by Miles Rost
A white house overlooked the car-filled street near the beaches in Santa Monica. A ranch-style house, it was home to Travis and Rebecca Bentley, a husband and wife team whose lives had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Travis pulled into the driveway of the home. A record engineer in his mid-30s, he married his wife 11 years prior, after graduating from Cal State Fullerton and getting his first job at Capitol Records’ famous underground studios.
He got out of the car, pulling a briefcase and a pair of headphones out of the passenger seat. As he walked up the walkway to the front of the house, Rebecca opened the door and held the door open. He walked to the door and bent his head down to give her a kiss on the cheek. She sighed at this and walked in behind him.
“Everything okay, Rebecca? You don’t normally greet me at the door,” he asked, placing his bag and headphones on the table. He turned around to look at her and give her his full attention.
“We’ve been married for 11 years, Travis. I figured it was a time for a little spontaneity,” she said, turning her face away.
He looked at her and blinked for just a few seconds.
“You’re not usually bashful like this,” he said, trying to figure out things like she was a jigsaw puzzle, “Are you sure everything is going okay?”
She looked back at him with fake offense.
“I can’t greet my husband at the door? What kind of wife would I be if I didn’t do that once in a while?”
Travis smiled and shook his head. He walked to the kitchen and grabbed a glass bottle of Mountain Dew. He popped the top with his thumbs, shooting the cap into the air in an arc. The cap pirouetted across the room and into a giant highball glass full of bottle caps. He smiled with pride and walked to his wife. He led her to the living room, and sat her down on the couch.
“Now, Rebecca, what’s going on? I feel like I haven’t been observant of something.”
Rebecca looked down in her lap and smiled.
“Have you ever been to Australia?”
“No, I don’t think I ever have been.”
“Would you ever think about living there, or doing your work down there?”
“If I was offered a job down there, and the record company was willing to pay for our relocation, I think I would. Australia is a burgeoning musical market.”
Rebecca smiled at this revelation.
“Well, what if I told you that there were possible opportunities for both of us down there?”
Travis let his eyes drift into hers, and he tried to read her.
“You always knew that I wanted to put my degree to good use. I applied to an opening at Monash University in Melbourne a few months ago, and had an interview with one of their folks when they were in town last month. They contacted me today, and they are interested in offering me an adjunct position that pays about the same as what you make right now.”
Travis face went from anticipation, to shock, and then spread to a grin.
“Why didn’t you tell me this last month?”
“I didn’t really think about it that much. I figured it would be a possible opportunity.”
“Do you want the job?”
“Honestly? Yeah. I would love to teach students the art of finances.”
“Would they pay to relocate both of us?”
“They said that they may be able to do that, but they would want you to find work down there within a year of arrival.”
Rebecca looked puzzled.
“Oh, it’s from the latest album I’m engineering.”
“You remember that band America? Sister Golden Hair? Ventura Highway?”
Rebecca nodded, only realizing after a moment that he was talking about a world-class band. Her eyes went wide.
“Wait…YOU are the engineer for THEM?!”
“Just finished engineering the latest album. That’s why I’ve been a bit distant the last three months”
“And why you couldn’t tell me anything.”
“Yep. Their album will likely be a smash this time. But I know that I can find lots of work. Music studios need engineers, especially good ones.”
Rebecca smiled, as she lightly bounced up and down on the couch.
“That’s why I think that this move may be a good one. I just need to make a couple of calls to see if some studios down in Sydney or Melbourne would want to have me.”
Rebecca smiled, giving her husband a big hug. Travis stood up and walked back to the refrigerator.
“I think, Becks, that 1981 is going to be a great year for us. Let’s get ready for a new adventure down under, eh?”