Sound Of Silence
Author: Rose Hala

Chapter 24
Sound Of Silence by Rose Hala

CHAPTER: 24

 

County Hospital, Las Vegas…

Shirley was tired. Her shift had been unusually quiet and the hours had seemed to drag on but it was finally finished.  

She took her cell phone out of her locker and thought about the handsome opera singer she had once lent it to nearly a month ago. Shirley often thought back to that night – that shift had been the shift of a lifetime.

She had two messages. The first one was from the phone company, they were probably calling to sell her a new service. She ignored it. The second one, however, she opened. It was from her friend who was the receptionist in the lobby of the hospital.  “COM 2 C ME @ DSK.”

Shirley quickly hurried down to the main lobby. They always met up after work at a nearby café, anyway. For Hayley to contact her like that, something must be up.

From across the lobby, Hayley frantically waved her arms at her from reception.

“What’s wrong with you?  You still have fifteen minutes to go before you finish. If matron catches us we’ll be in trouble. Hayley, what’s going on?”  Without a word, Hayley handed her a courier parcel.

“What’s this?”

“It came for you earlier but you had gone to lunch. See there?” Haley pointed to the flap bearing her signature. “I had to sign for it. What do you think it is? It’s registered so it must be important. You haven’t been speeding or running red lights have you?!”

“Don’t be stupid.” Shirley rolled her eyes at the remark.

“There’s a business postmark. Sonic Muzic Corporation. I think this could be the tickets to the concert in Halifax. In three weeks, I told you about it, remember?”

“Halifax? Canada? I remember, but that’s a hell of a long drive, Shirley.”

“You’ve heard the guys. You had my CD until you bought your own. They’re brilliant and they’re drop dead gorgeous too.”  

Shirley reached in and tore open the paper-zip on the bag then took out the contents. They both gasped when they saw what was in her hand.

“Oh, my God! Look at this, Haley! Airline tickets, concert tickets, plus accommodation, at one of the city’s most prestigious hotels.” Hayley shook her head in disbelief.

“This is for four people,” Shirley said, counting each item.  “I’m sure my mum would love to go. How about you, girlfriend?” Hayley nodded her head excitedly, there was no way was she passing this opportunity up.

 “Ok, that’s three. How about your mum? Do you think she would go?”

“Oh, she’ll go. That’ll work out great. Our mums can hang out together while we tear up the town. Four days in Halifax! Yippe!”

The two girls squealed and would have been jumping up and down with excitement if they hadn’t spotted the matron coming towards them. Quickly, Hayley helped Shirley gather up the contents. They were just getting them back into the bag when they heard a cold voice behind them.

“I suppose you have a good reason for being down on this floor, nurse?”

“Yes, matron. I’ve finished for the day and came down to pick up a parcel that was left for me.”

“Nurse! This is a hospital not the post office.  Now that you’ve collected your mail do you think you could let this young lady get on with her work?”

“Yes, Matron.” A quick peek at the clock told Shirley that Hayley still had eight minutes left. “I’ll see you at the usual place, ok?” Hayley nodded but, as soon as the matron’s back was turned, she shot Shirley a huge grin. Roll on, Halifax!

 

Three weeks later in Halifax…..

Mac knocked on the door again. What the hell was taking her so long? Transportation had been provided for them by The Choir Boys and their hotel was close to the venue but he still had to shave and to do that he had to get into the bloody bathroom.

“Liz, will you hurry up? I need to use that room, too, you know.” 

His attention was sidelined for the moment when his daughter came out of her room. She was dressed all in black – tube top, mini skirt, and boots that reached above her knees.  Her long hair fell over her bare shoulders.

 “Ah, Becky, don’t you think that skirt’s a bit short?”  Good Lord! It barely covered … as far as Mac was concerned, it didn’t cover enough, full stop.

“Oh, Dad, you are so yesterday. Everybody wears it like this now, so chill, OK?”

Chill? When his nineteen-year-old daughter was walking around in a skirt that wasn’t, not bloody likely! He’d be keeping an eye on anyone watching his baby girl all night and if he caught someone looking they had better be looking at her face.

 

The door to the bathroom opened and his wife walked out. As he stared at her, Becky took her chance and snuck into the bathroom, locking the door behind her.

“What are you two trying to do to me? Your daughter is dressed to kill and you look like her bloody mother.”

“Darling, I am her mother.” Elizabeth kissed him. “So, do you like this dress?”

It was a vivid red with a halter top, a mid-length skirt and a wide black sequined belt. It was almost too sexy for Mac’s peace of mind. What happened to her normal clothes? Her usual slacks and a blouse always looked fine but tonight he had to hand it to her. She was stunning.  He put his arms around her waist and gave her bottom a swat.

“You are being sassy, Mrs McDonald, and you, along with your daughter are going to give me a heart attack tonight. But yes, I do like the dress.” He pulled her close. “I like the dress very much,” he added as he kissed her slowly and thoroughly. They hadn’t done this for a while, but he’d keep it in mind when they got back to the hotel later on. In the meantime he still needed that shave.  “Becky, will you hurry up in there!”

