Chapter Five


"And through your bad dreams
I'll be right there, baby
Holding your hand, telling you
Everything is all right
And when you cry, I'll be right there
Telling you, you were never nothing 
Less than beautiful ..."
Angel Standing By ~ Jewel

As always, morning came. Jason awoke drowsily to see that clock reading 5:11 a.m. Soon, people would be getting up, Wing-Yee would be back, the day would be beginning - he had to get back to his room, and fast. He looked down at his sleeping partner and decided not to wake her. It would be better that way... it would be easier that way...

He got out of bed, carefully tucking the covers around Belle. She murmured something in her sleep and shifted, as if sensing his absence.

“Shhh...” he whispered, softly kissing her, stroking her hair, hoping he wouldn’t wake her. “Stay asleep, honey.”

Perhaps she unconsciously got his message, and she didn’t awaken. He quickly got dressed and quietly, very carefully, made his way to the door. He stood there for a minute, watching her sleep, thinking about all the times he’d watched her before, wondering if he ever would again. Wondering if he’d ever be able to watch her sleepwithout knowing he had to leave, without secrets, without fear.

“Goodbye, Belle,” he whispered, knowing she couldn’t hear him, but needing to speak the words aloud. “I’ve got to go... but I’ll be back... someday... I hope.”

And he did hope. He had to. It was all he could do, for now.

When she awoke two hours later, she did so to find herself alone. He was gone... of course he was gone, just like he had been every time they’d been together on tour. There had been times at home in Riverside that she’d woken up in his arms, but it hadnever been... right. The way it was supposed to be. It had always been awkward, sweet and yet tentative, hesitant, always with that overhanging guilt taking over everything. There were always so many things she wanted to say, so many thing she knewhe wanted to say, but they never spoke much. They couldn’t. Their hearts wouldn’t let them, as long as they were forced to hold back.

7:34 a.m. She lay in bed awake, knowing she should get up, but not wanting to. In two hours, Colin would be there... and she’d have to start living a lie. More pretending, more hiding, more secrets... more confusion. Because she didn’t know what she was feeling. Somewhere deep inside her, she’d never stopped caring for her boyfriend of four years, and yet, when she thought about Jason, she couldn’t stop the feelings that arose.

She sighed and forced herself to get out of bed. She was just going through her suitcase, trying to find an outfit to wear, when she heard a key turn in the door. The door opened a crack.

“Wing-Yee?” she called. “Is that you?”

“Shhh!” her friend admonished, slipping into the room. “There might be someone in the hall. They’ll hear you.”

“So?” Belle pulled her black shirt out from under a pile of clothes. “I was just asking if it was you...”

“I don’t want anyone else to know I wasn’t here,” Wing-Yee told her, with a furtive glance to make sure the door was shut. “You won’t tell anyone, will you?”

“Of course not,” Belle reassured her. “But... where were you? You can tell me. I won’t tell anyone...”

Wing-Yee sat down on her still-made bed and shook her head.

“I can’t tell you,” she said quietly. “I can’t tell anyone. I wish I could tell you... but I can’t. Not yet.”

Belle knew all about secrets. She had enough of them to hold herself. And so she didn’t press the issue with her friend... just hoped whatever secret Wing-Yee was hiding was a lot nicer than her own, a lot safer, a lot less heartbreaking.

“Okay,” she responded softly. “But remember, if you ever need to talk... I’m always here.”

“I know,” her friend said with a half-smile. She then smiled mischievously and changed the subject. “You’d better go get dressed. Colin’s gonna be here in less than two hours, and it’ll probably take you that long just to get ready.”

“Oh, shut up!” Belle replied with a forced laugh, throwing a pillow at her friend. Two hours... less than two hours...

An hour and a half later, they entered the rink in the Edmonton Coliseum for their first rehearsal with the new tour members. The others were all there, milling around, waiting, as Lisa went over directions with the lighting and sound crews. Soon, RossLatimer, Jenny Alcott, Montgomery and Milton, and Laura Bhaer would be there, ready to join the cast... and so would Colin.

Belle and Wing-Yee walked in and waved to Kayla and Shelly, who were sitting in the front row of seats, waiting for rehearsals to begin. Wing-Yee went over to join them, but Belle was scanning the rink for her partner. He found her first.

“Morning,” he said softly, looking like he wanted to say something more, to touch her, to do something.

“Morning,” she replied in the same tone, looking up at him for a minute before looking away.

There was silence between them for a moment as they searched for words, something to break the ice, the awkwardness, the fear.

“Well... I’d better go,” Belle finally said. “Uh... you know, get ready. Wing-Yee has my bag with her...”

“Yeah, you’d better go,” he agreed, nodding. “Well... I guess we’ll practice soon, eh?”

“Yeah.” She couldn’t believe she was talking to Jay like this, like he was a stranger... “Look, there’s Wing-Yee with Shelly. I’m gonna go get my bag.”

He gave her a little wave, and she walked off to join her friends. For some mysterious reason, she suddenly felt the dreadful urge to cry... but she knew she couldn’t. Not now. Not here. Not when...

“Belle?”

She turned around. There stood Colin Davenport... her boyfriend.

He was here. Oh, God, he was here. How was she going to deal with this? What was she going to do?


Onto Chapter 6
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© 1996 by Y.T. Siddiqui. All rights reserved.
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