- Katie Ashley
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- I am the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best Selling author of The Proposition, Proposal, Music of the Heart, and Nets and Lies. I am represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich for all books except for Proposition and Proposal.
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- ▼ February (6)
- ► 2013 (43)
Friday, February 14, 2014
Here's a little Valentine's Day love with Jake and Abby! *SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ MUSIC OF THE SOUL
With my pencil hovering over the paper, I glared down at the empty sheet before me. It silently mocked me—laughing maniacally at the state of torturous writer’s block I currently found myself mired in. Grunting in frustration, I dropped the pencil and reached for the bottle of beer across from me. Months ago, Rolling Stone had approached me, along with several other singer/song writers, for a special Valentine’s issue of the magazine. They wanted each of us committed rockers to write a love note to our significant others. I had jumped at the chance, not just because it was a good PR move, but because I truly wanted to write a love note to Abby for all the world to see. Yeah, I know there have been songs we wrote together professing our love, but this was different. It wasn’t rhyming lines with musical accompaniment. It was the raw truth of love stripped bare of all embellishments.
At the moment, I was grateful to be on the bus in the middle of the tour. If I had been home and in my office, the two Grammys for Song of the Year, would have driven me over the edge. Not that I wasn’t already there with the writer’s block that had pervaded me for the last few weeks. But the last thing I needed was a glaring reminder that the words just wouldn’t come.
“Jake?” Abby called from the bedroom at the back of the bus.
“I need you.”
The tone of her voice told me that I didn’t need to dick around and ignore her. After tossing the pencil down on the notepad, I gulped down the last of the beer before rising out of my seat. As I hustled past the roosts, I heard Rhys’s snores as he was taking a late afternoon nap. At the last bunk before the bedroom, I peeked in the curtain to check on my sister Allison. With buds in her ears, she was watching some fashion designing shit on Youtube. In her lap, she had a sketch pad. She glanced up at me before jerking out one of her earbuds.
“Does Abby need me for the twins?”
I shook my head. “I got it.”
She smiled. “Okay.”
“Jake!” Abby called again.
I burst through the bedroom door where I found Abby standing in front of the bed. “Yeah babe?” I asked.
When she turned around, I got a view of the two occupants on the bed. Once upon a time, my old tour bus bedroom might have been crowded with groupies vying for me to pick one of them to rock their world. Nowadays, it was crowded with baby gear. Outfitted in blue and pink hooded towels, my seven month old son and daughter eyed me from their perch on the bed. I couldn’t help grinning at how fucking cute they looked. The top of their hoods had a face on it with droopy ears. “Look at you two monkeys,” I said, as I strode over to the bed.
Grins popped out on their faces, showing off the two bottom teeth they had cut. The glorious smell of baby shampoo and lotion filled my senses and warmed my heart. While I had been battling with my writer’s block, Abby had been fighting her own battle giving the twins a bath. “Sorry to interrupt the writing, but do you mind helping me get them dressed?” Abby asked.
Ducking my head, I brought my mouth to hers. After a brief kiss, I smiled. “I don’t mind.”
She returned my smile. “Thank you.”
Since Jax was closet to me, I reached over and pulled him into my arms. “Mmm, you’re all fresh and clean. Wonder how long that will last?” I asked him.
He blew a little raspberry at me, which caused Abby to giggle. “Giving me a smart answer, huh? You’re sassy like your mother,” I replied.
Jules squealed before smacking her hands on the mattress. When I met her gaze, she furrowed her tiny brows at me. “What’s the matter, little girl? Are you getting testy because I’m talking to Jax and not you?” I leaned down and kissed her cheeks. She cooed in appreciation of my attention.
Abby handed me a sleeper to put Jax in. “So are we still on for tomorrow night?” she asked, as she hipped up Jules’s butt to put on a diaper.
“Of course we are. Do you think I’d miss spending Valentine’s Day with my lady love?”
She laughed. “I just know we’re going to be pretty exhausted after the show tonight.”
I shook my head as I worked to get Jax’s diaper on. “I don’t care if we have to crawl to the restaurant, I’m taking you somewhere romantic.”
Abby paused in snapping up Jules’s sleeper. “I just realized it will be the first time we’ve been away from them at night.”
Warily, I turned my attention from Jax over to her. Her chin trembled a little. It was the truth that our twins were seven months, and we hadn’t left them overnight. They’d been with us for every step of the way once
we went out on tour. “It’ll be fine—they’ll be fine.”
Although she looked less than convinced, she turned and gave me a reassuring smile. “I know they will. And as much as I hate to, it’s time. I need to get used to the idea of them being away from us.”
“If you’re having a miserable time and miss them, we’ll come back to the bus,” I said, as I snapped up Jax’s sleeper.
“And miss a night in a king sized bed in a hotel room? Never,” she replied.
I laughed. “So the allure isn’t a night of wild passion with me but getting to sleep in a big bed?”
“Maybe it’s both,” she replied, with a wink. Putting Jules on her hip, she walked around the side of the bed.
“Wanna lie down with us?” Abby asked.
I shrugged. “Sure. Why not? It’s not like I’m going to get anything done out there.”
After Abby flicked on a cartoon on the television, I lay down on the bed. Leaning over Jax and Jules who were snuggled between us, I gave Abby a kiss. “I love you, Angel.”
“I love you, too.”
I bestowed a kiss on both of the twins’ heads before lying back down. It wasn’t long before the twins were asleep, and Abby followed soon after. As I watched the three most important people in my life snooze in dreamland, my chest felt like it might overflow with love. A man like me didn’t deserve all the love I’d been given or the blessings that had been bestowed upon me. My wife and my children gave me the purest love a man could ever have—unconditional love.
And there in the bed in the back bedroom of the tour bus, I finally had my writing epiphany. As I eased out of bed, I tried not to wake anyone. I slipped out the bedroom and hurried down the hall to the table. Once again, I picked up my pen and pad, but this time I had a purpose.
I’ve sat for many months staring at a blank page of paper that I was to fill with words of my love. I have found it nearly impossible to try to express what I feel for you. As a songwriter, I might be known for my ability to express my emotions through words, but at the moment, I find every word in the English language lacking in its ability to express myself to you. But a moment ago as I watched you and our children sleeping, all the things that I wanted to say flooded through me. As my chest tightened and my heart felt it would overflow, all the emotions and feelings I have for you rocketed through me. I’ll try as best I can to express my love.
It goes without saying that you are my angel—the savior who reached into the darkest depths of my soul and saved me from the despair that threatened to consume me. You are my wife—the woman who took my name and bound herself to me for a lifetime on a sandy beach off the coast of Mexico. You are the mother of my children—the tireless fighter who refused defeat to conceive our angels and bring them into the world. You are my lover—the giver and receiver of the greatest pleasure I’ve ever known. You are my best friend—the great and compassionate listener who puts up with my sarcastic side and my asshat mood swings. You are my soul mate—the other half without which I would be incomplete. My duet partner—the half that makes my melodies, rhythms, and lyrics whole.
You are the music of my heart and soul.