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"But I'm doing something terribly wrong."

Adam hesitated. "You're missing something important. I know what Dave said, but I don't think I can..." Adam's voice trailed off, and his face was the face of someone deep in thought.

"Well," she sighed, getting up from the piano and sitting beside Adam on the sofa, "I thought I did pretty good, even if I'm the only one who thinks so." Just then, Wally whimpered at her feet, begging to be picked up and placed on the couch with them. "Hello, Sweetheart," she cooed to the puppy. Wally panted happily as Charlie scratched behind her ears and then the dog put her paws on Adam's chest, as if begging him to give her some attention, too.

"Your dog has been chewing on my shoes again," Adam informed his wife.

"My dog?" laughed Charlie. "I thought you said we were going to share her!"

"Wally follows you around as though her life depended on it," chuckled Adam, "so that makes her yours!"

Upon hearing her name, Wally yapped excitedly, and her entire rump wagged back and forth along with her tail. Charlie laughed, but her smiles were dampened by Adam's still thoughtful face. "Do you want to play the duet again? Maybe it'll be better this time."

"Okay," he nodded. "But after this, let's break off for the day. I'm getting sick of the sound of my own music."

It was an odd thing for Adam to say, and this time when he played their duet, Charlie noticed a marked change in the tenor of his voice; they were the same notes, but the emphasis he placed on them, changed the meaning of the music. Adam sounded weary, so that by the time their duet was finished, he was more eager to escape the music room than even Charlie.

"Let's get out of here," he sighed, closing his keyboard and pushing away from the instrument.

"Did you get enough sleep?" asked Charlie, as he closed the door to the music room behind them. "You came to bed really late last night."

"I suppose it's just new album jitters," Adam smiled tiredly. "Except for polishing our duet, everything is ready for the recording studio."

"So I only need polishing?" Charlie's voice was a little more hopeful.

"I suppose," shrugged Adam. "Right now, I don't care! For a few hours, I want to forget we even have a piano!"

"If you're done with me, do you mind if I study for my GED?"

Adam was pleasantly surprised. "I thought you gave up on that," he recalled.

"I did," reasoned Charlie, "but I changed my mind."

Adam smiled. It was good to see Charlie hoping for a future again. He just wasn't sure if it was going to be at a piano.

"Go study," he smiled, giving Charlie a quick kiss before she and Wally disappeared into the master bedroom to find her textbooks. For several minutes, Adam thoughtfully gazed at the master bedroom. Dave had told him that the duet was a love song, and it was. The rightful one to play it was Charlie, but Adam didn't know how to get her to connect with those notes. It wasn't enough to know them, or even to play them; she wasn't feeling the music, and it showed. It showed so badly, that even Dave was quick to recognize it.
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