Chapter twenty-two: the new job
The next day I called Mr. Gone, and told him that I would be working at another circus, and to please manage without me. I chuckled after I said that. Mr. Gone, I could tell, was plenty mad that he didn’t have a me to be mean to any more, even though he tried to keep his voice calm.
The only thing I didn’t like about moving circuses was that I probably wouldn’t see Azul again. He was the best friend I had ever had and he was the one that made my life not so miserable. Oh, how I wish I knew his address! Then I could write him letters. But no matter how hard I searched in the phone book, or looked up his name on the computer, I couldn’t find anything. It was as if he didn’t exist.
A few days after Christmas, me, Mom and Dad bundled up and took a walk to the downtown café to meet my new manager, Mr. Walker.
I pushed open the door to the wonderfully warm café and saw Mr. Walker sitting down at a table. I waved and went with my parents to join him.
He was a black man, probably in his mid thirties. He had short, curly hair and a beard. He had really white teeth that flashed whenever he smiled.
As we talked, he told me about how often they moved, and showed me some pictures of the circus on his phone. And then he told me about my trainer, Angelina, who was his cousin.
He sipped his coffee and I sipped my tea (coffee really just wasn’t my thing) and my parents chatted to him about my training. I just sat back and relaxed.
After a couple of weeks, once plans were made and everything, the whole family came to see me off at my new circus. I was pretty excited.
We met Mr. Walker just a few miles away. The circus was currently stated in Wausau, and we would go by plane there. He joined us in the limo and soon we were at the airport, and then in the plane, flying to Wausau.
We arrived at the circus the next day. We had stayed overnight in a hotel. I shared a room with Lilly this time.
We took a tour of the circus, seeing the stage, and the rooms. But best of all was my room.
I had a whole trailer thingy to myself, which was attached to the circus train. It was completed with a bathroom, a tiny kitchen, a fridge, and a single bed. There were two windows on opposite walls, and one looked out on to the lake, and the other some trees. It was very cosy.
So, I trained hard at the circus for two years. I could have trained shorter, but I wanted to be a professional, so I trained and did a few shows that were not circus related, like performing at birthday parties for little kids and things like that. All in all, my life was complete, and I was happy.
Two years later:
I stood backstage wearing my sparkly red suit and black tights. I had trained hard here at the Little Elephants circus, and now it was my big moment. It was time to show everybody how hard I had trained.
My trainer, Angelina, was behind me, giving me the thumbs up. She mouthed, “you can do it!” I nodded and gave her a smile. I was the next act, I just hope that I wouldn’t faint from stage fright.
While I was waiting, I reflected how my life changed when I switched circuses. My boss, Mr. Walker, was much more pleasant than Mr. Gone.
At last it was my turn. I stepped through the deep red curtains and looked at the hundreds of people staring at me. I shouldn’t be nervous, I told myself, because I had practiced for weeks, and I had the routine down cold.
I took a deep breath and went to the swings, walking impressively as I had practiced. I swung on it, leant forward, and the crowd gasped. I lifted up my legs and so I was hanging into the swing with just my hands. I pushed my body forward, jumped and flipped in the air and landed on the other swing.
The show went perfectly. The only downside was when I sneezed and nearly fell off of the swing. I twisted and turned, and flipped and flew. The crowd gasped and applauded, and by the end I was smiling. I loved doing this, and I loved it even more because I worked hard for it. It all started with a dream, and I achieved what I wanted to do, because I worked hard for it.
I turned my head and saw something bright blue in the midst of the crowd. And there was Azul, clapping harder than anyone else. He looked just as he did two years ago bright blue and silent. I smiled at him, and I swore he smiled back.
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