Stirring my cup of tea I listened to Lucy play a complicated melody on the piano in my hotel room- It didn’t take me long to recognize the piece was from Les Miserables– One of Lucy’s favourite plays.
She played it so well. But for all the marvels of her musical playing, it was her singing that was truly captivating.
I had enjoyed hearing her sing today, it was as if the song of Love Never Dies was written for her. Yet, she would never stand in the spotlight I knew she so clearly deserved.
Bringing the cup to my lips I took a small sip as I walked out into the room and spied her playing, finishing the song she smiled, oblivious to my gaze, she began flipping through the music book again.
“Beautiful playing” I commented as I walked into the room, she smiled in response as she began playing the opening notes for ‘Bring Him Home’ for Les Miserables quietly. An idea suddenly occurred to me as I approached the piano; leaning against it I eyed her for a moment.
“You know” I began casually, “Ramin is playing Valjean at the moment” I said simply.
Lucy looked up with mild interest. I knew Ramin Karimloo was her favourite Phantom, someone she respected. And I hoped that respect would be enough to persuade her into hearing my proposition and perhaps, agreeing, “They’re renewing the contracts soon” I continued.
She continued playing but narrowed her eyes as she looked at me, she could probably sense what I was about to ask, and I already knew her answer, but I asked anyway. In the hope that she would one day change her mind- “You could try out for one of the roles. Do a twelve week contract”
She slammed her hands down onto the lower end of the piano, as if her glare wasn’t enough to tell me she was annoyed, she had added background music.
“Alright” I relented, “I can tell you’re in a mood” I said as I took a sip from my tea again. Despite her lack of speech, it was always profoundly simple for me to deduce Lucy’s mood. I knew this was a sensitive topic for her, so I knew when to not press her.
Swallowing I turned to look at her, “How do you think the rehearsals are going? Do you think we will be ready to record next week?”
She shrugged, nonchalantly and focused on playing.
I frowned, since when did Lucy not care about music?
Leaning over I grabbed the music and closed the book, determined to have her attention and find out what was troubling her.
Snapping her head up she glared at me for a moment and I held her gaze, folding my arms as I did.
“What?” she finally asked obviously irritated.
“Don’t ‘what’ me” I immediately chastised, “Now, tell me what has made you so upset”
She shrugged, turning away from me.
I waited patiently, knowing she would speak in her own time.
Eventually she sighed and looked up at me, “How do you know if someone truly likes you? That they aren’t just using you to get over someone else?”
I sighed, “This is about Gerard and Patrick isn’t it?”
I wasn’t blind. I had seen the way both of them had looked at her this morning while she sung. The possessive way both of them hugged her… then the fact that they had almost tore each other’s throats out during the rehearsal of ‘Devil Take the Hindmost’
She remained silent, but I didn’t need confirmation.
With a heavy heart I decided to tell her the truth, “You can’t ever know Lucy” I said, “all you can do is try to take all the precautions you can in an effort not to get your heart broken”
She nodded in understanding as she reached forward and grabbed the music from the stand and began shuffling the papers.
“That being said” I continued, “You can’t be too careful with your heart otherwise you may lose someone you wish you hadn’t” Unexpectedly my thoughts turned to Sarah.
How in love we had been in our youth. The love we had felt all consuming… Yet how quickly it had all gone wrong…
“Andrew?” asked Lucy with concern, her voice breaking me out of my meditation.
Blinking rapidly I turned back to her, confused as to what had just occurred. Suddenly feeling tired I straightened up as I looked down at her.
Strangely enough she was looking at me with the concerned eyes I should have been looking at her with, “Whatever you decide, I know you will do the right thing” I said firmly.
While even I found the situation Lucy was in confusing, I had faith in her.
Hearing a knock on the door I offered her a smile as I turned to answer it.
The right thing? What was the right thing to do?
Feeling more confused than ever I turned away from Andrew as he walked down the hallway to answer the door and looked down at the music in my lap.
Perhaps he was right. Perhaps I was still wound up from singing. While I never felt more… alive. Beautiful. Real. And, strangely enough, free when I was singing… it was when I stopped that the fear crept in.
When I was reminded why I needed to be silent.
“Ah, hello Patrick” said Andrew.
