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Logan 04 Music in the Night

V. C. Andrews

  Music in the Night

  Logan #4

  V.C. Andrews

  Copyright (c) 1998

  ISBN: 0671534742




  A long time ago, I lived a fairy tale life. There

  was always magic around me: magic in the stars, magic in the ocean and magic in the sand. At night when we were only ten years old, Cary and I would lie back on our blankets on the deck of our daddy's lobster boat and gaze up at the heavens, pretending we were falling into outer space, flying past this planet and that, circling moons and reaching out to touch the stars. We permitted our minds to wander and imagine. We said anything we wanted to each other, never ashamed or too embarrassed to reveal our most secret thoughts, our dreams, our intimate questions.

  We were twins, but Cary liked to call himself my older brother because, according to Papa, he was born two minutes and twenty-nine seconds before me. He behaved like an older brother from the moment he could crawl and protect me. He cried when I was unhappy and he laughed when he heard me laugh, even if he didn't know why I was laughing. When I asked him about that once, he said the sound of my laughter was music to him and it pleased him so much, he couldn't help but smile and then laugh, too. It was as if we were enchanted children who heard our own songs, melodies that were sung to us by the sea we loved so much.

  As far back as I can remember, there was always magic in the water. Cary could wade in and come walking out with the most spectacular seaweed, starfish, clamshells, seashells, and even things he claimed had washed across the ocean from other countries to us. When it came to the ocean, I believed anything he said. Sometimes I thought Cary must have been born with seawater in his veins. No one loved it as much, even when it was nasty and wild.

  What discoveries Daddy let us keep, we kept in either Cary's room or mine. We decided everything had some sort of power to it, whether it was the power to grant us a wish or the power to make us healthier or happier just by touching it. We assigned an enchanted quality to each thing we found.

  When I was twelve and I wore a necklace made from the tiny seashells we had found, my friends at school were amazed at the way I identified each and every shell, explaining how this one could drive away sadness or that one could make the dark clouds move on. They laughed and shook their heads and said Cary and I were simply foolish and even immature. It was time we grew up and put away childish ideas. There was no magic in these things for them.

  But to me there was even magic in a grain of sand. Cary and I once sat beside each other and let the sand fall through our fingers, pretending each grain was a tiny world unto itself. Inside it lived people like us, too tiny to ever be seen, even with a strong microscope.

  "Be careful where you step," we told our friends when they were with us on the beach. "You might crush a whole country."

  They grimaced with confusion, shook their heads and walked on, leaving us behind, enveloped by our own imaginative pictures, pictures no one else wanted to share. We were inseparable for so long, I guess people thought we had been born attached. Some of my jealous girlfriends once made up a story about me, claiming I had a long scar down the side of my body from my underarm to my waist and Cary had the same scar on his body. It was where we supposedly had been connected at birth.

  Sometimes, I thought, maybe it's true, that from the moment we entered this world, our separating had begun, a slow and painful process. It was a separation Cary fought much harder than I did as we grew older.

  As a very young girl and even when I first entered my junior high school years, I was

  comfortable, happy and grateful for Cary's devotion to me. Other brothers and sisters I knew argued and occasionally insulted each other, often in public! Cary never said a really bad thing to me, and if he spoke to me in a manner that suggested he was impatient or annoyed with me, he immediately regretted it afterward.

  I knew that other girls fixed their flirtatious gazes at Cary and competed with each other for his attention. It wasn't just a sister's prejudice for me to say Cary was handsome. From the first day he could cast a rope or carry a pail, he accompanied Daddy on the lobster boat and helped in the cranberry bog. He always had a dark tan that brought out the emeralds in his green eyes, and he loved to wear his rich dark hair long, the strands lying softly over the right side of his forehead, just above his eyebrow. It looked so much like silk, girls were jealous and all of them longed to run their fingers through it.

