “What is it?” she asked.
George leaned in, his voice low. “I have a piano in my home,” he said. “It is not as fine as yours, but it is playable. If you come to my house tonight, I will let you play it. But you must promise me something in return.”
Ada felt a tremor of fear and excitement. “What do you want me to promise?” she asked.
George took her hand and looked at her with intensity. “I want you to promise to listen to me, to trust me, to let me help you,” he said. “And I want you to promise me that you will not tell anyone about this, not even Flora.”
Ada felt a surge of conflicting emotions. She wanted to play the piano, to feel the ivory keys under her fingers, to let the music flow from her soul. But she also knew that she was risking everything, her marriage, her safety, her reputation. “I need time to think,” she said.
George nodded, understanding her hesitation. “I will leave you now,” he said. “But please, Ada, please consider my offer. I want to help you, to be your friend, to share your joy and your pain. You are not alone, and you do not have to be silent.”
Ada watched him go, feeling torn and confused. She knew that she was playing with fire, that she was risking everything for a few moments of pleasure. But she also knew that she could not resist the temptation, that she had to follow her heart, no matter the consequences. She sat down on a rock, looking out over the ocean, and tried to find the courage to make a decision.
Chapter 5: Ada’s Betrayal
Ada’s heart raced as she sat at George’s piano, her fingers gliding over the keys, producing a beautiful melody. She had never felt so alive, so free. She had been forbidden to play the piano by Alisdair, but George had given her the opportunity to indulge in her passion.
But her moment of joy was short-lived. Suddenly, the door burst open, and Alisdair stormed in, his face twisted in fury. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he shouted.
Ada froze, her heart pounding in her chest. She had been caught, and she knew that there would be consequences. “I-I’m sorry…” she stammered, tears welling up in her eyes.
Alisdair’s eyes narrowed, and he strode towards her, grabbing her by the arm. “You’re sorry? You’re sorry for betraying me?” he growled.
Ada tried to pull away, but Alisdair’s grip was too strong. She knew that he was capable of violence, and she feared for her safety. “Please, let go of me,” she pleaded.
But Alisdair was not listening. He dragged her out of the house and threw her onto the ground, his anger uncontainable. “You think you can just do whatever you want? You think you can humiliate me like this?” he yelled.
Ada sobbed, feeling helpless and alone. She had never wanted to hurt Alisdair, but she could not deny the attraction she felt towards George. She knew that she had made a mistake, but it was too late to take it back.
As Alisdair continued to berate her, Ada saw George standing in the distance, watching with a pained expression. She knew that he felt guilty for causing this conflict, and she wished that she could take back her decision to accept his invitation.
Eventually, Alisdair’s rage subsided, and he dragged Ada back to their home, locking her in her room. Ada was left to ponder the consequences of her actions, knowing that she had shattered the fragile peace that existed between her and Alisdair.
Meanwhile, Flora sensed the tension in the air and knew that something was wrong. She tried to ask her mother what had happened, but Ada remained silent, her face etched with pain. Flora felt helpless, wishing that she could do something to make everything right again.
The next morning, Ada was released from her room, but Alisdair refused to speak to her. She knew that their relationship had been irreparably damaged, and she felt a deep sense of regret. She longed to be able to turn back time and make a different choice.
As the days passed, Ada became increasingly isolated and despondent. She missed playing the piano, but more than that, she missed the connection she had felt with George. She wondered if things could ever go back to the way they were before, or if her actions had destroyed any chance of happiness.
The chapter ends with Ada grappling with the aftermath of her betrayal, unsure of what the future holds. The reader is left wondering what choices Ada will make, and how the conflict between her, Alisdair, and George will ultimately be resolved.
Chapter 6: The Bargain
Ada couldn’t believe she was standing in front of George’s house, feeling both nervous and excited. She had slipped away from Alisdair’s grasp and made her way to George’s home, the weight of her piano on her back. She knew that Alisdair would be furious if he discovered her illicit meeting with George, but she couldn’t resist the pull of the man who seemed to understand her and her music so well.
