11 | You're The One That I Want
“What’s your next lesson?” Hannah asks from beside me as we leave the classroom. It turns out we also have Chemistry together.
“Uh... hold on,” I tell her and swivel around to face Alan. He comes to a stop a few inches from me. “Alan, would you be a good bodyguard and tell me what I have next,” I ask in a sickly sweet voice, batting my eyelashes at him.
He narrows his eyes, obviously not liking my behavior. Sometimes I just really enjoy teasing this guy...
“Its Drama, Miss Winters.” He replies and then puts his shades on even though we are indoors. Not that Alan minds - he actually prefers having shades on indoors. It adds to his mysterious look.
Giving him a grateful smile, I thank him and spin on my heels. Hannah raises an eyebrow when she sees my action and flashes me a knowing smile.
“I have drama next. You?”
Suddenly, Hannah is squealing and jumping up and down. She launches herself at me and clings to me for dear life. It feels like my lungs are losing oxygen but I don’t tell her that. She’s obviously very happy and comfortable right now--I wouldn’t want to upset her.
Eventually - much to my lungs relief - Hannah pulls away. A bright smile is still on her face; her hazel eyes glimmer happily in the light. She appears so carefree and content. The way she carries herself has me jealous - I wish I could walk without feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders.
“I’m guessing we have drama together?” I ask her and she nods her head furiously. I chuckle at actions and start walking towards the main hall where the lesson will be.
“I’m so excited!” Hannah exclaims as we are walking. A few people stare curiously at her, wondering why she is being so loud. “Normally I find drama quite boring since my other friends don’t like the subject as much and my teacher never casts me as anyone good. But now I have an amazing friend who is also a huge actress. This is going to be so great! We can wor--”
“Wait,” I interrupt Hannah. She stops and looks up at me. “Did you say your other friends will be there?” I slowly ask her, cautiously, just so I know Hannah hears me clearly.
Hannah nods her head, once again, not noticing the look of panic that is probably on my face right now.
“Yeah! All of them, including my very sweet boyfriend.” She answers, gazing off ahead, dreamily.
I swallow harshly and try to stay calm. It can’t be that bad, right? All I have to do is ignore them as I did in my other lessons. Simple.
We stop outside of the main hall. Hannah frowns and looks at me.
“How did you know where the main hall was? This school is very confusing and it's your first day. And you came in through the other entrance meaning you wouldn’t know this entrance.”
Crap. Crap. Crap. I forgot I wasn’t supposed to know where I was going. My stomach churns at the thought of Hannah somehow putting the dots together, figuring out that I’ve been here before. But the reasonable part of me brain emphasizes that that’s highly unlikely unless someone informs Hannah.
Which they haven’t...yet.
I give her a fake laugh, one that I’ve done many times before and that I’ve perfected. “I saw the signs for the main hall and I had a mini-tour earlier.” I lie smoothly.
“Okay, that makes sense.” She nods her head in understanding and opens the doors.
I follow in after her, ignoring the expressions of shock I receive from the students. Will they ever stop staring at me like I’m the Queen of bloody England?
My drama teacher, a bubbly forty-something-year-old woman beams as she sees us. She bounces away from her desk in front of the large stage and rushes over to us. We meet her halfway and stop. Rows and rows of seats surround us, some occupying students. However, most of them are empty.
“Whitney! How wonderful to see you here! I must say, I am extremely excited to be teaching a Hollywood actress.” She confesses, smiling.
I return it, happy she’s nice. I’ve actually never spoken Mrs. Sadie - my drama teacher - before because I didn’t take drama two years ago. I didn’t have the confidence back then to do drama.
“It’s nice to meet you too Miss Sadie,” I tell her and watch as her mouth stretches even further out. Surely her cheeks hurt by now. I know if I smile too widely it kills. My mouth feels like it's being pulled out.
“Thanks, dear, now do you want to take a seat and I’ll start the lesson.” She asks, insinuating for me to sit down. I walk down to an empty row of seats, Hannah following closely behind me. From my peripheral vision, my old gang staring. Again.
