falling slowly

1649 Words7 Pages
The day broke cold and clear, which Jon pointed out over breakfast. The Dolans’ general housekeeper and habitual smiler, Mikayla, served bowls of hot cereal, fruit, eggs and bagels, and the coffee without which neither brother could jump start a morning. Becca downed a few hurried bites and went to fetch her squally son, whom she took into the sunshine to feed. Then she came back, young Cory nodding off on her shoulder, and finished eating. “What time do you have to be there?” she wanted to know. “Three for sound check, kickoff at five.” “The TV says it’ll be twenty degrees by then,” she said. “That’s all right. We won’t be outdoors long. I can’t let my equipment fog up,” Doug told her. “Are you coming?” She ran a hand over her son’s dark hair. “It’s a bit cool for him.” “We’ll bundle him up good.” Jon trotted over to drop a kiss atop her head. “You said yourself babies shouldn’t be kept indoors all the time. You said it gives ‘em weak constitutions.” “Well.” Doug saw her weaken and hid a smile. Man, was there nothing his brother couldn’t have for the asking? “How long till you have to leave?” “It’s not far. We can leave at one-thirty and have plenty of time,” Jon told her. Becca rose. “Then let me get cleaned up.” She yawned. “Man, this little guy’s got my days and nights mixed up.” She spied Doug with his breakfast finished. Her expression brightened, and she came over and handed the baby off to him. “Hey! No! I mean…” “Just support his head.” She showed him how. “He’s all fed and dry. It’s high time you two got acquainted a bit better, don’t you think?” “Yeah, yeah but…” Becca vanished. Helpless he held the child, carefully walking over to the sofa to give himself some stability. Seating the baby on his thighs, keeping his pal... ... middle of paper ... ... the time, and still learning to hold the camera quiet, and how to pan. Jon had shown the family around backstage, acting nonchalant about all the fuss, but Doug easily read how rattled he was—and how he tried to shake the fear of all this being some grand mistake. He’d heard Dad whisper to Mom, while nodding toward the semi-trailer, the crates and footlockers, the miles of cable and acres of gear: “Is this all Jon’s?” He remembered Mom’s affirmative. All Jon’s. Back then, before Doug even finished high school, he’d feared it would all be Jon’s, forever. How could a second son ever measure up? Jon, the songwriter, the prodigy drummer at nine, the self-taught pianist at twelve. The son who’d wowed everybody in his mid-teens as his voice changed into something at which the music cognoscenti marveled. What did Doug possess that was excellent, and distinctively his own?
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