  My brother carried himself firmly with the demeanor of a confident little man, even when he was just in grade school. Other boys used to make fun of the way he held up his head and shoulders, striding alongside me with his gaze firmly fixed on where we were headed, his lips tight. Soon, however, they started to envy him, and girls in our classes just naturally thought of him as older, more mature.

  Frustrated by their failure to win his attention and interest, however, they eventually found comfort in making fun of us. By the time we were in high school, they were calling Cary "Grandpa." He didn't seem to care or even notice. I was sure it bothered me more than it bothered him, and it wasn't unless someone physically got into his face or insulted me in front of him that Cary reacted, almost always violently. It didn't matter if the other boy was bigger or even if there were more than one. Cary's temper was as quick and as devastating as a hurricane. His eyes became glassy and his lips were stretched so tightly they formed white spots in the corners. Anyone who challenged him directly knew they were in for a fight.

  Of course, Cary would get into trouble, no matter how justified his reaction was. It was he who had lost his temper and usually he who dealt the most damage to his opponents. Almost every time he was suspended from school, Daddy gave him a beating and confined him to his room, but nothing Daddy could do and no punishment the school could impose would deter him if he believed my honor was somehow compromised.

  With such a devoted and loyal protector watching over me, other boys kept their distance. It wasn't until I entered high school that I realized how untouchable I had become in their eyes. Many girls my age had crushes on boys or had boyfriends, but no boy dared pass me a note in class, and none joined me in the hallways to walk from one class to another, much less walk me home. I walked with some girlfriends or with Cary, and if I walked with girls, Cary usually followed behind us like my guard dog.

  When I reached sophomore year, however, I, like most of my girlfriends, wanted a boy who showed serious interest in me. There was a boy named Stephen Daniels, who had lived in Provincetown only a year, who I thought was very handsome. I wanted him to talk to me, to walk with me, and even ask me to go on a date. I thought he wanted to because he was always looking at me, but he never did. All my girlfriends at the time told me he wanted to, but said he wouldn't because of my brother. Stephen was afraid of Cary.

  I mentioned it to Cary and he said Stephen Daniels was stupid and would go out with any girl if that girl gave him what he wanted. He said he knew that from listening to him in the boys' locker room. Later, I found out Cary had actually walked up to him and put his face an inch from Stephen's, threatening to break his neck if he should so much as look twice at me. Naturally, I was disappointed, but I couldn't help wondering if Cary had been right.

  In the evenings after we had done our homework and helped Mommy with May, our younger sister who had been born deaf and was attending a special school for the handicapped, Cary and I would talk about some of the other kids at school. No matter what girlfriend of mine I mentioned to him, he found fault with her. The only girl he didn't criticize was Theresa Patterson, Roy Patterson's oldest child. Theresa's father, Roy, worked with Daddy on the lobster boat. The Pattersons were Bravas, half African-Ame
rican, half Portuguese. The other students looked down their noses at them, especially the ones who came from so-called blue-blooded families, families who were able to trace their lineage back to the Pilgrims, families like Grandma Olivia's, Daddy's mother, who ruled over us like a dowager queen.

  Cary liked Theresa and enjoyed being friends with her because he liked the way she and her Brava friends defied the other students. When I asked him if he could ever think of Theresa as a girlfriend, he raised his eyebrows as if I had said the silliest thing and replied, "Don't be stupid, Laura. Theresa's like another sister to me."

  I suppose she was, but as I grew older and felt Cary's shadow over my shoulder more and more, I began to wish he found some other girl to win his attention. I did my best to recommend this one or that, but nothing I said made him act any differently toward them. If anything, when I mentioned a possible girlfriend for him, that girl suddenly became ugly or stupid in his eyes. I realized it might be better if I just let nature take its course.

  Only, nature didn't.

  I used to think nature just missed Cary. She walked by one day while he was out on the lobster boat or something. Other boys his age were trying to get dates, hanging out in town, showing off to get a girl's attention, asking girls to do things with them; but Cary . . . Cary spent all his free time with me or his model boats upstairs in his attic workshop, a room just above mine.

