A cool breeze floated through the gardenias sending a sweet aroma through Cheri’s bedroom window. The young girl, working on poetry at her computer, smiled. Gardenias reminded her of her mother and that was always a pleasant memory.
Cheri sometimes felt her mother around her. She was in the smell of gardenias, the hummingbirds that flitted about the garden, the perfect décor of her home, the CDs and DVDs that lined the bookcase of the media room. Nonetheless, the curvy redhead missed the real thing.
She was desperately trying to put the magic of her mother into words through her poetry. All of a sudden, she felt truly inspired. The words floated from her fingertips onto the screen.
Madeline Stewart had been a remarkable woman. She wasn’t famous. She didn’t invent anything or build a multi-million dollar business. She didn’t have to do those things. She was exceptional in her own right. She was a loving mother, a devoted friend and a Good Samaritan. The later had cost her dearly. She paid with her life. Still, Cheri knew she wouldn’t have – couldn’t have – done anything less.
One night Madeline was coming home down a dark road when she spied a teenage girl trying to change a flat tire by herself. Being who she was, Madeline stopped to help her. The two of them had just finished and were exchanging pleasantries when a car roared out of nowhere. Madeline saw it first and pushed the girl to safety. Sadly, she was unable to move fast enough to spare herself.
The boy who struck Cheri’s mother was traveling too fast while texting on his phone. He didn’t see his victim at all. He merely heard the strange thump of her body as it flew over the top of the car and landed on the pavement behind him.
Madeline died instantly. One moment she was there and the next she was gone. The girl Madeline stopped to help knew, if not for her, she would have been the one killed. Consequently, she mourned Madeline’s passing with genuine grief.
Tamara and Cheri met at the funeral and instantly clicked. They became fast friends.
Tamara Winfield, as it turned out, was remarkable in her own way. She was accepted into a prestigious school of music. Her musical compositions drew rave reviews. Her mastery of piano, guitar and violin were also remarkable. Many of instructors likened her to a new generation’s Bach or Beethoven.
Throughout her time in school, Tamara struggled with one piece of music she wanted desperately to complete. She heard the melody in her head but she always knew it called for words to finish it properly. The music alone was not enough. Sadly, she could not find the words she sought.
One weekend, Tamara traveled home to meet Cheri for a fun weekend. She arrived at the house early and let herself in with a key.
“Cheri, are you home?” Tamara knew she wasn’t but wanted to be polite ‘just in case’.
Moving up to the guest bedroom, she put her stuff away. Then she went to Cheri’s room to borrow her computer. She wanted to check her email.
Entering the password, the computer opened to a page with words on it. It was clearly one of Cheri’s poems. Since her friend always let her read her work, Tamara knew she wouldn’t mind if she read the latest. She smiled when she realized it was a poem about Madeline.
As Cheri read the precious words, she could hear her music composition playing in the back of her mind. Words and music perfectly fit together. It was as if they were always meant to do so.
When Cheri came home, Tamara complimented her on the poem. Then she went on to add, “It fits perfectly with the piece I’ve been telling you about; the one I haven’t been able to finish. Would you like to hear it?”
Cheri nodded, her eyes already misting at the thought. She knew the composition was meant to honor her mother. Still, as Tamara played the piece, Cheri could see how it married with her poem. It was remarkable; as if the two girls were meant to collaborate all along.
Without hesitation, Cheri gave the poem to Tamara. Together they completed the song. They agreed to present it together at Tamara’s audition for the Boston Philharmonic.
When the day finally arrived, both girls were nervous. They believed the piece was inspired but they had no idea what the judges might think. The last thing they wanted was that particular piece of work to go unnoticed.
When Tamara’s name was called, she went to the piano and sat down. She let the opening strains of the music fly off her fingers with grace and precision. Then she began singing Cheri’s words; softly at first and then with her entire heart and soul. When she finished the room remained silent.
Cheri worried that meant the judges didn’t like the piece. She wondered if her words had cost her friend her heart’s desire. She need not have done so.
“Ms. Winfield,” the male judge said as he stood. “That is without a doubt one of the most beautiful pieces of music it has been my privilege to hear. The words match it note for note in a way we seldom see anymore. Congratulations, we’d like to offer you a position with our company.”
With that the remaining two judges also stood and the three offered Tamara a standing ovation. The girl blushed and then ran to pull Cheri onto the stage with her.
“This is Cheri. She wrote the words. This composition is called Madeline. It’s about her mother. I barely knew her. We’d just met when she died saving my life. Ever since then I felt a burning need to put Madeline’s soul into my music. With Cheri’s words, I feel we have done just that.”
“We agree, Ms. Winfield,” said one of the female judges as she wiped tears from her eyes. “Let us hope the two of you write a lot of music together. It seems like a partnership that was always meant to be.”