At noon, Matt left for home. He had gone through every stack of lyrics and had scribbled his suggestions upon each set. Those with too few, he had write more. Those with enough, he instructed to re-write their selections.
He made sure that they knew that they would have some that looked good on paper, but would probably not be quite good enough once recorded. Those would get perfected over time. Nothing to worry about. This was only an exercise in trying to make them sound presentable.
All two-verse wonders were to either become three to four, or not be repeated. Only the chorus was to be repeated. Nothing more. No memorable song was ever less than three verses, except Henry VII, I am, and it was a novelty song. And it announced that the second verse was same as the first.
Call Me Maybe was not a real song, at least not a serious song. It was a chorus. So were a few other extremely popular songs of the recent past. They had been quick cash cows for the labels, nothing more. And their gamble had both paid off and backfired.
He’d seen such maneuvers over his forty-some years in the industry. He’d watched as those maneuvers had backfired every time. Yet, record execs were seemingly too dense-thick as a brick, so to speak-to learn from their past failures. Kind of like politicians.
Once he was finished grading their first attempts, he let them head back to their apartments to begin serious writing. He headed back home to spend quality time with Amanda. Of course, she had it planned to begin getting the tuxes for the wedding as well, so he did not want to disappoint her. She meant the world to him.
He would do anything to please that woman. hell. He owed her his life. She’d saved his and he was grateful. He loved her more than he’d ever thought possible.
Every second he spent away from him was empty. He was only happy when she was near. He now knew, as he had once before, what true love was. He knew how good it felt to be loved.
He never wanted to let that feeling go. It was like he had been reborn. And he had her to thank for that. He smiled.
Amanda met him at the door when he arrived home, throwing her arms around him, she pressed her lips tightly against his. “I have missed you, Dear.”
He kissed her back. “I missed you too, Honey. I couldn’t wait to get back here to you. I just wanted to have you in my arms.”
She smiled. “I couldn’t wait to be back in your arms.”
He wanted nothing more than to take her up the stairs and make love to her, but he knew they had too many important things to get done. Tux fittings and reservations. Cake tastings. Wine selections. Invitation decisions.
He kissed her neck gently. “Where do we start?”
She giggled. “How about with lunch?”
He looked at her. “Is that what smells so good?
She nodded. “Divine is cooking something up. What it is, she won’t say. All I know is that I have been getting hungrier by the second since she started.”
He grinned, mischievously. “I thought it was you. I was getting ready to have dessert.”
She play-slapped him on the arm, wrinkling her nose. “Oh, you. What am I going to do with you? Your mind seems stuck on one thing.”
He chuckled. “You know you like it. Besides. You couldn’t stand me any other way.”
She pulled him close. “I know. I have the world’s sexiest man and I love him, dirty mind and all.”
He gave her a look of mock shock. “But, honey, I take it out once a week and wash it. It should be fairly clean!” He tried to feign innocence.
She kissed his cheek. “I love it when you tease. Makes me hot.”
“Lunch is about ready, all!” Divine’s voice broke the mood. “Y’all might wanna take your seats!”
Amanda broke their contact. “We ought to get to the dining room before it is all gone.”
He wrapped his arm around her waist. “Lead the way, My Love.”
She unwrapped his arm from her waist and took his hand. “Come on, husband mine.” She began leading him down the hall.
They entered the dining room to find Frannie and Divine setting the plates of lasagne with garlic bread. Divine turned to them. “This was a joint venture between Frannie and myself. She told me how to fix it, and I put it all together…with her help. I mean, I prepped everything, she just helped with the assembly.
“But she fixed the dessert. I watched her. I have also begun learning Italian. It’s cool.”
Matt smiled. It was nice to see his children getting along so well. “Dee? I can call you that, can’t I?”
Divine nodded. “Yes, Pops. What is it?”
He looked at her. “I am just curious. What did you do before you came looking for me?”
She smiled. “You’re wondering about my appearance, aren’t you?”
He nodded. “Yes.”
She giggled. “I recently graduated from MIT. I could probably work anywhere in the tech industry, but I was working for a security company until I could find the key to the project I was working on at home. I have three degrees. Robotics, my big degree, as mom would say, is my passion. I have a few smaller, less important degrees, but I don’t say much about them. They are just basic computer degrees.
“I also went to a community college for forensics and law enforcement degrees which I finished out at the university. I did a little competing in martial arts while in high school and college, so most men leave me alone because they know that I can tie them into a pretzel bow.
“At the security company, I wrote encryption codes for files and internet security software. Part of what I am trained to do. My project was a robotic probe for finding buried bodies. I only lacked the final tests to prove the probe.”
Matt smiled. “You sure you have never worked as a chef?”
She burst out laughing. “Of course I worked in the restaurants. It was how I paid for college, beside what mom saved and what I got in scholarships. Student aid helped a little, but it didn’t pay the rent or the utilities, especially living off campus.
“I don’t drink and didn’t want anything to do with the campus social scene. I mean, I will find the right person when I am ready. But I am not, nor was I then, ready for a relationship other than that which is found among family members. ”