My Happy Ending
Epilogue: My Happy Ending
Ah… the beloved Annual School Concert.
Despite the teacher's efforts to keep all the students quiet as we file off the stage, there's a rush of chaos and laughing and grins as we finish up the last item of the night. God, being backstage… that's the best part. Especially when you get to have the concert held in the Melbourne Concert Hall. The stage itself isn't too special, but the ambiance is… wow. Just… wow.
I've always been good with words, haven't I?
Still feeling pretty high from the rush of being on stage and performing before a large, live audience, I don't bother trying to hide the silly grin lighting itself across my face. Brushing back hair from my eyes, I look around for Liv. As a soprano two, she should file off the stage shortly after me and I wait in the wings for her. Sure enough, she comes off the stage with a similar grin on her face.
"I can't believe we didn't actually screw up!" she enthuses, one hand waving out in the air to emphasize her disbelief. I laugh.
"I love the confidence that you have in our Senior Choir," I tease her, moving aside so that the rest of the second Sopranos could come off stage. She sticks her tongue out as me and we head to the rehearsal room directly behind the stage. It's a medium sized room with white walls and a large aboriginal painting covering one wall. The side of the room is lined with a couple of grand pianos and timpani drums.
Shrugging off our blazers, we go to pick up our school jumpers that we had left there. "What time is it?" I ask, also collecting my water bottle and taking a large sip.
"Just after half past ten?" Liv guesses, taking the drink bottle off me for herself. I feign a look of surprise as we walk out of the rehearsal room and down a short corridor to the foyer. If we're lucky we may get to see the end of Cassandra's speech, I'll just have to remember to pick up my saxophone from the very back room later. I pick up my pace a bit.
"Are you saying that we may actually be running on time for once?" I gasp, hand flying to my heart. Liv rolls her eyes at me.
"Amazing, isn't it?" she asks dryly.
As we step out into the foyer, we take a left and head to the double doors leading to the back of the concert hall. Upon seeing our school uniforms, the ushers don't bother asking for tickets but step aside to let us in. It's dark at the back of the hall, but the stage is brightly lit and I smile a little to myself as Cassandra stands at the podium.
Liv goes to sit over with Phil in some spare seats off to the side, but I choose to remain standing at the back. I rest my hands lightly on the last row of chairs in front of me, my blazer slung loosely over one arm. To be honest, I tune out Cassandra's speech. I mean, come on… it's the end of the night and I've just spent the last couple of hours running around and playing music. I think I've earned the right to let my thoughts drift a bit.
"Caroline, Caroline! All the guys would say she's mighty fine…" a husky voice sings softly by my ear. Caught by surprise, I give a small yelp and jump backwards into a warm, male body. Before I can spin around and hit Justin for scaring me, he snakes an arm around my waist to hold me in place.
"Milano, I am going to kill you…" I growl out the threat, keeping sure to keep my voice low as my earlier yelp had attracted a number of angry glares from a couple members of the audience.
I feel Justin smile as he kisses me lightly on the cheek. "No, you won't," he offers smugly.
I turn my face slightly to tell him otherwise, but he captures my mouth with his before I can get a word out. Almost without thinking, I relax back against him and lean into the kiss. It just seems so… natural. When I pull back, he's wearing that same smug smile as before, his dark eyes dancing. That's when it hits me that he is actually here.
I blink up at him, confused, and his grin widens. "Wait… you are… huh?"
"I love how you have such a talent with words, CK," he drawls, loosening his embrace enough to let me turn around. I rest my hand on his, tapping my fingers absently, almost as though I'm playing the saxophone again. Huh… too much music for Caroline Kameron, that's for sure.
"You were saying…?" he questions, dropping his head down slightly and leaving his hand relaxing lazily on my hip. When I don't answer straight away, he shifts his hand so that he is now holding my own in his.
"I, uh... huh? Oh… what are you doing here?" I stumble my way out of what stupor I was in. I have to admit… I was too busy staring at his lips to pay proper attention to what he was saying. So I'm not too good at multi-tasking, sue me. I then realize how my question may sound and I hastily try to do some damage control, "not that I'm not happy you're here! I mean, I'm surprised – good surprised, though… and…"
Justin is kind enough to put me out of my misery. Of course, he chooses to do that by laughing at me.
He seems amused by my reaction to his presence.
"Didn't I tell you that I'd come and watch you sing?" he asked, brows lifted slightly. He pulls his hand back a bit to draw me closer to him. As the already close distance between us grows even smaller, it's all I can do not to wrap my arm around his neck to pull him down for a kiss. I think he can sense this, and the look he sends me is a teasing one.
Stupid brown eyes…
That's it. It's his brown eyes. They're just… they're…
…my thoughts are drifting.
Fighting hard to concentrate on what he has just said, an involuntary smile tugs at the corner of my lips. Actually, I do remember him saying that. It was that night in the car when he had given me a lift home from the charity music event.
"I thought that was only if I had a solo?" I challenge.