George greeted her at the door, his eyes lighting up as he saw the piano. Ada noticed that he was holding a bottle of whiskey, which made her uneasy. She knew the Maori’s fondness for alcohol and had heard stories of drunkenness leading to violence.
“Come in, come in,” George said, beckoning her inside. “Let me help you with that.”
Ada lifted the piano off her back and set it down gently on the floor. George’s home was humble, but the walls were adorned with intricate Maori carvings and paintings. The room was lit by candles, casting shadows on the walls, and the air was heavy with the scent of incense.
“Beautiful,” George murmured, running his hands over the piano’s keys. “Absolutely beautiful.”
Ada felt pride and joy swelling within her as she watched George admire her instrument. She had never felt such a connection with anyone, not even Alisdair. She had been taught from an early age that a woman’s place was to be subservient to her husband and that her voice, her thoughts, and her desires didn’t matter. But with George, everything was different. He seemed to see her – the real her, the one who loved music, the one who was passionate and intelligent.
“Would you like to play?” George asked.
Ada nodded, and he gestured for her to sit at the piano. She took a deep breath and lifted her hands to the keys. As soon as she began to play, she felt as if she were transported to another world. The music flowed from her fingers, pouring out of her heart and soul. She played for what felt like hours, lost in the beauty of the sound.
When she finally stopped playing, she looked up at George, who was watching her with a look of awe.
“You are truly amazing,” he said, standing up and pouring himself a glass of whiskey. “I have an offer for you, Ada.”
Ada tensed. She knew that George’s interest in her was not entirely innocent, but she couldn’t deny the attraction she felt toward him.
“I’ll buy your piano from you,” George continued, taking a swig of whiskey. “In exchange, you’ll spend the night with me.”
Ada was horrified. She had heard of such bargains before, of women who had no other choice but to sell their bodies to survive. She had never thought that she would find herself in such a position.
“I can’t,” she whispered, her voice barely audible.
“You can,” George said, setting his glass down on the table. “Think about it, Ada. You’re unhappy with Alisdair. You’re stuck in a loveless marriage. Your piano is your only joy in life, but it’s just a thing. I can give you something more.”
Ada felt torn. She knew that he was right – her life was miserable, and her piano was all she had. But the thought of selling herself was repulsive.
“I can’t,” she repeated, standing up and moving to the door.
“Think about it,” George called after her. “I’ll leave the offer on the table.”
Ada left the house, her heart pounding in her chest. She knew that she couldn’t accept George’s offer, but the piano was her only ticket out of this life. She felt trapped and alone, with no one to turn to.
As she walked back to Alisdair’s house, she felt a sense of dread settling over her. She knew that her meeting with George would have consequences, but she couldn’t predict how severe they would be.
When she arrived home, Alisdair was waiting for her in the living room.
“Where have you been?” he demanded.
Ada tried to speak, but no words came out, and she gestured helplessly.
“I know where you’ve been,” Alisdair said, his face contorted with anger. “Don’t you think I know what’s been going on between you and that Maori savage? You’ve been carrying on behind my back.”
Ada shook her head, trying to explain, but Alisdair wouldn’t listen. He advanced on her, his fists clenched, and Ada felt a surge of fear rise within her.
That was when she knew that the consequences of her actions were going to be severe.
Chapter 7: Consequences
Ada woke up with a feeling of dread in her heart. She knew that what she had done with George the night before was wrong, but it was also the only way she could keep her piano. As she sat up in bed, she could hear Alisdair’s angry voice coming from the other room. She got up and walked across the room, trying to steady herself.
When she opened the door, Alisdair was standing there, his face red with rage. “How could you do this to me?” he shouted. “You betrayed me! You betrayed our marriage!”
Ada lowered her eyes. She couldn’t deny what she had done, but she also couldn’t bring herself to feel guilty. “I did what I had to do,” she said quietly.
