A New Normal (A New Dream Book 3)

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Chapter Nineteen

In the studio, Nathan and Keely are playing through the song while Roger sits in the control room, frustrated. He leans back in the chair before sitting up again trying to figure out what Keely’s doing.

“Keel, what the hell is that?” he sat up, hitting the intercom button from the control room.

“I don’t know. It… it doesn’t sound right.” she answered looking over at him.

“Just play it as it’s written.” he told her getting up from the chair and going into the studio.

“I tried that, it didn’t sound right. Maybe this was a bad idea. I… I can’t do it.” she looked up at him, taking the guitar off.

“Let me see.” he told her, taking the guitar and propping it on his leg. He started playing it and was having difficulty too.

“See? I told you.” she looked over at him.

“I wrote it on guitar. I don’t understand.” he looked over at the guitar. “Who tuned this?” he asked.

“I did. What’s wrong with it?” Nathan volunteered standing up from the piano.

“It’s all wrong. How did you tune this?” he asked playing with the guitar.

“Standard. Why?” he asked looking over at him.

“Just… let me fix it.” he stuttered, adjusting the tuning.

“Roger, it was an honest mistake.” Keely looked over at him.

“Yeah, I… I know. I just… I’m sorry. This is a really important song and it has to be perfect.” he apologized to Nathan.

“Why is it so important?” Keely asked sitting on the stool next to Roger.

“I… every song I write for you is important, Keel.”

“No, that’s not the way you said it. Why is it so important?” she asked taking the sheet music off of the music stand and reading the lyrics carefully.

“This is it, Keel. This is the song that’s gonna make you surpass me and the band. I had a hunch when I was writing it, but then you decided to play guitar... that cemented it. This is the song that’s gonna win you Song of the Year at the Grammy’s and the American Music Awards.” he explained as Keely looked over at him.

“That’s a lot of responsibility for a little song to shoulder, don’t you think?” she asked looking over at him.

“No, it’s… it’s not. You’re gonna make it, Keel. and I’m gonna be there to cheer you on.” he put the guitar down on the stand before going over to Keely.

“OK, then it’s a lot of responsibility for me to shoulder. A Grammy, an American Music Award… Roger, that’s a lot of pressure for me to live up to before even playing it once, don’t you think?” she asked looking up at him.

“It’s my dream.” he smiled at her, reassuringly.

“You don’t go small, do you?” she smiled at him.

“My dad always taught me, if I’m gonna dream, I might as well dream big.” he laughed.

“And here I thought my father in law liked me.” she sighed looking over at Nathan.

“He does like you, but I guess he likes to add some challenges here and there.” Nathan looked over at her.

“Apparently raising a little girl and Roger isn’t enough of a challenge for him.” she laughed looking over at him.

“Apparently.” Roger smiled putting his arm around his wife.

“A Grammy and an American Music Award? Roger, really?” she sighed looking up at him.

“Yes, Keel. Really. I have faith in you. You know that. I always will.” he kissed her head.

“We have a lot to do then, don’t we?” she tilted her head to look up at him.

“Let’s get to work. Those awards aren’t gonna win themselves.” Nathan smiled getting back to his piano as Roger grabbed the guitar and handed it to Keely.

“You can do this, Mrs. Greyson.” he smiled before going into the control room.

“Are you ready, Keel?” Nathan asked looking over at her.

“Count it down.” she laughed looking down at the sheet music and started playing. Roger smiled listening to them play. He welled with pride as he listened to his wife and his best friend play his song. A song he was sure was gonna become a hit with Keely and Nathan playing it.

When they completed the song, Roger simply smiled at them. Keely and Nathan smiled at each other, seeing the look on Roger’s face. They knew that his instincts were right. This song was not only gonna be a hit, but it was gonna earn them music awards and Roger would surely receive one each for writing and producing. Keely took a deep breath before her emotions got the best of her and she broke down, holding her guitar tight. Roger rushed into the studio. “Keel, what… what happened?” he asked standing over her.

“You… you did it, Roger. You really did it.” she cried as he wrapped his arms around her shoulders.

“We did it. You and Nate are gonna be the reason why this is a hit. That was more than I ever could have imagined it would be. That’s because of you and Nate. You guys rocked this.” he smiled at Nathan as he held his wife.

“Thanks for giving it to us, Rog. It would have been easy for you to keep it for the uber band. You and Oli would have made it sound great with the full band.” he smiled at him.

“Nah, it needed to be played this way. You on piano and Keel on acoustic with her voice… that’s the way it had to be. That’s gonna be why it wins.” he smiled at him.

“Can you play it back? I wanna hear what work needs to be done with it.” she looked up at him.

“Minimal work, Keel. I like the stripped down acoustic aspect. It’s raw and it’s perfect. Trust me.” he smiled at her.

“I do. Roger, I will always trust you.” she smiled leaning up to kiss him.

“Thanks for bringing me into this, Rog. This is truly magical.” Nathan smiled at them, enjoying the view. Watching Roger and Keely was always fun. Being brought into this collaboration with Keely was the best thing that had ever happened to him. When he was in the Bohemian Knights, he really wanted to go somewhere with them. Then Roger had to step down and Keely stepped in and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Although he enjoyed playing with Roger, playing with Keely was different. Her talent was something that he watched grow with each day from the time she began rehearsing with Roger and the band. He watched her go from being an injured dancer to becoming a bona fide lead singer. Going solo with her was the best decision he could have made.

“Looks like we’re going all the way, Nate. Are you ready for that?” Keely smiled over at her partner.

“I’m not only ready, Keel. I’m looking forward to taking this journey with you. It’s gonna be a blast.” he smiled getting up from his piano and going over to hug Keely.

