110. Wake Up My Love

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Here I go again
Hear that knockin', won't you let me in?
Only want that same old thing,
Yes it's me here! Ring, ring, ring!
I want your love,
Wake up my love,
And let it in.

This is the moment I love the best. The pause, the few seconds before it all starts. The musicians poised, ready, waiting. The anticipation of the audience. There are more than twenty thousand people in the auditorium, and no one moves. No one makes a sound.

Except for one.

'There's Mummy,' Bobbie says, from the left wing of the stage. She doesn't say it particularly loudly but her voice carries in the silence of Madison Square Garden's concert hall. 'Daddy, there's Mummy!' Bobbie insists, pointing at me.

George, standing with her, crouches down so his head is level with hers and speaks to her quietly, resting the guitar he still has slung around his chest on the top of his thigh.

He shouldn't be over there. He should be out here with me. He introduced me, put his arm around me as I walked on and then skittered off to the side. He'll have to awkwardly skitter back on once the song starts because I need him to sing the backing for me. Awkwardly sing backing as well, as it's too high for him. All the other singers are men, they all had the same problem. I don't know if it's going to sound a mess but it's too late now. We'll have to hobble through somehow.

'Daddy, look...' Bobbie says, her voice clear as a bell and her arm extended towards me. George nods and traps Bobbie's small hand in between his, so large in comparison, whispering to her. She stares at him with a comical perplexed expression on her face. He points and looks over at me. I smile and George grins back.

Bobbie wears the dress I made for her, her pretty blue bow tied around her waist and shiny patent black Mary-Jane shoes on her tiny feet. She let me comb and re-do her hair for her without too much protest. I've plaited it, as well as I can plait her fine baby hair, entwining the little white flowers I took from the restaurant last night.

She's perfect, Bobbie. She's the most important and most perfect thing in my life. The best thing I've ever done. I look at her and I know everything I have been through to get to this moment was worth it. I'd do it all again, for her. I love George with all my heart and soul, but the love I feel for Bobbie is something I can't put into words.

I know then, what I have to do.

* * *

Bobbie half-cries and half-wails as I pull her across the crowded corridor, searching for Mal. She hangs against me, dragging her feet, protesting with hiccup-y cries at being yanked so roughly out here when all she wants is the promised storybook and an afternoon nap.

'Come on,' I hiss to her, my eyes still searching for Mal, Terry, anyone I could trust to take her. 'Bobbie, walk properly...'

Her cries suddenly escalate into a single, ear-piercing scream. I stop dead in my tracks and so does everyone else backstage as they all turn to see who could be strangling a stray cat.

I lean down to her, yanking her closer to me to I speak in her ear. 'Bobbie! Stop that terrible noise at once! I have had enough of this today!' I snap at her sternly, pointing my finger in her face and I don't know who's surprised more; Bobbie at my outburst, or me, when she stops wailing instantly.

I straighten up, still gripping her hand in mine. Everyone turns away again, pretending they were never staring at us. I still can't find Mal. I'd rather have Mal, but anyone will have to do.

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