B is for Baby, I Need Your Lovin’ #AtoZChallenge

Well, this one took an odd turn. I wrote a perfectly decent but forgettable flash last night for “B,” which I didn’t post. My brain this morning starting hearing a different POV and, boy, did it want to write from that POV. I’ll post both just for the heck of it. Do you ever try writing a story from a different POV or even find that it wants to be written in a different POV?

The Stand In (version 2)

My old friend Brad is finally tying the knot, found a woman who could tolerate his eccentricities and Peter Pan tendencies. Bless her. I hope she knows what she’s setting herself up for.

The church is draped in lavender and white, flowers, satin, baubles that serve an indeterminate function. And then it happens. Something that so seldom occurs in my jaded life. Fingers deftly slide over arpeggios in the way amateurs never do. The melody slides between “Under the Milky Way” and “Lovesong” before two voices harmonize “you make me feel like home again.”

Everyone except me turns to watch the bride while I maneuver until I can see them: a light, brown-skinned man playing a Gibson and a tiny waifish woman with skin so pale she looks like she’d combust in sunshine. Their smiles? That’s a love story right there. And part of it is me, in love with their voices, their looks, their shared feelings. Too soon the song is over, but my emotions aren’t. I try to remember that I’m there for a wedding. Try to calm down. But I’ve just seen the next big thing and I want to sign them before someone else discovers them. No. I didn’t get where I am by being impulsive. I did get where I am by having the most accurate instincts, by knowing talent while also knowing what’s relevant. Unfortunately, sometimes talent and relevance don’t concur.

At the reception, held outside at a soundside inn, the couple are with a drummer and bassist, laughing while they check over what I presume is their set list on a Galaxy.

“You sounded great with that Cure song,” I say to them.

The woman giggles slightly and flushes before looking at the man. Her reaction strikes me as odd. Lead singers especially pretty ones are not usually shy. They both murmur thanks.

“How long have you been a couple?” I ask.

“Oh, we’re not a couple,” the woman who introduces herself as Jazz, “short for Jasmine,” says her eyes widening at Tom who flinched moments before her gaze fell on him.

Interesting. “You have such intimacy.”

“We’ve been best friends forever,” she says. “We grew up next door to each other.”

Without revealing who I am I take a seat at my table but notice Tom watching me and realize that he may be industry savvy enough to recognize me.

He steps up to the microphone, introduces himself, and then drops the bombshell that their lead singer is ill but that Jazz is filling in and weren’t we lucky. The plot thickens, I think. Maybe Jazz is not their regular singer but there’s no doubt in my mind that she should be.

And then she belts out “Baby, I Need Your Lovin’” and completely owns it. Again, Tom’s voice entwines with hers while their eyes meet. I wonder who she was trying to convince when she said that they were best friends. It doesn’t matter. Their being in a platonic relationship works for me right now. I’m sure if I looked in the mirror right now, dollar signs would have replaced my irises. Now I just need to work magic of my own.


The Stand In (version 1)

I just finished demonstrating the knit-front-back-front stitch when my cell buzzed with a message. I was filling in for a sick knitting instructor at my sister’s yarn store, which I was always happy to do because next to reading and singing, knitting was a favorite thing. There was always something fundamentally satisfying about making loops with needles and creating something beautiful.

Tom had texted a gif of a man with tears rolling down his face, pleading. I grinned. What now?

“What’s up?” I asked.

“You know how you hate to be a wedding singer?” he asked.

“What? I’ve never said that.”

“Great. Does that mean you’ll fill in for Kim?”

I laughed. Tom had a way of making his own kind of verbal loops that sometimes had me falling into traps, benign ones, mind you.

“Begin at the beginning,” I said.

“Kim called in sick. I think she’s got another audition, but you know Kim. It’s Brad’s wedding this afternoon.”

“Oh,” I said. Tom and Brad went way back. When I realized what he was asking, my answer was a no-brainer. “Of course.”

What I hadn’t anticipated was that Tom and I were supposed to do a duet of The Cure’s Lovesong via Adele as part of the actual ceremony.

Tom and I rarely sang together. He was a guitar guy. A guitar god and destined for greatness, I was sure. When we sang, “I will always love you,” we stared at each other. Something tripped and I looked away. I couldn’t look at him again until the first dance at the reception.

Tom stood in front of the microphone, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas will have their first dance to ‘Baby I Need Your Loving.’”

And then as he strummed the chords, Tom looked at me as I sang the title words. I glanced away, focused on the couple dancing in front of me and only glanced back during the chorus. The look in his eyes sent shivers down my spine. It made me think of another song: just my imagination, running away with me.


9 thoughts on “B is for Baby, I Need Your Lovin’ #AtoZChallenge

  1. I really appreciated both POVs so I’m glad you decided to post both. The 2nd version felt more compelling but then reading the first completed the picture. Thanks for a great write.

  2. I like both versions, but my favourite was the second. It felt more personal to hear it from one of the couple

      1. I think you’ll know what to do, it usually just happens, doesn’t it?

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