 

“You smell good.” Rachel wound her arms around Samuel’s neck and placed her lips on his naked chest.  He had just come out of the shower and had a towel around his waist.

“Honey, you’re still getting over your cold remember? You decided to save me from myself, and not kiss me until you were better. If you keep doing that I’ll need another shower and I have to meet the guys in ninety minutes. Remember, we have a show tonight?” 

Rachel slipped a hand in his hair and she kissed him, just not on the lips. She rubbed his nipple with her tongue. Samuel instantly responded. What the hell. They could love a lot in those minutes and he’d still have time to meet the guys.

 

Annie smiled at her husband as she fixed his tie. He still made her heart flutter. In his dress suit he was quite a dashing figure. Tonight was special. It had been a long time since they had attended one of their son’s concerts. Annie was ready, wearing the dress she had worn to the wedding. They were waiting on Jiayi and Diana and then they’d meet up with Mac and his family in the lobby.

Annie was looking forward to meeting Elizabeth and Becky. Mac had talked about them so much she felt as if she knew them. Their girls would probably stick together most of the night.

 

Diana came out first. She was wearing a short, flared black skirt and a vivid orange peasant blouse that skimmed her mid drift. On her feet she wore flat sandals with a large orange flower on the thong.

When Jiayi came through the door, her parents gasped. She had on a shimmering aqua-blue slim skirt that hugged her curves. It left nothing to the imagination, absolutely nothing! The narrow matching tee shirt reflected tiny silver stars. Between their hair and make up, they both looked about twenty-five years old. Bruce could see he was going to have to keep his eyes peeled out for boy trouble tonight and, it would start the moment Daniel clapped eyes on his sister. He wasn’t going like this out fit at all.

 

When the two families met in the lobby, there was almost an atmosphere of greeting friends who hadn’t seen each other for a while. It was nice to finally be able to match faces to the names they’d heard about.

At first, Becky was a bit reserved with Jiayi and Diana, but not for long. Soon they were chatting away like normal teenagers.

Mac asked about Maggie. He was disappointed she wasn’t there. Bruce explained that she had developed a head cold and didn’t feel well enough to come. He seemed a little worried about her. She was so vibrant and fiery and it was always unsettling when she became ill. He had arranged for his neighbor to check on her while they were gone.

 

Shirley was nervous about tonight. The first time she had seen the boys was on her turf. This time it would be backstage on theirs.

She remembered being embarrassed that day, flustered, once she realized who they were.  

Hayley looked fabulous. She was wearing a lilac silk blouse tucked into designer jeans and went the gamut with a pair of pumps that matched the color of her blouse perfectly. Hayley had let her long hair run wild and could easily have been mistaken for a model heading to her next shoot.

Shirley’s sleeveless dress was gathered at the waist and fell to a soft skirt. The print of red roses and green leaves on the white background and her white mid heeled white sandals were lovely.

“Hey, Shirl, come look at this.” Hayley had stopped at one picture among the many in the gallery on the wall. “It’s an autographed picture of Elton John. And look. There’s one of Freddie Mercury, here’s Elvis, and over there are The Choir Boys. Look how great they look, especially Utah. I love that man’s hair.”

“They are all cute, but my favorite is Carl. He’s so Latin and his voice is so romantic and powerful. It’s amazing.”

Behind them, the door opened and seven people entered the room. One of the men looked familiar but Shirley couldn’t place him. It wasn’t until the introductions were over that she remembered she had met him at the hospital.

“Hello, Mac. It’s nice to see you again.”

“You too Shirley, I’m glad to see you’ve recovered from your encounter with that thug.”

The door opened again.

“Mum. Dad. It’s good to see you. Jia……. What?”  Bruce shrugged his shoulders under Daniel’s look. Jiayi was an adult and Daniel was going to have to accept it, whether he approved of what his sister was wearing or not. “I know Dad, I know, that doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

“Bonjour, Mac, Bruce, Ladies.” Samuel acknowledged the guests with his radiant smile.

Utah took her hand and held it to his lips. “Shirley, it’s wonderful to see you again. Thank you for coming. I’m glad you could make it.” Shirley couldn’t get her mouth to work, so she just smiled. “Sam, it’s thanks to this lady we were able to make the call that day. The cell phone we used belonged to Shirley.”

“Thank you taking such good care of us. Merci.”

 

“Good evening Ladies, you all look lovely this evening. It will be our pleasure to sing for you tonight.” Shirley closed her eyes for a split second. That Spaniard, he had a way of talking that made a woman feel like there was no one else in the room.

She found him irresistibly cute and, when he kissed her hand, she nearly melted in a puddle.

