The incredible music went on and on. Just when the audience started to become subdued, as if attempting to absorb this unprecedented glimpse into Britt’s brilliant mind, he would step up to the mic again and get them singing. At one point, he had one side of the room going on the chorus of one of his hit songs while the other side was rapping out a brand-new line that somehow fit. Each time the crowd would think he was winding to a close, he’d rock into yet another phenomenal, fresh guitar creation that kept the crowd on its feet.
Dena had moved and was standing beside the stage. Although Britt never glanced her way, her heart told her that he knew exactly where she was. She stood still, head high, fighting tears; she did not want him to look up and see her crying. After a while, Len joined her and caught her eye. He gave her a slight nod and a small smile, his first sign of acceptance.
Dena missed the inevitable signal that Britt gave his band, but she heard the shift from his guitar to the lead guy’s instrument, and she looked up to see her husband jump from the darkened edge of the stage to land right next to her, holding a mic. He yelled into it, “Good night, Chicago! Thank you for an incredible evening!”
And with that, he turned his back on his career and walked down the ramp, holding Dena’s hand.
Once out of sight of the crowd, Britt collapsed against a wall, still on his feet. Dena held him in her strong arms, his scent of sweat and bay rum covering her. When she felt his breathing slow, she spoke into his ear, “What do you want me to do?”
He looked at her, his face etched with exhaustion, eyes intense, and whispered, “What did you call me back in that room? Say it again.”
“A gentleman,” she said carefully. “I reminded you that above all else, you are a gentleman.”
He laughed shortly. “Nobody’s ever called me that before.”
“It’s the truth,” she said. “And you knew what I meant.
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