TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
In the studio, Terry and R. J. had finished laying their tracks, and Terry was now putting the final touches on the mixing, for the master CD. He'd heard parts of the songs, but he never really liked to hear the completed track until it was all put together. The technical side took most of his attention, so he'd hear the final version when he was done.
R. J. was just hanging out, waiting to hear it. "Hey, Terry, why aren't Steve and Ghost here? They have the final ok on it."
"Well, Steve said he didn't want to be here when we hear it. I guess he's still not very confident about his own singing that much," Terry said.
"I like how he sings...it's different from everybody else," R. J. said.
"I think so to," Terry said. "Well, that's about all I can do to it for now. He wanted us to listen to it, then he and Ghost will come in later, to give their yea or nay." He put the first burned CD on to play.
"I'm ready," R. J. said, as he pulled up a chair.
The songs they'd done all together, in the first session, sounded great. Everything came together like they'd planned. The next part was all the songs Steve and Ghost had done at home. As the first one began, R. J. looked confused.
"What happened? They're just talking...that's not part of the song."
"I know, but Steve said leave everything in, so that's what was on there, just like he wanted."
Terry started this first cut over, so they could actually pay attention. They heard the recorder switch on, and a few practice notes. Then Steve began talking about how he'd come to write this song, *"Stars". He started the soft melody and words, and as he went on, the song built. Steve's emotions came through with no doubt.
Terry and R. J. looked at each other, their surprise evident on their faces. In the background, they could hear Ghost humming to harmonize with Steve. As they continued, Steve's voice broke, and they could hear Ghost sobbing. Somehow, Steve finished the song, and there was only the sound of Ghost's pain, as Steve talked to him in low, comforting words. Then the machine was switched off.
Terry had put his head down on the table during this, and R. J. was sniffling, and wiping tears off his face. They just sat there for a few minutes, taking in what they'd heard. Terry stopped the playback then, before the next song had started.
"Terry, you ok?" R. J. asked.
"Um-hmm," Terry said, sniffling and wiping his own eyes. "I don't have words, R. J." he said. "I have never, ever before been moved to tears like that, from a song."
"I know, me either."
They sat there in silence, a few minutes more. "You ready for the next one?" Terry asked.
"I don't know, man...I don't know if I can take any more."
But, they did listen to the rest. They were all heartfelt, and emotional, but not as chill producing as the first one.
"That's all of them, then," Terry said. "I can see why now that Steve said they'd never do these at a show."
"Yeah, I couldn't do them, either," R. J. said.
Terry cleared his throat, trying to get back to business. "Ok, well, all that's left is their go-ahead, and printing all this up, and packaging them...then that's it...ready to go."
"Ok, guess I'll go on home, then," R. J. said.
"But, they're coming back in, probably won't be long now. I told them about four hours. Don't you want to stay until they get here?"
"No, not now. I wouldn't know what to say, and I might start crying again," R. J. said.
"Dude, what? You scared to look at them now...now that they poured out their hearts?" Terry asked.
"Yeah, I am, Terry...it'd be awkward. I'd look at them different."
"R. J., Steve and Ghost are your best friends...the same today as all the days and years before today. They want and need your and my support. I say you should stay, Dude. Besides, we can be awkward together." Terry laughed, hoping to lighten the mood.
"Oh, well, when ya put it that way, guess I'll stay."
"Good, 'cause here they come now," Terry said, as he saw them drive up to the shop. "They look the same as always...two goofy guys," he said.
Steve had forgotten to call before they drove over, but had timed it just about right. He and Ghost got out of the car, and walked up the sidewalk to the shop's door, as Terry and R. J. watched out the window.
"Don't say I cried," R. J. told Terry.
"Ok, I won't, if you won't," Terry said.
As Steve and Ghost walked in, they were arguing about something. They stopped, just inside the door, and Steve was saying, "No, Ghost, not like that. I told you, don't push that button. It turns everything off."
Ghost was holding his new phone, and pushing all the buttons. "But, I forgot, and now what do I do? Can you fix it?"
"Let me see it...give it here...I swear, Ghost..." Steve was frowning, as he yanked the phone out of Ghost's hand. "This one...don't ever push it again, ok?" He handed the phone back.
"But, why is it here, then, if I can't touch it? That don't make no sense at all," Ghost said.
"Just don't...it has nothing to do with talking on the phone," Steve said. "Just do what I showed you...nothing else."
"Ok, fine," Ghost said. He frowned, and shoved the phone back at Steve. "Here, then...I don't even want it no more. You're being mean." He stomped off to the break room.
Steve gritted his teeth, and growled. "Get back here. You're acting like a jerk, Ghost. I'm trying to show you how...you just won't listen."
But Ghost didn't come back. He was banging things around in the kitchen, trying to let off steam, and find some coffee. Steve shook his head in frustration. Looking at the ceiling, and rolling his eyes, he said, "Dear Lord, help me."
Then he noticed Terry and R. J. staring at him. They'd not said a word.
"Uh, sorry guys...just another day in paradise," Steve said, trying to joke about the argument.
He came over to the table. "So, how'd it come out, Terry?"
"Uh, fine, Steve," Terry said. He looked over toward the break room, where Ghost was still banging things around. "Is he gonna be ok?"
Steve shrugged, "Yeah, he'll get over it. I was just showing him how to use this new phone, except...HE WON'T PAY ATTENTION...STOP WRECKING TERRY'S KITCHEN, GHOST."
"Fuck you, Steve," Ghost yelled back, and threw something else against the wall, where it shattered.
They all jumped. "Ok, I'm putting a stop to this, right now, before he destroys the place," Terry said, getting up.
*"Stars" - as performed by Amanda Brown, on the Voice - Original written by Grace Potter, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Released 2012, label - Hollywood, from the album "The Lion the Beast the Beat"
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing