The rain continued to pour outside as the lock on the front door shifted, then turned completely over. The door swung open freely, banging loudly against the door stop on the other side. The two pianists in the great room did not even notice. It wasn’t until Katy’s younger siblings ran giggling and squealing into the room that the music stopped and she and Jared looked up from the piano. All Jared saw was the shadow of Katy’s older siblings before Mrs. Shaw stopped in the doorway. “Katy, honey, I thought you were sleeping. I’m sorry Jared, I didn’t mean for her to interrupt you.”
It’s okay, Mrs. Shaw,” Jared quickly responded. “She wasn’t a bother. I still got my practice in. In fact, she’s not too bad at the piano herself.”
Katy blushed at the note of praise. “Thanks,” she said to him quietly, “you’re a good teacher.”
“That’s great to hear,” Mrs. Shaw said as she moved away toward the kitchen. “Come on Katy, I don’t think you’ve had anything to eat today. Jared, would you like a snack as well?”
“Thank you Mrs. Shaw,” Jared replied, “but I promised my mom I’d help her at home as soon as I was done practicing. I guess I should go now.”
“Alright, dear. You’ll be back next week?” Mrs. Shaw leaned out of the kitchen doorway and beckoned Katy once more. “Actually, anytime you want to come over and practice, you’re more than welcome. We love music, and I’m sure Katy would like to learn to play much more. She takes after her father that way.” Mrs. Shaw smiled at the glare on her daughter’s face.
“Uh, sure. I don’t think I would mind that.” He stammered to add, “I mean, it’d be good practice for me too.” Jared waved at Katy as she retreated from view. She glanced back and waved slightly before hurrying into the kitchen.
Jared slipped out the front door, shutting it gently behind him. The rain had slowed to a drizzle again, and the sky was brightening as the sun threatened to break through the clouds. He stepped off the porch, then stopped, realizing that he hadn’t even noticed that Krysti was home — in fact, he hadn’t thought about her at all since he and Katy started playing piano.
He thought about it as he strolled across the lawn toward his house. Apparently what he needed was incentive to focus on more than just himself. He’d have to learn a lot more than he already knew, but teaching Katy was already sounding like a great idea in the making.