Okay, it has recently come to my attention that asexual characters are vastly un-represented throughout the literary world. I intend to help change that.
In Manchester, New Hampshire there's an old theater. It's not like one of those movie theaters where sex crazed teenagers can place themselves conveniently out of sight and passionately make out with one another hidden in the back row. This was a live theater. Where a small chandelier hangs from the large, circular ceiling, shining an easy light over the house covered in dark, maroon velvet seats. A golden design snakes up and around the proscenium, perfectly framing the charcoal black stage. Hanging above the stage are rows and rows of different colored lights, all controlled by a board sitting in the balcony.
To most people this theater is a place to watch a show, escape for a few hours, or conquer a first date.
But for many people, this theater is home. It's where people shared their first kiss; their first solo; their first mic check; their first audition….
And for others, like Micah Holt, it's where they first fell in love.
Keep in mind, this was not Micah's first time performing at Manchester Regional Theatre (or MTR, to those too lazy to pronounce the extra few syllables). He'd been a regular cast member since he was in the 8th grade, and after three years of exploring the old building, he felt as if he already met everyone that was worth knowing.
But then he heard the whispers.
"Did you hear that Maison's coming back-?"
"She was going stuff at Central but because it's Summer break-"
"Well, good for her. She deserved to get better parts. Got kinda screwed over while she was here-"
After hearing so much about this Maison character, Micah elected to ask his best friend of two years, Devon Richards, about the situation.
"Hey Dev," Micah casually investigated, carefully setting his music binder on one of the arms of the chairs, and trusting it to stay balanced. "Who the hell is this Mason dude everyone is talking about?"
"Well," Devon began, running his hands through his fiery red hair. "For starters, this 'Mason dude' is actually a dudette. She did shows here for a while but left to do more stuff at her school."
"That's it? That's all there is to her?"
"Yeah man, what did you expect? Not like she won the Nobel Prize or anything. Although, she's kind of a nerd, so I wouldn't be surprised if she was at least working on that…"
"I don't know, I guess I just wanted to know why everyone making such a big deal about her. I mean, is she really that talented?"
Devon shrugged, clearly not too terribly interested in the conversation. "Eh, she's not bad by any standards. She's pretty close with that hot blonde dancer, Katie Beth Nichols- they go to the same school, I think. If she's KB's friend, she obviously can't be hideous... I don't know, I don't remember her too well, but she struck me as a pretty cool person. Hey can you go over that time step with me-?"
I just don't see what the big deal is, Micah thought to himself. I mean, she's one chick. What makes her all that special?
It wasn't until the third rehearsal that Micah finally got to form his own opinion on this girl he had heard all too much about.
As soon as Micah walked into the auditorium, a heat wave hit him in the face.
Great, he thought. We get to rehearse in this.
The July weather in New Hampshire was never too dreadfully hot, but because the beloved theater had no air conditioning, the little heat they had would always take a toll on the actors.
Micah had just sat his black rehearsal bag down on one of the seats, and started looking around for Devon when he heard a loud voice from behind him.
"You like Batman?" The voice said. Whipping around in surprise, Micah found himself looking at a girl who was maybe a year or so older than himself, but probably a foot shorter. He didn't take notice of her height though… Or her weight, or her hair color. No, the only thing Micah was able to notice were her eyes. They were an unfamiliar shade of green that he had never seen on a person until now.
"Um, I guess..." Micah said, confusion ringing through his voice.
How did she...
Your shirt, dumb ass.
"Well," she started, green eyes looking up at him, "If you're Batman, I get to be Robin."
Before he had the opportunity to question why this strange girl he'd known for all of 30 seconds was essentially implying that they were now best friends, Micah corrected"Well, technically there is a female Robin-"
"Yeah, yeah," she said, cutting him off. "Stephanie Brown. But..."
By that point Micah had stopped listening; he was far too busy trying to comprehend how this girl- a rather pretty girl, he may add- actually knew anything about something as lame as Batman.
"Wait," he said, halting her mid-sentence, "How do you know that? I've never met anyone who knows who Stephanie Brown is."
She looked at him sheepishly. "Sorry," she apologized, "Sometimes I just become obsessed with certain things and just can't shut up about that thing until I learn every single last detail about it; I only just got over my Batman phase. But I can see that I have sufficiently humiliated myself on my first day already, so I'll just shut up and leave."
She started to turn away, somewhat embarrassed, when Micah grabbed her shoulder and spun her back around.
"No, no, no, no" he laughed, "Don't apologize. I'm just surprised, I guess."
"The secret to humor-"
"-is surprise," Micah finished for her. "Aristotle."
She gave him a nervous smile. "Sorry, I usually wait until the second day to quote Greek philosophers… I'm Maison, by the way."
"Oh!" Micah realized, his brain finally putting all the pieces together. "I know who you are!"
She flashed him a skeptical look as she said, "It's kind of creepy that you know..."
Feeling the blush running up through his cheeks, Micah explained, "Oh, yeah yeah. Sorry, I guess everyone's just been talking about you coming back. It's kinda hard to not have heard of you by now."
"Well, all good things I hope," she lightly laughed out. Her mouth slightly curved up into a soft smile as she said "I'm gonna go catch up with KB. She's gonna teach me the dances I missed. I'll catch you around...?"
"Micah." he answered, filling his name into the blank.
Her grin turned into a full blown smile.
"Micah." she confirmed, giving him one last gaze before wedging herself through the groups of chatting freshman, and trotting up onto the stage where Katie Beth Nichols, one of the best dancers at MRT, greeted her with a hug.
No matter how hard he tried, Micah couldn't take his eyes off of this girl. The way her black jazz shoes glided across the stage as she discovered the motions of the dance. Her dark ponytail hid the true length of her hair, but the curls exploded out the back as if they were a firework trying to escape their containment. Even in a too-big t-shirt (from when the theatre did Godspell four years back) she still managed to look completely natural.
"Hey, Mikey," said a voice, snapping Micah out of his trance. "Whatcha lookin' at?"
"Nothing." Micah said a little too quickly, averting his eyes from the stage.
But Devon knew his friend too well to just let this slide. He glanced up at the stage, and let out an all-knowing chuckle.
"Oh, so I guess you've met Maison?" Devon snickered, clearly knowing the answer.
Micah hesitated, trying to think of something intelligent to retort. The best he could think of on short notice was "Shut up, asshole."
Devon laughed again "Man, this is gonna be a long summer."
I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter- please review. It would really mean a lot to me!