A 34-year-old British musician so desperate to reclaim his former girlfriend of four months that he played the piano continuously night and day on College Green in Bristol got an unexpected gift from someone who had been listening to him play.

A punch to the head.

Luke Howard began playing his piano on Saturday without stopping. He was accompanied by a sign reading:

Instagram: Forlove1983 For love … my name is Luke. I am here to play for love. @forlove2017. Please like and share my Facebook page ­­­– search for @forlove2017

The Bristol Post reported that on Tuesday at roughly 4 a.m., according to Howard, someone sick of Howard's playing punched him in the head.

Howard insisted that the reason he finally stopped playing not because he was punched but rather, “I stopped playing yesterday because I realized that what I had wanted to do had spectacularly failed.” He also said his actions were not a PR stunt. He added, “The social media reaction turned it very quickly into something that would cause the one person I didn’t want to hurt embarrassment and pain. That was the last thing in the world I had wanted to happen, so I left.”

Howard had stated of his break-up:

It wasn’t anything nasty or bad, it was just life getting in the way. If it was anything bad why we split up then I wouldn’t be doing this, but it’s the only thing I can think of doing. It just seems life just got in our way. It may sound whimsical but she completely changed my life. My entire world shifted. I know people in my situation will send flowers or text or write letters but that only ever seems to make things worse. I wanted to do something that she might see, to let her know how much I love her, that she can see it and then take it or leave it.

I’m just going to play. I was totally devastated and didn’t know what to do. The more I thought the worse it became and the only thing I could think to was play … I don’t know what will happen. She’s a very organized person, very practical and I’m just trying to show her I’m really serious about us. It’s a kind of off-the-cuff thing, and I just want her to know how much I love her, to give us a chance rather than leave it there. I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Howard’s story went viral after Sian Norris, the founder of Bristol Women’s Literary Festival, tweeted, “Men, women are allowed to leave you. You are not entitled to a girlfriend. Media, stop romanticising controlling, stalker behaviour.”

Norris also wrote, “…there’s nothing romantic about refusing to accept that a woman has a right to leave you. It’s not a love story when a woman tells a man ‘no’ and he demands she change it to a ‘yes.’”