I froze- after being kissed by both him and Gerard I had been avoiding the both of them. Now it seemed I was being cornered…
“Lucy, you have a guest” called Andrew.
Looking up I saw both Andrew and Patrick standing at the cusp of the room, “I think I’ll go make some tea” said Andrew, craftily moving out of the room.
Frowning I turned to look at the almost full cup of tea on the piano.
“Hello” said Patrick as he walked towards me, an oddly apprehensive smile on his face, made all the more prominent by the fact that his hands were shoved into his front pockets, his head slightly ducked.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, for some reason there seemed to be no possible explanation as to why he was here. In Andrew’s Hotel Room. Wanting to talk…to me.
He seemed thrown for a moment by my bluntness but quickly recovered, “I thought we could go out” he said simply, “there’s a nice new restaurant that just opened-” he began but I cut him off.
“Patrick we can’t” I said looking down at the music in my lap again, I couldn’t face him because I knew what I was going to say was going to hurt him. But I knew it was the right thing.
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because” I began still looking down, “I don’t trust easily” I said quietly, that was part of the reason, a large part… but not the reason I was going to give to him.
“How do you know things are over with your wife? How does she know?” I demanded as I looked up, “I don’t want to be a home-wrecker” I sighed as I stood up and began arranging the music in the correct order on the top of the piano.
“You won’t be a home wrecker” he said, I looked over at him as he spread his arms out in apparent surrender, “there’s no home to wreck”
Rolling my eyes I collected the music and turned to face him, “How do you know that?” I asked as I made to walk past.
I didn’t get far as he hooked his hand under my arm and pulled me back to him. I didn’t even have time to register what he had done before he pressed his lips to mine in a searing kiss before he broke away, leaving me dazed.
Feeling dizzy I opened my eyes slowly, looking up at him. He smiled smugly, “That’s how I know”
Something inside me shifted as I relented- Patrick knew what he wanted. But that wasn’t the end of the problem, flicking the hair out of my eyes I stared up at him, “But your wife doesn’t” I said firmly.
He looked as though I had slapped him, but he also looked profoundly tired. He sighed as I stepped out of his embrace and continued across the room to the bookshelf where I had gotten the Les Miserables score from.
“What do you suggest I do then?”
Turning around I eyed him, folding my arms over my chest as I did, “Go home and make sure things are over before you start something with me” I said simply.
He eyed me for a moment, folding his arms, “And if I do that, you will give me a chance?”
I scoffed, “I’m already giving you a chance”
How little he knew of how little I trusted. How I let hardly anyone into my life…
Seeming satisfied he nodded, “Deal”
I nodded and walked him to the door, opening it, he stepped through before he turned to look at me, “I’ll be back” he promised.
Smiling he stepped forward and pressed his lips to mine once more.
While I didn’t not enjoy his kiss, I was reminded that it was still wrong. He was still married. He still had a wedding ring on his hand… With that in mind I placed a very firm hand on his chest and pushed him away from me and out the door, breaking the contact our lips had.
“Go!” I ordered, though I couldn’t help but smile.
He smiled back and disappeared down the hallway.
Closing the door I pressed my back to it, not quite sure what I had just gotten myself into…
Sighing I pushed myself away from the door and walked down the hallway; suddenly Andrew rounded the corner and fixed me with a stare.
Startled I came to a stop and stared back, trying to read his eyes whilst silently asking him, had I done the right thing?
He didn’t say anything but a small smile twitched at his lip.
Another knock on the door sounded, I made to turn, but Andrew stepped by me, “I’ll get it”
Feeling oddly… giddy. I went to the kitchen and flipped the switch on the kettle to make myself a hot drink. Somehow I felt as if a guilty weight I had been carrying around was gone.
Faintly I heard Andrew greeting someone, but it was hard to discern who it was over the whistling of the kettle.
Turning to the fridge I peered inside, seeing the milk I smiled. It was a bad habit, I knew, but I couldn’t be bothered getting a glass. Grabbing the bottle out of the fridge, I unscrewed the lid and brought it to my lips, taking a drink.
“Lucy” called Andrew; “You have another visitor” he called tersely.
I glanced over the counter to see Andrew, his arms folded and jaw tight. With him, was Gerard.
