Richard Paul Evans - The Baby Grand - Part 2

Exclusive for Glenn Beck’s listeners and viewers

by #1 New York Times bestselling author


Richard Paul Evans

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Part 2 of 3


I wonder, in the course of history, how many times the best-laid plans of husbands have been foiled by the intuitive powers of astute, well-meaning wives.  Keri could not have planned to make the next two weeks more miserable for me.  Without telling me, the next day Keri returned to the piano showroom with her sister, Shelley, to show her the one that got away.


Richard Paul Evans is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box and fourteen other bestselling novels.  He is the winner of two first-place Storytelling World Awards and the Romantic Times 1995 award for best women’s novel.  His newest bestseller, just in time for Mother’s Day, is called The Walk–the story of Alan Christoffersen, a man who loses everything and begins a journey from Seattle, Washington, to Key West, Florida.

“There it is,” she said.  “Rick said it was sold.  They must not have delivered it yet.”  She lifted the red SOLD tag and squealed.  “It’s sold to the EVANS!”  She turned to Shelley.  “Do you really think Rick bought it?”

Fortunately I had let Shelley in on the surprise.  “No,” she said, concealing her panic. “Rick is way too cheap.”

This was only the beginning of the humiliations.

That afternoon Keri called me at work.  “I went out to the piano place today,” she said casually.  “There was a sold tag on our piano.”

“Yes,” I replied coolly, “I told you that it was sold,”

“The tag said ‘Evans’ on it.”

“Really?” I said, my heart beating wildly.

“I thought maybe you had bought it.  You know, to surprise me.”

I detected doubt in her voice.  She wasn’t sure.  I could still pull this off.  “Really?  Sold to another Evans?  Well you know how many Evanses there are.  Still, what are the odds?”

“Shelley said you would never buy it because you’re too cheap.”

I ignored the insult.

“But then, maybe she’s in on it.”

“In on what?”

“The plan.”

“What plan?”

“The plan to surprise me with the piano for Mother’s Day.”

I breathed in deeply.  “Honey, I told you that the piano was sold when I went out there.  I mean, I got you something nice for Mother’s Day, but it wasn’t five thousand dollars.”

“Six thousand dollars,” she said.  (The incorrect dollar amount was a clever ruse on my part, and she fell for it.  The piano was really seven thousand with sales tax.)  To my relief, I detected a slight tone of disappointment in her voice.

“Look, honey, I really don’t want to ruin your Mother’s Day by getting your hopes up.  If you don’t believe me, just call the showroom and ask them who bought the piano.”

My confidence seemed to convince her.

“Okay,” she said, clearly disappointed. “Sorry to bother you at work.”

“No, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I wish I had bought it for you.”

“See you tonight.”

 

The minute Keri hung up, I flipped through the phone book to find the piano store.  I scolded the person who answered the phone.  “My wife was in your showroom today and saw her name on the piano I’m trying to surprise her with.  I can’t believe you guys put our name on it.”

“We always put names on sold pianos,” he said dully.

“It was supposed to be a surprise.  I think that I’ve convinced her that someone else named Evans bought it, but she may still call to find out.  I want you to instruct all of your salespeople to tell her someone in Idaho bought it.  Put a note by the phone if you have to.”

“What if she doesn’t call?”

“She’ll call.”

“What’s the name?”

“My wife’s name?”

“No, the person in Idaho.”

“I don’t care.  Make one up.”

“How about Lavita?”

“Lavita?”

“That’s my grandmother’s name,” he said proudly.  “She lives in Idaho.”

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever,” I said.

 

I knew my wife was ultra-persistent, but even I was surprised by our conversation the next morning. I was pouring Corn Chex into a bowl when Keri said, “Lavita.”

I looked up.  “Lavita?”

“They sold the piano to some woman named Lavita.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked innocently.

“I called the showroom.  They said that they sold the piano to Lavita Evans in Idaho.” 

Uncomfortable pause.

“Doesn’t it seem a bit peculiar that they told me the woman’s name?”

“I suppose.”

“You told them to say that, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, right.  I called the showroom and told them to tell everyone in the store that my wife may call, so be sure to tell her that some woman named Lavita Evans in Idaho bought the piano.”

She frowned.  “I guess you’d have to be crazy to do something like that.”

“Darn right,” I said.

Keri was quiet, but I knew she wasn’t finished.  She was just thinking it over.  It was time to act.

“Honey, I don’t know how else to say this.  I really wish that I had bought the piano for you…”  I fell dramatically to the floor on my knees, surprising even myself at the length to which I was willing to go to conceal the surprise.  “I would buy it now, if I could.”

Keri looked down at me.  “Well I’m glad that you didn’t buy it,” she finally said.

“Why is that?”

“Because it had a big scratch on it.”

My chest constricted.  “A scratch?”

“A deep one.  All the way across the back.”  I felt sick to my stomach.  Then I looked into Keri’s dark, conniving eyes—eyes searching for my reaction.  What a devious woman, I thought, but she is going to be surprised if it kills me.

“Then it’s a darn good thing that we didn’t buy it,” I said calmly.

 

The next day Keri called me at work.

“Honey, you’ll never guess what I’m about to tell you.”

You have no idea how right you are, I thought. “What?” 

“The private school on Preston is closing.  Guess what they’re selling?”

“A piano,” I ventured.

“A grand piano!  And it’s in mint condition!  I put fifty dollars down on it to hold it.”

“Honey, shouldn’t we have talked about this first?”

“You said that you wished you had bought that other piano.  I’m just glad that you didn’t.  I like this one just as much, and it’s a thousand dollars less.”

My stomach turned.  I was grasping here, but I was desperate.  “That would be great, but a grand piano won’t fit in our living room,” I said.  “It would stick out over the fireplace.  Remember that guy said a grand piano is twenty-six inches wider than a baby grand?”

“He never said that.”

“Sure he did.”

Keri was quiet.  “I hope they’ll give me my deposit back,” she finally said.

I hung up the phone and slumped over my desk.  Just then my secretary, Julie, entered my office.

“More piano woes?”  She asked.

“Mother’s Day will never come,” I said.

“Isn’t it your anniversary this Friday?”

“Yes.”

“If I were you, I’d just have them deliver the piano for your anniversary as an early Mother’s Day gift.  For now, you can tell Keri you’ll go look with her for a piano on


Saturday.”

“Brilliant,” I said. “Just brilliant.”

The plan backfired miserably. 

-----

Coming Tomorrow: Part Three

Richard Paul Evans is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box and fourteen other bestselling novels.  He is the winner of two first-place Storytelling World Awards and the Romantic Times 1995 award for best women’s novel.  His newest bestseller, just in time for Mother’s Day, is called The Walk–the story of Alan Christoffersen, a man who loses everything and begins a journey from Seattle, Washington, to Key West, Florida.

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