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Happy Tunes

Happy Tunes

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Happy Tunes

169 pagine
1 ora
Nov 29, 2019


The beloved, mild-mannered Ms. Sady Kara Oke, music teacher at Lakeview Middle School in New Orleans and daughter of the belated American Blues trumpeter Happy, faces two major battles that will either mean defeat or success: a historic middle school band competition win with her selected student musicians, and the discovery of the love of her life.
Nov 29, 2019

Informazioni sull'autore

Anteprima del libro

Happy Tunes - Margie Woods


About The Author

Margie Woods, a Texas native, is an innovative author with stories as deep as the heart of this great state. The inspiration of the many novels she writes comes from a world within her mind’s eye, which is most definitely thought-provoking, stimulating, passionate, and gives a creative beauty and bloom to the unconventional. She is an artist who gives living color to fiction, non-fiction, lyrics, and poems.


To my son, Dimitrius Mitchell

Copyright Information ©

Margie Woods (2019)

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher.

Any person who commits any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

Ordering Information:

Quantity sales: special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address below.

Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication data

Woods, Margie

Happy Tunes

ISBN 9781643789316 (Paperback)

ISBN 9781643789323 (Hardback)

ISBN 9781645365655 (ePub e-book)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2019917526

The main category of the book — YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Performing Arts / Music

First Published (2019)

Austin Macauley Publishers LLC

40 Wall Street, 28th Floor

New York, NY 10005


+1 (646) 5125767

Chapter 1

This is Sady, she answered, greeting the caller.

Hey Sady, it’s me, Boris, he said, clearing his throat. Uh, I’m sorry to do this over the phone, but this is a break up call.

We’re breaking up? she asked. Well, let me call you back to see if I can get a better signal.

No, he replied, "You don’t understand. There’s no problem with the reception. But, I think I can give you a better signal. We don’t have to end the call. I just called to end the relationship," he explained.

And then there was a deafening silence.

What? she blared, discombobulated. You’re wrong, Boris! she shouted. We have a very, very bad connection, because I thought I heard you say that you’re breaking up with me. Please, tell me that I’m wrong, she insisted, as she remembered the curse of today’s date. Oh my gosh—today is Saturday, February 13, 2010, she thought.

You’re wrong, Sady, he replied. And then took a deep breath. We have a fairly sound connection, but as a couple—not so much. And you’re also right, he added. You heard right. I did say that I’m breaking up with you.

Sady cleared her throat to keep from crying, but it didn’t work. When the cover blew, the fountain of tears sprang forth. And with a broken voice, she pleaded her case.

But I slugged Jimmy for you when you guys got into a fight in elementary school. I helped you with your homework when you were getting failing grades in middle school. I dove from the top of the cheerleader’s pyramid and ran across the football field to give you mouth to mouth when Goliath the giant tackled you in the end zone when we were in high school. I was cut off financially by my father when he found out that I helped you pay tuition with the money he transferred to my account to cover my school expenses when we were in college. And I also begged my uncle, the mayor of this town, to pull strings to get you hired as the principal at Lakeview so we could work together.

And then there was dead silence.

Are you there?! she asked, shouting.

We’re breaking up, Boris said.

What? she screamed. After everything that I just said, you’re still breaking up with me?

No. You don’t understand. We have a bad connection, he explained.

How can you say that we have a bad connection when we’ve been a couple since we were kids? she asked hysterically.

Let me give you a hint, Boris said. The next sound you’ll hear will be a dropped call.

Boris, are you there? she asked, blowing her nose like the sound of a trumpet. Am I losing you? she asked, sobbing again.

What can I say? What can I do to make you feel better, Sady? he asked.

I want you to consider all that I’ve done for you, and do the right thing, she replied.

Maybe you’re right. I owe you that much I suppose, he said with arrogance.

You’re absolutely right. You owe me! she shouted.

Well, I’ll take care of that right now, he replied. Thank you. Thank you for everything that you’ve done for me.

Is that it? Sady asked as she blew her nose again. I’ve given you the best years of my life, and that’s what I get in return? she asked.

Goodbye, Sady, he said, gently.

But I was there for you when you lost Dodi, she said, hyperventilating.

Let me refresh your memory, Sady. You lost my dog when you took her for a walk at the Louis Armstrong Park last week.

Oh, that’s what this is really about, Sady replied, while trying to manage a bad case of the sniffles. I know you love Dodi. I love her too, she argued.

Goodbye, Sady, Boris said. And then he ended the call.

But I love you! she shouted, but there was no response. Hello! Boris! Can you hear me now? she yelled, but it was loud and clear by the silence that they were no longer connected.

