Sunday, July 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #13

Because I don’t expect to have internet access to officially sign up for this week, and because I’m pretty close to the end of the scene, I’m just going to post the rest of it today. Since SSS is continuing for several more months, I’ll have to come up with other scenes. Neal’s had quite a run here so I might find something with his best friend, Sandy.

Bit of background for today’s excerpt: April’s a bit gunshy about marriage because her first husband divorced her. Neal’s a bit gunshy about being left alone because his previous girlfriend died in a fire and he blames himself. He never told her he loved her.

Onstage in front of several thousand people, he’s gotten the nerve to ask April (for the second time!) to marry him. She said there was a condition: after having gone with him on tour around the world a couple times and done a variety of wild and sometimes dangerous activities with him, she wants them to move out of the Los Angeles area to someplace with enough room so she can have space and quiet time. Neal knows she isn’t as high-octane as he is, but didn’t expect to be asked to move away from the rest of the band and the events with the charity he spends a lot of time on.
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Was this the same woman who’d come with him all around the world? Damn, he’d hesitated too long and now she looked like she might cry. He shifted his grip on the mic to cover the head and said, “I thought you were happy with your job at the restaurant in the city.”

“Mostly, but when I’m home, I need a break from the noise and rushing around.”

“So what about my drumming and guitar practice?”

“I’m not asking you to give anything up, just to remember that marriage is about compromise.”

“Hey, I haven’t forced you to come with me or anything. Why are you doing this to me now?”

Her eyes shifted toward the crowd but came back to him quickly. “I didn’t know you were going to propose onstage. I’m not going to say ‘yes’ without making sure you know what I need. Besides, you can’t think this came out of nowhere.”

“Well, no, but anyplace with that much room is gonna be in another county and it’s gonna kinda mess things up.”

“Neal, you play in one of the hottest bands in the world and you’re a co-founder of a high-profile national charity—people move mountains if you ask.”

“But the Foundation headquarters can’t move. Anyway, if all the people I have to meet with on a regular basis came to our house, there wouldn’t be any peace and quiet.”

April let go of his hand and took a step back. “So you can’t be inconvenienced?”

Ah, shit! “No no, I didn’t mean it that way. I just mean I won’t be home as often if we move further away. But if that’s what you need, you got it. Come on, you’re making this into something weird. It’s just me asking you to please marry me. Could I have a final answer? Because this stage is not a comfortable place.” Having been on one knee for the last fifteen minutes had nothing to do with it.

She ducked her head, twisted her curls around one hand, and shuffled her feet. Now she was shy? “All right. For real.”

“Good, because you have no idea how embarrassed I’d be to return this.” He slipped the ring onto her finger.

The crowd erupted into whistles, screams, and thunderous clapping. Neal’s heart pounded as he stood and pulled April into a tight embrace. He shut his eyes and everything narrowed to the warm, trembling body in his arms. She won’t leave me. No matter what else happens, I won’t be alone. I’ll always have her to come back to.

Sandy did a drum roll and cymbal crash. Jerk! Neal grinned. Holding her hand, he stuck the mic back on the stand. “Thanks everybody for letting me take a few minutes out of your evening. I hope you didn’t mind.”

They roared. Eric banged out a few chords on his Gibson on the way to his mic. “It’s a nice day for a white wedding . . .”

Neal laughed. “Yeah it is, dammit!”


  1. Yes it is!!! Yeehaw! :-) I like it, Marcia :-)

  2. LOL! Thanks, Teresa. I really appreciate you coming by. I'll have to find another scene now--no pressure there!