Hannah chucks her body on the uncomfortable seat, that I’ve spent many times sitting on and hating. They are really thin and are basically made out of wood. Instead of being called chairs, they should be called back killers.
Once I’m sat down, Mrs. Sadie struts onto the stage, a bounce in her step. This woman is just a bundle of happiness.
“Well, hello my amazing drama students. As you can see, we have a new student here today. I’m not going to bother introducing her since you probably already know her.” She says, her eyes glancing at me. I give Mrs. Sadie a grateful smile, glad that I don’t have to saunter up on the stage and blabber on about something pointless. Everyone already knows who I am anyway. “So as you know, we are going to be doing a musical this term, for the end of year performance. This is for the school but it will help towards your grade. Whether you can sing or not, you better be putting 110%”
I look around the room, noticing some of the student’s excited faces; some other people with bored faces. Obviously, some people didn’t really want to do this subject. Drama isn’t for everyone.
“So the musical we are going to be doing this year is...” she pauses, for dramatic effect. Her eyes wander to each student. “Grease!”
A few girls in front of me cheer excitedly whilst a few boys to my left groan. I smile, glad that it’s going to be something I enjoy. It's one of my favorite musicals. When I was ten, I used to dance to that song on my bed before I went to school. Once, Brock caught me singing Summer Nights into my hairbrush whilst bouncing up and down on the bed.
After that, he teased me for days by calling me, Sandy.
As much as I despised it, I can’t help but wish the relationship we had still existed. It's depressing how one minute you are close to someone and the next...your not.
“So today is going to be about auditions for roles. Normally I would allocate roles to everyone but I want to see your potential.” She includes. “So for all of you who want a main role in the play - which involves singing - you will be auditioning.”
That makes sense I guess. You don’t really want the main characters to be played by people who can’t sing. I’m not being mean or rude to the people here who can act but if you can't sing, you shouldn't be cast as someone who needs to sing.
“So everyone who wants to audition for the main role put your hand up.” She says and around a quarter of the class puts their hands up. Mrs. Sadie writes down all of the names. Her eyes briefly meet mine; she frowns when she sees me happily settled in my seat, my arms crossed. She must be curious as to why I don’t want to audition. The answer is, I don’t really feel like doing it here. It doesn’t feel right.
“Great,” Mrs. Sadie chirps after writing the names down. “I’ll put everyone into pairs.”
“Whitney,” a timid voice whispers next to me. I turn to see Hannah staring at me anxiously. “I don’t think I can do this.”
I frown and shift in my seat so that I’m closer to her. Did Hannah raise her hand? And did how did I not notice? Was I really so deep into my thoughts? “Did you raise your hand, Hannah?”
Slowly and unsurely, she nods her head.
“Hannah,” I start in a strong voice, capturing her full attention. “You are amazing. It doesn’t matter if you can sing or not. I bet most people here can’t. But that doesn’t matter because you’ll shine without having the talent.”
Hannah inhales and nods her head. “Thanks.”
I shrug my shoulders and give her a hug. “Anytime,” I whisper in her ear.
And with that, Hannah sits up fully in her chair and wears a brave face. Smiling, I turn to face the stage again. Shockingly, we both managed to miss Mrs. Sadie ordering the first pair up. A tall girl with dark skin is singing the title songs, Grease with the boy shyly dueting with her. Some of the notes are out of tune but with some singing lessons, they could actually be really good together.
Everyone claps when they’ve finished and the boy rushes off of the stage to one of his friends. The girl’s lips twitch slightly as if she’s fighting the smile that wants to come on her face.
And that’s how it follows for the next few auditions. Sing, clap, next pair.
“Hannah and Ares,” Mrs. Sadie calls up. My chest tightens at the name of my former best friend but I mask any discomfort on my face and give Hannah a reassuring smile. She breathes in and curls her fists together.
I watch Hannah get up with Ares, whose eyes flicker to me. I see guilt, sadness, and desperation shining in his brown eyes. I didn’t know Ares wanted to sing...Before I can even react, he’s looking at Hannah and singing.
