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The hall way was quiet with a suffocating anticipation. We had rehearsed this, we had spent hours and hours running lines, and donning 1920s era clothing for a moment. A moment which was finally upon us, it was finally our chance to show the world our interpretation of the “Queen of Mystery” Agatha Christie’s timeless play “And Then There Were None.” For me however this story, as most of mine are, is a about a girl, a girl and self-pity… but that comes later.
I stood back stage in my jeans; button up black shirt, and a blazer… a far cry from the carefully selected period garb of my cast mates, you see while being a member of the cast I was the least important. My two lines consisted of a monologue supposedly coming from a record player and then I’d repeat the first sentence of my verse before being turned off. Hey this was certainly worth the three months of staying after school and nearly depriving myself of a social life for the stage… right?
For the stage whom am I kidding? I didn’t even appear on stage, so no suit with matching hat for this gentleman. As I sulked in the partially lit hallway, which ran behind the stage my friend Casey, slowly approached in a comical white and red striped suit with a straw hat, looking more like a barber shop singer than a playboy as his character description implied. I gave a quick smile, and nodded
“How are you?” I asked.
“Fine, just got the preshow jitters, you know,” He replied.
In fact I did not know, I had never before been a part of any type of production and my part hardly caused me any stress. Besides if I really needed to I could easily just pull out the piece of paper, which had my monologue on it. This slightly ripped piece of parchment in my breast pocket, which happens to still be in the exact pocket of that particular blazer. Has become another item, which is for lack of a better phrase a part of me. A part of me that I’m too afraid, I suppose to throw away just yet… but that comes later.
“Yeah,” I replied
At that moment from the stage door a girl emerged, she will become an especially important person in my life… but that comes later. She was dressed in all black as the crewmembers where required to be. Her hair tied in a ponytail, the light glistening off her lip piecing. A piercing who’s cold metal I would soon feel against my own lips, and one day grow to hate.
“Hey, Jenna,” Casey said.
“Oh hey guys,” She replied. “Ready for Showtime?”
“Hell yeah,” I said with a lack of enthusiasm, for effect of course.
“So Casey who’s that girl you like?” I asked.
Out of context sure… but Casey and I had been joking around about the subject of girls for about a month now, he never wanted to tell me who he liked, and I never told him because I knew the girl I liked (read as fell hopelessly for) would never be mine.
“Oh! Casey likes a girl?” Asked Jenna.
“Yeah but he won’t tell me who,” I said.
“It’s cause it wouldn’t matter, she’s not going to like me back I’m not the big jock type, I mean gosh I’m spending my Friday night in a high school play that no one is going to see, but that’s what I like to do, it just sucks that’s how girls are,” he said.
Well I must say that this answer was so full of honesty and hit so close to home that I was taken aback. You see I’m just like Casey; I’m the kind of guy who walks to the beat of his own drummer even though I know that I should be marching. I refuse to simply do something because that’s what everyone else is doing, but rather because it’s what brings me joy. This momentary feeling or connection would be important, much more important that I would have imagined it to be at the moment… but that comes later.
“Well… I feel ya man, in fact a girl who is out of my league and broke my heart is the only reason I’m here. I wasn’t going to audition but she convinced me to,” I said.
“Aw, that’s awful,” Jenna, said.
“It’s okay, but my main point is that no matter what, Casey there will always be another bigger, more athletic, over all a more jerky guy who the girl will go for, and we’ll be left to wonder exactly what’s wrong with us we listen to them complain about how he doesn’t treat her right, but that’s okay cause that’s just how it is for nice guys,” I said.
“But you guys are the kind of guys that a girl will fall for and you’ll get married, where as those other guys won’t, I mean I like nice guys,” Jenna said.
Please forgive me for being so cynical about the idea that a girl like Jenna would be one of “those girls” one of the girls that would fall for a nice guy like Casey or I. You see she kind of ran with a bad crowd and dated guys from said crowd. Imagine my surprise when she proved me wrong… well for about seven months anyways before she informed me over the smoke of a recently lit cigarette that her and I where
“Just not working out,”
Wish I had known at the time. Even now as I sit typing this… vent art for lack of a better word, thinking about that piece of paper in my blazer jacket in my wardrobe and how much has changed since that November evening I can’t help but find comfort in the fact that Casey also felt like he could do no right in the eyes of girls. It comforts me to know that other men have the same thoughts and I’m not alone in self-pity… it’s later.