When Kiril arrived at Room 2C for the first time that Wednesday evening, he was surprised to hear a piano ringing out from behind the classroom wall. It was early summer, and the community center was almost empty; the children’s camp had been dismissed hours earlier, and in the silence the clustered chords seemed dense and significant, like church bells. He was already late, but he paused for a moment, listening. All day he’d debated backing out at the last minute, though the course was prepaid. Even now, his hand on the doorknob, he felt a slight urge to run. But the music was too intriguing. It drew him through the door.

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