|Repose Remembers (reposeremembers) wrote in repose,|
@ 2020-04-12 13:09:00
|Entry tags:||shiloh foster, zee larsen, ~plot: memories|
Will characters be viewing the memory or experiencing it?: experiencing
Warning, this memory contains: paternal absence.
You are the youngest person in costume and you are still high on the applause. It's following you, even as you step lightly off the stage, following after the older members of the company.
People you want to join someday.
You push your way between Titania and Bottom, murmuring your apologies. You still have the blue and greens of the fairy, Puck, glitter make-up across your eyes and up into your hair, where the horns set firmly on either side of your head. The applause has faded into conversation as the cast moves into the space near the outdoor stage where friends and family and audience members can express their appreciation.
You're looking for someone, distracted though by the members of the audience who stop you to share how much they enjoyed the show and your character, how they can hardly believe you're only seventeen.
You offer smiles, brilliant, bright, and gracious. Additional warmth that blossoms with each praise. This is what success feels like, and it feels amazing. You catch sight of your mother, shorter than you, her hair a mess of curls, and she's by herself, but as you slip behind two strangers talking, and draw up to her you still ask: "Is he here!?"
The look on her face tells you before she can open her mouth to speak the words and the disappointment is so common that it shouldn’t be so vivid.
“He got a late call, darling, I know he wanted to be here so much.”
It is a lie. You know it and she does.
It was the last night. The last chance for him to come and see you. It's a professional company. You were picked out of nearly forty high school students who auditioned, the only teenager surrounded by a company that performs an entire season together. You’re earning a stipend for it. The reviews in the paper were generous and positive. It is a success along every marker that you can think of. It's your proof that you could make a career of it. You're good -- everyone says so and you wanted him to hear that for once. Please.
Your mother is still talking, gushing, as if her words tumbling out one after the other might erase his absence and in her defense there are times, so many times, it's almost worked: "Darling this was your best night yet, I think I held my breath through most of your final monologue. I'm so very proud of you sweetheart!”
You know the smile is expected, and so you conjure it, bright and easy, brushing off the fact that his presence mattered and even if the smile isn’t fully felt you think you can make your mother believe it. Maybe you left the magic on stage, but you didn't leave your abilities there. You can smile, you can pretend it doesn't matter. It's a scene you've played a hundred times before and you know the lines and the blocking oh so well by now. Every show, every dance recital, every school play, every final theatre camp celebration. He's never there and you always smile as if it doesn't matter, as if next time he will be.
You receive a hug, and then you're distracted from the disappointment by more people. There are cast mates, congratulations and goodbyes, praise from the director of the company to your mother and encouragement for you to enroll in next year's theatre camp, and then one hand at your elbow.
You turn, he's taller than you, even though you know you've shot up this year. He's maybe college age, and when he introduces himself as writing for the student paper at the University, you can't help but smile a little at being right. He's got soft hair that's falling across his forehead, and he shakes it back with a flash of a grin, and you're very aware that you're wearing tights right now.
He writes for the student newspaper and already saw the show on review night, he tells you, but decided he wanted to see the show again. "I'm hoping we'll be seeing more of you this year?"
This brings a genuine thrill that is only partially because of the look in his eyes, and the line of his cheekbones, and briefly, for a moment, everything sparkles: You were noticed. Your mother is talking to someone behind you, and you are high on the praise of an entire audience, and you feel bold and brave. "Oh you'll be seeing more of me." You raise your eyebrows in a challenge, heart pounding. "Will I be seeing more of you?"
For a moment, everything freezes. You shouldn't have. Maybe he wasn't. He smiles. You can breathe again. The absence is still there, but it's being filled in now with something different - the presence in front of you, and the smile comes more easily as he asks you if you'd like his number.