NONE OTHER THAN
I walk onto the stage in the dark with Chelsea behind me. She stops in her spot and I continue walking, my head down, until I reach where I'm supposed to be. I face the back of the stage, my head down and my arms at my side feeling the cap on my head secure with bobby pins. The rest of my costume is consistent with the other girls; a flowy skirt, tank top, and scarf. My skirt is an olive green, my tank top a dark blue, my scarf dark blue and tan, and my hat a matching olive green.
The song begins, Marc Cohn's "Stranger in a Car." The light piano music moves Chealsea and I toward each other, spinning—our skirts flying out—but we never touch. Her fingers reach for mine as mine reach for hers, both of us just missing the other. The piano refrain repeats itself, and we repeat the cycle—just missing each other, never touching.
The words begin, "There's a stranger in a car," the low voice sings. I hold still and look up to the lights, my hand stretched toward the sky like I choreographed, a girl asking for guidance—which direction do I go?—as Chelsea bends in a kind of bow on the other side of the stage.
"Driving down your street." Chelsea leaps from her bow upstage and turns to the ground, rolling one leg over the other to stand again. "Acts like he knows who you are," she leans towards me, my face and arm still reaching upward, and beckons with a hand. I lower my arm and follow her slowly as she circles me, beckoning.
"Slaps his hand on the empty seat and says," She falls to the ground, her hands slapping the stage, and then she rolls gracefully up once more, "are you gonna get in?" she leans forward, her right hand outstretched to me and her body almost falling once more. I lean forward to meet her, arm outstretched and we almost touch, "or are you gonna stay out?" We both turn, to our respective "right" and stand up straight.
"Just a stranger in a car," Chelsea and I leap upstage on our opposite sides, reaching toward the audience, then stand and turn three times as the other twelve girls enter the stage, leaping and turning, as the music says, "might be the one they told you about."
The piano refrain plays once more, and all fourteen of us, Chealsea and I in front and the other 12 girls in the back, step forward, right arm outstretched, calling for guidance again, then turn to the right or left, and reach out to our partner. I reach out to Chelsea and she reaches for me.
"Well you never were one for cautiousness," I smile as I spin and remember why I chose to choreograph to this song. When I had heard it, I remembered Christmas Eve, when Darren had conned me into accepting his offer to drive me home. The girls are still frozen in their poses. "You open the door," I sway towards Chelsea, wrap my hand around hers, and pull her so we are standing face to face in the middle of the stage. "He gives you a tender kiss," We grasp our hands around each other's wrists, our arms cross, and bend backwards, circling clockwise with our upper bodies before meeting upright again.
I had gotten into the car—or rather, was forced into the car—and thought it was just a car ride. "And you can't even hear 'em no more," the twelve girls start dancing again in pairs, reaching toward Chelsea and I as we circled each other, staring into each other's faces and our hands still grasping each other's wrists. "All the voices of choices," the girls fall in a ripple, left to right, "now only one road remains," and gracefully roll back to standing.
I had realized that night that part of finding love was taking that chance, getting in a stranger's car, so to speak.
"And strangers in a car," Chelsea and I let go of each other and spin to face opposite sides of the stage before the music's speed picks up once more. "Two hearts, two souls, tonight, two lanes," the girls split to either side of the stage, staggering, and leaving an open aisle in the middle. Chelsea and I dance through the aisle, tumbling, spinning, and reaching out to one another as the girls, all on different counts, look up, then down, downstage, and repeat.
"You don't know where you're going," the song says as Chelsea picks me up and spins me down the aisle, and it was true. I wasn't sure where I was going, but I had constants—my family, my friends; Darren. "You don't know what you're doing," Chelsea set me down and spun to the other side of the stage, the two of us still centered in the front as the girls spread out behind us once more.
"Hell it might be the highway to heaven," we all reach up with both arms, one foot still pointing to the ground as we hop off the ground, all fourteen of us in the air for one moment, "and it might be the road to ruin." We land on our pointed foot, using it to roll us to the ground as we tuck our other leg underneath it in a graceful movement, rolling onto our backs with arms and legs outstretched.
