Never before had it hit me, how big this was. Everyone was looking at the actors and soon me, little o’me, the girl with the wild curls and bronzy skin. I couldn’t stand the pressure. I ran out of the wings and into the chorus room, hyperventilating. The door opened and footsteps approached. Without looking behind me I knew Lizzy was walking over with her rags in one hand and her fan in the other. Being the inn keeper’s wife in Les Miserables was not very glamorous but she could make her voice incredibly scratchy yet lovely at the same time.
“Azelma? Are you ok,” She rasped, her voice was trashed for the rest of the night after her song.
“No, Lizzy! How can I sing this part? How did I even get this part?” I screamed as quietly as I would so I would not disrupt the stage action of Mark and Sandra running from usually timid Zeke. But today the three went by the names of Jean Valjean, Cosette, and Javert.
“Maybe it has to do with the fact that you can sing low and high notes?” Lizzy suggested as she pulled on one of the ringlets my friends hadn’t destroyed to give me the street rat feel. My vocal ability was something everyone told me I had but I never saw it. Mr. Bill said street rats have to have certain finesse. So here I was playing Eponine.
“Lizzy, I can’t not with him as Marius.” I sighed jadedly. If it had been any other boy in school but him, this role would have just been awkward on one level, which I can handle. It was just my luck Hugo had gotten Marius’ role. I hadn’t even known he could sing! I had had enough if wallowing in self pity; I stood up, my single skirt grazing the floor due to my height and my chemise falling of my right shoulder. I looked at Lizzy and nodded. She understood and waved her hand at the doors.
Intermission was over and it was almost my cue. I waited and in a split second, my world changed, from Azelma’s to Eponine’s. I could hear every note as clear as if my brain was typing the notes on paper. When I sang the song "On My Own", I felt Eponine’s pain. It was the thunder of applause that reminded me the scene I dreaded was coming up faster than I had anticipated. Try as I might I couldn’t find any way to slow down time or maybe stop it so we’d never get to the "A Little Fall of Rain" scene; where Marius kisses Eponine’s forehead as she dies.
It was upon us, the scene was here.
At first the words came softly.
“Don’t you fret, M'sieur Marius…” but as the song escalated so did we.
“Will make the flowers…” we echoed each other perfectly. And instead of kissing my forehead, he kissed my lips.
I was never more alive.