"August," said a sing-song voice. "Wake up, August..."
Someone shook him gently. He stirred and felt two people sit next to him on the bed.
"August, honey." A softer voice.
He opened his eyes. A soft glow radiated from his window as the seven AM morning sun crept inside the room. Lyla kissed his forehead and took off his headphones, which were still playing the Tchaikovsky concerto he listened to as he fell asleep last night. She brushed his unruly hair away from his face and smiled.
"Good morning Mozart."
August smiled back.
"Good morning Mom."
It felt good to say that.
He looked to his left, where his father was opening the blinds so the sunshine illuminated the details in the simple room, which was covered in unfinished sheet music and semi-unpacked boxes. The small new family had just moved from Lyla's apartment to a house in Brooklyn.
It felt good to say that too.
"Mornin' August," Louis replied, beginning to pick up pages of music off the floor. August had fallen asleep composing mid-sonata last night, and Louis had carried him from the table to his bed. He forgot that his son was only eleven sometimes, since August was always working.
"How's the sonata goin'?"
August groaned and Louis exchanged looks with Lyla, smiling.
Lyla kissed her son's forehead reassuringly. "Don't push yourself too hard, August. The dean asked for it by September, so you still have another 2 whole months."
Louis sat beside Lyla on the bed.
"It sounds good enough to me so far." He winked and August smiled, knowing that his dad barely know a thing about classical music.
August looked at the grey suit his dad was wearing. With the black tie, he looked like the male model from the Armani billboard on 5th Avenue. He also looked a bit ridiculous, and August decided he liked his dad's customary leather jacket better.
"Nice suit, Dad," he said, grinning.
"Think it's good enough to impress the recording bloke in Philly?"
Lyla smiled and took his hand.
"You look great," she said. "And you'll do great."
Louis breathed in and brushed her hair back with his hand, smiling. He had to admit he was a bit nervous about the recording contract that morning, but just the fact that he was living with Lyla and August made everything infinitely better.
"Thanks, love." He kissed her quickly and looked at August, who was rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
"Have fun with Hope and Reverend James today, August," he said as August yawned. "Tell 'em I said hi."
He kissed his son's forehead and stood up, straightening his suit.
"I better run. Interview's at 11 and I can't be late."
Lyla stood up and straightened his tie.
"Like Marshall will probably be," she said, smirking, and Louis chuckled and rolled his eyes. He kissed her one last time.
"Good luck, Dad," August chirped. "Tell Uncle Marshall I said hi."
Louis smiled, ruffling his son's hair.
"See you at dinner, August."
August had to put his feet on his mom's cello case, as it took up most of the space in the backseat of the taxi they were in. He and Lyla had just had lunch at a café where the dean of Julliard discussed concert venues and dates for the two of them. Now they were driving towards 31st street, and Lyla was chatting with the driver about the concert that weekend, encouraging him to go.
"We'll be playing Mahler and Elgar, which is just beautiful," she gushed. "Oh, and a piece by Beethoven that you've probably heard before."
She sang the melody of Für Elise and the driver chuckled. Lyla winked at August, and he smiled.
"I'll see if I can come," the driver said, pulling to a stop. "My wife just loves classical music. Here we are– St. Francis."
Lyla thanked the driver and asked him to wait a few minutes as she dropped August off. August got out of the taxi, careful not to step on his mother's cello, and they walked inside the church.
"Reverend James?" Lyla called out hesitantly.
A door opened.
The reverend laughed and Lyla gave him a hug, kissing him on the cheek.
"It's good to see you, Lyla. I haven't seen you since your wedding!"
He smiled at August, who smiled back. Lyla had married Louis officially in this church just a few weeks ago, with Reverend James as the Justice of the Peace.
"Louis doing fine?"
Lyla smiled. "Just perfect, Reverend. Absolutely perfect. He says hi."
She smiled at August.
"I hope it's okay that I leave August here for a few hours. Usually he comes with me to rehearsals and the orchestra just loves him, but this one is closed."
The reverend ruffled August's hair and chuckled.
"Don't worry, Lyla. We love him here too."
It was true. A week after Louis and Lyla's wedding, August had composed a few quick chorals for the church choir. As a result, Julliard gave the church a huge endowment. They adored him.
Lyla smiled and bent down to face her son.
"If you need anything, just call. I'll come as soon as I can."
August smiled and gave his mother a hug as she kissed his cheek.
"I'll be at Carnegie just a few minutes away, sweetie. See you soon."
He watched as she thanked Reverend James one last time and walked towards the taxi. As it drove away, she blew them a kiss and waved, and August laughed and waved back.
"I like your mom," said a high-pitched voice from behind August.
August whirled around. Hope was standing at the foot of the stairs, wearing a secondhand dress that was a size too big for her diminutive frame.
She ran to him, tackling him in a hug. August laughed and spun her in a circle.
"It's good to see you, Hope!" He smiled.
Hope giggled. "You sound like your dad."
August grinned and took it as a compliment.
"Wanna get ice cream?" Hope asked eagerly. Without waiting for August's answer, she looked at the reverend with puppy eyes, and he laughed, handing her a few dollars.
"Don't get lost," he said, and Hope hugged the reverend's knees.
"We won't, Reverend James. I promise I won't lose him. August and I will be right back."
And she grabbed his hand and ran.
"Hope, do you like opera?"
