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On My Own...No More

Summary:
Okay guys. This is a story that's been in my head forever. It's kind of just something I did to try and put my two favorite things together. So, if you don't like anything that has to do with musicals, don't read this. I know you've all heard this a million times. Alice doesn't see Bella jump. Jacob somewhat pulls her out of her hole. Bella graduates and discovers she somewhat has a knack for singing. She goes to try out for a small pair in Les Miserable on Broadway and somehow lands the part of Eponine. This story starts on opening night. (Spanish Accent) Also, I know size can be daunting, but don't worry, you'll love it! You'll love it! Hee, hee. :) PROLOGUE ADDED!KELLY- STOP READING NOW!


Notes:
DISCLAIMER: Edward doesn't belong to me, though I wish he did!!! Unfortunately for me, he belongs to the brilliant Stephenie Meyer! Bella and Alice and any other Cullens that might show up this story belong to her as well. *sigh* Oh well! However, all the other characters belong to me. Mine, mine, mine! :)


1. Opening Night

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2542   Review this Chapter

Prologue

This was something I had never imagined in my wildest dreams, though, lately, my dreams hadn't been so wild. Actually, they had been the same thing every night: emptiness. But back to what I was telling you. How could this be happening? I had been building up my shell for so long. How could I be letting this break through? Why were my dreams taunting me? This wasn't funny. It was mean and horrible and I had to stop it.


Opening Night

"Hurry up! 15 minutes until the curtain goes up!" Holly, the stage manager, shouted.

I finished rubbing the make-up onto my face to make it look dirtier. Tillie, my second mother and current Fantine*, turned away from her mirror and kissed me on both cheeks.

"You'll do great, Bella! Don't worry!"

I smiled weakly at her, my stomach fluttering wildly.

It was opening night for our cast of Les Miserables. I was excited, but also quite nervous that I would not portray Eponine* in the way people expected, even though I could relate to her very well. After all, she lost the man she loved.

"Tillie! Jaycee needs you!" called Holly.

"Gotta go, darling. Break a leg!"

"Knowing me, that could be taken quite literally."

"You know what I mean!" She laughed, then she raced out of the green room to find Jaycee, the touch-up person.

I sat there, smoothing my hair and occasionally smudging the make-up in my cheeks.

"My goodness! It's Eponine* in the flesh!"

I turned around to see Brent, the current Marius* and a member of my new family. He held out a bouquet of roses to me.

I rushed forward, throwing my arms around him and regaling his cheeks with kisses.

"You are too sweet, Brent! Thank you so much!"

"I think it is the proper thing to do for my amazing little sister!"

I smiled, glad that he only thought of me as a little sister because I did not consider him anything more than an older brother. No one could ever replace him, no matter how hard Jacob had tried. That's why I was here. I had to escape Jacob's attempts at trying to make me forget him.

"Well, I hope you didn't spend all afternoon picking them out or all your money."

"Not at all. I walked in the store and asked the owner what flower I should give to a sister who is going to be performing. He told me, I bought them. They weren't expensive at all. Why does it matter anyways?"

"I just don't like people spending a lot of money on me," I stated, feeling a strange sense of déjà vu coming over me.

Brent rolled his eyes.

"Bella! It's your turn with Jaycee!"

"Coming!" I shouted.

Brent handed me the flowers and I put them on my vanity. Then, I went to go meet with Jaycee.

"Break a leg!" Brent called as I raced out the door.

"Is everyone trying to jinx me?" I giggled. Brent roared with laughter behind me.

I passed the flocks of people running about with props and odd objects, all of them making last minute adjustments before the curtain went up. There could be no mistakes tonight.

I waltzed up to Jaycee, who was fixing Tillie's make-up. They both turned at the sound of my arrival and smiled. Jaycee put another dab of foundation on Tillie's face.

"All done! You look great!"

"Thanks," said Tillie, stepping back. "Your turn, Bella."

I walked to stand in front of Jaycee. She smiled and reached into her magical make-up bag, taking out an eyeliner pencil and darkening my eyeliner.

"Are you nervous?" she asked.

"Me? Nervous? As if!" I laughed, sarcastically rolling my eyes.

Tillie smoothed my hair and fixed my hat.

"Well, your all ready to go on stage," she declared.

