Rob wanted to feel excited about the studio session the next day. Still, the way his life had been going, he
found it impossible, so he took his time getting back to his apartment. The following two days, he was off work, and the only plans he'd make the rest of the day lay in the bottle of Jack
The day was warm, and the sun felt good on his shoulders. A slight breeze stirred the leaves in the trees around
Usually, Rob walked with his head down, not caring about the atmosphere around him. But for some reason, today
was different. Was it a small amount of hope he felt?
He didn’t lock the door to his apartment, and he could smell bacon frying from inside. He took that as a sure
sign Lucy was still there.
She was standing at the stove with a giant red and white beach towel wrapped around her body.
"Hi there," she said. "Do you like my apron?" She spread her arms and turned in a slow circle, modeling the
towel, then turned back to the stove to flip the bacon. " I ran to the store for a few things. I hope you don't mind, but I thought you might be hungry. I know I am."
Rob's stomach rumbled.
Lucy heard it and laughed. "I guess that answers my question."
"I need a drink first," Rob pushed past her and grabbed the bottle of whiskey from the cupboard over her
head. "I hope you don't mind."
"It's only ten-thirty in the morning, but to each his own." Lucy turned off the stove and started to take the
bacon from the cast iron skillet.
He took a tall glass from another cupboard, filled it with ice from the freezer, grabbed the bottle of Jack, and
went to the table. He sat down and poured a fair amount of the whiskey into the glass. The smell made him dizzy with longing. No Coke. He forgot to stop by the store again.
Fuck it, he thought and put the glass to his lips. He tipped it and let the burning liquor run down his throat.
It went straight to his head, and he started to feel better about things. He poured more into the glass and glanced up at Lucy.
"Want to join me?" he asked, holding up the bottle.
"Oh, hell, no." She shook her head and grabbed a plate out of a cupboard. "I need food."
"Suit yourself," Rob said, then took another drink. "It smells good, though."
"I think you need to eat something," she said, bringing two plates to the table. "Just a little
"I'll eat when I'm ready."
A bulging paper sack sat on the table. Rob pointed at it. "What's this?" he asked.
"You don't remember?" Lucy shoved a piece of bacon in her mouth and took a bite of toast. "It's the money," she
said around the food.
Rob averted his gaze. He hated it when people talked with their mouths full. It disgusted him and showed a lack
"You forgot?" she asked, finally swallowing. "It's the money we made singing last night."
"I don't remember last night."
"I know that. But I told you about it this morning. How could you forget already?"
"I just forgot, that's all." He shrugged and poured more liquor into his glass. "I have a lot of shit on my
mind right now, Lucy."
He hesitated, staring at her across the table. Her grin was broad. Her eyes sparkled with
"Go on," she insisted. "Open it."
He reached for the paper bag and turned it upside down. Coins and paper money fell into a pile on the table. Rob
tossed the empty bag aside and ran his fingers over the money.
"Is this for real?"
"Of course, it's for real."
"Well, I met you late Sunday afternoon. You were pretty drunk already. You wanted to sing karaoke," she laughed.
"You were very insistent. You went around the bar asking everyone to sing with you. The only problem was we were at The Frolic Room, and there's no band or karaoke there. No room for
"What did we do then?" Rob hated his blackouts. Hated not remembering. He was so afraid that he would wake up to
find out he had done something horrible one day.
"We went to the Brass Monkey. There's nothing but karaoke there."
"We made all of this money there?"
"Oh, no," she answered. "There's a lot of bars in LA, and we made the most of it. Go ahead and count
"Have you counted it yet?"
Lucy nodded, her long auburn hair shaking with the movement.
"Then I don't need to," he said, taking another long drink. "I trust you."
"How can you trust me? You don't even know me."
"Well, I left you alone in my apartment, and you haven't stolen anything."
Lucy laughed. "There's nothing to steal in this place."
Rob laughed with her, his mood lightening. "Right."
"And I made breakfast," she reminded him. "Of which you ate none."
"I'm sorry, Lucy, I needed a drink after this morning. And I'm sorry for the sour mood when I got
"Count the money," she insisted again, choosing to ignore his apology. "That will cheer you up even
"Just tell me how much is there."
Lucy took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Close to a thousand dollars," she stated bluntly.
Once they split the money from the paper sack, they each had four hundred ninety-four dollars and thirty-seven
cents. Rob found an old pickle jar under his kitchen sink, and they threw the change in it. They planned to add any spare coins they made singing into the jar, then split it once it was
Rob agreed with Lucy it might be lucrative to keep doing the karaoke on his nights off from the bar. Even though
he couldn't remember if she could sing, there had to be a voice there for them to rake in that much cash. He wished he could remember their first night but promised himself he wouldn't
drink too much the next time.
Needing a change of clothes, Lucy went home. For the first time in months, he picked up his guitar and started to
pick out a tune. The tune had been running around inside his head for quite some time. He wasn't sure where to go with it.
He didn't know if it was the money or Lucy herself. Or both. He liked Lucy; he was starting to like her a lot.
She was pretty in an impish sort of way. Her manners needed some work, but he could live with that. Besides, he had no plans to marry her. They would just be sharing a common interest and making
money in the process. He just had to see how it would go this evening.
In the morning, he would be going back to Capitol Records. Larry Brown would be recording him in a professional
studio. Rob still wasn't sure how he felt about it. He knew he sang well. He had been singing most of his life. He had no idea how he sounded on a recording. At this point, he was pretty sure
nothing would come of it. He never had Lady Luck on his side.
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