The Singer and Me Ch. 05byjjcole©
It was Thursday, the day of the concert for our friends, the day before our wedding.
Ruthie's Mom had arrived and after leaving Ruthie and her Mom in her bed I got dressed and went to the cafe for breakfast.
As soon as I had coffee I called Allen and asked him to call his Aunt Wendy and tell her Ruthie's Mom was here.
"I thought she would be in the afternoon?"
"So did I," I said.
"Where are you?"
"Same booth we were in yesterday."
"I will be there in five."
I got a text message from Ruthie saying they were picking up Mom and going shopping, the sport of women everywhere.
I texted the four o'clock alert.
I had just finished my sausage gravy covered sausage biscuit when Allen and Rob joined me.
We ate in silence for a while and were just drinking coffee for a while.
I suddenly remembered and told Rob, "I got call from Caesar's merchandizing this morning, all of the CD's we brought sold out last night and so did the size small ladies t-shirts."
Rob said, "Thanks," and called the warehouse in Amarillo. He asked for two thousand CD's and a thousand small and five hundred medium and large
T-shirts each. Then he added fifty small, forty mediums, twenty large, and five extra large t-shirts and one extra, extra large, all black. He then asked for those to be sent directly to him. Separately.
Rob said, "They will be here by two.
Four artists share the Theater we are in. One of them has her contract expiring soon and she does not want to work steadily anymore. She is sixty-six.
Melody has just been offered those six weeks, five shows a week. I knew Ruthie would not accept four straight days so after telling her so I semi-declined the offer. Did not decline it because I have not seen Melody lately. That happened last night.
She called me this morning and asked me to meet her in her office at eleven thirty. I want you guys with me. Whatever we decide we will not tell Ruthie until next Monday. Edna and Petra are in meetings in Los Angeles and can't make it. We will need to bring them up to speed."
Allen and I nodded in understanding and finished our coffee.
We got up and Allen and I went to our rooms and got dressed for a business meeting. It was already after eleven when we went in search of Rob.
He met us at the east entrance and we walked to the offices.
They showed us right in and she got to the point.
"She was a smash hit last night. We believe she will fill the room every night she performs for years and will bring in the young and older demographics. We are willing to accept nearly anything you can come up with."
Rob said, "Thank you and we agree with your assessment. We think we can come up with something but we do not know what Melody will accept. We can no longer read her that well."
"Has she become that much more difficult?"
"No, just the opposite. I would not have bothered asking the old Melody.
The tightest schedule she does now is seven concerts in ten days in Canada then she takes a few weeks off.
We will not bring her into the process until Monday at home."
"Others will ask before then. Will you keep us abreast of all other offers?"
"Yes, we have no problems with that."
"Good, thanks. Now lets talk four days of Thanksgiving week."
"Sorry. She will not work that week, but she is free from December twenty seventh to the thirty first."
She looked in her computer and said, "We want them all."
"The six weeks show, when is the time slot and how long can you wait for a decision?"
"The time slot is mid-February to the end of March. We would need a decision by October second, we will be setting our final schedule and advertising for the year then."
"I will let you know as soon as we know which will likely be Monday. Petra and Edna will be here next week so you can hammer out the December concert with them."
She said, "It has been very nice meeting you. I was one of those betting you would accept the offers of the big recording outfits but you have stayed with it and none of your acts have deserted you."
"Thanks. You would need to come to Felicity for a week to understand. It's a great vacation spot and an even greater place to live. Come visit sometime."
"Or better yet, come to my wedding this Friday afternoon. Half the town is here for the concert tonight and more are coming for my wedding."
"Are you marrying someone in the band?"
"Sort of, I am marrying Melody's personal assistant at two in the afternoon tomorrow."
"Or you may come by the reception at Aunty El's afterward," Rob added.
"Oh, I love Aunty El's. What are we having?"
"That is being decided right now. All the ladies went there for lunch and planning."
"Tomorrow from after two until....?"
"Six but I doubt any one will be leaving then. That is when they open the door to everyone else."
"This may be the most relaxed business meeting I have ever had."
"This may be the most formal meeting we have ever had," Rob said with a laugh.
We stood and each of us kissed the lady on the cheek and left. She had a pleasantly stunned expression on her face as we walked out.
