Happy Black History Month! Although I write fiction I incorporate factual Black History into my books, and throughout this month I will be posting excerpts from my novels that reference Black history. This is the second installment, an excerpt from my novel that was a finalist for the 2017 Emma Award for Best Contemporary Romance, All For Love: The SuperStar.
Angela looked at me in disbelief. Apparently, I had hoped wrong. “I can change it if you’d rather hear something more…contemporary,” I said apologetically.
“Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, and Duke Ellington?” Angela said, sitting down on a blanket. “That stuff is timeless.”
That was my girl. This woman had class and taste.
“I’m just floored,” she was continuing, “because when we’ve talked about music, you never mentioned being into show tunes.”
“Well, when we talked about music, you never told me that you sing, either.” I got her with that one, from the sheepish look on her face. I sat down on the blanket on the other side of the tablecloth, across from her.
“I heard you tell Stew that you sing,” I went on. “You can’t sing for him unless you sing for me first.”
“I…I will, Dare. But don’t change the subject,” she said, changing the subject. “How long have you been into show tunes?”
“When I was coming up, my folks wouldn’t allow any music in the house except religious music, classical music, and show tunes. They said other types of music were too ‘worldly.’ I was weaned on this stuff. I can remember my mother singing me to sleep with ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Morning’ from ‘Oklahoma!’ I especially love ‘Cabin in the Sky’ because it was one of the very first all-black musicals to appear on Broadway.”
I said a short prayer, and we started eating.
When “Taking a Chance on Love” began, Angela said, “I love this song! Darryl, sing it for me? Please?”
As if I could deny her anything. I started to sing along with the recording. Angie reached over, and turned down the volume, so the music was more in the background. As I sang I reflected how perfect this song was for where we were in our relationship. I now knew that she cared for me, too. That, and having her by my side, gave my voice wings.
When I finished, I gave her a smile, and said, “Guess I should leave Broadway to Brian Stokes Mitchell.”
Angela’s smile warmed my heart. “That was magic. I only wish I’d been recording it. Thank you.”