Friday at last, Keith thought. No more fooling around. Alex is coming this afternoon. Now I have to get my family out of the house.
At the breakfast table Keith observed his mom and Laurie. They were chatting about the weekend. Reuben and two officials from their record company were invited for dinner on Saturday. Danny was looking at him. Keith sighed.
'Mom', Danny was wide-eyed innocence. 'Didn't you promise to take us to the movies this afternoon?'
Keith choked on his cornflakes. No way. That was impossible.
Shirley looked surprised.
'Yes, you are right, Danny. That's what I said. Do you still want to go? I'd be happy if you let me out this time. There is so much to prepare for the weekend.'
'Oh yeah, me too, please', Keith chimed in. 'I have homework to do.'
'Homework is important, Keith. You are dismissed. But Mom, you promised to take us to the movies and get us some ice-cream later.'
'All right then,' Shirley agreed. 'Which movie do you want to see?'
While the children were making suggestions Keith observed Danny out of the corner of his eyes. That kid was definitely up to something. But he had other things on his mind to think about.
Keith was waiting for Alex in front of the house. He was very nervous. When he saw his car approaching he jumped into the street and waved. The car stopped. Alex grinned.
'Hey, Keith. What's up? Ready for take-off?' Alex opened the door of his car, climbed out and grabbed a bag that was lying in the passenger's seat.
'We have the whole afternoon for ourselves. Come on in.'
Keith opened the door to the garage and Alex whistled through his teeth.
'It's even better in here in daylight. Well, I'm ready for a good rehearsal. What have you planned?'
Keith grabbed his guitar and strummed a few chords.
'To tell you the truth – I don't have a song ready for us. Let's just get going and see where it takes us.'
'I'm OK with that. Let me change clothes first. Where can I do that?'
'Oh, the bathroom is just through that door to the right.'
Alex left the garage and Keith put down the guitar.
'Oh boy', he muttered through his breath. 'I'm so not ready for this.'
A couple of minutes later, Alex returned and Keith grinned at him. Alex frowned back.
'Keith,' he said. 'Didn't you say that we were alone this afternoon? Do you have a little brother who likes looking through bathroom windows? I saw a shadow next to it. And when I opened the shutter, a small boy vanished around a corner'
Keith first looked thunderstruck, then angry.
'I'll kill him – when I find him. Be right back,' he snarled and rushed out of the garage door.
Alex grinned. But when Keith re-appeared empty handed, he shrugged.
'Let your brother watch us if he wants to. I have nothing to hide. Come on, let's do some serious working. I'm dying to know what you have in mind for the dance.'
Keith looked at him, biting his lips. He took his guitar but he didn't make a move to strum a chord.
'Alex, I guess it's time to tell you the truth. During the last couple of days I've been sitting around the house like in a – no, not dream. It was a nightmare. Since I saw you dance I haven't picked up an instrument.'
'What's wrong, dude? That sounds serious.'
'Alex, you should ask someone else to work with you in the project. I know, it sounded like a good idea to get together both of us. I would have loved to write a tune for you and I would be thrilled to see you dance to one of my songs …. but …..'
Keith broke off. He was feeling like a fool.
'Keith, what are you talking about? I don't want to team up with someone else. This is all new to me as well. I haven't thought about choreographing before. I have always done what someone else wanted me to do. Dancing to my own directions can go horribly wrong, who knows."
'That's not the point, Alex. It's not that I'm scared about writing a tune that you can dance to. I'm scared about writing at all. YOU are the real artist here, not me. I'm just a teen idol, a pop singer who is followed by screaming girls. I feel tiny and small compared to you.'
"Nonsense. Ask yourself: is it because of others that you compose, sing and perform or is it because you want it. There are a lot of things that I can't do. I can't cook and I can't do the job of a dentist – and I definitely can't sing or compose.
What we have both in common is determination. Determination to grow in our field, to practice, to move on, to do our best. And that's what our audience likes about us.
'That's your opinion? Alex, you should give lectures in motivation and commitment,' Keith beamed. 'You're absolutely right.'
That was part of my nightmare. I was looking at my guitar and was longing to play. I wanted to turn my feelings to music but I couldn't grab a tune. Oh Alex, it was so awful. Music is a part of me, that's for sure.'
Alex grinned back.
'See? And now let's get to work. As a matter of fact, I'm getting cold.'
Keith plugged in the amplifier, sat down on a stool and soon he felt oblivious to his surroundings. Only his music was important now.
The last chapter. Nothing spectacular. Just a little reassurance which everyone needs once in a while.
The story is dedicated to my dear friend Silvia. She encouraged me to finish it some time ago. She would have loved your reviews because she was the biggest David Cassidy-Fan on earth. And she was my best friend.
Thanks for reading.