"Lets see if the rest of the guys are in yet. We will still be outnumbered but not as badly as we are now," Allen said.
At exactly that time the three of us got pictures from our ladies of Roger and Helen, Adrian and Martina, Randy and Paloma, Corey and Leigh, Marshall and Holly, and Janie and Marissa. I got a picture of my sister sticking her tongue out at me. They were at Aunty El's.
We were hungry enough so we got in a cab and went there.
It did seem that half the town was present, in fact Allen and I tried to figure out who did we expect that wasn't there and every time we came up with a name we found them plus some we did not expect.
We assumed the band had exhausted their ticket allotment of one hundred. I had given my four tickets away and that left Ruthie with six. I saw her giving one to a small cute black girl sitting on her lap. There was a black woman and an Asian woman hugging Holly and Marshall we did not know but they also had tickets in their hands. She had given Aunt El a ticket yesterday so I assumed she had two left.
I kissed Ruthie then was kissed by Rhonda before we were introduced. That started a sequence in which Allen, Rob and I were kissed by twenty women, minimum which included the wardrobe and make-up ladies.
The last with kisses for me were Mom and Sis. I gave them a long hug and told Sis that she was in the midst of the best people she had ever been with.
"Mom told me that just now," she said and kissed me on the lips for the first time ever then giggled.
I hugged her and kissed her lips and introduced her to Allen and Rob just before she and Mom were taken away by Ruthie and her Mom.
"Ms. Sanders is coming over. I called and told her that her partner was already here," Rob said. He had taken a ticket from Ruthie, she was down to one.
"Which one is her partner?"
"The black woman talking to Wendy. Ms. Sanders had a picture on her desk of the two holding hands."
"I think she's the Mom of Rhonda, the girl that was on Ruthie's lap."
The newly arrived guys came to us for handshakes and after giving me dire warnings on my upcoming nuptials all congratulated me.
Food began to appear here and there and we all got a plate of fried catfish and fries except about eight women that got a small chicken salad.
All the women got a bowl full of fries.
Ms. Saunders, Josie, came in and was immediately kissed by her lover Elaine right on the lips in front of everyone and before she could react to that seven other women kissed her on the lips including Wendy, Mom, and Aunt El.
The short black girl ran to her and gave her a big kiss. Rob walked over to her and kissed her cheek then after introducing himself to her lover gave the concert ticket to Ms. Saunders.
She could always watch the show from several places in the theater of course but not with Elaine in the front row with the Felicity women.
As Rob turned to leave that thought had apparently come to her mind and she gave Rob a big kiss on his lips.
Five minutes later Josie was one of the girls and five minutes after that she was taking part in another war with fries as they filled the air.
Ladies were taking fries off their body, biting half of them, and firing the other half back to the others. Many people there had obviously done that before.
The guys and I retreated out of the line of fire and thanked the goddess of mischief that we were not the targets anyway.
A few minutes later the ladies were exhausted from their laughter and the war ended. It took Elma's crew just a few minutes to clean the place up. They were ready; apparently they knew it was coming.
When Josie and Elaine left ten minutes later they were still giggling as they kissed Rob, Allen and me right on the lips.
"I think she likes our townsfolk," Rob said.
It was already after three in the afternoon so Allen and I walked around and gave our four o'clock warnings and our ladies took our hands and came home with us. Apparently each wanted a fuck before the nap.
The show that night was even more exciting, more raucous than the night before. I was glad it was the one with five cameras.
Ruthie carried on a mini feud with Wendy, my Mom, and her Mom. Everyone knew it was for fun so it got big laughs. It was not until then that I saw Mo. Actually it was Marie's smile for her that made me look that way. Mo had stayed to work at the gallery until that day and had just gotten in.
Before she did the Janis intro Melody told the audience that a major part of her adopted home town of Felicity was sitting in the first two rows. "I love everyone of them." Then after a pause she looked at Wendy and said with a straight face said, "Some more than others."
There was great laughter led by Wendy and Melody waited for it to die down. "Maybe the next number will win her over," she said and began the Janis intro.
All through that bit it was obvious to me it was Ruthie on stage, not Melody.