Shock fluttered through me, sending a ticklish, but almost painful jolt up my spine causing me to throw my head forward in a convulsion like manner and spit my milk out. It flew out everywhere, spraying the counter and floor, with small, white, milk droplets.
I stood absolutely frozen as I stared at Gerard- this could not be happening.
“I’m going to go while the two of you…” Andrew trailed off as he rolled his eyes and threw his hands up, “Clean up that mess” he said simply as he turned on his heel and walked out of the room.
Gerard seemed amused as he stared at me.
Unable to take his gaze I turned around and grabbed a cloth before I dropped to the floor and began cleaning up my mess.
“You seemed surprised to see me” he observed as he leaned against the doorframe to the kitchen.
“Hardly” I grumbled as I rubbed at the floor vigorously.
I knew why he was here, yet it couldn’t be happening. It just couldn’t.
He let me work for a moment, I didn’t look up but I could feel his gaze on me. Once I stood to wipe down the counter he spoke, “What are you doing tonight?”
And there it was.
“Knitting” I began rubbing down the table.
Why was this happening to me? Why? I just got rid of one guy possibly on the rebound, now I had to contend with another? Fate truly had a sick sense of humour.
“Could I persuade you to do something else?” he asked, sounding slightly amused.
“No” I replied curtly, snatching the milk bottle off the counter, I turned to go back to the fridge but he stepped in front of me, blocking my path.
I stared past him impatiently, “Have I done something?” he questioned.
“No” I still didn’t look at him.
“Then why the cold snap?” he asked.
I didn’t answer but very deliberately stepped around him, and went to open the fridge, but his hand came down over it and stopped me.
Not able to help it any longer I looked up at him, into his green eyes. There was something beautiful about his eyes, the unnatural shade of dark green. And it made me stop for a moment.
He raised his eyebrows at me questionably.
I sighed; there was no way to get around this, “I’m not going to do this with you Gerard” I said quietly.
“Do what?” he asked just as quietly, a tender note creeping into his voice.
That sound in his voice alone made me pause, but I was once again reminded harshly that the tenderness in his voice wasn’t for me.
“I won’t be your rebound” I said bluntly as I reefed open the fridge, placing the milk back inside.
“Rebound? From who?” he asked, sounding amused once more, which only succeeded in making me angrier.
Slamming the fridge shut I turned to glare at him, “Emmy”
Something flickered across his face. I didn’t need to know what it was but it was the fact that something passed that proved me right.
I didn’t say anything as I turned to leave but he stepped in front of me once again, “Hey, hey” he said, putting his hands up to stop me, “I’m not on the rebound” he said.
I snorted and made to go past him again but he stepped in front of me once more, “What can I do to prove it to you?” he almost pleaded.
I had no answer to that because truly there wasn’t one. I needed to know I could trust him beyond any doubt, and there was no way for me to know that.
Pushing past him I walked out of the kitchen.
“Come on!” he sighed all but falling down onto the counter, he let his head loll down on the bench top for a moment before he looked up, “Give me a chance”
That struck me. I had given Patrick a chance… it would be unfair not to give Gerard the same one.
Internally cursing myself for being so… for lack of a better word, just. Groaning I relented, “Fine!”
A brilliant smile lit up his face as he rounded the counter and I felt as if I had done the right thing… maybe.
“We’re going out tonight” he declared.
“But I-” I began but he cut me off.
“Do you have something better to do?” he challenged.
“No” I ground my teeth.
“Then I’m taking you on a date” he smiled.
Rolling my eyes I walked him to the door. As much as I was loathed to do it, as despite his words, I still felt as if I was a sheep about to go on a date with a wolf.
But he was a handsome wolf at that.
Despite myself, I was starting to feel excited as I opened the door.
Stepping through he turned around to face me, “Wear something nice. I’ll pick you up in an hour” he made it sound like a promise.
I nodded in understanding.
Smiling he stepped forward, wrapping an arm around my back he pulled me into a kiss.
While I relished in the feeling, I was instantly annoyed. Placing a firm hand on his chest I pushed him out of the room and slammed the door in his face.
I could hear him laughing from the other side but it just made me role my eyes.
People needed to stop kissing me like that!