I couldn’t help myself as I squinted, the bright spotlights and dazzling camera flashes blinding me.
“What’s your name, love?” I turned my head and saw Jacob Frye (yes, THE Jacob Frye) smiling at me as he held his hand out for me to take, an invitation to join him onstage. I stuffed my hands into the pockets of my jeans as I shrank back from all the attention for only a moment.
“Lzzie,” I answered in a soft voice as the rock star smiled brightly, steering me to the center of the stage by placing a hand onto my back, making me panic.
What if he feels my scars, I panicked, glancing up at his face. To my relief, he seemed not to notice the telltale bumps and divots that mapped across my body.
“Lzzie, a beautiful name for a fallen angel,” I heard him say into his microphone. I snorted, trying to stop the panic attack that was happening. I couldn’t help but wonder how many girls he had said that to.
He picked up his guitars and began to strum the strings, making my anxiety shoot through the roof for some reason. I nervously flitted my eyes around the stage, looking for an escape and I found it.
Stage right wasn’t clustered with stagehands, but my twin sister was there, sitting in her beaten down wheelchair, a big smile on her face.
“From the first moment I saw you
I was smitten, baby, ohh- oh- oh -oh
You glanced my way and smiled
I knew that you are the one I need”
I turned my back to the crowd of screaming girls, all wishing that they were me. I snorted quietly. I wished that I was in the cramped apartment that I shared with my little sister. Not here, where everyone could see how vulnerable I was.
“You hold the key to my heart
You are the one I love
You are the angel of my heart
You are the one I’ve been searching for
You put a spell on me and I’m enchanted
You are the angel of my heart”
I closed my eyes and imagined that I was in the basement of our apartment, practicing my violin and choreography. It wasn’t working!
“Sweet angel, you got me flying-”
I bolted off the stage, passing Molly Anne and gasping, “Need air!” I ignored her shocked expression as I barreled past people until I saw a sign that read EXIT in big red letters. I pushed it open and emerged in a dingy alleyway, which I ran down until I found a fire escape leading up to the roof.
I began to climb, ignoring the hot tears that were trickling down my cheeks and soon came onto the roof of the city music hall. I fumbled with my phone, looking for a track to play and got out my violin from its backpack- like case.
I positioned myself in the center of the roof as the piano music began to play before raising my violin to my chin and beginning to run the bow across the strings as my own version of the Spider Man theme song began to enter the world once more.
I closed my eyes and imagined myself in a beautiful dress and not the Goodwill tee shirts, jeans and sneakers that I wore as I began to dance around the rooftop, doing pirouettes and arabesques as the climax rose dramatically.
As I danced around the rooftop, careful not to fall to my death, I got the feeling that I was being watched. The song came to an end, and I opened my eyes to see the beautiful, full moon smiling down at me. I spun around and froze at who had been watching me.
“Wow,” commented Jacob Frye, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “I would’ve never had guessed to stick dancing and playing the violin together in one package.”
I shrugged bashfully, tugging my jacket hood onto my head, hoping that he hadn’t seen the scars that marred the back of my neck.
He took a step towards me and I instinctively stepped back. The rock star seemed to notice for the first time that I was skittish around him- around everyone really- and he stopped, holding out his hands.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized, for which part, I didn’t know. “I know- the noise can be overwhelming.”
“It’s not that,” I piped up, surprising myself. I turned a bright ruby red and shrank back into my hoodie more.
“Care to tell me?” Jacob asked me, smiling crookidly at me. “I promise you, I can keep a secret.”
I sighed heavily, avoiding his eyes as I quietly packed up my violin. “The only person I truly trust is my sister.” I left it at that as I swung the case onto my back and made my way past the world famous rock star to the fire escape.