What A Difference A Day Makes

by Jo Tannah

What a Difference a Day Makes - Jo Tannah
Part of the The Standards series:
Editions:Kindle - Second Edition: $ 0.99 USD
Pages: 40

Vince Guidotti discovered his musical talent at the age of seventeen after a tragic car crash left his lower spine crushed. Facing months of hospitalization and years of physical therapy, he was desperate and near suicidal. His uncle saved his sanity by handing him a trumpet so he may have something to do with his hands. Years later, he is a successful lawyer but his one true passion was playing the trumpet. 
Iñaki Alvarez had had it all: a highly successful singing career, a loving wife and three beautiful children. A pop singer since he was seventeen, he had been an international superstar for twenty years before suddenly retiring and disappearing from the public eye. Walking into his hotel’s bar one night, he hears soulful jazz music playing. Setting eyes on the attractive but grief worn trumpeter, he never thought this man would be the one to make him experience true love the second time around. 
Almost a decade later, Vince faces a dilemma: either he proposes marriage to Iñaki the traditional way and face yet another rejection, or he gives in and plays the one song he once vowed never to. Can he set aside his personal misgivings and gift his beloved Iñaki the one thing he had been waiting to hear him play after all these years? 


Chapter One
December 24 2014
Ten, nine, eight …Vince Guidotti’s hands trembled. He glided his sweaty palms down
the smooth material of his pants. The countdown went on in his head …. seven, six….
breathing in deep then slowly letting go in a soft rush of air through his lips as he
mentally counted to one.
This is it. I can do this. He would walk out there, face the audience, the cameras, and
play that damned song. Then maybe, just maybe… he would finally get the answer to
his question he never failed to ask every year for the past nine years.
Damn it, why does it have to involve playing that cheesy song? His thoughts were
rambling. He really needed to focus on the song choice. This was a number he never
thought he would ever play; he had refused to play it as far back as he could


