It had been decades since Martin had heard some of the songs that the Beach Boys were performing on stage, and some he had never heard at all. But Daphne and Ronee seemed to know all the words and were dancing around like nobody's business. Niles stood there looking somewhat embarrassed and confused as to what he should be doing, and Martin… well, he was just amused at the whole thing. He had to admit that he was having fun, even if the music was a bit loud. Concerts were supposed to be loud and this was exactly the kind of concert that he would have taken Hester to, had she asked him. Quickly he brushed her from his mind. She never really left his thoughts of course, but tonight his attention was focused on Ronee.
He watched her, dancing and singing along to "Good Vibrations" and "California Girls", belting out the lyrics that she knew by heart. He'd heard her sing many times before, mainly show tunes and jazzy, but this was…. Well, he had to admit it was nice. Perhaps she should do a show of Beach Boys songs. She would laugh at him if he even suggested it, but he knew that she would do it if she thought he was serious.
Concerts weren't really his thing, and neither was sitting on a rickety yard chair among a huge crowd of fans (whose ages, surprisingly ranged from kids to…well, people his age) who were singing and dancing along to the music. The chair (A new-fangled contraption that Niles proudly stated that he bought at a place called "The Sharper Image") was incredibly uncomfortable, despite Niles' claims that it was perfect for sitting outside, but he wasn't about to complain. After all if it weren't for Niles, he and Ronee wouldn't be here.
Daringly he began to hum along to a tune he actually recognized- Sloop John B. It was a favorite of the guys when he was on the police force and he'd often catch them playing it in the break room on KIXI, their favorite radio station. He liked it too, mainly because they played a lot of Frank Sinatra and other artists that didn't get the credit they deserved. But after hearing the classic Beach Boys song more times that he could possibly count, Martin grew to like it a lot and soon he was singing along with the guys.
It wasn't until Daphne yelled "Sing it, Martin!" and laughed that he realized that he was singing as loudly as Daphne and Ronee. He glanced at Niles who was busy reading a book. A book! What idiot brought a book to a concert? His youngest son, that's who! Well, he'd better not let Daphne catch him, or she'd deck him for sure-and with good reason! He grabbed the book from Niles' hands, startling him.
"What, Dad?" He yelled over the music.
"Dance with Daphne!" Martin shouted back.
"Oh geez, stop reading that damn book and dance with Daphne! What's wrong with you?"
Niles, of course, looked at him blankly and Martin could only shake his head in annoyance. "I give up." Niles would never change and Martin honestly didn't know how
Daphne put up with him sometimes. But then again, Martin did plenty of things to irritate Ronee and they were still going strong.
When he turned his attention back to Brian Wilson who was announcing the next song and he knew what he had to do. Using his cane for support, Martin rose from his chair and walked over to Ronee.
"Marty, are you okay?"
He took her and put his arm around her waist, just as the opening strands of "God Only Knows" began. Slowly they began to dance to the music and he smiled when he felt her head resting against his shoulder. She was singing softly-and so was he. If there were ever a more perfect moment, he wasn't sure he'd be able to find one.
But when he and Ronee turned around again, he noticed Niles, holding Daphne in his arms, singing the words to the song. And she was resting her face against his. There it was…. Another perfect moment.
The sun had dropped low to the horizon, creating the most beautiful sunset he'd ever seen. A photograph wouldn't do it justice. He knew it was a sign from Hester-a sign that she loved him and always would-just like he loved Ronee.. And always would.
PS: This story took me a long time to write (and recently underwent a major rewrite because I didn't like the direction in which it was going), but this last chapter took barely any time at all. I feel that it's the best chapter I've written in a long time. Sometimes the very last chapter will come to me before I even start on a story and to finally get to the point where you can write that "coveted chapter" is a wonderful feeling. As always, thank you for reading!