As servers carted the remains of dinner back to the kitchen, the Evens approached the stage. Just like everyone else in the room, I could hardly contain my excitement. First, Caitlin took her place in front of the microphone with James still clinging to her side and holding her hand.
“Hello everyone!” Caitlin greeted happily. “Now that dessert’s on its way, my family and I would like to perform for a little while, how does that sound?”
People from all over the room began to clap in response, and after quickly glancing down at James, Caitlin smiled into the microphone once more.
“Please, do feel free to get up and dance if you like.” The clapping continued as Caitlin led James over to the piano, and the three other family members took their place at their instruments. Silence filled the air as his hand slipped from hers and he climbed onto the piano bench while she gingerly lifted the cover off of the keys for him.
Caitlin knelt down beside him and fixed his hair. Then I saw her whisper something that looked like “Do your best.”
Now his back was to me and Caitlin made her way over to the Cello, but before anything else happened, I looked at my Mama.
“He can play piano?” I asked as I tugged on her dress sleeve.
My Mama nodded in a way that told me to see for myself. I returned my gaze to the stage. James’ curved fingers rested on the musical keys and David finally picked up his trumpet and Chris, his violin. Then they waited.
They were all waiting on James.
“Go on dear.” I hear Caitlin say to him. With a small nod, and a nervous hesitation, James pushed down on the keys as he began to play.