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Fighting back a twinge of anger, Charlie did as she was told, and the two men played the love duet together. Dave was more skilled than Charlie, but aside from that, she couldn't see a bit of difference between Dave's music and hers.

When it was over, Adam looked at Charlie hopefully. "Did you see the difference?" he asked.

"I'm afraid I didn't," she informed him. "Dave played the exact same notes that I did."

"But, he played from his heart," insisted Adam.

"So was I!" argued Charlie.

"No, you were playing the notes."

"What was I supposed to play?" she cried. The frustration was rising in her voice, and Adam realized it was time to back off so she could calm down. He looked at Dave, and Dave gave him an apologetic smile.

"I can teach someone the music, but I can't put it in their heart," Dave reflected. "She doesn't need anymore finger lessons to play the duet-- though I'd recommend she stay in practice, or else she'll forget what she's already learned."

Charlie sighed glumly. "I hate it when you guys talk as though I'm not in the room."

"She's made a lot of progress," continued Dave, "but I'm not the one who can take her the rest of the way." He smiled at Adam. "The rest is up to you. After all, it is a love song."

Charlie folded her arms defiantly, for she didn't appreciate the knowing smile Dave gave her as he left the music room. It was as though he understood something she didn't, and Charlie thought she had the music down perfectly.

"Let's try it again, Charlie." Adam took a deep breath and waited for her to begin, for her piano started the piece.

Unfolding her arms, Charlie placed her fingers on the keyboard and played the first measure. She didn't care what Adam and Dave thought. She was playing music! After all those finger exercises and hours of tedium, she was actually making music! What was their problem?

Adam let the duet play itself out, and then he quietly went to the thinking sofa.

"Well?" she asked, waiting for his opinion. "I didn't forget any of the notes, did I?"

"No, you didn't forget," he replied, leaning back on the cushions and taking a deep sigh.

"So," Charlie deduced, "that's good-- isn't it?"

"It's good."

"Then why do you look as though I just spit on your music?" wondered Charlie.

"It wasn't that bad," chuckled Adam.

"Then it was bad?"

"It wasn't great," he admitted, "but it didn't stink for a beginner."

"So now it stinks?" Charlie sighed. "You asked me to play the duet, so I practiced until I thought I was going crazy, and now I'm playing the duet!"

"And I appreciate your cooperation," smiled Adam.
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