Later that night, Roger and Keely are laying in bed. They had just put Angel down for the night and Keely’s getting ready for bed. Roger comes into the bedroom, still floating on air from their day in the recording studio. “I can’t believe how great that song came out. When I wrote it, I never imagined it would turn out the way it has.” he smiled over at her. She was brushing her hair after changing into one of Roger’s worn t shirts.

“All I did was add the acoustic guitar, Roger. I’m sure you would have thought of it, the first time you heard us laying it down. You’ll do anything to get me to play.” she laughed placing the brush back on the vanity.

“Keel, it was the furthest thing from my mind when I was writing it. I never could have imagined doing it that way. Seriously. That was all you and Nate. You took my words and music and made them something completely different. Amazing.” he leaned over as she got into the bed next to him.

“Magical?” she laughed, thinking about what Nathan said earlier in the studio.

“Yeah. Could you believe he said that?” he smiled, holding her in his arms.

“It’s true, Roger. Everything we’ve been doing so far has been fun. But today, we made magic. We all felt it.” she leaned into him as he kissed her head.

“This was a great idea. You and Nate going solo together.” he smiled at her.

“Glad you and Oli thought of it?” she giggled looking up at him.

“Something like that. It’s not my fault your husband and cousin are geniuses.” he laughed with her.

“Not to toot your own horn or anything, right?” she laughed at him.

“Of course not. You know that’s not me, Baby.” he laughed as they lay in each other’s arms, destressing from a busy, productive day. Soon they fell asleep in one another’s arms. A couple of hours later, they were woken up by the screams of a teething child.

“I’ll get her.” Keely groggily told him, concerned because of the way her daughter was screaming. “It’s OK, my little Angel. Mama got you.” she tried to soothe the baby as she reached into the crib to pick her up. When she brought the child to her, she felt warm. Too warm for her comfort. “OK, sweet girl. I got you.” she told her before rushing into her bedroom to wake her husband. “Roger, can you get me the thermometer, please? It’s in the bathroom on the top shelf. She feels a little warm and I need to changer her diaper.” she told him, looking down at him.

“Do you think she has a fever?” he asked, jumping out of bed.

“I don’t know, but I wanna make sure.” she looked up at him as he stood over her and the baby, placing his lips on the baby’s head.

“She does feel a bit warm. I’ll get it and bring it to you in her room.” he told her, rushing into the bathroom to take it out of the medicine chest.

Keely nodded, bringing the little girl into her room and placed her on the changing table. She removed her clothes and changed her diaper while she waited for Roger to come in with the thermometer. “It’s OK, sweetie. Mommy’s got you. I’ll take care of everything.” she reassured the baby as Roger came into the bedroom.

“What do we do if she has a fever?” he asked, handing her the thermometer.

“She’s teething, which is a good reason why she would have a fever. I’ll give her medicine and her fever should go down. It’s no big deal, Roger. It’s perfectly normal.” she looked up at him as she stuck the thermometer under her daughter’s armpit. She waited until it beeped, indicating that it was done.

“Well?” he asked looking over at her.

“It’s 100.4. It’s a low grade fever. I’m gonna give her the baby aspirin and put her back to bed. She’ll be fine.” she smiled, putting her daughter’s pajamas back on and handing her to her father. The baby continued to fuss, but she wasn’t crying.

“I’ll get her a bottle and we’ll bring her in by us.” he looked up at her.

“Good idea. We can put her in her bassinet.” Keely called out from the bathroom where she kept the baby’s medicine. Roger went into the kitchen to make a bottle to comfort his daughter.

“You’re OK, Angel. Mommy’s gonna get you medicine and you can sleep in with me and mommy tonight. Don’t worry, Princess. We got you.” he smiled, kissing his daughter on the head.

“Can you hold her still, so I can give this to her? She hates taking this stuff.” Keely asked as she walked towards Roger in the kitchen.

“I’m making her a bottle. Shouldn’t we wait for it to be done so she can wash it down?” he asked looking down at her.

“Roger, it’s not a shot. She doesn’t need a chaser. It’s baby aspirin.” she laughed looking up at him.

“What? It’s the same concept, no?” he asked looking down at her, completely serious.

“She’ll be fine.” she chuckled as she gently held the baby’s head, feeding her the liquid medicine though a medicine dropper. The baby fussed, but swallowed the medication. They hadn’t given her medication since she was taking the antiretrovirals after she was born to make sure she was not positive. “That’s mommy’s girl.” Keely smiled leaning up to kiss the baby’s cheek. “I’ll go set up the bassinet. We haven’t used it in a while and I should put clean sheets in it.” she smiled leaning up to kiss Roger.

“OK, Baby. I got her. I’m just waiting for the bottle to warm up. We’ll be in in a minute.” he smiled down at her.

“You’re such a good daddy.” Keely smiled at him.

“You’re not too bad yourself, gorgeous.” he smiled as she went to the bedroom. He tested the bottle before bringing it with the baby into the bedroom to feed her before going back to sleep. They were taking the day off from the studio because Wendy and their godson were getting out of the hospital. Roger and Angel were staying at Wendy and Oliver’s apartment to set things up for the welcome home party while Keely went with Oliver to pick them up. He sat against the pillows on his and Keely’s bed while he fed his daughter her bottle. He watched his wife get the baby’s bassinet ready for her to sleep in with her parents and smiled at how perfect his life seemed and thanked Keely every day for making his life what it was.

“You know, you’re gonna have to stop looking at me like that. It’s very distracting.” she smiled, staring at him with her hands on her hips.

“I can’t help it. I’m married to the most beautiful woman in the world. It’s hard for me not to think about how lucky I am to have you and this little girl in my life.” he smiled at her as the baby fell asleep in his arms. Keely reached over to take the baby from him and put her in the bassinet. She covered her daughter before returning to bed, in the arms of her loving husband.

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