"But this is a song," Slowly, Chelsea and I stand up and walk slowly towards each other, "for strangers in a car," tentatively, we place our hands flat against the others. The girls behind us pair up again to help each other stand. "Baby maybe that's all, we really are."" Chelsea picks me up, as does one partner of each pair of the girls', with her hands on my hips and mine holding on to her shoulders, and spins me clockwise as the piano refrain repeats. "Stranger's in a car, just stranger's in a car," we are all set down at the same time, gently and slowly. "Stranger's in a car," everyone faces their partner, faces looking down at their hands as they places both palms against each other's.
The lights dim and a spotlight lands
The end could be happy, or it could be sad, but you had to take the chance to find out.
"Stranger's in a car."
"That was incredible!" Chelsea says as we get off the stage. We are both out of breath from dancing and she hugs me with all her might. "I'm going to miss performing your dance. It was some incredible choreography, Duke."
"Thanks," I say, smiling, as she heads out the door.
Mine was the last performance of the concert, so the girls are all heading out the backstage doors to meet their family and friends at the front of the auditorium. I make my way through the doors and hardly have one moment in which I see Darren before his arms are around me and I'm in the air as he swings me around.
"That was incredible, Ace!" he laughs. I can feel his smile in my neck as he hugs me close to him. "You choreographed that last dance, yeah?" I nod and he hugs me tighter. "Absolutely incredible."
I laugh along with him, my smile wide. "Thanks," I say. I'm still a little shy about accepting praise about my dances.
"Are you Delaney Rose Knight?" Darren sets me down and I turn to face the woman who addressed me.
"Yes, I am." She holds out her hand and I shake it, nervous. I knew there would be scouts at the performance, but I didn't think they would talk to me directly.
"I'm Ellie Stotts, from the local University dance program. I saw that you were the choreographer for that last dance, "Taking the chance," and I was wondering if you had received any information about our school?"
"I've looked at the program a little, but I haven't received anything from the program as of yet," I answer nervously. Darren places a comforting hand on my shoulder—he's become extremely good at telling when I'm nervous.
"Well, I think you should be hearing from us soon. I really enjoyed your performance." She smiled and shook my hand again.
I stuttered a "thank you," as she walked back down the hallway and out of the auditorium. I turn to Darren, my eyes wide. "That was as good as a scholarship offer, wasn't it?"
Darren grins, looking proudly down at me, "I'm pretty sure it was." I squeal delightedly and jump into his arms, hugging him again.
I couldn't be happier that I had decided to take that chance with none other than Darren Teigan.
AUTHOR'S (FINAL) NOTES:
Well, it took me long enough to give it to you, but here is the Epliogue to a story that took much too long to write. I know it has a lot of faults and editing to be done, but as for now I plan on focusing on school (sadly) first and writing second.I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has stuck with me and my (ridiculously slow) posting of the story. Your support is absolutely fantastic and really pushed me to finish the whole thing, even when I was discouraged. This is the first story I have ever finished and I am very proud of getting all the way through it.
I have a great majority of a story finished-- half of it to be exact. I participated in NaNoWriMo for the second year and actually wrote something quite productive and, so far as I can tell, pretty darn good. I would LOVE it if you checked it out. The first chapter of Sapphire Rose is being posted simultaneously with this epilogue so that I can get it out there to some of the fans I have already (Warning, these two stories are nothing alike. Sapphire Rose is very much a fantasy fiction based in an entirely different world.) and hopefully you will share it with your reading inclined friends.
I still plan on working on Duckie; Be Happy, but I want to keep on the road of Sapphire Rose until it is finished right now. I have several chapters written already and will be posting them, at most, once a week as I polish them up as well as writing more. I love the characters that have popped up in the ridiculously fast-paced writing of NaNoWriMo and hope that you will enjoy them as well.
Again, thank you all for your support and I truly hope you have enjoyed reading my work. :)
P.S. I am changing my pen name to one that I have been using for a while. Just giving those of you a warning so you aren't scared by the switch of my name! The new pen name will be Mac Vicchrilli.