“No, I don’t want them chasing each other around the piano like they did in London, it was too much movement, the distance between them worked well in Australia, could we do it like that?” I asked as I stared at the story-board Joel had pinned up on the wall.
The small cartoon figures were supposed to be depicting Beneath a Moonless Sky, and even from the still images, my head was dizzy from looking at them.
“Alright, but we definitely still need to have some movement in there” said Joel as he looked down at his notes, “I think a sweeping camera movement when they’re holding each other by the piano, or when Emmy has her back turned and is crying” he said.
I nodded in agreement, glancing down at my watch I realized the time, I was running late for rehearsal, “We need to head to rehearsal” I said.
“Ok” said Joel, “you head down, I’ll catch up, I just want to go over a few more things”
Heading out the door and into the hallway, I bumped into Gerard, “Hello Gerry” I said happily.
“Hello Andrew” he said coming to a stop as I came to stand by his side, “how are you?”
“Very well” I replied as we began walking, “How was your first lesson with Lucy yesterday?” I asked, it may have been rude to open the conversation with a question as blunt as that, but I wanted to hear I was right.
He chuckled looking down at his feet as he walked with his hands in his pockets, “it was good” he said.
“Good?” I questioned.
“Well, we got off to a shaky start, but after having a minuet to cool down she dragged me back inside” he said with a smile, I smiled back, “and we discussed it for a moment and it really helped, I was able to sing it a little better” he said.
My smile must have been smug as he refused to meet my eye, “So she actually helped? She knew what she was doing?” I asked innocently, knowing the answer full well.
He chuckled again knowing what I was doing and what I wanted to hear, “Yes she does and-” he sighed, “I can’t believe I’m saying this but she is actually helping” he said.
My smile said exactly what my thoughts were ‘told you so’
We came to into one of the larger rehearsal rooms, ‘Movement Studio Three’ I could hear that Miranda, Jennifer, Patrick and Emmy were rehearsing ‘Dear Old Friends’
Opening the door, Gerard and I both headed in, waiting silently at the back of the room.
All four of them stood to the side of the piano, Miranda, Jennifer, Emmy then Patrick.
Lucy sat at the piano, playing flawlessly as always, but she was playing a little slower than the song required.
This song had actually been quite a challenge for me to write as it was in the style of a round. I hated over-lapping voices; one could never hear a true voice when someone else was singing different words over the top.
But I of course conceded to musical fashion and included it. I had done it in The Phantom of the Opera as well, though that was only a portion of the song. This was the whole song.
In working with Lucy, she had crafted it in a way where there was still singing over the top of one another, but came together on the choruses, singing the more important parts together so they could still be heard.
I’d never been one for choirs as so many voices together annoyed me as I found that they ended up sounding the same instead of blending together.
But Patrick, Emmy, Miranda and Jennifer had created a sweet harmony that was most pleasing to my ears. While they were not adding the emotion needed quite yet, I knew that when they did the song would sound spectacular.
Once the song was finished I clapped, “Bravo” I complimented as Gerard and I walked towards the table, “that’s coming along nicely”
“We try” said Miranda with a smile.
I smiled back, I had an odd respect for that women. I stood by Lucy as she rearranged her music, “Emmy are you ready?” I asked.
“Yes” she chimed with a nod before she turned to Gerard and smiled.
Miranda, Patrick and Jennifer said their goodbyes and left.
Patrick however lingered for but a moment to shoot Lucy a smile, for which she smiled back. Oddly holding his eye for a moment before she looked down.
I looked down at her curiously; Lucy hardly ever looked anyone in the eye, as was in her quiet nature. Yet then she had held Patrick’s eye with perfect clarity, before she looked away.
Frowning I turned to Patrick, hoping to gain some sort of explanation from him, but he would not hold my eye, he smiled politely before he walked out the door after Miranda and Jennifer.
Stepping forward I turned to lean on the side of the piano, staring down at her intently as she continued to focus on her papers, “what was that?” I asked curiously.
She looked up at me with innocent eyes, shrugging as if to say ‘what?’
My frown deepened, Lucy was like a daughter to me. In many ways I had a stronger bond with her than I did with my own daughter as I had chosen her, and in many ways she had chosen me.
Our passion for music and composing was so great it made us have one mind on many things, as a child would to a Father.
So I naturally felt a flicker of concern when I had noticed the spark in Patrick’s eye as he gazed at her. She however was harder to read.
Resting my hand on the piano I indicated subtly towards the door, my meaning was clear: Patrick.
An odd look crossed her face before she stood up and wrote on the top of the piano with her finger: he’s having a hard time.
I frowned curiously, “With what?” I mouthed.
Glancing over my shoulder quickly to make sure Gerard and Emmy’s attentions were fully occupied, they were; on each other. I turned back to Lucy as she typed on her phone.
I was well aware there were feelings between Emmy and Gerard. Almost everybody was. Their passion on screen was so potent it was hard for anyone to miss.
While it had been a problem when she was sixteen I thought nothing of it now- she was a women now and able to choose as she wished.
I only prayed that whatever happened between them- if it were to go sour, affected their work.