Alisdair sneered at her. “You did what you wanted to do,” he said. “You always do. You think you’re so special, with your pretty piano and your fancy clothes. But you’re just a woman, Ada. A woman who belongs to me.”
Ada shuddered at his words. She felt trapped, helplessly caught in a game she never wanted to play. She had thought that marrying Alisdair would give her security and freedom, but instead, it had imprisoned her in a loveless marriage.
“Please, Alisdair,” she said, her voice trembling. “Let me keep my piano. It’s all I have left.”
Alisdair laughed. “Your piano?” he said. “You think that’s all you have left? You have nothing, Ada. Nothing except shame and disgrace.”
Ada felt a surge of anger rising within her. She knew that she had made a mistake, but she also knew that she was not a shameful or disgraceful person. She was a woman who had been denied the chance to express herself, and she had taken a risk to do so.
“I’m not ashamed,” she said firmly. “I did what I had to do.”
Alisdair’s face twisted in fury. He lunged at her, grabbing her by the shoulders. Ada struggled to break free, but he held her tightly.
“You’re a whore,” he hissed into her ear. “A filthy, disgusting whore.”
Ada felt a surge of fear. She knew that Alisdair was capable of violence, and she had no idea what he might do to her. She tried to think of a way to escape, but it was too late.
Suddenly, the door burst open, and George Baines stepped inside. “Let her go,” he said, his voice low and steady.
Alisdair turned to face him, his grip on Ada loosening slightly. George stepped forward, placing himself between Ada and Alisdair.
“What are you doing here?” Alisdair sneered. “This is none of your business.”
George didn’t flinch. “It is my business,” he said. “Ada is my friend, and I won’t let you hurt her.”
Alisdair laughed. “You think you can stop me?” he said. “You’re nothing but a half-breed savage.”
George’s face darkened. “I am a Maori,” he said. “And I am proud of it. More proud than you will ever be of anything.”
Ada watched in amazement as the two men faced off. She had never seen George so angry, or so determined. She felt a flicker of hope in her heart. Maybe, just maybe, there was a way out of this mess.
Alisdair lunged at George, but George was too quick for him. He dodged the blow and landed a punch of his own, sending Alisdair sprawling to the floor. Ada gasped in shock. She had never seen anything like this before.
Alisdair got to his feet, his eyes blazing with fury. “You’ll pay for that,” he said, his voice shaking.
George didn’t flinch. “I’m not afraid of you,” he said. “But you should be afraid of me.”
Ada watched as the two men circled each other, each looking for an opening. She felt her heart pounding in her chest. She didn’t know what was going to happen next, but she knew that it was going to be important.
Finally, Alisdair made his move. He lunged at George, but George was ready. He sidestepped the blow and landed a powerful punch to Alisdair’s jaw. Alisdair staggered backwards, his eyes glazing over.
Ada watched in horror as Alisdair fell to the ground, unconscious. She felt a surge of fear rising within her. What had she done?
George turned to face her, his eyes softening. “Are you all right?” he asked.
Ada nodded mutely. She didn’t know what to say.
George walked over to her and took her hand. “Come on,” he said. “Let’s get out of here.”
Ada allowed herself to be led out of the room and into the bright sunlight. She felt disoriented, as if she had just woken up from a dream. She looked around, trying to make sense of what had just happened.
“Thank you,” she said softly.
George smiled at her. “I’ll always be here for you,” he said.
Ada felt a flicker of hope in her heart. Maybe, just maybe, there was a way out of this mess after all. Maybe she could find a way to be happy.
Chapter 8: Redemption
Ada sat at her piano, the ivory keys beneath her fingertips as she closed her eyes and played a haunting melody. George watched her from across the room, his eyes filled with a mixture of awe and admiration. It had been months since they had last seen each other, since the night that changed everything.
Alisdair had been furious when he discovered Ada’s betrayal, and although she had tried to explain herself, he refused to listen. He had threatened to turn her over to the authorities, accusing her of adultery and dishonoring their marriage. It was only through George’s intervention that she was able to avoid being sent away.
