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…And Then…He Kissed Me

By: Jamie Sommers

Email: jamiesommers23@hotmail.com

Rated: PG 13 (for language)

Synopsis:  Jamie Sullivan has been hurt in her efforts to help Landon with the school play and refuses to give him the time of day.  Landon Carter has been doing everything in his power to change her mind.  Will he?



Chapter 4:  Curtain Call



“Good afternoon Jamie.  How’re you feeling today?”

“Pretty good Dr. Rosen.  And yourself?”

“I’m doing just fine.  So…tonight’s opening night, huh?”

“Mmmmm hmmmm.”

“You nervous?”

“A little.”

“Well don’t be.  I’m sure you’ll do just fine.”

He began telling my father and I about my last blood test and said that so far everything looked fine.  The leukemia wasn’t getting any worse and neither was my anemia.  “Looks like doing this play may have kept you healthier than we expected.”  

‘Yeah…right…the play.’

The play was supposed to start at 8:00pm sharp but by the time I was done with my doctor’s appointment it was getting close to 7:45pm and I hadn’t even gotten my makeup done yet.  When I got to the theater I immediately went to wardrobe and began getting ready.  My eyes quickly scanned backstage for Landon, but I didn’t see him.  ‘It’s for the best Jamie.  You need to keep your mind on the play not on Landon.’

My first scene wasn’t until the second act so I had about forty-five minutes to get ready and fortunately I had the aide of one of the parents, Mrs. Renfro.  

Miss. Garber came in during intermission and looked at me like she had never seen me before.  “Oh my Jamie,” she put her hands over her mouth.  “You look breathtaking.”

‘Funny.  I don’t feel breathtaking.  I feel nervous and excited and...,' then I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror, 'well…maybe a little breathtaking.’  “Thank you Miss. Garber.”

It was the begininning of Act II so when the lights flashed it was time for everyone to take their places.  Landon was already on stage with Sally and I was standing off side, waiting for my cue, Sally's last line.

“That’s it.  We are through.  Go ahead and run your booze ya big dope, and I hope you drown in it.”  

I walked in with my cape draped over me so no one would recognize me.  “Soooo?  You must be the new girl he’s hired.  The singer?  Want some free advice about this one?  Stay far away he’s nothin’ but trouble and cheap spats.”

I listened as Landon said his next line, “See ya ‘round kid.”

He was supposed to circle me and look me up and down, “Take your coat off and stay awhile.”

“I’m still a bit cold and wet from the rain.”

“Yeah…well…suit yourself.  You wanna drink?”

“No thank you.”

We began trading our lines back and forth and during each scene as more and more people from his club were to exit until it was just him and I left on stage.  

“Look, I ain’t blaming ya.  I’m not asking for forgiveness either.”  That was my cue to take off my cloak and drape it over the chair.  “…just did what I had to do.”  

I watched Landon lose his concentration when he saw me.  He looked at me like he had that night we were in the cemetery together when I told him, ‘I just think if you took a look around, you might actually see what’s standing right before your eyes.’  I began to wonder, ‘Have you finally opened your eyes Landon?’

“When you walked…outta the rain and into my club…that wasn’t just a coincidence was it?”  

“Nothing’s coincidence.”  

“Your face.  You look so familiar…like this dame I knew once only it wasn’t real. It was a dream.”

“Tell me about this dream girl.”  

“Well I don’t remember…”  he looked as though he forgot his lines.  He glanced off stage then turned towards me and at that moment I knew Tom Thorton was no longer sitting across from Alicia, but Landon was sitting across from Jamie.  “All I know…is that you’re beautiful.”  

I was lost.  I didn’t know what to say.  I knew I had a line, but I just couldn’t remember what it was.

“The dream.  Help me to remember.  Will you sing for me?”

