"Get your coat and grab your hat, leave your troubles on your doorstep, just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street…."
"Oh, will you just shut up!" Adele screamed out as the text and the singing of the absurd song dimly lit the dark around her, "There are no coats, no hats! No doorsteps!" She paused, hearing silence she added "And for certain there's no damn sun!" She then began to shutter, crying out in great heaves of despair. "We blew it all away! We blew it all away! Adele sobbed, the cocoon enveloping her, however didn’t allow her to feel tears on her cheeks, and she so wanted to feel tears. She so wanted to feel anything, anything beyond the dark, anything beyond the guilt of losing the hope of life; the sun.
"Adele….Adele! You must stop this now!" The voice of her assistant interrupted her cries. To Adele she seemed so close, but the truth was, no one was close. They were all islands flung far apart as a result of tragedy. " Adele, did you hear me?"
"Yes Claire, I hear you. It's just that the damn song doesn't fit at all. The words of it stream all around me everytime he sings! It’s driving me mad!"
"But perhaps soon the song and it’s words will have meaning and will fit," Claire answered, her voice smooth and gentle in the velvet darkness. Her words were unaccompanied by a glaring visible text "You must remember, these events were not our fault. We have offered the only viable solution, so we must not give up, our calculations are growing ever closer to reignition.
"Segment 4789-003 is showing promise," Ivan's low booming voice interjected, " The fusion pulse variations were down 12.37%, there was cohesion," after a pause he added, "And there was light."
The voice of her other assistant, Ivan March, always presented the technical aspects of their work with glimmers of hope. Claire Summers, as usual, responded to any news with unguarded optimism. Once again, she heard their words. There was no glowing visible text with the transmission.
The last and the most eccentric member of her solar restoration team was Dr. Solomon Asher, her resident crooner. He was a brilliant nuclear theorist, fusion biologist, and renowned in his knowledge of calculative solar restoration. Except for his nearly constant singing of this one particular tune, he was most proficient in the implementation of her long plasma entropy formulas. There were times in the darkness, it seemed she could sense him compiling her mental notes before she uploaded them. This was when Adele imagined she was back working with him side by side. Always pleasant and polite, he mystified her with how quickly he could modify lengthy calculations while applying them, a skill Adele thought she alone had.
Recalling their first meeting, she noted how unexpressive he seemed to be, which she took for arrogance. This was a trait she had grown well familiar with in the scientific world of mostly men. Bearing this in mind, Adele completely distrusted the last and newest addition to her team, as she strongly suspected he would somehow usurp her as leader of the team. It wasn't long before her apprehensions were proven completely unfounded.
Firstly, Dr. Sol, as liked to be called, was dazzling in his solo work as well as his team work. It didn’t take him long to become the heart of the project, allowing her to confidently remain the head of it. His love of singing his favorite song as he worked was at other times, as with this time, most annoying. Adele, however, began to remember the times she had found his pleasant singing voice hopeful and comforting. After all, his main concern was their success as a team.
"Adele, " Claire interrupted, "Are your next calculations complete?"
" Yes Claire," she answered. Without hesitation, she continued, "preparing transmission, sending."
There was a silent pause before Claire responded with, " Transmission received, relaying to Sol.
"Claire, also relay my apologies to Sol. Tell him to sing the song as much as he damn well pleases." Adele added.
"Understood." Claire answered.
Adele's task was over for now, she could be still for a while. She would drift and dream, remembering a time when she could see the faces of her team members and watch their expressions as the light of inspiration made them all shine like little suns. She longed for that time as she longed for watching her hands moving on a keyboard, her feet walking as she rushed to watch the product of their combined task come to life and give hope to the idea their precious sun could be reignited.
Dr Sol began to sing again, indicating he was applying her calculations. She hoped he had also received her apology. Adele listened to the words and saw the words as they seemed to swirl all around her. Seeing the text of the song never made it any less weird. She remembered at one time, her curiosity led her to ask Claire, their research expert, about the origin of the strange song, as nothing like it was considered music in their present era.
Clare had informed her from historical records that the once popular tune had been written in the 1930s. It was a song of encouragement from a sunshine filled time meant for whatever the world was facing then. Now it was being used as a sort of anthem to invite the sunshine to return, to bask in, to walk in, to live in. Adele and her team along with this strange song, all strived to reconstruct the beginning from fragments of the past. To accomplish this, they needed all the encouragement they could get.
"Only here for a cent
I'd be rich as Rockefeller
Can't be beat
Gold dust round my feet
On the sunny side of the street."
Dr. Sol's voice suddenly stopped and the silence was deafening.
Adele's pleasant drifting abruptly stopped, "Claire, Claire, what is happening?"