Now, as Ada played her piano, she thought back to that night with a sense of regret and sadness. She had never intended to hurt anyone, least of all Alisdair. She had simply been lost and alone, seeking solace in the music that had always been her refuge. But now, as she looked at George, she felt a sense of peace settle over her.
“Thank you for everything,” she said softly, turning to face him. “I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
George smiled, his eyes shining with affection. “You don’t have to thank me,” he said. “I only did what any decent man would have done.”
They sat in silence for a few moments, listening to the sound of the piano as it filled the room. Ada knew that their time together was limited, that she would have to return to Alisdair soon and face the consequences of her actions. But for now, she simply wanted to enjoy this moment with George.
As if sensing her thoughts, George spoke up. “What will you do now?” he asked.
Ada sighed. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “I suppose I’ll have to try to make amends with Alisdair, somehow. And Flora…I worry about her. She’s been through so much already.”
George nodded, understandingly. “I can help you, if you’ll let me,” he said. “I can talk to Alisdair, try to make him see reason. And as for Flora, I can teach her more about our culture and help her understand the world around her.”
Ada smiled, feeling a sense of gratitude wash over her. “You’re too kind,” she said. “But I don’t want to cause any more trouble for you. You’ve already done so much.”
George leaned forward, his hand reaching out to grasp hers. “You don’t owe me anything,” he said, his voice gentle. “I want to help you because…well, because I care about you, Ada. I always have.”
At those words, Ada felt her heart skip a beat. She looked into George’s eyes, seeing the depth of emotion there, and felt a surge of something she couldn’t quite identify. Was it love? She didn’t know. All she knew was that she felt safe and cherished in his presence.
They sat in silence for a few more moments, lost in their own thoughts. Ada knew that she would have to leave soon, but part of her didn’t want to. She wanted to stay here, with George, and forget about the outside world.
But eventually, she knew she had to go. With a sense of reluctance, she rose to her feet, turning to face George one last time.
“Goodbye, George,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
“Goodbye, Ada,” he replied, his voice equally soft.
As she turned to leave, Ada felt a sense of longing wash over her. She didn’t know what the future held, but she knew that she would never forget this moment, this person who had touched her life so deeply.
And as she walked out into the world beyond, Ada knew that she would always carry a part of George with her, in her heart and in her music.
Some scenes from the movie The Piano written by A.I.
– Ada McGrath: A mute pianist who struggles to adapt to her new life in New Zealand after being sold into marriage with the wealthy landowner, Alisdair Stewart. Ada seeks refuge in her piano, which she brought with her from Scotland, and forms a connection with George Baines, a Maori-friendly local.
– Alisdair Stewart: Ada’s husband, who is frustrated by her muteness and inability to warm up to him. Alisdair becomes jealous of Ada’s growing friendship with George and forbids her from seeing him.
– George Baines: A Maori-friendly local who becomes intrigued by Ada and her piano. George offers to buy Ada’s piano in exchange for spending the night with her, leading to a dramatic and unexpected climax.
New Zealand in the mid-19th century. The story takes place on a remote beach where Ada is left stranded with her daughter and her beloved piano.
EXT. NEW ZEALAND BEACH – DAY
Ada, her daughter Flora, and their belongings, including a large piano, are stranded on the beach. Ada looks around, taking in her new surroundings and the unfamiliar world she has entered. She is dressed in her finest clothing, which is ill-suited for the rugged terrain, and she adjusts her bonnet, hoping to cover her face and avoid attention.
ADA: (voiceover) This is not my home. This is not my life.
Flora runs toward the water, excited to explore the beach. Ada follows, reluctantly, but pauses when she sees a group of Maori men in the distance. She watches them warily, unsure of how to interact with them.
ALISDAIR (O.S.): Ada!
Ada turns to see Alisdair Stewart approaching. He is a tall, imposing man in his late 40s, with a stern expression.
ALISDAIR: Come. We must make camp before dark.
ADA: (through sign language) The piano…we must bring it.