  Finally, one day at lunch I mentioned my growing concern to Theresa. She rolled her dark eyes and looked at me as if I had just been hatched.

  "Don't you hear all the talk behind your back? All the whispering and gossip? There isn't a girl in this school who thinks Cary's normal, Laura; and most of the boys have their doubts about you. They don't talk to me about it, but I hear what they say."

  "What do you mean? What sort of things are they saying about us?" I asked, trembling in


  "They're saying you and your brother are like boyfriend and girlfriend, Laura," she replied hesitantly.

  My heart skipped a beat and I remember looking around the cafeteria that day and thinking everyone was looking at us, their eyes full of contempt. I shook my head, the deeper realizations taking shape like some dark, ugly beast who had crawled out of a nightmare into my daytime thoughts.

  "Look at you," Theresa continued. "You're fifteen now and one of the prettiest girls in this school, but do you have a boyfriend? No. Anyone asking you to the school dances? No. If you go, you go with Cary."


  "There are no buts, Laura. It's because of Cary," she said. "Because of the way he dotes on you. I'm sorry," she added. "I really thought you knew and didn't care."

  "What am I going to do?" I moaned.

  She nudged me with her shoulder like she usually did when she was going to say something nasty about one of the other girls in school.

  "Get him a girlfriend who'll stir up his hormones and you'll be fine," she said.

  I remember she got up to join her Brava friends and I sat there, suddenly feeling very alone and unhappy. Cary came walking into the cafeteria quickly, spotted me, and marched over.

  "Sorry I'm late," he said. "Mr. Corkren kept me after class about my homework again. What's going on?" He looked closely at me when I didn't respond. "Did something happen?"

  I just shook my head. I wondered how I could tell him and not hurt him.

  I put it off and never really tried to make him understand until the year after, when Robert Royce and his family bought the old Sea Marina Hotel and Robert entered school.

  For me and Robert, it was love at first sight and that brought with it a special kind of magic Cary couldn't share.

  Somehow I had to make him understand and accept. I had to show him how to separate himself from me.

  I only hoped it was possible.


  Young Love


  All day my heart had been beating faster than

  normal, thumping so hard I was sure Cary heard the echo in my chest. When l walked, it was as if my feet didn't touch the ground. I was floating along on a cloud of air, bouncing with a spring in my step. I was positive I had woken this morning with a smile on my face, and sure enough when I looked at myself in my vanity table mirror, I saw my cheeks were flushed with excitement, the excitement of wonderful dreams that continued into my waking moments, dreams that carried me on a magical carpet like some Arabian princess floating through volumes and volumes of enchantment.

  Everything around me took on a new and different glow. Colors I had grown used to were brighter, richer, sharper. Every normal sound became part of a grand symphony, whether it was simply the creak in the stairs as I descended to help Mommy with breakfast, or the clink of dishes and pans, the splash of water running in the sink, the opening and closing of the refrigerator and stove, or the tap of Daddy's, May's, and Cary's footsteps in the hallway, and all their voices. Their voices suddenly became a chorus behind the music.

  "You look very nice today, dear," Mommy said at breakfast. Daddy glanced at me and nodded. I held my breath because I was wearing just a touch of lipstick, and Daddy hated makeup on a woman. He said it was the devil's touch and an honest woman never tried to fool a man by using paint on her face.

  I had chosen my brightest blue dress with the white collar and I wore my gold charm bracelet, the one Mommy and Daddy had recently given me on my sixteenth birthday. They had given Cary an expensive pocket watch on a gold chain that played "Onward Christian Soldiers" when he flipped open its lid.

  Cary looked up from his bowl of oatmeal. "Aren't you afraid you'll swallow some of that lipstick?" he asked, sending a bolt of ominous lightning through my morning of warm sunshine.

  I looked at Daddy, but he just snapped the newspaper and glanced at the headlines. Then I threw Cary my most angry look and he went back to his oatmeal.