As the music started I pulled myself out of the mist I was in and began singing.  I pushed all thoughts of Landon to the back of my mind, ‘you can’t get distracted Jamie, you’ve got a play to finish.’    I sang each line the way it was rehearsed, did each move the way Miss. Garber wanted it done, but every time I had to sit back down at that table and look across into his eyes…

Memories of Landon sitting with me on my porch went through my mind, watching him tutor Luis, listening to his jokes while stargazing.  ‘You’re in love with him Jamie.  No.  I can’t be.’  I was relieved when I finished my song and began moving back to my original position--sitting at the table across from him.  I hummed the end of melody and the next thing I knew…he leaned over the table…and then…he kissed me.

The applause started, the curtain closed, the lights went out and we didn’t move.  ‘He kissed me.  Say something.  What am I supposed to say to someone that insulted me and still hasn’t apologized for it? Maybe this is his way of saying he's sorry.  Maybe he's trying to tell you he feels the same way about you.  No Jamie.  He doesn’t feel the same way about you.  He just got caught up in the moment of the play, that’s all.’  We just sat there looking at each other until Sally and Eddie came up to us and whispered that we had to take our places for the curtain call.

##

“Jamie!  You were marvelous!”

“Thank you Miss. Garber.”

“Wasn’t she marvelous Reverend?”

My father had a look of curiosity on his face.  "Yes.  Yes she was.”

Miss. Garber needed to remind me about a few other things for tomorrow night’s final performance then my father and I left.

“So…Landon did a fine job.  I guess all your practicing really helped.”

“I guess.”

“I don’t recall you ever practicing a kiss though…” The rest of his question went unfinished.  I simply looked out the window of our car and shrugged it off.

‘No daddy.  We never practiced a kiss because there wasn’t supposed to be a kiss.  But there was tonight.’  And I wondered, would he kiss me again tomorrow?

##

The audience started to arrive as I was getting ready for the show.  My hair was curled, my costume was hanging up on a hanger against the wall and my make-up was being applied by one of the parents that volunteered to help with the production.  

She spoke of last night’s performance, of my song and what a surprise Landon Carter turned out to be.  “No one expected him to be so talented.  I told my husband that he just had to come to tonight’s performance to see you two…”

‘Do you think he’ll kiss you tonight Jamie?  Do you want him to?  I don’t know.’  I sat there as Mrs. Renfro applied my make-up and chatted away thinking about the conflicting emotions I had within me. 'You want him to kiss you and you know it.  That's why you're so nervous.  Do you think he wants to kiss you too?'  On one hand I wanted nothing more than for Landon to lean over that table and kiss me again, but on the other hand I was still so angry with him.  We had seen each other so many times since that fateful day by the lockers, but he still hadn’t said he was sorry.  In the beginning he just tried to blow it off like nothing happened, then we just went back to ignoring each other, now… ‘He kissed you.’  It all kept coming back to that kiss.  ‘Well…if he kisses you tonight then you’ll know he really wanted to.’

Mrs. Renfro was applying the finishing touches to my make-up as Miss. Garber entered the dressing room. “Jamie?”  

“Yes, Miss. Garber?”

“Oh, dear you look lovely.”

“Thank you.”

“I’ve already spoken to Landon about last night’s rewrite and decided I really liked his little addition so we’ll be leaving the kiss in at the end of your song.”  

I’m sure she must’ve noticed the look of complete shock on my face.  “Is that all right dear?”

“Ummm…sure.”

She clapped her hands together and said, “Fabulous!  Well, now all we have to do is pray that Landon doesn’t forget his lines again.  All though he did improvise very well last night, don’t you think?”

“Mmmmm hmmmm.”  My mind was drifting again, ‘he’s going to kiss you again tonight.  He’s going to kiss you.’  

Landon and I went through our scenes the way we had rehearsed and they went off without a hitch until the end of my song. As I began to hum the melody at the end, my stomach started churning.  'It’s coming.  This is it.’  I waited but the kiss never came.  He just sat there and looked at me and all my hopes came crashing to the ground.  ‘Now you know Jamie.  He never wanted to kiss you.  Even tonight when he was supposed to, he couldn’t do it. So...now you know.’