While disgusted with Boris, Sady was also angry about the cycle of subjecting herself to heartbreak by his irrational and impulsive behavior. This marked the third time over a span of three decades that Boris had called off his relationship of thirty years with her. And as in the other two occurrences, it will be difficult for Sady to attend her job, let alone perform, especially since Mr. Boris Bozoman was the principal at Lakeview Middle School in New Orleans, and Ms. Sady Kara Oke was the beloved music teacher.

They had been sweethearts off-and-on since middle school, at the age of fifteen. But for some strange reason, every ten years on February 13, Boris came up with some trivial reason to end it. The first time was when they were in college, at the age of twenty-four. The second time was at her father’s concert in the park, when they were thirty-four years old. And now, facing the reality of being an old maid at 44, with the shattered dream of ever being a Mrs. Somebody, sent her into men-o-pause related emotions.

As the face of Sady’s cell hit the floor when it fell from her lifeless hand, so did her countenance. All humped over in the kitchen of her little garden home, she eventually mustered enough energy to put one foot before the other and drag herself to the den, where she flopped down at the piano. And as the mild morning sun eased into the room through the facing window, she slowly looked up and set her gaze into the blue.

The thought of Happy played out in Sady’s head as she slowly stroked and held the piano keys, rambling for a song that would match her sad mood.

Her father was an American Blues Trumpeter who was given the nick name Happy because he performed happy tunes as a blues artist. But to Sady, he will always be Freddie J. Oke, her loving dad. And as Sady observed a falling leaf, she couldn’t help but think of her father’s last grand performance ten years ago on Sunday, February 13, 2000 (the evening before Valentine’s Day), at New Orleans City Park. Happy and his band led a Valentines parade that began at the huge Tree of Life Oak. And as a long line of couples mostly dressed in red and white followed the entertainment, and danced to the bouncy instrumental rendition of Glory, Glory, Hallelujah, Sady and Boris weren’t too far behind. When the procession arrived at an area of the park that was as beautiful as the Garden of Eden, Happy and the band took center stage on a gorgeous stone bridge with an arch that crossed a peaceful stream.

Sady woke up that morning on cloud nine as she anticipated the events of the day. She usually groomed her own nails, because of a teacher’s modest salary. But she wanted to look especially nice this day, while hanging out with Boris at her dad’s concert in the park. Plus, she figured she could afford a mani and pedi with The Nailery’s grand opening sale: a 20% discount special. As soon as Sady entered the salon, a tall, skinny woman with long raven hair and midnight eyes approached her.

Hello, welcome to The Nailery, she greeted. I am Sage, the nail technician. And I assume that you’re here for our mani and pedi special, like everybody else. So come with me, and we will see what we will see.

Sady nodded as she followed Sage to her workstation.

Sage is a pretty name, she said, complimenting her. Does it have a meaning? Sady asked, as she sat down in the massage chair, and eased her feet into the spa tub.

It is a French name, She said, as she tossed rose hibiscus pedicure salt into the spa tub as warm water poured from the faucet. It means ‘wise one.’

When the pampering was over, Sady felt like a new woman with her sexy feet, and her million-dollar-red acrylic fingernails. But the disturbing words of Sage during the final touch of the manicure burst her bubble.

Sady felt like the service was a combination of a manicure and palm reading. And after Sage applied lotion and massaged Sady’s hands, she held them for a moment.

I don’t usually share my gift with my customers, but the vibes I get from you are so strong, Sage informed her as she stared into her eyes.

Well, what is it? Sady asked, while slowly pulling away from her grasp.

I’ve got a feeling that you’re going to lose someone in your life who you love very much.

Sady was spooked; she jumped up and rushed to the front to pay as Sage meandered to the back room. Sady stood by the cash register counter, rambling through her purse for her wallet, until a young female attendant approached.

That will be thirty dollars, please, she requested, smiling.

Sady gave up the hunt for the money and just stared at the girl for a moment.

May I have a word with the manager? she asked.

The attendant swiftly walked to the back and entered the room for staff only. In the meantime, Sady was counting out enough ones and fives to pay the bill when a familiar voice addressed her.

Hello again, Ms. Sady. I am the manager. How can I help you? Sage asked.

Sady looked up at her, surprised. She had no clue that the lady that she wanted to complain about to the manager was the manager. Without a word, she slammed the cash on the counter and rushed out of the salon.

As Sady continued to reminisce about that evening, long ago at New Orleans City Park, she began to play the song Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen on the piano, because the music and lyrics expressed how she felt then and now.

But at the top of the evening that day in the park, Sady was on cloud nine as she and other couples danced to her father’s final tune of the evening, Happy Days Are Here Again, when an eighty-year-old man briefly cut in to dance with her. Immediately after the swing and dip, the man attempted to return Sady to her guy, but Boris had disappeared.

Sady was too embarrassed to tell her

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