“Goodbye ‘Reginald’,” Ann joked, returning the hug.
“I really had you going about that didn’t I,” Micky said to her.
“Not really,” Ann smiled knowingly, “I had a feeling. I must admit this was quite a surprise, but being here and seeing how much you really do care about one another made me see that this is for real. I guess it’s all a mother could ask for.”
“Ready to go,” Link asked walking up behind Ann with Jessie and Ursula.
“I guess so,” Ann sighed and backed away. “You be sure to visit, now.”
“We will Mom,” Adriana said, tears shining in her eyes.
“I’ll be back in about fifteen minutes,” Link said, leading Ann to the black van.
Micky, Adriana, Ursula, and Jessie watched the black van disappear into the cool, California night.
“Ladies and gentleman,” came Mike’s voice from the bandstand.
“You better get up there,” Adriana said to Micky.
“Naw,” he said turning to look at her, “It’s my wedding. They let me have the night off.”
“Oh,” Adriana asked, “who’s going to play the drums?”
“Davy,” Micky said, stifling a laugh.
“Yikes,” Adriana said with a chuckle, “maybe he’ll do okay, but he does have pretty big shoes to fill.”
“Well,” he said, spinning Adriana around and continuing with false arrogance, “can’t ‘spct no miracles.”
“Ladies and gentleman,” Mike said again, “may we have your attention please. We would like to dedicate this song to our best friend Micky and his lovely wife, and our friend, Adriana.”
Jessie and Ursula stepped back and took a seat at a nearby table. Micky took Adriana in his arms. She laid her head on his shoulder as the opening guitar chords of “And I Love Her”, by the Beatles began to play.
After the song had ended, Peter stepped up to the microphone. The music to “Cherish” by the Association began to play.
As they turned around in the cool California, December night, Adriana glanced up with a look of surprise as she heard Peter, sitting on a stool playing his acoustic guitar, his suit jacket on the floor beside him and his light brown hair blowing in the breeze, sing the lead vocals to the next song.
Adriana smiled back and lifted her hand in a small wave. Peter was letting her go.
“Well,” Mike said from the bandstand, “we know it’s kind of early to take a break, but we’d love to get out there and too, so, we’ll be back in about ten minutes.”
The guys put down their instruments and walked off the bandstand. Micky and Adriana walked over to them and praised them for their performance.
“Hey,” Micky said with a smile, “you guys don’t do too bad without me.”
“Yeah, but we always do better with you. Congratulations, man,” Peter said, extending his hand and shaking Micky’s. He then embraced his friend and as they hugged he whispered, “You take good care of her. And don’t take her for granted.”
“I won’t,” Micky said quietly, slapping Peter on the back as they broke the embrace.
Peter then moved to hug Adriana who closed her eyes and savored the moment. She could never have loved Peter the way he wanted her to, or even they way that she thought she had wanted to, but she knew she’d never find a truer friend.
“You take good care of him,” Peter whispered to her as they hugged, “I’m here if you ever need me.”
“Thank you,” she whispered back, tears shining in her eyes.
Davy hugged Micky and Adriana next, congratulating them, but with a far off look in his eyes.
“My turn with the words of wisdom,” Mike said, moving to hug Micky.
“Man,” Mike began, “it feels like we’re sending you off on some long journey to some far off place, but you’re just movin’ next door. Well, maybe in a sense we are sending ya off. But, you two’ll always have a place at the Pad.…I’m gonna miss ya old buddy.”
Mike and Micky hugged longer than the other guys had. Adriana smiled as she watched the bond that the two shared. They had a strong friendship. It was going to be hard for Michael not to have his best buddy constantly around anymore.
“Adrian,” Mike whispered to her as he finally moved to hug her, “God is love.”
Adriana smiled and returned the hug, “Thanks Mike,” she said.
“Remember,” he said as he pulled away.
“I will,” she said, trying not to cry.
In the absence of the band, someone had put on a record. The song “Brown Eyed Girl” came out of the small speakers set on the bandstand.
Davy walked over to where Ursula stood watching the scene before her. Her arms were crossed around her in an attempt to keep the cool breeze off.
“Are you cold,” Davy asked as he slowly approached her.
“Just a little,” Ursula said shyly. It had been months since the talk they had in her car the day Davy had gotten arrested. She wondered if he had changed.
He answered her wondering by silently taking off his suit jacket and placing it carefully around her shoulders. “Do you want to dance,” he asked quietly.
Ursula looked at him for a moment. His brown eyes shined with nothing but sincerity. No hidden motives, no smooth pickup lines, just a guy wanting to dance with her.
“Sure,” she said, nodding her head in agreement.
“I’m sorry,” he said as they began to move to the music.
“About what,” Ursula asked curiously, as she cautiously kept the beat with Davy.
“For being such a jerk when we first met,” Davy admitted.
“Well,” Ursula, “I can’t deny that you annoyed me, but you were not a jerk. I guess I just didn’t like the way you treated me. I do know that I want to be treated like I’m special. Not just Girl Number 434.”
“Actually it would be Girl Number 443,” Davy said.
Ursula stepped back and glared at Davy.
“I’m sorry. Just kiddin’,” he said with a grin, pulling her back to him.
Ursula relaxed and looked at him expectantly to continue.
“But seriously,” Davy said as they turned around, “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since we left. I haven’t been on a date in months. Mike and Peter were beginning to worry about me."
“Really,” Ursula asked as she looked at Davy. They were about the same height, so she could look straight into his dark brown eyes.
“Really,” he confirmed, looking into her green eyes as they both stopped dancing.
“Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-te-da,” Micky sang to the song as he and Adriana danced to one of their favorite songs.
Adriana had been looking over Micky’s shoulder at Davy and Ursula.
Ursula was leaning on Davy’s shoulder. The two both had their eyes closed and were swaying to the music, despite the fast beat, with soft smiles on their lips.
Adriana then looked over at Jessie and Link, who had just returned. They had been seeing each other for about four years. Sometimes they seemed more like an old married couple than a couple of teenagers. She smiled as she saw them dancing and engrossed in each other’s company.
Her eyes then found Mike and Peter. Mike had met a short, dark haired girl and the two were dancing next to the bandstand while Peter sat nearby at a table. He caught Adriana’s eye once again, smiled brightly, and lifted his hand in a small wave.
Adriana smiled and sighed with contentment. All seemed right with the world.
“How ya feeling,” Micky asked, dancing closer to her.
“Wonderful,” Adriana said as she smiled at him, her eyes shining.
“It’s been a perfect day,” Micky said, putting his arms around her and resting his forehead against hers.
“I know,” Adriana said, wrapping her arms around his neck and looking into his handsome brown eyes, “I’m actually feeling kind of excited.”
“Really,” Micky asked wiggling his eyebrows.
Adriana rolled her eyes and laughed, “About the whole life together thing, Micky. I think it’s going to be great. I can’t image anyone else I’d rather be with.”
Micky laughed and hugged Adriana tight. He then spun her around and once again pulled her to him. “You know what Adriana Lynn Dolenz,” he whispered in her ear.
“What,” she said, shimmying to the music.
“I love you,” he said.
“I love you too,” she said, as he stopped her dancing to kiss her.
Everyone continued to have a wonderful time at the reception. New love was starting, older love was rekindled, and two people began a journey that would be full of happiness, joy, and many difficult road stops that neither of them would ever have expected.
Next Series: If I Could
Tippy's Share of the Sidewalk