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Chapter Fifty-nine

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband."
~ Proverbs 12:4 ~

After celebrating their first anniversary, Adam completed the duet he had been composing for Charlie. Now that the music was ready, Adam seated his nervous young wife on the tattered thinking sofa while he and Dave played the duet so she could hear the entire composition with two pianos. Charlie was more disheartened than before, for it sounded too professional and out of her reach. It was a wonderful piece of music though, and Charlie had to admit she was eager to leave behind the tedious scales and begin something that had a melody to it.

Under the careful direction of Adam and Dave's expertise, Charlie started practicing the first measure of music Adam had written for her. To her grave disappointment, Charlie stumbled through it so badly, she could hardly recognize it as the same music the guys had just finished playing.

"Don't be discouraged," Adam coaxed her along. "You'll improve with practice."

Charlie sure hoped so. It was one thing to mangle finger exercises, but when she touched Adam's masterfully composed music, she usually disfigured it beyond recognition. To her annoyance, (and relief), neither Adam nor Dave looked at all surprised and remained as upbeat as ever.

The weeks flew by, and still Charlie worked at the duet, though Adam had yet to join her in the music. The composition was coming a bit easier now, and Charlie realized all those finger exercises had been specially devised by Adam and Dave to ensure her success in this particular piece of music. She was doing better than she should have, and it gave Charlie a small glimmer of hope that she might be able to play with Adam on his album, after all.

Near the first of September, Adam told Charlie that she was ready for him to join her in the duet. Charlie had been dreading this, and was sure there was no way she would be able to keep up with him once he started playing his half of the music.

"Just start playing as usual," Adam instructed her, "and I'll join in where I'm supposed to. Try to ignore me, and just keep going."

While Dave watched from the sofa, Adam and Charlie began the duet for the first time together. From the beginning, Charlie could tell Adam was purposefully going slower than the music called for, just to make sure she could keep up. Then the more technically demanding part of the composition came, and Charlie quickly found that she could not concentrate while Adam was playing. It was like trying to rub her tummy and pat her head at the same time, and it simply didn't work! She had to read the notes in front of her, all the while trying to drown out Adam's harmony on the piano across from hers.

After the third failed attempt, Charlie declared that she needed a break and went to the kitchen to find something to eat. She didn't feel in the mood for another carrot, so the young woman grabbed a cookie and dropped into a chair at the kitchen table.

Soon after, Adam joined her. His was face patient, though Charlie could see that his patience was being tried.

"I warned you this wasn't a good idea," Charlie shook her head in confirmation.

A smile played at the corners of Adam's mouth, as if threatening to break into an all-out grin. "So I remember. Are you going to share that cookie with me?"

continued on next page...
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