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When Adam left, Charlie adjusted herself on the piano bench and rubbed her sore back with her free hand. Somehow, all this had been more fun when she was smaller.

"Your back will get used to the bench," Dave encouraged her without looking up from his work at the desk. "Keep up the tempo, please."

"I almost forgot," Charlie sighed glumly, "you're a piano teacher."

"I used to be," he answered. "Pay attention to the metronome."

"When I was eight," she mused ironically, "I used to daydream about playing piano with Wallace Shipley."

"Be careful what you wish for," smiled Dave. "You're losin' tempo again, Charlie. Best stop talkin'." Dave's attention returned to his notebook again, and the music room continued to sound with Charlie's simple finger exercises.

By the time Adam returned, Charlie had just switched over to her left hand. "How's it going?" he asked.

"It's not working," she laughed dully. "I'm still not you."

Thoughtfully, Adam sat down on the battered thinking sofa and watched Charlie from his vantage.

"What did you talk to Bill about?" she asked, eager to get her mind off the monotonous ticking sound of the metronome perched on her piano.

"I told Bill all about my plan," he answered, his voice sounding more than a little discouraged.

Hopeful that Adam might be having second thoughts, Charlie halted her exercise and turned on the bench so she could see his face. "Bill didn't approve?"

"He liked it," sighed Adam. "Finish your exercises, Charlie."

"If Bill is for it, then why do you look so sad?"

Adam shook his head and sighed. "Shirley just called to let me know that Thomas got married this morning. Their divorce was finalized, yesterday."

"Oh, Adam." Charlie got up and went to her husband.

Adam gratefully accepted Charlie's hug. He didn't let her stay with him for very long, though, before sending her back to the piano. The news of Thomas marrying another woman wasn't very startling, for everyone had been warned of its inevitability since Christmas. Even so, the very fact that Thomas was now married to someone else besides Shirley, seemed almost unbelievable to Adam. His sister had been married to Thomas for twenty-eight years, and Adam knew it would take quite a while before he could think of Shirley without also thinking of his former brother-in-law.

After Charlie arrived to the music room for her second day of piano lessons, she was surprised when Adam handed her instruction over to Dave.

"Adam and I are takin' turns so he can work on his compositions," explained Dave, seating Charlie at her piano and bringing out the workbook that Adam had used the previous day. "Unlike Adam, however, I give homework."
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