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Book 1 Website Chapters 1-2

His joie de vivre is

His joie de vivre is infectious. “No. I’m Never Gonna Give You Up all over Ohio Street. It’ll be my Thriller.” Taking my hand, he leads to the seating area where a gift bag rests. “You need to let go. I have new moves to show you.” Glimpsing quickly, “Are they waiting for you, Scott? I don’t want to interfere.” “No, they’re talking to some guy. I’m teaching an airmanship class tonight, then I’m off to Seattle and L.A. I’m coming over Saturday morning to set up your birthday present then we’ll head back to my place. I want you to organize my albums again, this time by bassist.” His one-arm hug pulls me close, “We’ll expand your gift. And I have a surprise for Sunday.” “I’m not doing your albums again; and it’s a talent, not a Gift. What happened to Amy?” He holds out the cerise gift bag, “A variety of things; never mix work and pleasure.” He looks away, back to me, “She played different word games than you and me and didn’t appreciate my honesty like you do.” He dismisses other thoughts and lights with joy, humored caution silently replaying a long-standing argument, “Hey! The Who are touring next year. Can I get you to go this time?” I taunt back, “Mr. Bonham is the childhood joy in Christmas, Michelangelo to the Renaissance as no one could have engineered with the speed, strength and sheer command of Creativity with the same or better set of tools.” Scott shakes his head. But superiority is never his style. Hands on my hips, I enthuse, “His brilliance would have confounded Einstein in the power to inspire. Can you just imagine their celestial fireside chats?” The Rules of Life by Melissa Abbott-Cooke. Contact: Melissa@therulesoflifebook.com 615-669-5643 28

“It was different when you heard Keith live. They were different drummers. Like you say, all Gifts matter, legend or not. You’re not listening hard enough.” Flirtatious laughter skips through the lobby from the wall of women at the window. Scott’s hand at my waist, a frisson flits up my back. I remove the tissue from the gift bag. Scott’s coy glances follow, “Sony is giving me a new stereo system.” I spring to my toes, wrap him with a hug, “You got it! You got the job at Sony?” I drop down, “Scott, I’m so happy for you! God, how do you do that?” “I told you Kathy, just leap and luck will follow.” Scott doesn’t let go, I do. His hand sweeps through his hair, “Flying for them will be a dream. You can fly too, just you and me, no tests or other work, all right?” Reaching in the bag, Scott nods to the women stepping out onto Ohio. Afloat in a chasm of time, I’m drawn to the window where the women stood. A man sits in tailored khaki trousers, his legs crossed, white oxford sleeves crisply rolled to reveal his forearms as he reads from a folder. His eyes lift, halting my breath, stunned by features a casual glance cannot sustain. It thrashes in my chest, seeking an escape. My blush flames. Desire, not embarrassment, uses the heart to speak. Scott’s voice sweeps me back from the fall. “I know you’ll love Vasilisk; it’s instrumental,” Scott leans down peering into my charade. Fooled, he speaks of the familiar, “Kathy, you quit this job. The ideal changes. You’ll find your ideal career, your Creative Gift, but it isn’t like picking up the receiver, okay? It’s a game and you figure it out; it’s a test of ingenuity. The Rules of Life by Melissa Abbott-Cooke. Contact: Melissa@therulesoflifebook.com 615-669-5643 29

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