Alisdair looks at the piano with disdain.
ALISDAIR: It’s a useless thing. We’ll leave it here.
Ada looks at the piano with longing, then clutches her daughter’s hand and follows Alisdair. The camera follows them as they wander through the wilderness, with Ada’s internal monologue reflecting her sense of isolation and disorientation.
ADA: (voiceover) My piano is my only companion in this strange land. But even it cannot fill the emptiness inside me.
The camera pans out to show them disappearing into the distance, leaving the piano behind on the beach.
1. Ada McGrath – A young woman who has been mute since childhood, expresses herself through sign language and music.
2. Alisdair Stewart – A wealthy landowner who has recently married Ada.
3. George Baines – A Maori-friendly local who develops a fascination with Ada’s piano playing.
4. Flora – Ada’s young daughter who befriends George and learns about Maori culture.
Setting: The story takes place in 19th century New Zealand, on the shores of a remote beach.
EXT. NEW ZEALAND BEACH – DAY
Ada and Flora step off the ship with their belongings, including a large piano. Alisdair Stewart, a wealthy landowner, greets them with mild interest.
Welcome to our home, Ada. I hope you find it to your liking.
Ada nods politely, exchanging a few signs with Flora. They load their belongings into a carriage and ride to their home.
INT. ALISDAIR’S HOUSE – DAY
Alisdair leads Ada and Flora into their new home. Ada takes in the opulent furnishings and looks around in awe. Flora runs over to the piano and begins to play a few notes. Ada watches her daughter with a wistful smile.
Why won’t you speak, Ada? It’s not natural.
Ada signs back.
I’ve been mute since childhood. I can’t speak.
Then how do you communicate?
Ada takes out a notebook and writes a message.
I communicate through sign language. And through my piano.
Ada nods, and Alisdair goes to the piano to inspect it. Ada watches him carefully, her eyes fixed on the instrument.
I don’t see how this can make you speak. It’s just a bunch of keys and strings.
Ada shakes her head, a determined look on her face. She sips her tea and begins to sign to Flora, translating her daughter’s piano playing into words. Alisdair watches, fascinated and a bit intimidated by Ada’s skills.
You really are quite talented, Ada. Perhaps you’ll play for us sometime.
Ada nods, a small smile on her face. She knows that her piano is her voice, and she’ll do whatever it takes to make it heard.
The scene ends with Ada accepting her new life, but it’s clear that she still struggles with her muteness. Her determination to express herself through music will eventually lead her to George Baines, who becomes both her greatest ally and her greatest challenge. The scene sets up the conflict between Ada and Alisdair, as well as Ada’s relationship with her piano.
EXT. NEW ZEALAND BEACH – DAY
ADA, a Scottish Pianist, and her daughter FLORA, walk onto the beach, carrying a large piano with them. Ada is mute and communicates through sign language. They are greeted by ALISDAIR, a local wealthy landowner who has arranged to marry Ada.
Welcome to New Zealand, Ada. I hope your journey was comfortable.
ADA signs to FLORA who translates for Alisdair.
My mother says thank you, sir. She’s glad to be here.
And this must be the piano your father gifted you for your wedding.
ADA nods and signs to Flora.
Yes, sir. My mother is very fond of it.
Alisdair clears his throat and nods towards a nearby group of men.
May I introduce you to some of my acquaintances?
Ada nods, and they walk towards the group.
INT. GEORGE BAINES’ HOUSE – DAY
Ada is playing the piano while GEORGE BAINES watches her with fascination. George, a Maori-friendly local, appears impressed by Ada’s skills.
That was beautiful. I’ve never heard anyone play like that before.
ADA signs to Flora who translates for George.
My mother thanks you, sir.
George, please. And I’m serious, Ada. You have a gift. Have you ever considered performing professionally?
ADA shakes her head and signs to Flora, who translates for George.
My mother says she’s never been able to speak, so she expresses herself through music.
George nods thoughtfully.
I see. Well, it’s a gift to be treasured. I hope you’ll continue to share it with me.
