Ginny threw a small reception for the winners and their families. Which turned out to be Lani’s sister and Jeremy’s parents, along with his aunt and uncle. When Ginny asked Patrice who to invite, Patrice only smiled vaguely and replied that there was no one in the area she cared to ask.
Then, with the competition behind them and a whole lot of goals stretching in front of them, they set to work. Ginny scraped together her cash, cut some salvage discount deals, and managed to get basic exterior renovations completed before the planning commission’s deadline.
Once the contractors who dug up the crumbling concrete, reseeded the grass and tore down the chain link fence were out of the way, Ginny worked on some additional cosmetic improvements.
In the meantime, Phillip and the newly-minted band pretty much locked themselves in the studio all day. With some helpful direction and suggestions from Phillip—and sometimes Ginny—the band concentrated on writing songs and experimenting with their sound, searching for their identity as a musical group.
Phillip did his best to put on a good front. No one brought up the night Rima had exposed his drinking problem. No one mentioned it at all. If anyone had been a drinker before they moved into Dolman Music, they’d left it behind when they moved in.
Or they’re as good at hiding it as I was.
Ginny didn’t bring up the topic, either. She did, however, leave flyers for recovery meetings on Phillip’s bed. And when he needed to take time away from work to attend, she made sure he took it.
Behind a façade of positivity, Phillip struggled to keep it together. Inside the warehouse, it was easier. He threw himself into the process of making music, aiding with the as-yet-unnamed band’s journey to finding their groove and putting in countless hours on producing the songs they wrote. And he slept. A lot, in sharp contrast to the insomnia that had initially haunted him. But no matter how much he slept, he still felt deeply exhausted.
He wondered, sometimes—maybe often—what Ginny had done with the drugs Rima had left behind. But he very carefully never asked. And when he went to meetings or out for any kind of errands at all, he carefully planned his route to avoid any places that might tempt him.
Some of the best moments were when he and Ginny sat at the kitchen table and discussed business strategies.
“We have a few tracks that sound good. Really good,” Phillip assured Ginny. “I have high hopes for them.”
Hope. There was a funny word.
Then Phillip glanced at the papers spread across the table in front of Ginny. With the warehouse’s exterior cleaned up and some official signage in place, the planning commission was off their back, but Ginny always had some project or another going.
The papers were sketches, Phillip realized. Floor plans. He frowned.
“We’re not exactly flush yet.” He nodded toward Ginny’s sketches. “Do we have money for that?”
“I was able to secure some loans.” She said the word like it was no big deal. Maybe for someone who grew up with money, not to mention a business degree, it wasn’t.
It was to Phillip. “Is that a good idea?”
Ginny looked up and smiled. Those shining eyes of hers struck him silent. “I have faith in you, Phillip. And in our little band. Have they decided on a name yet?”
“No.” He let Ginny change the subject, half-listening as she talked about a better separation of business and living spaces. Not to mention better living spaces, period.
But what he kept hearing was, “I have faith in you, Phillip.”
No pressure, Phillip.