August licked some of his chocolate ice cream off the side of the cone before it dribbled onto the floor again. Beside him, Hope was already halfway finished with her double scoop of coconut, and had managed to not spill a single drop.
She wrinkled her nose.
"Ehh." She took another bite of the cone and munched it noisily. "Not really."
August copied her, crunching into his cone.
"But it's so beautiful," he said, and Hope laughed.
"You think all music is beautiful, August." She licked off the rest of her ice cream and stuffed the rest of the cone into her mouth. For someone her age and size, Hope always ate as much as she could, whenever she could get it.
"One time," she began, as August continued to slowly lick his ice cream, "when we lived in Maryland, my grandma took me to see this opera singer at our church. I guess she did sound really beautiful..."
She thought a little, sucking on the tip of her pinky.
"But she was so fat!"
August laughed, and his ice cream dripped onto the cement. Hope giggled with him.
"Aren't you gonna finish that?" she asked him.
August shook his head and offered it to her. "Makes my head hurt a little."
Hope rolled her eyes and took the cone out of his hands, finishing it for him.
"But it's so good. How can you not love ice cream?"
She giggled again, and August smiled.
"I guess we like different things," he said.
Hope nodded and licked the ice cream cone happily.
"I'm going to write an opera for you," August added, grinning. "And I'll convince the dean to let you sing it at the fall concert."
She laughed. "I don't want to be a fat opera singer. I want to be fierce." She narrowed her eyes intensely, and August raised an eyebrow. "Like Beyonce," she added.
Hope finished the rest of August's ice cream and sighed longingly.
"Who's Beyonce?" August asked.
Hope raised her eyebrows in disbelief.
"You've never heard of Beyonce?" she asked loudly and incredulously, and the ice cream vendor chuckled from inside his cart.
August shook his head.
"She's the music queen!" Hope cried. "You never heard Déjà vu or Irreplacable or Crazy in Love?"
She stood up and cleared her throat. "Got me lookin' so crazy right now, ya' love's got me lookin' so crazy right now…"
She looked at her friend expectantly and groaned at the bemused look on August's face.
"Come on," she said, grabbing her friend's hand again. "I got all the CDs for my birthday last year. They're upstairs in the church."
Hope hugged her friend around the middle, and August swung her in a circle again.
"See you at rehearsal, Hope. I've already got a million ideas for that opera."
Hope giggled. He smiled, said goodbye to Reverend James again, and got into the taxi with Lyla.
"How was your day with Hope and Reverend James?" Lyla asked as August put his feet gently on the cello case again.
He half-smiled the way Louis did every time he saw Lyla or August in concert.
"I learned about Beyonce," he announced.
Lyla smiled, and August began to sing, dancing a little. Lyla and the driver laughed and clapped as they watched August's soulful rendition of the song.
"It doesn't matter who you are, you're always welcome… It only matters that your heart believes…"
Lyla joined in with a sweet soprano.
"Callin' on all of God's children, time to come home…"
"If you wanna be delivered, time to come home."
"'Cause when you feel like you're forsaken, life can be so hopeless..."
"Maybe you need to come home so your life can be planned."
Louis had arrived at Fiorello's first, and was waiting at the entrance for Lyla and August. He saw his family pull up to the restaurant in a taxi, paid and thanked the driver, and got Lyla's cello out of the backseat.
"Hello, love," he said, kissing Lyla fully on the mouth as she got out of the car. He gave August a hug and kissed the top of his head. "I missed ya' August."
"I missed you too, Dad."
They walked into the restaurant, leaving Lyla's cello with the maitre'd, who was used to the family coming in on Friday nights.
"How did the interview go?" Lyla asked as they sat down and ordered what they usually got – lamb for Louis, veal for Lyla, and soup and pizza for August.
Louis ran a hand through his hair.
"Well, Marshall came abou' an hour late. And he was a bit hungover."
Lyla rolled her eyes.
"At least Gina's just like him," she said, referring to Marshall's girlfriend who was absolutely in love with him, and who also shared all his bad habits.
Louis smiled and nodded, taking sip of his water as Lyla ordered some juice for August.
"Well we managed to get the contract signed anyway," he announced, grinning.
August looked up from where he was scribbling music into a notebook. He beamed at Louis, his twinkling eyes identical to his father's.
"That's great, dad!" August exclaimed, and Louis laughed, ruffling his son's hair.
"Thanks, August. How was your day with Reverend James?"
August smirked and hesitated.
"Hope taught me about Beyonce."
Louis chuckled and Lyla smiled, taking his hand.
"I think I've 'eard of her," Louis said, squeezing his wife's hand. He put on a face that Hope would have only described as "fierce," and began to sing soulfully to Lyla and August.
"Got me lookin' so crazy right now, ya' love's got me lookin' so crazy right now… Got me hopin' ya' page me right now, ya' kiss got me hopin' ya' save me right now…"
The people around them began to smile and wonder what was going on, as Lyla and August joined in.
"Lookin' so crazy your love's got me lookin', got me lookin' so crazy in looove."
Phew! This movie came on TV a few nights ago and reminded me of how much I love it. This is kind of a follow-up to Chapter One, what happens after they get reunited. Louis and Lyla legally adopted August (and kept his name), got married, moved in together, and are good friends with everyone still. I'll probably write more about what happens next to everybody, because it's just such a great movie! Well I hope you enjoyed this.