"Please, don't remind me!"

"Are your parents coming tonight?"

"Not tonight. They couldn't make it. Phil has a baseball game and Charlie has a case he's working on."

"Well, I think that your opening night is more important than either of those."

"They thought so, too, but I could tell how much they wanted to do those things. I convinced them to wait a week."

"I'll never understand your whole self sacrifice thing. You should do something for yourself."

"That's just the way I am, Jaycee. I don't force other people to be unhappy." Just myself, I added in my head.

"How about that Jacob kid? The Quil-oot one?" She stumbled over the name of Jacob's tribe.

I laughed. "Puh-leez. Jacob has much more pressing matters." Like making sure vengeful vampires don't escape and come after me.

Jaycee rolled her eyes. "I'll bet you talked him out of coming here, too."

"Believe me, it didn't take much convincing to keep him away."

Jaycee's eyebrows knitted in confusion.

"Big cities aren't exactly his thing," I explained.

Her face relaxed.

"Oh."

"Bella!" came a squeal from behind us.

I turned around. A dirty little 8-year-old girl came dancing forward.

"Jenny!" I exclaimed. I held open my arms and she ran into them, giving me a big hug.

"Oh, Bella! I'm so excited! This is my first time EVER performing!"

"Oh! That's so great!"

"My mommy and daddy are going to be here! Isn't that great?"

"Yes! It's wonderful!"

"How about you? Are your mommy and daddy coming?"

"No."

"Oh," she paused. "How about your boyfriend?" She giggled.

"Shut up! You know I don't have a boyfriend!"

"Sure," she rolled her eyes.

"Really, I don't."

"Yeah, whatever."

I opened my mouth to protest again when another voice interrupted our bickering.

"Jenny, don't be so rude!"

Jenny stuck out her tongue as her 19-year-old sister Marie stepped forward. Jenny was playing the young Cosette* and Marie played the older Cosette*. It was so funny to see them in their costumes. They looked like the exact same person. Marie smiled.

"Sorry to ruin your little pre-show celebration, but we go on in five minutes."

My stomach started jumping around and threatened to regurgitate my small dinner of chicken noodle soup (to completely clear up any and all sinuses).

Jenny leaned away from me.

"You're not going to be sick, are you?" She wrinkled her nose in disgust.

I forced myself to keep a smooth face even as my stomach did somersaults.

"Of course not," I lied.

"We all know what a bad liar you are, Bella!"

"I won't get sick. I promise!"

She leaned forward again, satisfied that I was telling the truth.

I tried to get myself to believe that this was all true, that I didn't even appear at the beginning of the play.

Suddenly, Holly appeared out of no where.

"Okay, everyone!" she shouted. "We have 2 minutes ‘til show time!"

The entire cast and crew entered the small backstage space. We stared at each other, all thinking the very same thing.

In a great rush, we ran forward and enveloped Holly in a giant group hug.

When we tried to get out of the hug, the people in front moved first, causing a domino effect. Everyone toppled onto each other, laughing the whole time.

However, the laughing stopped completely when we heard the announcer begin to speak.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you to the opening night of the revival of Les Miserables. Les Miserables is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Those of you who are here seeing the musical for the first time, you are in for a monumental night. Those of you who are seeing for the second, third, or thousandth time, you have never seen this one before. The cast will blow you away and the music will take on new meaning. Now, I know that none of you want to sit here and listen to the old geezer talk-‘' There was scattered laughter. "-so without further ado, I present to you... Les Miserables."

There was an eruption of applause as the curtain raised and the overture began. I felt a rush of exhilaration move through the mass of bodies standing around me.

This was what we had worked so hard for, this was the real deal. This was the night that would be remembered forever, the night that would mark our version of Les Miserables as good or bad.

The night seemed to go on without a hitch. Everyone performed perfectly. More and more stress was placed upon me as everybody performed without flaw. Marie was gripping my forearm tightly. Apparently I was her stress ball tonight. I didn't complain, though, even as her nails dug into my skin. I knew what she was feeling because I was doing the exact same thing, except to my own hand.

I smiled as the people came off stage after their performances, telling them how great they were. Some of them looked relieved. Jenny seemed unphased by the whole thing. This was obvious as she came skipping off stage, beaming from ear to ear.

I greeted her with a hug and a kiss.