Hannah sings rather well, which surprises everyone - including Brock. Ares on the other hand, not so well. Some guys laugh hysterically from the other side of the hall and that’s when I realize they probably dared him or challenged him to do this. Ares never backs out of a dare.
Once the song has finished - Ares bursts out in laughter, Hannah joining him. Then everyone else joins in, except for Mrs. Sadie. Even I crack a smile at it. I really miss him...
Hannah goes over to Brock and leaps into his arms. He whispers something into her ear and strokes her hair lovingly.
Brock’s blue eyes wander over to me but I shift my eyes away before any sort of silent communication can happen between us. I don’t want to interact with him - not yet at least.
“Winston and Whitney,” a woman’s voice calls out. My head snaps to the stage where Mrs. Sadie is.
“I’m sorry Mrs,” I begin, standing up from my seat. I can feel several eyes on me, from the class and them. “But I think you made a mistake. I didn’t sign up to sing.”
“Oh, I know you didn’t sweetie but I thought I should do it anyways since well...I think the whole class wants to see you perform.” She claims. My eyes look at everyone and I see eager expressions. Hannah gives me a grin and nods her head furiously - telling me to do it.
I sigh and stroll over to the stage steps. My partner, Winston, is a musician. I remember him from when he used to perform with his old guitar in front of the whole year. He was a decent singer; had a powerful voice.
I’m not sure if our voices will go well together but who knows.
I get up onto the stage and take the microphone from Mrs. Sadie’s hand. She hops off the stage and goes over to the desk.
“So I want you two to sing You’re The One That I Want.” I nod my head and watch the screen flash with the lyrics to the song. Not that I need them, I know this whole song off by heart.
I wonder if Brock remembers that time he stumbled on me singing to myself? I sneak a glance at him and see him staring at me with an unreadable emotion. Hannah’s with him, sat on his lap, happily. Involuntarily, I look at Callum. He sits on his chair, completely focused on me.
My heart skips a beat at him staring at me and I quickly turn to face Winston. He gives me a smile and sings the first lyric.
"I’ve got chills, they’re multiplying. And I’m looosing control.” He sings, his voice resembling John Travolta’s but with more of his personality. I like it. I stand there, smirking at him as he sings the rest of the lyrics.
Right now, I’m in my element. Acting. I ignore the beaming lights on me and the audience members and focus solely on Winston who is standing in front of me, singing. We keep eye contact as he sings and I tap my foot. Currently, I feel like I’m Sandy. I am her.
When my verse comes, I take a deep breath and bring the microphone to my mouth. ”You better shape up. Because I need a man.”
For a second, I don’t recognize my voice. It sounds in tune and perfect. I make a mental note to thank Casey for making me doing singing lessons.
"And my heart is set on you,” I sing, stepping closer to him. He copies my action, smirking. ”You better shape up, you better understand. To my heart, I must be truueee.”
I start stepping backward and he takes a step forwards, singing, ”nothing left, nothing left for me to do.”
"You’re the one that I want. You are the one I want. Oh, honey. You’re the one that I want. You are the one that I want. Oh, honey.” We sing together.
And we continue singing, adding a few moves. I step away, he steps closer.
"You’re the one that I want. You are the one that I want. Oh, honey.” We sing, with my arm on his shoulder whilst moving our hips slightly.
And we finish, with me up against his chest and my arms by my sides. My breaths are heaving; I stare into Winston’s brown eyes for a few seconds and then I pull away.
The audience is cheering crazily. I smile and take a small bow, which Winston copies. Mrs. Sadie stands up from her desk, a look of astonishment on her face.
When the cheers die down, Mrs. Sadie starts talking. “Wow, you guys were amazing. Thank you!”
And with that, we both go our separate ways. Hannah tackles me when I get on the ground.
“You were AMAZING! You are even better live than on the radio.” She compliments.
I give her a grin and stroll back over to my seat, with several pairs of eyes on my back.
I always love reading this chapter. I hope you loved it too!