Chapter 36 Awakenings
As Keith MacLeod drove the Chevrolet back from Jacksonville Beach he was admiring the beauty of the sunset and thinking how very much he had enjoyed this final August Saturday afternoon at the beach with Melody. There was a change in her. He inwardly chuckled at how surprised she was that her little greeting act, when she first saw him at the theatre, had turned into a real and passionate kiss. He was sure now that she was in love with him.
Until Melody Page came into his life he had been a man without design. His music and passion for the pipe organ was the circle of his life, but it was a circle without a center until Melody. From the moment he saw her standing in the doorway of Jimmy Day's living room he knew that she would be Mrs. Keith MacLeod, Jr. ...someday.
Never mind that she seemed so young when they met, even then he was sure. He was willing to be a buddy and a pal to her until the time was right, and her feelings for him awakened. While she was away his feelings had become so absolute that he bought a ring. After dinner with the Page's tonight would be a good time to speak to her father. He looked down at her head resting on his shoulder. All he needed was the right time to ask her . . .
On Sunday morning Miss Melody Page woke early and in an unusually good mood. Stretching comfortably in the bed she paused to think about why she should be in such a wonderful frame of mind.
“Goodness knows” she mused, “There is enough to put a cloud in one's mind, when you think about going back to work on Monday. But wait!” she smiled and stretched again “it's Sunday and besides I don't have to go to work at that stupid old insurance office! And anyway, Monday is when I officially start my dream job.”
She felt that perhaps this accounted for her bright mood. “But wait! There's something else . . . ”
She began to have a giddy feeling that started in her chest and bubbled like a fountain up to her brain and exploded in a little giggle “Oh, yes! It's Keith. Keith, Keith, Keith!” Just thinking his name gave her the giggles.
“You silly thing! That cliché about being giddy like a school girl applies to you! You're twenty-one years old, old enough to know your own mind.” she scolded herself.
The self sufficient Miss Page had thought that she could find her life in business. She had been determined to make her way in the world as an independent woman. Keith had always been an attraction for her and she had always chalked this up to her first reaction to him.
Why, she had been almost eighteen, when she first saw him at Jimmy and Harry's birthday party. He was almost five years older than she was. Not only that, but he was so very handsome, so kind, and he was a musician! A powerful combination.
At first they were just acquaintances, then best friends. For years she had denied her true feelings for him. It wasn't until she landed this job as the head organist at the theatre and had left town for the training program that she had discovered the big hole in her heart while she was away from him. She thought about yesterday at the beach. That's when she realized that her feelings for him had somehow changed.
She thought about his parents.
To her self she reminisced: “I guess it was providence that they offered to board me in their home. Oh, yes, it did save me lots of money, but they are such dear people that I just fell in love with them! They are so much like my own folks that I have begun to think of them as family, too. That, and being away from Keith, made me realize that it was ordained that we should be together!”
He had been unusually quiet at dinner last night. Once or twice she caught him looking at her with a contented look on his face. His manner toward her had changed and she thought she liked it. Unusual too, was the way that Daddy and Keith went walking about the garden after dinner, and how both of them seemed so much closer than she had noticed before.
She giggled again as she thought, “But why in the world should my middle feel tingly just like it does when the roller-coaster tops that first big hill and hangs there for a moment just before it rushes down? What could make me feel that way?”
She laughed and heaved a great sigh “Of course, you silly thing! That's why you are in such in a good mood this morning! You're in love! In love with Mr. Keith MacLeod!”