It’s the beginning of the spring holiday. We see, inside a big house, plenty of smoking blabbing old men and women, and kids running everywhere and making too much noise, a young lady, aged at the end of 20th, wearing a T-shirt, a skirt and tight pants, busing typing the keyboard of her laptop; She looks so busy that the noise of old men and running kids didn’t bother her, a pretty lady with short brown hair and beautiful eyes.
Suddenly, we hear a woman screaming:
– Elizabeth! Could you please go to the baker and buy some bread? It’s lunch time.
But the busy girl didn’t answer; she’s still focused on typing. The woman screams angrily:
Finally, Elizabeth “wakes up” and she turns her head as she was in a deep sleep:
– A! What happened? My cousins? What are you doing here? When did you come? Is my grand-father here? ; I smell cigarettes.
– Oh! Mom! Did you call me?
– Yes! Do I have to scream so that you can hear me? I asked you to go to the baker and buy some bread for us, it’s lunch time.
– Yes, mom. Sorry, I was writing.
She takes a plastic bag and gets out. After few seconds, she comes back suddenly:
– Mom: the money.
– Ah… you and your imaginary world… take… Please when you cross the street, wake up of your imagination, or you’ll get an accident.
– Yes mom, bye!
In her way to the baker, Elizabeth Hugo passes by Papa Joe’s bar. And she finds the latter standing in front of his bar, a huge man with hoarse voice and many scars on his face and arms. Once he saw our girl, he screams happily, very glad to see her:
– Elizabeth! Oh my God! I missed you, girl! The entire street missed you!
– Hi Papa Joe! I missed you too. How are you?
– I’m fine, yeah… And you? How’s it going?
– Very good. How’s the bar?
– It’s working very well. It just missed you like I did.
– Oh, thanks Papa.
– I haven’t seen you for a whole month, girl!
– Sorry! Exams; they steal from me all my time… they don’t allow me even to think about a new idea of a novel.
– So… you came to see me?
– No actually… I’m setting off towards the baker… you know… it’s the spring holiday and all the family is in our home.
– Yeah… it’s something embarrassing…
– Yeah… too much noise…Besides, there not here just because it’s the holiday.
– It’s April’s wedding.
– Who’s April?
– My cousin.
– Oh! What a surprise! She’s older than you or…
– Good. Am I invited?
– Well, her and her fiancé’s parents didn’t invite yet people. But I’ll remind my uncle and his wife about inviting you
– Perfect! I love weddings! … How are your novels?
– I’m about writing my third novel, but the two first one, they all refused it… They’re on the shelf now.
– I wish you the good luck in your novels.
– Thanks Papa.
– As you said; there’s too much noise in your home, so… if you like to work in peace, you can come to my bar. You know how much my clients are clean and calm here.
– Thanks Papa…
Hugo looks inside the bar and she finds some strangers busy preparing some instruments on the stage.
– Who are these people, Papa?
– Oh! They are new country musicians; The Miracles. You know; my bar gives every night unlucky musicians a chance to sing and to become popular… Who knows? … It’s the first time The Miracles play music for me.
One of these musicians gets out of the bar and stands next to Papa, an old handsome man, is his seventies, with brown hair and moustaches, and brilliant eyes that kohl is surrounding them. Instead of talking to his boss, he looks at Elizabeth and smiles:
– Hey… What’s up?
But Papa beats him by his elbow and asks him:
– What do you want, McCallister?
– Oh, yeah… A… the drummer forgot his chair in our apartment so… he needs a chair.
– Take one from the bar counter.
– Thanks for your generosity, Papa. Bye.
He enters the bar while Joe continues his conversation with Eliza:
– So… where we were?
– We were talking about…(she slaps her front) the baker!
– We were talking about the baker?
– Oh my God! The bread! Sorry Papa! I need to go… I’ll be late for the lunch! Bye Papa! (she runs)
– Bye sweetie! Don’t forget! You’re welcome to the bar at anytime!
At night, Elizabeth comes back to the bar, with a bag for her laptop. When she gets in, she found The Miracles playing a soft country music: McCallister sings and plays classical guitar and the rest of the band – a drummer, a pianist, and another guitarist – are playing the melody. All the band’s members are wearing a green uniform jacket that “The Miracles” name is written on the right
Papa Joe saw Hugo sitting in the table near the stage. He walks toward her and greets her warmly:
– Oh! Elizabeth! Welcome back! I’m so happy you came!
– Thank you, Papa.
– Your favorite lemonade as always?
– Yes please.
– Good choice: lemonade will help you in imagining the novel’s events by refreshing your mind. I’ll be back.
– Thanks Papa.
– Enjoy The Miracles’ show while I’m bringing the lemonade for you.
When Papa left Eliza, the latter kept herself busy listening to the song “The sea of our love”. She finds out that – although she’s not a music expert at all – the lyrics are horrible. Plus, McCallister’s way in singing is bad that you really want to punch his face to stop that. But, although all these stuffs, she finds the melody so beautiful, soft and sweet.
Papa Joe came back with the lemonade, put the latter on Elizabeth’s table and sat next to her. After some seconds of silence, he says:
– Do you find this song good?
– Only the tune.