ADA nods, and they share a smile.
Logline: A mute pianist sold into a loveless marriage finds solace in the company of a Maori-friendly local, leading to a forbidden romance that threatens to unravel her life.
– Ada McGrath: A mute pianist who has been sold into marriage to landowner Alisdair Stewart. She longs for the freedom to express herself through music and finds it in her growing friendship with George Baines.
– Alisdair Stewart: Ada’s husband, a wealthy landowner who is frustrated by her silence and jealous of her growing friendship with George. He is controlling and possessive, finding it hard to understand Ada’s desire for music.
– George Baines: A Maori-friendly local who becomes intrigued by Ada’s piano playing and offers to buy it from her. He is drawn to her beauty and talent, leading to a forbidden romance that puts both of their lives in danger.
– Flora: Ada’s young daughter who is caught in the middle of her parents’ tense relationship. She befriends George and learns about Maori culture, providing a window into the world beyond her restrictive home life.
The film is set in 19th century New Zealand, on the rugged coastline where Ada and her daughter arrive after a long voyage from Scotland. The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful but also harsh and unforgiving, serving as a metaphor for the difficulties Ada faces in her new life.
INT. ADA AND ALISDAIR’S HOME – DAY
Alisdair paces back and forth in the living room, his frustration growing with each passing moment. Ada sits at the piano, playing a soft melody, unaware of his mounting anger.
Why do you waste your time with that damn piano? You know it means nothing to me.
It means everything to me. It’s the only way I can express myself.
And what about me? Don’t I deserve your attention?
You have it. But you can’t expect me to give up the only thing that brings me joy.
Alisdair slams his fist on the piano, startling Ada and cutting off her playing.
What about George Baines? You seem awfully friendly with him these days.
He’s a kind man. He’s interested in music too.
He’s interested in something else too. You think I don’t see the way he looks at you?
I don’t understand what you’re getting at.
You’re playing a dangerous game, Ada. You don’t know what kind of man he is.
I trust him.
You shouldn’t. I forbid you from seeing him again.
You can’t do that.
Watch me. You’re my wife, and I won’t let another man come between us.
Ada looks down at the piano keys, her heart heavy with sadness. She knows that her connection with George is special, and that Alisdair will never understand it. She fears for what this means for her future, and the future of her beloved piano.
– ADA MCGRATH: A mute pianist who is sold into marriage to a local landowner.
– ALISDAIR STEWART: Ada’s unloving and possessive husband.
– GEORGE BAINES: A Maori-friendly acquaintance of Alisdair who is intrigued by Ada’s piano playing.
The scene takes place in Ada and Alisdair’s home, where Ada is caught by her husband, playing the piano for George.
INT. ADA AND ALISDAIR’S HOME – DAY
Ada is playing the piano while George watches and listens intently. Suddenly, the door bursts open, and Alisdair storms in, looking furious.
ALISDAIR: What the hell is going on here?
Ada stops playing and turns to face him.
ADA: Alisdair, please calm down. I was just playing-
ALISDAIR: I don’t want to hear it! How dare you betray me like this!
GEORGE: Mr. Stewart, please-
ALISDAIR: Stay out of this, George! This is between me and my wife!
Ada looks frightened and confused as Alisdair approaches her.
ALISDAIR: You think you can just do whatever you want? That piano is mine, and you have no right to play it for anyone else!
ADA: I’m sorry, Alisdair. I just wanted-
ALISDAIR: You wanted what? To humiliate me in front of my own friend? To make me look like a fool?
GEORGE: That’s not what’s happening, Alisdair. Ada was playing beautifully-
ALISDAIR: Shut up, George! You don’t know anything about our marriage!
Ada looks at George, sensing that he is trying to help her.
GEORGE: Mr. Stewart, please listen to me. Ada was just-
ALISDAIR: I said shut up! Ada, you’re coming with me. We need to have a little chat about your behavior.
Ada looks back at the piano with a sad expression on her face as Alisdair drags her out of the room.