"Nah… I was just adamant to hear you sing," he grins.
He laughs, and nudges my chin up with the hand still entwined with mine. "Who's the stubborn one now?" he smirks. I open my mouth to protest, but close it again. What use would it do to deny it? We both know that I'm stubborn as a mule. Though, like him, I prefer to think of it as determined.
Yeah… that's it.
He then continues to hum an off-key Roses by Outkast as he plays with my hand. I shoot him a look. "It's sweet that you would pick a song with my name in it… but you couldn't find a better song?"
He pretends to looks hurt, "but what's wrong with that one?"
I can't tell whether he's feigning innocence or not. "Do you even know any words past Caroline… all the guys would say she's mighty fine?"
He hesitates, unsure as to whether there is a right answer to this question.
I roll my eyes, "let me refresh your memory… Caroline… see, she's the reason for the word 'bitch'"
"Oh, indeed," I repeat, though the sly look on my face clearly shows that I don't really care all that much. Still, it's fun seeing him squirm. "Still think Roses was such a good song choice?"
Sensing the need to do the damage control this time, Justin chose this moment to whip his other hand out from behind his back. "Look, roses!" he exclaims sheepishly as though it would solve everything.
My eyes light up as they come to rest upon the small (non hand picked, I might add) roses that he held out proudly. I throw my arms around him, nearly knocking him over. He grins, my reaction apparently delighting him, "a simple thank-you would suffice"
What can I say? I'm a sucker for flowers.
Taking hold of the roses in one hand, I use my other to guide his face down to meet mine. I pause when our faces are mere centimetres apart. "Thank-you," I whisper against his lips. He doesn't respond, but kisses me slowly, both hands free now to draw me closer from around the waist.
We break apart only as clapping erupts in the hall. Justin glances up and I turn around as Cassandra finishes her speech. Woah, was she really talking for that whole time? If the title of School Captain included making speeches that length, you can count me out of the running.
Turning around fully now, I lean back against Justin, feeling extremely content as his arms wrap protectively around me. We both watch as Jake walks out on stage dressed in his school uniform, even though (as far as I was aware) he wasn't in any performances tonight. He has a small bouquet of flowers to present to the Captain as a thank-you from the school. The Music Prefect (who had given a speech just before Cassandra) is also called up on stage and Brendan Anderson walks out with a bunch of flowers for her.
I watch Jake and Cassandra closely as the applause starts to die down. He hands her the flowers, and kisses her on the cheek as is usual in these flower exchanges. However, I notice that he smiles and whispers something extra to her. She grins and mouths something back in return.
I smile as they share their own private joke. I seem to be smiling a lot tonight. Justin notices this.
"What are you grinning about now?" he queries.
"Mm? Oh, nothing…" I murmur, covering up my smile and twisting to face him.
Cassandra and Jake are going to be fine. Justin and I are going to be fine. It's all going to be… fine.
It's as close as I'm going to get to the happy ending that I was hoping for.
The lights in the Concert Hall rise and I find Justin staring down at me, his eyes studying and his mouth smiling. He looks as gorgeous as ever. "Love you, CK," he smiles.
My heart skips a beat, as it always does with him. "Love you too, Brown Eyes," I smile back.
My Happy Ending?
Hah. We're only just beginning.
«--dangerous-fox— - please review
This didn't take me forever… of course not… -shifty eyes-. Okay, I am so sorry. My muse ran off and… apparently died on me. It disappeared around seven months ago, and if anyone sees it, please let me know. ( That, and the other reason I haven't been updating lately, is because of final exams. Ugh. I've finally finished school forever! And currently only have one exam left to go. Yay.
Anyway, omfg. FINISHED. No more CK and Justin and Cassandra and Jake, Scott, Carly, Leanne… damn. I actually had fun writing this one. More so than 'Loved Forever'.. which I cringe over sometimes. Well, the beginning parts, anyway.
I highly doubt that they'll be sequel to this, so no one go getting your hopes up. P
Now, if you want to be nice, you can all leave me a review.
Just to answer some questions that I don't think I ever got around to answering…
Strawberry – Yeah, I live in Melbourne and we do have homeroom. Or… my school does anyway. So, nope. Not only Americans. And our Year 11 formal was in the middle of the year, and our Year 12 one was the first week back. )
JoanK – pretty much just explained this in my answer to Strawberry, but yep. I'm a Melbourne girl. 1) We have trams here. 2) It is cold in Melbourne, but I've been surfing a couple of times down at Phillip Island. 3) We have a Luna Park here in Melbourne too, but Luna Point was just a place that I made up for the story. ;
To everyone who guessed the play – King Lear. Yup. Quite a few of you actually got it right. Yay. D And yeah, I am studying… did study it for Literature this year, and wrote on it for my final exam.
… I would write more.. but it's 1.30am and I should get to sleep.
Love you all. Please read some of my other stories if you get the chance, though I honestly can't say when they next time I'll update them will be.