There was no response. "Claire, Ivan! Someone answer, please, please! Sol...Sol, are you there?"
"Yes," he answered "Open your eyes, Adele."
It was his voice yet it sounded so strange, so far away. Before Adele could say anything else, her whole body convulsed, followed by a feeling she distinctly remembered as a feeling of falling. It was fast and horrifying, showing no sign stopping, until another strange yet vaguely familiar sensation replaced it. There was a warm touch. A hand was holding hers.
"Adele," Sol's voice said again, "open your eyes."
When she did, the new world was a blur of light and color. The vision soon settled into the pleasant face before her. Sol was smiling as he breathed a huge sigh of relief. The warm grasp of his hand tightened gently on hers.
"I was hoping the song would finally annoy you enough to awaken you." He said as he sat back in his chair.
Adele smiled, "The calculations worked then?" She managed to say in a coarse whisper.
"What calculations," he asked leaning closer
She looked steadily at him, then glanced around the room. The white sheets of her hospital bed were bathed in the sunlight from the room's only window along with the whole room. It was a beautiful sight to her once unseeing eyes.
"It all worked," Adele said softly, "We have the sun back."
Sol gave her a puzzled look before adding, "No, we have you back, that's the important thing. The sun hasn't left us yet and we have a considerable amount of time before our work will be needed.
Now she was the one puzzled, "I don't understand. I only dreamed the sun was gone?" she whispered.
" Yes my dear doctor, you dreamed quite a dream. Actually you've been unconscious for some time." Sol continued, “Your head injury didn’t seem too serious, yet you just wouldn’t wake up.”
There was a soft knock at the door, as it opened slowly, a familiar voice said, "Hello, can I come in?"
Adele recognized the voice immediately, it was Claire, but she couldn't see her clearly until she came closer.
"Oh my, she's awake!" Claire exclaimed excitedly.
"Hello Claire," Adele said smiling, joyful to see her face.
Sol stood and ushered Claire to the seat he had next to Adele's bedside. Claire sat down taking Adele's hand. "Oh thank heaven, you're awake, we were so worried about you. We all felt so guilty after the accident. "
"Accident?"Adele asked, looking from Claire to Sol. "What accident?"
Sol stiffened, taking a deep breath before answering, "It was no one's fault, the calculations were integrated perfectly, the fusion was cohesive and balanced. We made light, our own little sun. It was right in front of us then...."
There was another soft knock at the door. Claire rose up to open it. Finding Ivan at the door, she hurriedly ushered him in.
"Look," Claire said pointing at Adele, "She's awake, she's awake!"
Ivan's eyes grew wide in surprise as he hurried to her bedside. He had brought a fresh bouquet of flowers which he handed her as spoke, "Oh Doctor, I am so glad to see you!" He placed the flowers in her one hand, while kissing her other hand.
Adele blushed over all the attention, thoroughly enjoying seeing their expressions, feeling their touch, while hearing their voices.
"Ever since the explosion in the lab," Ivan began as he now took the seat at Adele's side, "I've gone over and over the calculations… I don’t know how it got out of control...I'm so sorry, so sorry…"
Dr. Sol, seeing Ivan becoming emotional, stepped closer, "Now Ivan," he began sternly, "What did we promise each other, huh?"
Ivan quickly raised his head, and took a deep breath. He glanced shyly at Adele, giving her a smile he said, "We promised each other we would not accept blame or cast blame on ourselves or each other."
Adele reached and took his hand, giving him a smile of reassurance.
Dr. Sol added, "That’s right, there's no one to blame and most importantly we are all ok. We have our precious Dr. Easton with us and we will begin again." He looked at her, his smile and expression beyond mere admiration.
Adele returned the same smile.
Ivan took note of their looks toward each other and got up from the seat offering it to Dr. Sol who took it immediately.
Well, I am so glad you're back with us Dr. Easton. I'll be leaving now. He reached, taking her hand gently, "And when you're ready, I'll be ready so we can complete our work.
" Yes," Claire added, " I will be ready as well." She stepped to the other side of the bed, giving Adele a quick hug. "But for now, I'm leaving too. Get some rest Adele."
Claire turned and left with Ivan.
Adele was alone with Sol now. "You're not leaving too are you, Dr Sol ?"
"Not unless you want me to," he answered softly. His expression brightened as he looked at her steadily. "I thought I'd lost you, my dear Dr. Easton, and now that you're here, I want to make sure you stay."
"Then you'll have to sing your strange little song to me. She said, "and when the words from it swirl around me, I'll see the light and we'll create our sun."
She reached for his hand and he took hers again. As their hands intertwined, Adele looked into his eyes. Sol began to sing:
Get your coat and grab your hat,
Leave your worries on your doorstep.
Just direct your feet,
To the sunny side of the street.