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They drove up to Los Angeles a couple days later after James had booked a recording studio. James had his trusty violin-shaped, left-handed Hofner bass in one hand and his acoustic guitar slung over his back and Shelle carried a few pages of lyrics.

They set up and some studio musicians came in and talked over the arrangements with the producer and James. They rehearsed a few times, getting familiar with the "one special"-the special song for Lindy and with the harmonies. Shelle sat at the piano, learning her part quickly.

Soon they had a few "rehearsals" down (nobody had called out a 'take') and were ready to start. James looked over the neck of his guitar to Shelle and sang quietly as someone yelled, "Take one!":

" 'And now you know the words, just sing it through to me.'" He ran his fingers up and down the frets.

"Ready?" James said.

Shelle smiled at him with a smile he'd always remember and answered:


The sea breeze flowed like water through Shelle's reddish-brown hair, bringing out the golden tints not unlike Lindy's. Her mysterious, luminous eyes surveyed the tumultuous blues of the water contrasting with the tranquil indigo of sky. She clasped her slim hands 'round her knees with the air of one at gentle peace. James lay next to her, hands folded under his dark head, beautiful eyes closed, ankles crossed, humming the song they had recorded for Lindy. They rested on some rocks on the edge of the shore, taking a day away from Shelle's bustling town.

"James Mac? Is that James Mac?" A voice cut through the stillness that only the crashing waves dared disrupt.

James's eyes opened and his head jerked up with a start.

"Can we help you?" Shelle was standing, brushing the sand from herself, her white shirt fluttering open about her brightly-coloured bathing suit top.

"Yes," the person responded. "Are you Shelle Stanley?"

"Yes, I am," Shelle replied, a little bewilderedly.

"I'm pleased to meet you." The person, a man, shook her hand. "Didn't know you were so young."

"Yeah, well, um..." Shelle was at a loss for something to say. She found herself and asked, "Really, sir, did you need something?"

The man produced something from his pocket. Shelle recognized it as the single of the song they had done. He also pulled out a pen. Shelle looked at him.

"No, it's not what you think," he said to Shelle's eyes. "I know you're thinking, why does this man have a CD single on a beach and one that just happens to be by you?"

"You're right," Shelle rejoined. "I was wondering."

"Well, I saw you and James-" he nodded his head to James who had just come to stand with Shelle "-in Fallbrook a while back. I noticed you in the town below that and I saw you driving off today. I'd just bought the song, so I thought..." He trailed off, a little embarrassed.

No, Shelle thought. If I'd been embarrassed, where would I be? Would I have still gone to James? She took the pen and signed the single and then handed it to James. He signed it and then gave it back to the man, who was overjoyed.

"Thank you, thank you," he spluttered.

James nodded and put his arm around Shelle. The man studied them quizzically, his head cocked slightly to one side. They briefly chatted and before the man turned to go, he said,

"Are you two related? You sure look like it. There's some kind of bond between you, something strong."

James and Shelle looked at each other, grinned and embraced, not as cousin and cousin, not as uncle and niece, nor as father and daughter. They embraced with the strong love that had joined them together across the oceans and time.

The man smiled, though he obviously didn't know what had passed between them and then handed Shelle an envelope.

"I noticed this on the ground before I spoke to you," he explained. Indicating the envelope, which bore the name 'Shelle Stanley,' "That's how I knew who you were. I knew you were on the single, but like I said, I hadn't much of an idea to your age. I never really saw you up close. Here you go."

Shelle looked at it and recognized it as the envelope that had been inside one of the music books when James had given them to her in England. She realized she had never read it. Well, she thought, no time like the present. She said a gracious thanks to the man and tore it open. In it was a letter, too sweet and loving to relate, mostly thanking Shelle for what she had done for James, a colour picture of James and Shelle posing for 'that lady photographer,' and the original press statement that James had written when Lindy died.

Shelle's eyes skimmed over it and stopped on the words,

"I love you, Lindy. James xxxxxx."
And underneath them was written, "And I love you, Shelle."


© Lissa Michelle Supler

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