Lucy handed me her phone- many times we were able to communicate with each other without the aid of her phone or note book, but with Gerard and Emmy in the room she probably wanted to save Patrick’s privacy.
He’s having trouble with his wife. The message said.
“And your helping him?” I asked curiously.
She nodded before she reached forward and turned up the corners of my mouth in a smile, I chuckled before I sat down at the piano beside her and we began to sort through the music.
“What do you think of him?” I asked conversationally.
She turned to me with a confused look, “Him” I said nodding to Gerard. She had expressed to me her concerns about working with someone who so obviously didn’t want to work with her.
I had heard from Gerard, now I wanted to hear from her.
She handed me her phone: he needs work. Short temper. But he’s improving.
I nodded in acceptance and handed her back her phone, “I agree”
Tapping my shoulder she gestured to her face, making the silent signal for ‘beautiful’ before she touched her eyes.
She thought he had nice eyes.
I turned to the piano and spoke quietly, “My dear I think he may have eyes for another” I said before I glanced at her quickly.
She nodded and mouthed: I know.
The both of us looked over to them. Watching as Emmy’s clutched Gerard’s arm and laughed.
I heard the sliding of her phone and turned back just in time to see her show the message she had typed: ten bucks says they’re screwing before we start shooting.
I shook my head and suppressed a laugh, “you’re on” I said simply.
She grinned and went back to the music sheets, “Gerry, Emmy” I called, they turned to me, “We’re ready to begin” I said.
I had been looking forward to rehearsing this song with Gerry for a while now. Mostly because of the great amount of passion that had to be put into it and I would be naïve if I did not agree that we could pull that part off quite easily.
If he wasn’t that much older than me and this was not a professional setting then I am sure things would have…escalated between us and I almost couldn’t lie if I said I wish it were possible.
Gerry is a great man but it would never work…
I knew that. I knew that all along. But it didn’t stop me from flirting with the idea… and him.
We took places opposite the room from one another and Lucy began to play the introduction to Beneath A Moonless Sky. Gerry closed his eyes and seemed to become a lot more rigid as the lines in his forehead increased with concentration.
I was so caught up in watching him come into character I only had a few seconds to do the same before I had to start singing.
“I should have known that you’d be here…I should have known it all along. This whole arrangement bares your stamp, you’re in each measure of that song. How dare you try and claim me now! How dare you come invade my life!”
My heart nearly broke as I looked into his eyes that were full of sorrow as he pleaded me to understand, his voice drawing me to him. I noticed I took a step forward unconsciously but then stopped myself. What was happening?
“Oh Christine, my Christine! In that time when the world thought me dead, my Chritsine- On that night just before you were Wed- ah Christine! You came and found where I hid, don’t you deny that you did. That long ago night….” he sung passionately.
“That night…” It was a breathless attempt at responding seeing as I was drawn to him.
I couldn’t understand what was happening but the way his eyes bore into mine caught me in complete surprise.
I was no longer Emmy, I was Christine and he…he was my Phantom.
“Once there was a night beneath a moonless sky-too dark to see a thing, too dark to even try-” he sung.
I found myself wanting to finish his words- to remember that night of which we had shared. One that made me realize the truth of who I loved… “I stole to your side, to tell you I must go. I couldn’t see your face but sensed you even so…And I touched you-”
“And I felt you-”
We moved closer to one another, almost in reach of touching as the passion grew to an unearthly level.
“And I heard those ravishing refrains…” We both sang in union as he drew me closer.
“The music of your pulse-” I sung as I ran my hand up his chest, our faces mere inches apart.
“The singing in your vanes” His voice drew me closer and closer…
“And I held you!”
“And I touched you!” Are faces were mere inches apart.
“And embraced you!”
“And I felt you!”
“And with every breath and every sigh-”
Our voices became one again and I felt a certain high and longing which I had never felt before as his hands that had a rough callous from use, came up and cupped both my cheeks.
Oh god! Where was this going to end up?
Suddenly the music stopped. Breaking whatever spell that had been cast over Gerry and myself.
While we broke apart and were no longer touching, I stared into his green eyes; the strange feeling that had coursed through me while we sung together was still there… but seemed to smoulder under his gaze.
His jaw clenched as he stared at me, seeming to struggle with some internal dilemma before he looked away to Andrew and Lucy.
Reluctantly I turned to piano to see both Lucy and Andrew staring at the music sheet intently.
“Sorry, we were just discussing whether or not we should do the Australian version or the London version” said Andrew flippantly, not even glancing up at us.
Lucy made a few hand gestures that I guessed were sign language and Andrew nodded before he turned to us, “Lucy thinks the Australian one. Which means you need to stand apart” he said.
Gerry took one very deliberate step back and I couldn’t help but glare at Lucy for a moment. For some reason I couldn’t help but feel annoyed with her.
For ruining the moment, or preventing from others happening I wasn’t sure.
But as I once again looked up at Gerry I couldn’t help but feel that certain pull towards him. One that I wasn’t sure if I should deny any longer… but there was so many reasons not to.
The age difference. The professional complications. And his track record of being a player did not sway him in my favour.
If anything were to ever happen between us I would need a guarantee that it was serious from him and not just another mindless fling.