"You were fantastic!"

"I know," she said, smugly.

"Don't let it go to your head," Marie muttered.

"Just ignore her," I whispered. "She's only nervous that she won't be half as good as you."

"Of course she is."

I knew Marie was rolling her eyes.

When it was finally my turn to go on stage, I inhaled deeply and stepped in front of the crowd.

A million pairs of eyes stared at me. I froze and turned around, ready to run off again. Unfortunately, Holly and Tillie were there to stop me.

They pushed me back out and I was forced to walk forward so as to avoid further embarrassment. The audience was already giggling.

So, I began my part and suddenly the fear was gone. I felt like there was some one there, some one supporting me. I felt like he was there.

I did my part perfectly and never stumbled over my words or my feet.

When it came for my solo, "On My Own", I was so ready for it. I walked to the center of the stage, near the front.

I opened my mouth and inhaled deeply. Then, I began to sing.

The words came freely and easily.

Now I'm all alone again,
Nowhere to turn, no one to go to.
Without a home, without a friend,
Without a face to say hello to.
And now the night is near,
Now I can make believe he's here.

Sometimes I walk alone at night
When everybody else is sleeping.
I think of him, and then I'm happy
With the company I'm keeping.
The city goes to bed,
And I can live inside my head.

On my own,
Pretending he's beside me.
All alone,
I walk with him till morning.
Without him,
I feel his arms around me,
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me.

In the rain,
The pavement shines like silver.
All the lights
Are misty in the river.
In the darkness,
The trees are full of starlight,
And all I see is him and me for ever and forever.

And I know
It's only in my mind,
That I'm talking to myself
And not to him.
And although I know that he is blind,
Still I say,
There's a way for us.

I love him,
But when the night is over,
He is gone,
The river's just a river.
Without him,
The world around me changes.
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers.

I love him,
But every day I'm learning,
All my life,
I've only been pretending!
Without me,
His world will go on turning,
A world that's full of happiness
That I have never known!

I love him...
I love him...
I love him...
But only on my own...

As I sang the last four lines of the song, my eyes began to well up. As the last few notes of the song hung in the air, the audience was completely quiet. The tears spilled over, streaming down my cheeks.

I stood there for a few seconds, my eyes closed, never moving, not even to wipe away the tears the made paths through my smudgy makeup. The audience seemed too afraid to make any sound.

Then, very suddenly, the entire room erupted with applause. I opened my eyes and tried to look. Through my tears, I saw something that made my head spin and my stomach flutter.

A patch of bronze, perhaps hair.

I shook my head and walked offstage.

It couldn't be, I thought as I threatened to go over the edge. I grabbed at Tillie's shoulder, wiping the tears from my face.

She looked at me, worry very evident in her face.

"Are you okay, Bella?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. It's just the-song. You know. It really got to me."

"Oh, yeah. Of course. It's just, well, you look a little woozy."

"Really, Tillie. I'm fine."

"Okay. If you say so."

I tried to shake off the feeling, telling myself that it couldn't be true. There was no way in the world that he would be here.

I spent all of the time in which I did nothing telling myself that it was nothing, that I was just imagining things.

As Brent and I performed "A Little Fall of Rain", I put my whole self into the song, trying not to look at the audience. I couldn't hope because the disappointment would be that much worse when I discovered it wasn't true. Yet I couldn't help but imagine that it was his arms around me and not Brent's, that he was here, holding me.

No. I couldn't think that. Where all the sadistic vampires hadn't been able to do the job, hope would kill me.

So, I pushed that thought out of my head and focused on what I was saying.

Finally, the show ended and we came out for the final curtain call.

I ran up with Tillie and we gripped each others' hands, bowing and curtsying together.

Then, the main cast held hands and bowed together. As we came out of the bow, I couldn't avoid looking out at the audience.

That's when I saw it, saw him.

He was standing up near the front and center with a huge smile on his face and he clapped enthusiastically.

I felt myself lose a grip on my consciousness and struggled to not faint.

I groaned as the audience called for an encore and we did a remix of "One Day More".

I tried to remember my part and not mess up on my solo. Finally, the song ended and the crowd burst into a final applause. The curtain went down. I stopped struggling and just let it take me. I closed my eyes.

Everything went black.

©2007 tornheart