Pulling herself together, Shirley focused on introducing Hayley and their mothers but she was always aware of the gorgeous men standing near her. They had turned her head when they were casually dressed at the hospital but tonight, resplendent in their suits, they were throwing her quite a curve. They were devastatingly handsome and combine that with brilliant voices, Shirley had to hand it to them, The Choir boys were a hell of a package.

Hayley was taken by Utah’s gentlemanly manners but Shirley noticed she couldn’t stop looking at his gorgeous hair. His rebellious curls made him all the more appealing.  

 

Shirley couldn’t believe the concert was over already. It had been an awesome experience. It had been her first live performance ever thanks to four new friends who had made this night possible but it certainly wouldn’t be her last. Being here tonight had irrevocably changed her life, there was no way she would let it end here.  She’d be sitting in the audience listening to The Choir Boys at every concert she could attend from now on.  

“I’m going again.”

“What?” Hayley hadn’t really heard her as she was still reeling from the spectacular concert. She’d been blown away by those fabulous voices.

“I said, I’m going again. To another Choir Boys concert.  I know, this was special, meeting them and staying in that expensive hotel. But I am definitely going again. If you want to go with me, then start saving because somewhere out there are future seats in a front row with our names on.

“You can be sure I’ll be going. Maybe they’ll play Las Vegas and we can plan a few days vacation around the show.” They made a pact to attend the next concert in their home town and traveled back to their hotel with contented smiles on their faces.

 

Elizabeth was feeling the same post-concert euphoria that hit all the fans. She had liked them since a colleague at work brought the Rhythm and Hymns CD into the office. One hour of The Choir Boys was enough to make her collect every CD and the DVD.

“Well, Mac, did you enjoy it? They were great weren’t they? Aren’t their voices are amazing? Hon?”

“I had no idea that opera and the hymns could be so up beat, and modern. I expected it to be like watching paint dry and so I was prepared to bide my time until the fat lady sung but I have to admit it was truly excellent.”

Her husband liked them, that was a good start in the right direction, and Lizz hoped it would mean more concerts together in the future.

At Annie’s invitation Becky was going to stay with Jiayi and Diana for the night. They’d all meet in the morning for breakfast. Mac slid an arm around his wife.

“You looked stunning tonight, Darling.”  Elizabeth leaned in and kissed his neck.  “You scrubbed up pretty well yourself.”  Mac raised her chin and kissed her. While one couldn’t know what the other was thinking, their minds were on the same track.  It would be just them in that hotel room tonight, and they looked forward to taking a trip down memory lane this evening.

The guys were relaxing in a backstage lounge. The audience had clapped and danced with Samuel during The Age of Aquarius. It was a crowd favorite and the guys enjoyed seeing how the fans got caught up in it.

“We’re meeting everyone at the hotel bar, aren’t we?  Maybe we can find a night club after that and do some dancing?”  Carl looked at Samuel, they used to do this a lot after their shows, but that was before they had both gotten married.

“Count me out brother, I want to see how Rachel is feeling. She’s fighting that cold that Maggie has.  I’m a bit tired my self. I hope I’m not getting it next.”

“Utah, are you in?”

“No. I’m going to play some guitar and then talk to Ani on the net”

“I’ll go. How do you feel about taking the girls with us, Carl? Mum and Dad are going home tomorrow but that’ll give them some time by themselves, which they never get at home.

“Fantastico. We’ll have young girls to dance with.” Leave it to Carl. His brothers shook their heads and smiled. No doubt, Samuel and Utah would hear about the events of the night the following morning.

 

“Honey? baby?” Samuel entered the room quietly thinking Rachel was asleep until he noticed the small table. In the center of the table was a dish of chocolate-dipped strawberries. They were huge, with long stems, he didn’t recall ever seeing any so big. In the ice bucket was a bottle of the real stuff that could only come from the Champagne region of France. Good Lord, she had done it again!

She was always going out of her way to make his life special. Samuel thanked God again for giving him such a warm-hearted, beautiful wife.

“Hi sweetheart, how’d it go tonight?” She walked out of the bathroom in a silk robe and kissed him.  He could smell the scent of roses on her skin. He put his arms around her held her close. Not kissing her had been agony.  “It was excellent. I always love coming back to Canada. They always give us such a warn welcome. Oh, Babe, you should have seen them dance! It was brilliant. Now, what’s this dessert you’ve prepared?” He nuzzled her neck and pressed her close to him.  “On second thought, dessert can wait.”  They turned towards the bedroom.

 

In a Vegas courtroom…                

Mickey stood in silence. So far, he hadn’t uttered a word. It was like he was in a movie, with fantasy all around him.

He focused his attention on the judge who was leading up to the verdict. It was all Mickey was really interested in. He knew he would be found guilty since the short note two months ago from The Ring with pictures of his gutted condo advising him to take the fall. He’d get two years, out in 8mths with good behavior. It might take a while but he’d get back at them.

“… a minimum of  four years without parole.” The judge banged the hammer and Mickey cursed under his breath. Four? Four bloody years? Without parole?  Damn that old bitch and her frying pan.

 

 

 

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