Faith comes on board

 

Keith-&-Lesli“What’s wrong?” Sam asked Faith after she hung up the phone.

“Oh, I haven’t been doing well in that class since I signed up for it. So, he’s pretty upset that I didn’t go this morning and didn’t call to say I wasn’t going. To tell you the truth, I’ve been thinking about dropping it, anyway. It’s a waste of my money listening to him brag about what a great producer he is and how he brings out the best in artists, blah, blah. If I told him why I blew class off, because I was recording Helen St. James, he’d crap on himself.”

Helen’s eyebrows went up. “Well, why didn’t you? He’d’ve probably understood.”

“Because”, Faith replied, “you guys swore me to secrecy.”

Helen didn’t know what to say to that. But, clearly, she wanted to say something. Keith got an idea. “Hey,” he asked, “you do good work?”

“Of course she does,” Sam horned in. “You heard the playback.”

Keith just kept looking at Faith, who nodded. “Yes, I do.”

“Play it for me,” said Helen.

Keith added, “After that, let her listen to what we just did. Helen, come here. I want to have a word with you.”

She was highly amused at him turning her phrase around on her. The music came on and Helen listened to Keith, Sam and Luis. A few minutes in, she was standing to the side with Keith quietly, animatedly holding forth. She arched an eyebrow a few times, pursed her lips, crossed her arms across that ample chest and thoughtfully tapped her foot. They came back in, sat down and kept listening. When the take with all three singers was finished, Helen nodded to him.  “That’s a bet.”

Everybody else looked on, wondering what these two were up to. Keith said to Faith, “You wanna job?”

Dumbfounded, she asked, “Doing what?” Then corrected herself: “I mean, yeah. Sure. Whatever it is.”

“Well,” Louis said, “I do need a maid.” Nobody except Faith was surprised to hear Luis say something like that. They tolerantly smiled. Faith narrowed her eyes.  If looks could kill, they’d be going to his funeral real soon.

Helen said, “We want you to go in the studio with us and back the engineer up. Whatever the going rate is, we’ll top it.”

She couldn’t believe this. “Really!? Carl Beatty? You want me to work with you and Carl Beatty? Getting paid!? Really?”

“Really.”

She looked at Keith, who said, “Really. Welcome aboard.”

Faith shrieked and ran to Samantha, almost barreling her over in a bear hug. Then, spun and excitedly stuck out her hand for Helen to shake. Helen gave an indulgent grin, shook the kid’s hand. Faith then just about jumped on Keith kissing his cheek. “Thank you. So much. I know this was your idea.”

He grinned as Faith spun in the middle of the floor. “Who needs his stupid class?”

“I don’t get a hug, too?” from Louis

Faith glanced at him with her comically exaggerated leer, arms wide open. Then walked over and politely shook his hand.

“Okay”, Helen said. “Let’s get back to it.” They worked “Her Town Too” to a tee. Keith finally thinking about someone other than Lesli.

 

Next week: Alone and not liking it

Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.