  When we stepped outside to start for school, I stopped in the doorway, felt the sunshine on my face, and closed my eyes. I embraced my books against my breasts, wishing that none of this was a dream.

  "What are you doing?" Cary asked sharply. "You want May to be late for school?"

  "I'm sorry," I said, skipping forward to join them. He held May's hand firmly in his own. My little sister, locked in her silence, gazed up at me with a twinkle in her eyes, as if she knew it all, as if she had poked her pretty little face into one of my dreams last night and saw my happiness. I took her other hand and we continued down the street. I felt like Alice in Wonderland.

  "You're behaving just like all the other dumb girls in our school," Cary muttered, and threw me a look of reprimand. "Making a fool of yourself over some boy."

  I only smiled back at him. Today, I thought, today, I am surrounded by protective sylphs, tiny fairy-like creatures who would deflect any arrows of unhappiness away from me.

  There were clouds in the sky, but to me it was all blue. Although it was early May, there was a chill in the air, the residue of yesterday's nor'easter. The whitecaps sprouted on the surface of the sea like water lilies, and even this far away from the shore, we could hear the surf roaring in. In the sunlight, the sand was the color of autumn gold. The terns looked like they were tiptoeing over uncovered treasure as they searched for their morning meal.

  My hair was pinned back, but some loose strands whipped gently at my forehead and cheeks. May wore a light blue hairband that kept her hair neatly in place.

  Cary couldn't care less how his hair looked when he entered school. He would just run his fingers through it and not even go into the boys room like all the other young men to brush and comb in front of mirrors. Instead, he would accompany me to my locker and wait until I had my books before going on to his own. He would stand there even when Robert Royce joined me, and he would glare unhappily, suspiciously, hardly talking, lingering alongside or just behind us like an angry storm cloud. It was the only thing that put darkness in my heart these days.

  "Stop daydreaming and watch where you're walking," Cary ordered as a car s
ped past us.

  The invasion of tourists had begun in small ways. The entire Cape was busier now on weekends, but traffic during the week was still at a lazy crawl down Commercial Street. Our route in the morning took us down side streets to May's school. At the gate we each kissed her and signed our goodbyes, Cary putting on his best Daddy-like face to warn her to behave herself, as if she ever needed a warning. There was no one sweeter, no one more gentle and fragile and loving than our May. Although Doctor Nolan assured us her deafness had nothing to do with it, May's growth was impeded. She was bright and intelligent, always doing well in school, but she was so tiny for her age, her facial features as diminutive as a doll's, her hands so small they barely covered Cary's or my palms when we held them.

  All of us protected and loved her dearly, but sometimes I would catch Daddy gazing at her, unaware that anyone was looking at him, and I would see the most terrible expression of sadness on his face, his eyes glazed with trapped tears, his lower lip trembling just enough to be noticed. Then he would become aware of what he was doing, and he would snap into a firm posture, wiping away any emotion from his face. I never saw Daddy really cry, and the only times I saw him with his head down was when he was praying or after a particularly hard day of fishing.

  At her school, May turned back after she had started through the gate and smiled at me impishly as she signed: "Don't kiss Robert too much." She giggled and ran into the building with the other children. I glanced at Cary, but he pretended not to have seen her and started off, his steps so deliberate I thought he would leave footprints in the sidewalk.

  It was Friday, and tonight was the school's spring dance. For the first time in my life, I would have a real date for a school party. Robert Royce had asked me. It was to be our first formal date. Up until now, we had just met in places by accident or after we had timidly suggested to each other we might be someplace at the given time.

  Robert had enrolled in our school in late February. His parents had purchased the Sea Marina, a hotel with fifty rooms on the northwest end of town. As soon as spring came, they had begun the restoration of the old resort, repairing; painting, planting, and pruning the landscape. Robert was an only child, so there were no other children to help Charles and Jayne Royce. Robert explained that his family had put most of their money into the purchase of the property and had to do most of the work themselves. Because of that, he went home directly after school most days and was very busy on the weekends, especially now that the summer season was fast approaching.