– Me either… it was a huge mistake when they chose McCallister to be the singer.
– His voice and… how can I say it…
– His way in singing?
– Yes, they’re horrible.
– I see eye to eye with you…
– But there is something different in the tune…
– What is it?
– I don’t know… something special…
– Maybe… Anyway, clients don’t like the band too.
– So, I have to ask them to leave the bar and never come back as musicians, only as clients.
– What? Why?
– Don’t you find them horrible?
– Yes but…
– I’m sorry, Eliza, I know you’re kind to people, me either, but this will ruin the bar’s business. Hundreds of bands like this one want to try their chance here, and they may be better 1 thousand times than The Miracles.
– Give them another chance…
– I can’t…
A man stands up from his table and walks toward Papa and he asks him:
– Are you the bar’s owner?
– Please stop this band! They’re bad. And they’ll damage my dinner with my wife!
Papa turned his head to Hugo, smiled and said:
– Didn’t I tell you?
Then, he excuses the client and promises him to fire them right now. Next, Papa stands up and sets off towards the band which stopped the song once they saw him coming.
The latter orders McCallister to come by a sign from his hand. They together walk away from the stage while Elizabeth chooses to not interfere in people’s business, so she started typewriting.
McCallister asks his boss, managing a smile:
– What’s the wrong, Papa?
– Jack, didn’t you notice that your public, which is my source of money, hated you and the band?
– Why did they?
– Because simply your songs are bad, you’re a horrible singer, and you’re not active. I’m sorry, Jack, I wish you the good luck in your career…
– … What?
– No need to continue singing, you need to leave the bar now … I’m sorry again.
– (very sad) … Ok… thanks for giving us the chance to… sing.
– You’re welcome… good night.
Jack came back to the band which looks actually wanting to talk to him, and so, their leader looks at them and asks them directly:
The pianist walks some steps straight and answers:
– Jack, we heard the conversation between you and Papa… he’s right…
– What do you mean?
– I’m meaning that you’re the cause of our failure; it’s you who compose the tune and write the lyrics, if you didn’t write the lyrics, you oblige us to do it according to the tune you made. You’re a great “classic, folk, country” composer, but we’re not free, and that’s why we fail always… Besides, the rest of the band is still young, but you… you’re old now… old people cannot become suddenly famous in music world… we chose you to become our leader just to use your experience, but you’re behaving as we’re yours.
– (Shocked)… What?
– Jack, we’re all sorry, we spoke about that, secretly, and we decided that the new leader is me… you’re no longer one of us… give me the jacket.
– Won’t you leave the bar too?
– Actually, we made a deal with Papa: if the clients hate our performance, only you will be fired, because you’re the cause of our failure all the time.
– … And the songs you’re going to play?
– We wrote our own songs, without you. And we’re going to play them tonight, instead of yours.
– When all of that happen?!
– When you leave us to go out and smoke while we’re writing lyrics for the tune you composed. You’re a perfect composer, but a horrible leader. And now, please give me the jacket.
McCallister looks at the rest of members and he finds them sorry from a side, and in another side supporting their “new boss”. Then, he takes off the jacket and gives it to the pianist. He takes his guitar and gets out of the bar.
During all of this, Elizabeth couldn’t focus on writing; she was too close to the stage that she could listen well to Papa, Jack and the band. And so, after Jack’s leaving the bar, she realizes that the latter is talented and that he needs a chance and a help to improve this talent. So, she gathers the computer, puts some money on the table to pay Papa, and she gets out of the bar, running as fast as she can.
She looks right and left and she finds McCallister trying to catch a taxi.
She gets closer to him until he turns behind and he sees her:
– Oh! Sorry, I haven’t seen you.
– It’s, ok, sir.
– You’re that young lady I’ve met this morning?
– Yes, I suppose.
– Hi… (they shake hands) McCallister, Jack McCallister.
– Oh, Elizabeth Hugo. Nice to meet you, Mr. McCallister.
– Nice to meet you too. Please call me Jack, Ms. Hugo.
– Call me Elizabeth… Or Eliza… Or Beth… Ah! (she smiles) I have many nicknames.
– Yeah… Can I help you?
– Actually, I think you need that help, Jack.
– Me? Why?
– Don’t you think that you need now a help? According to your situation?
– What help? Any situation? I’m fine, I don’t need help.
– Yes you do. I can help you even by giving you few dollars! Look, Papa Joe is a close friend of my father. I can talk to him and…
– (interrupting her) Thanks, but please, no need for that, I’m fine.
– Ok…But if you need any help, I’m always here.
– Thank you so much, but I don’t want any help.
– …Where you’re going to sleep?
– Pardon me?
– Don’t you have an apartment with your band?
– And now you’re fired?
McCallister takes some keys from his pants’ pocket and shows them to Elizabeth. Then, he says, smiling:
– They forgot that the leader has always the original apartment keys.
– But it’s no longer your apartment. And what if they found you there?
– Don’t worry, sweetie; I’ll wake up and leave the apartment before they arrive. They always come back after the sunrise of the next day.
Finally, a taxi stops. Jack opens the door and gets his guitar in, and then he continues:
– Good night, Elizabeth.
He gets in and the taxi sets off, while Hugo is watching the car disappearing…