She covered her mouth and drew in a breath. "Is that true? I declare. Such a young beautiful woman."

"Thank you, but I'm not all that young," Tammy admitted. "Believe me."

"Well, when is your album coming out? I'll buy a copy. My phonograph hasn't worked since I don't know when, but I'll buy one and then get that thing fixed."

"We're working on it now. The people at the record company haven't told me exactly when things will be released. You'll be the first to know when it happens though."

"Is John helping you on it? You know he used to write the most beautiful songs."

"Mom," John pleaded.

Tammy admitted, "I'd like for him to help me."

He leaned against the counter and sipped his drink. "I would love to do whatever I can," he said. "Didn't know you wanted me to."

"See there," his mother said. "Just had to ask."

"Right," Tammy agreed. And then she whispered, "Just ask me."


Silence took over the conversation for a few long seconds. John's mother got up and started cleaning off the table.

"I would like to talk to you more, Mrs. Farris," Tammy said.

"Please call me Linda."

Tammy pulled her aside. "Maybe I can break away from this guy and we can go to lunch."

The two women laughed again at John's expense. "All right. You two are having a little too much fun with this. We have to go now."

"When do you play again?" Linda asked her son. "I want to come hear you. I miss hearing you play around this old house."

"I'll come by and pick you up on Monday," Tammy said. "We'll go down and watch this man tear it up on stage."

"That sounds wonderful."

"That's enough you two. We gotta go," John said. He reached for Tammy's hand to escort her out before they wound up looking at his nude baby pictures.

"It was wonderful meeting you, Mrs. Farris," she said.

"Remember what I told you. Call me Linda. Come back anytime. Oh, and you too, John."

John turned back around and quickly kissed his mother on the cheek. When they pulled away, he saw her watching from the front door. He had a mean flashback from when he was in the first grade and going off to catch the bus. He finally had to tell his mother not to watch him because the other boys teased him.

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