A couple of weeks later, one of my friends, who planned to apply to the Juilliard school upon completing his military service, came to my bedside to say goodbye, as he would be transferred the next day to a naval base in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu. At hearing this I cursed myself for my misfortune. The injury robbed me of the opportunity to travel to an exotic place, to see the world. How could I prove myself, now?
“Get up,” said Aaron. “Enough moping about. Tonight, we’re going to celebrate!”
“Why?” I asked, sulking. “What is there for me to celebrate?”
He winked. “Jane Russell is coming in, to entertain the troops.”
“Nope,” he said. “And Betty Grable—”
“Yes? What about her?”
“She’s not coming either.”
“I get it. Next you’ll be telling me about Rita Hayworth. She’s staying out there in Hollywood, I bet.”
“Yes, but,” he said, “we do have a performance at the camp tonight—showgirls, musicians, a band, and what not! Quick, get up, get dressed! We’re going to go see it!”
“Haven’t you noticed? I’m injured,” I said, pointing at the dressing that bulged over my shoulder. “This thing is huge, and so is the pain!”
“Enough,” he said. “No more moping about.”
“I won’t be able to move my arm, let alone put it into the sleeve of my shirt.”
“Your legs still work, don’t they?”
“No buts,” he said. “Stand up!”
I leaned on him as he helped me into my russet-brown leather-soled service shoes. Having tied my laces Aaron took off his olive drab cotton field jacket and wrapped it loosely over my shoulders. He tried to straighten the notched lapel collar, but the mound of gauze towering over my right side forced it into an odd shape.
“Oh well,” he said, and gave a final pat over the buttoned shoulder loops.
I tried not to cry, “Ouch!”
“Relax,” he said. “Lopsided is a good look for you. Seems muscular on one side, vulnerable on the other.”
“Really?” said I, wishing for a moment that my father could see me now. After all, I needed someone to be proud of me—or, failing that, have pity on me in my weakened state.
“Really,” said Aaron, in his most reassuring tone. “The girls at the show, they’ll fall head over heals in love with you, especially that redhead kid.”
In place of answering, he asked, “You like classical music, don’t you?”
Which forced me to repeat, “What redhead?”
“Relax,” he said. “Like I said, she’s just a kid. But from what I hear, no one can match the way she plays the piano.”
Lenny in The Music of Us
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The complete series:
"Words can be melodic, and author Uvi Poznansky's book at times reads like a symphony. This is the music of love, elegantly written with an essence of bittersweet romance. It is a celebration of the wonderful feelings people experience during the early days of getting to know each other, written in the heartbreak and shadows of later years."
- A. Reader,TOP 100 REVIEWER