As the night before there was a deafening roar when she finished the Janis song.
Melody accepted the applause and as it died down she looked to the back of the auditorium and yelled, "Hey, Alma," and winked.
Alma's grin was as big as her face could hold.
I handed Alma a copy of her picture with Janis and asked her to sign it for Melody. She was stumped for a minute then simply wrote, "Melody, I Love You. Alma."
"Oh, that's no good, don't give it to her."
"That is perfect. She will cry."
I then gave Holt a signed picture by Melody as she kissed his cheek and to Alma a framed picture of her and Melody talking that previous night. It had an inscription from Melody telling her it was a privilege to meet her then signed it, "With Love, Your Friend Melody."
Alma had a difficult time holding back the tears and hugged the picture to her. I kissed her cheek and left her in Holt's care.
Alice and Marie got a large response from the audience as they began led by Wendy, Mo, and of all people Josie. I assumed two of the short redheads in the front were Mom and Sis. There were a lot of short redheads in the first two rows.
Again the concert was a party to the end.
That night her encore was Ball and Chain.
After the concert there was a mob of people backstage, most of the people from Felicity were back there and so were our new friends from Vegas,
Alma and Holt, they came up and Ruthie introduced them to everybody. Rob and I passed out t-shirts and most people put them right on.
Holly confronted Melody claiming that it had hurt her feelings that no one had told her the secret then lifted Ruthie's left hand showing her ring.
I said, "Hush, most of the people here don't know any better. Her ring has already been shown on one of those entertainment shows."
Holly understood that she was not supposed to know who that was and asked Melody whom she was marrying.
Ruthie hugged her and said, "Thanks, I owe you one."
There was an impromptu meeting of the wedding planners backstage that included Mom, my sister, Ruthie and her Mom, Wendy, and the bridesmaids. It was midnight before we got to our rooms.
Ruthie's Mom slept in my room instead of her daughters as I had offered. She said she would not break our consecutive nights together record just as it got started. She wanted us to break Paul and Linda McCartney's mark.
I had no idea what she was talking about but was happy to sleep with my fiancé for the last time. She would be my wife the next night.
Ruthie was asleep before I got in bed. She was gone when I woke up.
All the ladies were gone before any of the guy's woke up even though it was before eight the next day.
Allen and I met for breakfast at the buffet and were soon joined by all the other guys.
They decided to come along with us when we went to get our tuxes and we all returned and showered then dressed.
Rob had hired a limo for us and we all piled in and went to the chapel.
Except for Edie the wives did not know where the husbands were and all breathed a sigh of relief when we walked in then formed a frown on their faces.
Allen and I were escorted to the front and there we waited. And waited. And waited.
Mendelssohn's song began and Adrian and Roger led our Mom's to the front together.
My Mom was wearing a mint green short gown and Ruthie's Mom had an almost identical light blue gown. They looked fantastic.
Apparently there was no grooms side or brides side, our Mom's were led to seats together and held hands as soon as they sat next to each other. I was happy to see that so I stepped to them and kissed both.
We saw Wendy at the back directing traffic as the bridesmaids paraded to the front. A guy with a video camera walked backwards in front of them.
The ladies looked gorgeous in what appeared to be dark green formal gowns. Edie's dress had a thin darker green trim around the collar. Her dress was identical to the others so I figured it had been added on to designate that she was the maid of honor. We later learned it was at the insistence of the others.
I did not recognize Edie's escort; he had not been with us that morning.
Edie stepped up to Allen and kissed him before assuming her place. She had tears in her eyes.
"Edie has another gown to wear for the fundraisers," Allen whispered to me.
As the rest of the girls came up I noticed all of them had tears in their eyes. Corey, Matt, Roger and Adrian took turns escorting them down.
There was one unexpected bridesmaid, my sister. I had seen her before the concert and briefly after the concert. I knew she spent the previous day with Mom and Ruthie and had been a part of the meeting the night before but did not know she had become part of the wedding. The guy I did not know escorted her.
Sis and I gave each other big smiles as she walked up.
She was blushing.
There was a small pause and Ruthie began walking down the aisle. She looked so fabulous that it was a while before I noticed the man walking her down to the altar. I looked at her mother and she was stunned. The man was apparently Ruthie's father.
