Roles Reversed

Freaking Terrified

“Apologize, you?” Jude answered in a surprised tone, turning towards them.

“Yeah,” they nodded, “I realize now what an ass I was being and I want you to know I am sorry.”

“Alright.” Jude said skeptically, waiting for a catch, a but, something to come out of their mouth; when nothing did she decided to leave well enough alone and remain civil.

“Thanks,” she replied, “Sorry my boyfriend kicked your ass.”

Braedyn nodded and smiled “I had it coming.”

“Yeah, you kinda did.” Jude said nodding with a smile, “I’m sorry too.”

He nodded in reply.

They sat there in silence, Jude thinking and then finally saying “So what’s with the change of heart, why start feeling guilty now?”

“I always felt bad about what I did, I guess, it’s just time to take the advice of an old friend and grow up.”

Jude nodded and smiled internally and remembered when she had said that to him. Not believing that he had actually listened to her that night, a fight that ended in nothing but hurtful words.

She was suddenly pulled out of her thoughts when she heard Tom finish his song; she turned to Braedyn and said, “I have to go.”

He nodded and she walked away quickly towards the backstage area. Seeing Darius, she made her way over to him.

“So D, how’s everything looking?” she asked him.

“Good, Good. And don’t worry about a thing, there is undercover security patrolling this place like nuts.” He told her, knowing that she was worried, but wouldn’t show it because it made her feel weak. It was almost a fault, how she tried to be so strong.

Jude smiled at him, “Thanks D.”

She then walked up behind Tom, who had his back to her and put her arm around his waist. He turned around and smiled at her, putting his arm around her shoulders.

“You’re doing great,” Jude told him smiling and then teased “and you were nervous.”

“You know it’s still cute.” He told her.

“What, my butt in this skirt?” she suggested.

“Well, there’s that,” he paused, “and the fact that you’re still scared.”

“I told you, I’m not scared.” She smiled.

“You’re telling me that after the years you took off you aren’t nervous getting back on stage and performing.” He said, being able to read her like an open book.

“No, I’m not nervous,” Jude answered with a smile, “I’m freaking terrified.”

Tom smiled at her, “You’re gonna do great.”

“Ok, guys...thirty seconds…” Darius said with the more anticipation than was heard from him in a while from next to the stage.

They walked over by the stage and they parted when Tom walked out on stage and grabbed the microphone.

“Hey everybody.” He said, “We’ve got one more song for you tonight.”

The music started and he looked at Jude, who was standing right out of the crowd’s sight with her microphone. He winked at her and she smiled at him and he started to sing.

Ya never know what you’re gonna feel, oh
Ya never see it comin’ suddenly it’s real

Jude walked onstage and the crowd cheered. She smiled at them and started to sing, all her fears and insecurities temporarily vanished.

Oh, never even crossed my mind, no
That I would ever end up here tonight

Jude laughed internally at the double meaning of the words she was singing. If someone told me four months ago that I’d be up here singing, let alone with the winner of a contest Darius asked me help with, which also happens to be the person I care most about in my life, I would’ve laughed and told them they were insane.

All things change
When you don’t expect them to

No one knows
What the future’s gonna do
I never even noticed
That you’ve been there all along

I can’t take my eyes off of you
I know you feel the same way too, yeah
I can’t take my eyes off of you
All it took . . . Was one look
For a dream come true
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Oh Oh

Tom and Jude both started moving with the music. They looked at each other, communicating with only there eyes.

Yeah, we got a good thing goin’ on

Tom took a hold of Jude’s hand and spun her around. She wound back towards him, his arm wrapping around her waist.

Oh, right here is right where we belong

When her back touched Tom’s chest her right arm went up and she placed her hand on the back of his neck and lightly trailed her fingers down while they swayed to the beat of the music at a slightly slower tempo with his left hand on her hip. There were some cheers from the crowd, and then they both did quick turns in opposite directions.

You never really know what you might find
Now all I see is you and I
You’re everything I never knew
That I’ve been looking for

Jude looked out at the many faces and saw two she definitely didn’t expect to see.

She saw her parents standing by Sadie’s table. Who knows how long they were there, she didn’t even know they were coming; they never really came to any performances. She could tell though that they were taken aback at what they saw, with the look of astonishment on their faces, especially her father’s.

I can’t take my eyes off of you
I know you feel the same way too, yeah
I can’t take my eyes off of you
All it took . . . Was one look
For a dream come true

Can’t take my eyes off of you
Oh, oh, oh yeah
So let the music play
Can’t take my eyes off of you
Yeah, the feeling’s getting stronger
And I never ever felt this way

Tom looked out at the people and saw several people dancing. His eyes found his friends at there table reading their reactions. Adrian, of course, had the same look on his face he had in the studio that day, except there was one discrepancy, he couldn’t be sure because of the lighting but it looked like he was contemplating. He then saw Victoria whispering to Sadie, who in turn whispered something back to her and Victoria turned to Stuart.

