John had to sit through every cute little story and fascinating fact about his childhood. His mother had finally found someone to listen to her rattle off one precious memory after another about her baby boy. She constantly patted him on the thigh and winked. This was her secret approval signal telling John that she liked his new girlfriend.

Of course Tammy was eating it up. She had told John that she had very little family left. He could tell that she was really listening to the stories and wanted to know more and was enjoying his embarrassment.

"You do know about Joyce?"

"Mom. I think that's enough," John said. "She doesn't care about that."

"Sure I do," Tammy spoke up with a bright smile. "Tell me more, Mrs. Farris."

"Don't be silly, John," his mother laughed. "There's not much to tell."

"I think I told her everything, anyway," John said as he got up and opened the refrigerator door. He reached for a can of soda. At the pop of the top he heard his mother start the same way she always did.

The hallway clock chimed. It was a bird clock that chirped every hour to the sound of a different species of bird. It was eleven o'clock. John could not picture what kind of bird was up for the task this hour.

"She never wanted him to be a police officer," his mother stated. She tried to keep her voice down, but that was impossible.

Tammy looked over to John and smiled playfully. In all honesty the attention was nice for a change. He just hated to have Tammy hear about his past relationship from his mother.


"I don't even think she enjoyed his music that much," she said. "You think she did, John?"

He shrugged his shoulders.

"I went to see his band play the other night," Tammy said proudly.

"Really? I want to do that. I don't even know where he's playing these days. I should be ashamed of myself."

"At the Sundowner," Tammy told her.

"You remember Brad?"

His mother nodded. "Oh, yes, Brad."

"He owns it now."


"Don't you tell your mom anything?" Tammy asked John, trying to look serious but failing. A smile curled up in the corners of her mouth.

"You know how men are," his mother broke in.

"Sure do."

"Mom, don't even worry about where I play. Tammy has a record deal in Nashville. You have a big star here in your kitchen."

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