The particular song he was thinking about may be fitting for his purpose,
but it actually had nothing to do with the special event tonight. It was not even listed
on the program. However, it played an important role to his future happiness. Did he
really have a choice?
Yes, this particular song was an immortal standard beloved by many, but it was cheesy
as hell. Give me ‘What A Difference A Day Makes’, or even ‘Summertime’! Those are
Right? He tried to sound convincing to himself.
Then memories of that night when he was at his lowest misted his eyes. A night his
life turned around, totally out of the blue. Almost a decade ago.
October 2005
Stepping out of the elevator, Vince glanced at the lobby clock. A sigh fed by grief
burned his throat. It was well past ten at night. Checking in that day, he barely took
the time to leave his bag in his room or even use the bathroom. The message he secretly dreaded his
whole life came within minutes of his arrival, and he left for the hospital without
pausing, despite having been on the road behind the wheel for eight hours straight.
After signing endless documents, placing a call to his uncle’s lawyer, settling with the
hospital accounting department, he came back to a sterile hotel room. Needing a
drink, desperately, he left to see what the late night bar might offer at this late hour to
drown his sorrows in.
In reflex action, he had picked up his trumpet case as he left his room. Inside on the
plush red velvet nestled the precious trumpet gifted to him by his uncle at his death.
The recollection of a piano playing when he arrived today pulled him to the rear of the
lobby. He stood for a moment, catching faint piano notes floating from an annex off to
one side.
The door clacked behind him as he entered the dim area. Without hesitation, he sat on
a bar stool and ordered a strong drink. Taking it from the barman, he searched for a
table lost in the shadows. In a minute, he was seated at one where he could lose
himself in his thoughts while the pianist tinkled a series of club standards. Others
hidden in the darkness paid no heed to the music. But Vince listened as he nursed his
After a couple of songs, he concluded that the old man was good, really good. He also
knew the man could do better than what he had been hired to play. Relying on his
instincts, he stood after the last song ended and approached the musician’s dais.
In a minute he had introduced himself, learnt it was David playing and convinced him
to jam a few sets together. For a second, he let the cold metal warm against his lips as
he held his trumpet to his mouth. He nodded to David in salute before he began to
play. The smooth notes Vince created lifted him into another reality, beyond the pain
of today. He and the trumpet melded into a single entity that spoke of soul.
Playing this special trumpet took him to a place where he could express all his hurts
without fear of anyone looking in. It was where he went to whenever he needed to destress
and forget the worries of the day. Here he could hide from the world the pain
burning within.
Iñaki Alvarez walked into the almost empty hotel bar. He had planned to go straight
up to his private suite but hearing the soulful, smooth jazz sound of a trumpet playing
Oblivion, enchanted his senses. He’d never heard such haunting sounds from a
trumpet. Music was his life, so he recognized it was more than skill that played those
notes tugging his passionate response, embedding themselves deep within his psyche.
He recognized David on the piano. David had played here for almost as long as his
family owned the hotel. The man blowing the horn was a stranger enveloped by an air
of sadness that permeated his music. He played well. Better than well. Brilliance
crackled with every note.
Iñaki noted the audience hidden in the shadows. Surprisingly they were quiet, intently
focused on the music and the player. Walking over to the bar, he gestured to the bar
“Good evening, Mr. Alvarez. What can I get you tonight?” the bartender quietly asked
as he neared Iñaki.
“Good evening, Steve. Just soda with a twist of lemon for me, please. Who’s playing
the trumpet? Did we hire him?” he spoke in a low tone, not wanting to disturb the
beauty of the sounds coming from the stage. The song had shifted, now they were
playing something more melancholic. If that was at all possible.
“No sir. He came in here earlier, asked for whiskey on the rocks. He then approached
David there. I guess they discussed it for next I knew, they were playing together.
None of the guests have left since he started playing, sir. In fact, they have continued
to order drinks. Why?
Is there a problem, sir?” Steve sounded nervous for some reason so Iñaki hastened to
reassure him.
“No, no. Nothing’s wrong. I agree that man plays beautifully. I wouldn’t worry about
them, and the guests seem to like his mellow jazz.”
“Yes, sir,” Steve smiled, wiped the bar one last time, then proceeded to move quietly
away to deal with another order.
Iñaki sat at the bar for an hour, listening to the man playing his trumpet. Iñaki figured
that he was probably in his mid to late-twenties, with model perfect wavy dark hair
and an olive complexion that would have been stunning if not for the weary look he
was sporting. He was no doubt attractive, but he was clearly suffering. His music
resonated this point. Iñaki could see lines of worry and hurt evident in those facial
features and wondered what his story was.
As the notes died, the trumpeter stood and shook David’s hand. He turned to the table
behind him and picked up a trumpet case. The guests who had considerably increased
in number since he first started playing, politely clapped. Some approached to talk
with him. No interaction lasted long, however. Somehow, they all knew this man was
grieving and wanted to be alone.
Iñaki watched as the man straightened after carefully placing his trumpet in the case.
He watched as the man gently caressed the instrument before closing it. Standing,
Iñaki waited for the man to walk closer to the bar before making a move. Hands
clasped in front of him, he gave a nod before saying, “Good play, man. Thank you,
that was truly inspiring.”
The trumpeter looked up at him; he was shorter than Iñaki by about two inches. On
closer assessment, Iñaki could see that he was older than he had first assumed. The
man nodded in acknowledgment of the praise. His soulful dark eyes flicked up,
catching Iñaki’s gaze an instant before he reservedly looked away. Iñaki was
disappointed when the man started to head out of the bar rather than say anything in
response. Iñaki just knew he could not let the man go. Not without asking.
“Excuse me. Wait up, please,” He called out, walking faster to catch up.
The man stopped and half turned to face him, a confused frown on his face. “Yes?”
“May I know your name? I am Iñaki Alvarez; I own this hotel,” he said, holding out
his hand.
The man glanced from his face to his outstretched hand for a few seconds before
reaching out his own hand with a small quirk to his lips. “I apologize. Vince Guidotti.
Iñaki barked out a laugh in surprise. Smiling wide and not letting go of Vince’s hand,
he asked the one question he had been dying to ask all night. “May I buy you a cup of
Vince stared, for what Iñaki considered an indeterminable amount of time before
curiosity gradually turned to amusement. Iñaki was relieved when Vince eventually
smiled and agreed to coffee.

Reviews:Bronwyn Heeley on https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1217790190?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1 wrote:

This story was very sweet, it started at the end of the story, and then moved forward in clips, bring up little slices of the years both men loved through, all to end where it began, and well... finishing it. — Bronwyn Heeley on Goodreads 4*

About the Author

I grew up listening to folk tales my father and nannies told either to entertain us children or to send home a message. These narratives I kept with me and finally, I wrote them down in a journal way back when I kept one. Going through junk led to a long forgotten box and in it was the journal. Reading over the stories of romance, science fiction and horror I had taken time to put to paper, brought to light that these were tales I never met in my readings.
The tales I write are fictional but all of them are based on what I grew up with and still dream about. That they have an M/M twist is simply for my pleasure. And I hope, yours as well.

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