Alright, I see everything
In your eyes. . . Oh yeah
Alright, something’s happening
Cause everyone’s around but
You’re the only one I see

I can’t take my eyes off of you
I know you feel the same way too, yeah
I can’t take my eyes off of you
All it took . . . Was one look
For a dream come true
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Oh Oh

Jude again felt someone’s eyes burning into her flesh, the over-exposed, uncomfortable feeling returned; she tried to just brush it off, after all Darius made sure it was safe.

I can’t take my eyes off of you
Feelings like I never knew
I can’t take my eyes off of you
From the start. . . Got my heart
Yeah, you do
Can’t take my eyes off you

When the music ended the crowd cheered and the couple took a bow and walked off stage. They were approached by the people watching the show from backstage.

“You two were great,” Darius told them, “You made me proud.”

They smiled and said thanks and then heard “Nice work guys.” Portia complimented them, “when did you two practice that?”

“We didn’t.” Jude answered and winked a Tom.

“Improv…impressive.” Portia replied and Tom and Jude went to change. Jude came back out several minutes later wearing the same top, but put on a pair of jeans. She walked out to the table alongside the stage.

Patsy, who appeared out of no where, walked up to Jude and said, “Hey Blondie, up top.”

Jude laughed as there hands collided and then pulled up a chair and glanced over at Tommy, who was talking with a couple of the guys. Before she sat down she looked around for her parents. She spotted them and walked over to them and over heard part of there quiet conversation.

“She was up there dressed like a street walker and did you see how she was dancing with him, something needs to be said.” Her father said quietly.

“Don’t you remember what you told me before, she is twenty-one she can do whatever she wants.” Victoria reminded him.

Jude cleared her throat and said, “Hey Mom, hey Dad I didn’t know you were coming.”

“Oh hey honey,” her mom said turning to her, wondering how much she had heard, “We didn’t either, but we wanted to surprise you.”

“It worked,” she answered, “I’m totally surprised.”

“Yeah, we were too.” her father said.

Victoria shot him a look and Jude asked curiously, “What do you mean by that?”

“We were just surprised by your performance, that’s all.” He answered.

“Well, we tried to keep it on the DL so nobody knew.” Jude told him, pretending to not know what he meant by that.

“I see,” he said.

“Well, do you wanna come and sit with us?” she offered.

“No, that’s alright.” Stuart said, “We have to get going anyways, have an early morning.”

“But thanks for the offer.” Victoria told her.

“Yeah, no problem.” Jude said.

“So we’ll see you later.” Victoria said, giving her a quick hug.

“Bye Dad.” She said to him and when her dad leaned in to give her a hug she whispered to him “By the way, I looked good up there.”

He pulled back and looked at her, realizing she’d heard what he said and looked as he was about to say something but was interrupted by Sadie walking up and saying “Hey guys, I thought you had left.”

“We were just about to,” Stewart told her “We were saying goodbye to Jude and then we were off.”

“Ok, well drive safe.” Jude said to them and turned to walk back to their table. Sadie caught up with her and said “So, how’d it feel to be up there again.”

“Honestly, so much better than I remembered.” Jude smiled.

“Told you.” Sadie told her nudging her on the arm.

They walked back over to the table and Tommy put his arm around Jude’s shoulders. They all started laughing at something Rylie had said, Jude turned her head and looked towards the door, seeing her father looking at her and walk away.

Stuart watched as his youngest daughter standing there and laughing, unscathed by what she had heard. Normally that kind of comment would have upset her and started an argument, he could see that she had grown some in the past month and he was proud of her. He saw her turn and look at him and he turned and walked out the door.

About an hour later, Tom and Jude walked out into the night air laughing, still feeling the performance buzz. Jude, who was still laughing stopped and said, “Ok, hang on, hang on, hang on.”

Jude pulled off her boots and said, “These are killing me.”

They then walked hand in hand to the car. Glancing around nervously she scolded herself, You’re just being paranoid. While they were driving home Jude turned to Tom and said “So, you’re never gonna guess who I ran into tonight.”

“If it isn’t your parents, then I don’t think I will.” He answered, jokingly.

“I ran into Braedyn.” She said.

“Really,” Tom said, his tone turning more serious, “What did he want?”

“Surprisingly enough,” Jude paused, “to apologize.”

“Really?” Tom asked and Jude nodded, “Wow.”

“I know right.” She said, “It was weird, nice, but weird.”

Tom nodded and Jude said, “But anyways, did you have fun tonight?”

“You bet I did.” He answered smiling at her “Thanks for coming out there, we put on a good show.”

“Don’t we always,” Jude laughed, “Thanks for talking me into it, I had fun.”

They arrived at the house few minutes later and as the two walked into the house they heard the beeping of the answering machine. Jude set her shoes down next to the door. Tom went for the machine.

“Just leave that, it’s too late to call anyone back anyways.” Jude told him glancing at the clock that glowed 2:30 a.m.

“Alright.” He answered and they walked down the hall and got ready for bed, talking about the night.

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