“I do love the theatre and so this is a little something from the stage.”
A raucous orchestral tune filled a room. Joel took a deep breath as he drew his strong, lean body tall before the mirror. He imagined himself in full prince’s costume as he prepared to sing.
A thunderous bang rattled the mirror. It was followed by a hammering and then the burr of a very loud drill.
“For goodness sake!” Joel snapped the music off and turned to leave the room. He knew the overhaul of the stage was a necessary evil. For the upcoming show to shine, the stage had to look its best. This still didn’t excuse them sounding like they were demolishing the bloody building all day.
Joel grabbed his rucksack and heard his phone trilling inside. Retrieving it, he saw a message waiting:
‘Sorry, Joel. Cassie quit. Come and see me immediately, Dennis.’
Cursing his luck, Joel whisked from the practice room and cannoned straight into somebody running down the corridor in a marshmallow-pink dress.
“I-I’m sorry!” The ballerina let out a sob and made to run away.
“Hey, there’s no harm done.” Joel took in her sleek bronze bun of hair and the pretty shape her dress gave her. “Are you, okay?”
“Sorry — I …” she glanced back and stumbled into the wall in her haste to escape.
Joel caught her arm and steadied her with a smile. “Slow down and take a deep breath for a moment, hey. You know, I don’t think we’ve met,” Joel furrowed his eyebrows as he continued to admire her. “I’m sure I’d recognise somebody with the beautiful hair and stunning topaz eyes you possess. May I know your name?”
“I’m Saphira.” She blushed, “Thank you for the compliment.”
“Nice to meet you, Saphira.” Joel introduced himself and led the way down the corridor. “Now, we know each other; can you tell me why you were crying. I like to help you if I can.”
“No, I don’t want to burden you.”
“Please. I insist.”
“Okay.” Saphira took a deep breath, “I’ve been practising for my first show. I made friends with another ballerina called Irina. Anyway, our producer Darius told her that she had to work harder or she’d lose her lead role and I’d get it because I was doing better.”
“It was naughty of Darius to say something like that publicly. Still, it’s a good thing for you, right?”
“You’d think so, but no. It cost me my role in the show.” Saphira let herself be led into the theatre’s lunchroom as her tears flowed again.
“What? Why, if you’re doing so well?” Joel made two mugs of tea and sat down with her. “Here, drink this. Why are you no longer in the show?”
“Thanks.” Saphira took a sip and composed herself. “Irina did it. She sabotaged me. She found a way to convince Darius that I was just trying to get the lead role to ruin the show. He wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to defend myself and fired me from the production. Eliza, another dancer, reckons he’s going to tell Dennis what happened so I … I can never perform here again.”
The story left Joel feeling flabbergasted, he couldn’t believe such atrocities could happen within the theatre. Seeing Saphira crying, he gave her a comforting rub of the shoulder. “That’s awful! I’m so sorry that happened to you. I —” Joel flicked his eyes to his phone and fell silent for a thoughtful moment. “Sorry … Look, I’m going to help you sort this out.”
“Really?” Saphira gave him a hopeful look and dried her eyes. “How can you do that?”
“Can you sing?”
“Yes, I do choir and singing practice two nights a week and dancing practice the other three. Why?”
Joel smiled at Saphira’s quizzical expression. “That’s amazing dedication to your art. Do you know the song ‘Fairytale Dream’ from the musical of the same name?”
Saphira nodded and broke into a smile, “I love that song. I even watched you perform it on the training stage with Cassie Blake.” Looking around her she took a deep breath and closed her eyes.
“In my fairy tale dream,
There’s a handsome prince for me.
An angelic man
His kiss will set me free.”
Joel couldn’t help a beaming smile on his face. Saphira sang the power ballad with a natural grace which filled him with electrically charged energy. As she finished her stanza, he followed with his the next; filling the room with his rich, deep voice.
“There is our fairy tale princess?
Will my dreams come true?
Is she to be my, Eleanor
My heart beats for you!”
The two sang the rest of the song together with Saphira finishing beautifully. “Aww, I loved that,” she remarked with a little blush to her cheeks.
“Splendida! I must say, that was amazing!” Remarked the gentleman making himself a coffee.
Joel recognised him as Gregorio the orchestra conductor. “Saphira was divine, wasn’t she?”
“Tu es Magnifico, Saphira.” Gregorio kissed her hand and whistled as he left.
“He’s charming.” Saphira grinned as she sipped her tea. “So, why did you have me sing the—”
“Not so you could perform it. You’ll never perform here again!” Snapped a feminine voice.
Joel turned to see another ballerina enter. “You must be Irina?” Seeing her nod, he continued, “Whether Saphira performs here again or not is nothing to do with you. I think you trying to end her career is despicable. That said, do join me for my opening show on August fifteenth, won’t you?”
Irina huffed, took a bottle of orange juice from the vending machine and pranced out.
“Ha! I think you upset her.” Saphira chuckled
“Good.” Joel finished his tea and stood. “Come with me. We have a meeting with Dennis to attend.
Eight days later the theatre’s overhaul was complete. The auditorium was full of people decked out in beautiful suits and dresses. They applauded as a drum roll prompted the velvet curtains to open. Joel entered the stage in his role as the gardener. Humming, he began to tend his bed of plants as he broke into a song about flowers. Around him, dancers dressed as the blooms made the show colourful and spectacular. Amid them, a stagecoach pulled by beautiful white horses entered centre stage. Princess Eleanor emerged wearing a beautiful red dress. She was none other than Saphira and was unable to hide just how proud and happy she was to be performing with Joel. She perched in the garden and began her love affair with Joel’s character as she sang about the beautiful day. During her performance, she couldn’t help but notice Irina. The scornful ballerina had left her seat in the audience and run from the auditorium floods of tears.
This night it would be Saphira enjoying the spotlight and the applause alongside her hero Joel
Thanks for reading my friends
Have a great day!