A French Song in New York(47)

By: Anna Adams

“How long have you two been so close?” Ben asked.

“It’s a recent development,” Grace chuckled, hiding her embarrassment as well as she could. “I guess I’ll see where it goes.” She took her bag and, before leaving, she said, “Thank you for everything. You’re the best brother a girl with no family could ask for.”

She kissed Ben on the cheek and left.

“Too bad I don’t want to be just your brother anymore,” Ben said softly, his words full of regret.

Three Broadway Stars are Born.

IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW Maude Laurent was debuting on Broadway last night, you were among the few who have been sleeping under a rock.

Violet’s Voice was challenging not only for Maude, who had never sung in a musical before, but also for Thomas Bradfield, the young man behind the scandal that had rocked the musical world three years ago.

Nobody thought of that scandal last night.

Thomas Bradfield and Maude Laurent had so much chemistry as the Italian and French lovers who fall for each other in 1970s New York that all is definitely forgiven. Let the past stay in the past.

Maude’s charm and voice as the character, Violet, enchanted the entire room and made us wonder if there is a single thing that this singer cannot do.

The true surprise of the evening was the delightful Grace Heaton. Unknown before yesterday, Maude Laurent’s protégée enthralled and bewitched us into forgetting this was her first professional performance.

Her songs with Maude Laurent were the best of the show, demonstrating that friendship in real life is a key ingredient to a scrumptious work collaboration.

I intend to watch where Grace’s career takes her.

With Maude Laurent by her side, the journey is certain to be a brilliant one.

Lexie Staz for Hollywood Buzz.

Chapter 21

TWO NIGHTS LATER, MAUDE and Matt dined on Soulville’s rooftop.

Being a part of the record label for so long had its perks.

They sat at a candlelit table and watched the city lights blink under the late summer sky.

Maude shivered and Matt wrapped his sweater around her shoulders.

“Everything’s changing, Matt. I’m twenty-two and I feel like there is nothing around me that I can grasp and command to ‘Stand Still’. I can’t believe Cynthia will be gone soon to Nigeria, my father’s land. Jazmine is still devastated by Dev’s departure, though her band is now a YouTube sensation. She’s been getting calls from several music producers, so that cheers her up. Grace has gone to live with her mother and I miss her.”

“Some changes are good. Isn’t that what you wanted? For Grace to be happy?”

“That’s true. And I’ll see her every night for the show, but still, it’s not the same. It made me realize something. I’ve thought about it long and hard regarding the future. I’d like, in a couple of years, when I’m ready, well, I’d like to foster and adopt children. Does that scare you?”

Matt smiled.

“It’s a nice way of challenging your mother’s curse. I’m all for it.”

“You’d want to join me in that adventure?”

“That one and many more.” Matt paused. “I’ve been meaning to ask you something for a while, but, well, I didn’t know if you were ready. But after you sang Je T’aime Means I Love You for me on stage, I knew you were.”

“It meant something for me, too,” Maude agreed.

“The first time I sang the chorus, you said it sounded like a proposal. Truth is, that wasn’t the real chorus. Do you want to hear the original version?”

Maude nodded, her eyes shining brighter than the city lights.

“Here it goes:

Je t’aime means I love you.

I do, means you love me too.

Let ‘I’ become a ‘we’.

My love, please answer oui.

He bent down on one knee and presented Maude with a dazzling amethyst ring.

Maude’s heart jumped in her chest, tears of joy poured down her face and glistened like the precious stones on her ring.

“I love this version of the song. It’s much better than the original,” Maude laughed. She clasped her hands together with sheer delight and replied, “All that’s left for me to say, Matt, is a perfect, happy, oui.”

They kissed with a combined love and excitement for their future, knowing that the past was part of who they were, but that it would have little say in what they would become.

As they hummed the lyrics of the French song under the city sky, Maude knew that the beautiful melody was a hymn to who she was and would always be.

A French girl who had fallen desperately in love with New York.