I shook his hand when he presented her to the minister then I took Ruthie's hand in mine.
Suddenly we were a married couple. I do not remember if anyone said anything until the minister said, "You may kiss your bride."
There was no stately procession out, before we took the first step people were kissing us, hugging us and saying, "We love you." Our Mom's were the worst, neither let go of us for a while.
We somehow made it to the lobby and were presented with papers to sign.
"Jana, Jana. What was Lucy's address?" Ruthie asked.
Jana told the lady and repeated it to the video and photo guys.
We piled everyone into five limousines six cabs and seven rental cars and headed to Aunty El's.
We forgot to pick up our marriage certificate.
Elma's electronic sign said "Congratulations Ruthie and Sean."
It took about an hour for Ruthie and I to learn who had been at the wedding. I did not remember seeing Sally until she and Petra brought out the wedding cakes.
I went to Ruthie's Dad and made friends with him. He also became friends with the ladies apparently to the chagrin of his ex.
She had left him because he was not the man she had married anymore. He had become a lazy drunk.
During the reception all I saw him drink was Dr. Pepper.
My sister and Ruthie were in a long conversation with our Mom's that included many kisses all around. I was very happy to see that.
We sat to eat and had our choice of four courses. Aunty El brought me an appetizer tray of a dozen raw oysters. Everyone laughed then was amazed by how quickly I consumed them.
Ruthie raised her hand and said, "Check please."
After dinner we cut the cakes and fed each other. Neither of us considered making a mess of the other for which some booed. The cakes were amazing.
We sought out Sally and gave her big kisses as we praised her talents.
Sally allowed a tear to fall that Ruthie kissed away.
Ruthie threw the bouquet behind her and it was headed right at Sis but she stepped out of the way and it hit Rhonda, Holly's diminutive friend, right on her boobs.
A few minutes later Sis came to us and kissed us bye and promised to help the next morning and headed for the airport.
Rob saw Josie come in and led her to our group and left her to their tender mercies. She kissed the ladies on the lips and gave her partner a hug and deep kiss.
I saw her looking at Petra and Sally's rings. Petra pulled Mo and Marie over to show their rings. They brought Wendy over. Several others suddenly surrounded them. For some reason Rhonda could hardly contain herself. She may have known what was coming.
Josie got on one knee and Elaine burst into tears.
As soon as she nodded, "Yes" pandemonium engulfed them.
"What is going on over there?" Rob asked me.
"I think Josie just proposed to Elaine and she said yes."
"Hmm, I think I know who is going to make their rings."
Janie, Marissa, Sally and Petra and some others kissed us and were soon on the way to the airport.
Ruthie and I danced to the duet we had sung in her studio. Neither of us expected that. Matt had recorded it for us and had brought it with him. We agreed it was a perfect wedding dance song.
The next song was an Alice and Marie song about friends. I danced with Ruthie's Mom as her father danced with my Mom. Allen danced with Ruthie and Rob danced with Edie.
The wedding party joined us in the dance
Mo danced with Marie, Petra danced with Sally, and Josie danced with Elaine before the song had finished.
The next song was a Melody ballad about the sweetness of love. I danced with Mom and Ruthie danced with her Mom until her father cut in. Her Mom seemed to be conflicted but danced with him.
Ruthie then danced with my sister.
The next song was by Little Richard and it became a loud rocking party from then on. Everybody danced even some of Elma's help.
When Aunty El opened the doors at six Ruthie encouraged the diners to eat some cake. Several did.
About an hour later Ruthie came up behind me, embraced me and said, "We need to consummate the marriage. Now!"
I asked the DJ to pause and tapped a glass then said, "My wife has made a request I feel I must fulfill. We will be unavailable this evening.
Tomorrow morning Mom and I will take a flight to LA and I will be back tomorrow afternoon."
"Correction," Mom said. "He and his wife will be back tomorrow afternoon. They are loading his stuff and sending the truck back to Felicity."
Everyone clapped and cheered, I nodded with a grin. Mom was moving to Felicity.
I continued, "We will join many of you on the plane Sunday."
Wendy said, "Correction, Marti and Me are staying in town a few more days. We will be at Elma's house."