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From Heartbreak to Audition

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Two days isn't enough time to get over a heart break! Especially not when your first romance ends because he's scared of the distance. You need time to heal. Emma doesn't have time. She's a Community Theater star on the rise with an audition in two days. She can't afford to be an emotional wreck Or her star could fall right back into the chorus line. Emma struggles to concentrate and focus on her audition. But getting over an ex isn't easy. Especially when your heart wants to win him back.

Erin Malody
3.0 1 review
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I just wish I’d seen it coming. Peter had tried to warn me before that our budding relationship would be hard. Because I still lived with my parents in Saint Paul and he lived in St. Cloud. The distance didn’t matter to me. I didn’t care about that, or that he was 4 years older than me.

We probably seemed like an unusual opposite attract pair to those who knew us. I was a nun union actress; even a star on the rise at a neighboring small town. Peter worked in IT and had a degree in psychology.

Our little affair had started one night at the Caves. The Caves were a historical haunt that had turned into an event space over the years. Every Thursday night they had Swing Dancing with a live band. I went to the Dance that particular night with ma family to celebrate my Dad’s birthday that was that weekend. We were just halfway into our first dance when Peter came up and tapped my Dad on the shoulder asking,” Mind if I cut in?” My Dad was such a good sport about it and let me dance with Peter. Later that night when we’d invited Peter to join our table because he was there alone Peter started no so subtly hitting on me in front of my parents and even my Grandma. Yes, there was some conversation about that when he’d gotten up from the table and headed back to the dance floor. My mom didn’t like how bold Peter was being and felt sorry for my poor Dad.

When Peter came back he asked,” Would anyone mind if I borrowed Emma for a while?” My dad wanted to say something, but my mom put her arm on his shoulder. “ Let her go dear. Our Emma’s all grown up now. There’s no problem with her spending time with a man.”, she said. Peter promised,” I’ll bring her back at the end of the night safe and sound Sir.” My Dad nodded, but I could almost see the tears in his eyes. Having to watch his baby girl go off with some stranger.

I let Peter lead met o a table for two at the opposite end of the dance floor. Before I could ask why he picked a table so far away Peter smiled and said,” I didn’t want to face an interrogation back there. I wanted to get to know you better.” We sat down and started talking.

I said,” Why don’t I go first? I'm an only child, but I’m sure you already guessed that by my dad’s reaction earlier. I’m 26 and still living at home and don’t have my license yet. A bit lame I know, but I’m planning on passing the test when I take it again this summer and have a part-time job at a local theater as an usher. Saving up money for my own place someday... I graduated with a bachelor of arts in theatre with a minor in English from Hamline University. My dream is to be either an actress or a writer. I hope you’re not turned off by any of that.”

Peter smiled,’ Not at all actually. I’m an only child too. If my mom was here she wouldn’t have let me hit on you the way I did. Not to mention luring you away from your family like that. I’m 30 years old. Have my license already, an apartment, and a cat. Her name is Jewel and she’s the sweetest little love bug ever. I have a degree in Psychology and work in IT... I wanted to go into Theater as a kid though. But I never had the talent for it. Have you done any shows recently?”

I sighed,” I wish. My last one was in the summer. I keep trying to get into productions here in town but all I hear is no. Some don’t even tell me that I didn’t make it. That’s the worst.”

We talked and danced for the rest of the night... At a certain moment, I remembered something that made me a bit uneasy. Peter saw the look on my face and asked,” What are you thinking Emma? It’s okay, you can tell me.”

I smiled,” It’s just that younger Emma would have had to be careful on a night like this. She could develop a crush way too easily.”, I explained.

Before my family and I went home Peter and I exchanged numbers. We planned to meet up again at the dance a week later. I wasn’t expecting him to text later that night asking for a date that Saturday as well. We agreed to meet for lunch at an Italian restaurant in town.

On the day of the date, my parents both tried to t give me advice. My dad’s advice was practical advice on having my wallet with me and offering to pay for my lunch. In case it wasn’t meant to be an actual date. My mom’s advice was basically the sex talk. Not what a 26-year-old wants to hear..

My dad offered to drive me to the restaurant, but I insisted on taking the bus. Date or no date I wasn’t going to shoot myself in the foot by having my parents be my ride. I almost missed my stop because I was so nervous about the lunch date. Thankfully I’d timed my arrival perfectly I was just checking my hair and smoothing out my skirt when I got the text that Peter was at the restaurant.

After a lunch filled with conversation and laughter, Peter asked,” Would you mind going to a park as well? I don’t want the date to end yet.” I wanted to spend more time together too so I agreed. We left the restaurant together and got into his car.

At the park, Peter saw his chance and he kissed me. It should have stopped at that kiss, but I wanted more. After I kissed him back Peter told me we could do better and pulled me onto his lap. We ended up have a make-out session right there in the park. Sometimes Peter would distance himself from me explaining that we shouldn’t be going this fast, or that he normally didn’t. Then a few minutes later the desire would hit again.

We kept in contact every day. Either text/call, or Facebook message. Either combo o the three really. When we weren’t working and I wasn’t practicing we’d be long-distance communicating. I was planning on going for the Dragon. Peter even let me Facebook video chat with him and stood in for the audience. By the night of the dance, he’d already given me the pet name of Star.

At the dance, he asked if we could dance with other people. I didn’t mind it at the time. I wasn’t expecting him to use the same dip that caught my attention the night we k=meet with every partner. Or to give a woman who looked suspiciously like my old college rival Helen two dances ins row. She even got a slow dance; I thought he’d at least care enough to save those for me.

Our third date was in the park again. I was starting to fall for Peter by then. When I told him how I felt he said,” It’s still too soon. Give me some time Star. Let’s just enjoy what we have.” I agreed but was a bit disappointed. You’d think three dates would be enough to know how you feel about someone.

At the dance that week we meet up with his new friend Helen. The dancer from the week before. I tried to be nice and not mention the nagging fear in my mind. Especially when Helen mentioned that I looked familiar; like someone, she used to go to college with. When I tried to talk to Peter about her he just laughed it off,” Don’t be jealous Star. Helen won’t get between us. I still don’t think she’s the same Helen you had the rivalry with.”

Two days later we had another park date. I thought it was going to be just a regular date. I wasn’t expecting Peter to break it off because of distance and differences. Or that he’d try to confuse me even more by getting physically close to me even during the breakup talk. Not like our little affair had been perfect. Some little things almost made me glad when it was over actually. Not glad enough to not want him back though. First, there was his uncontrollable desire for me. When that hit the sweet, kind, caring man that I was falling for would almost disappear. As if he was two different people. He’d even go for intimacy when it wasn’t the right time for that like when he was telling me how hard long-distance relationships were and how things would be so much easier if I’d just learn how to drive. Can you really blame me for making Jekyll and Hyde references? I wasn’t a musical theater major and star on the rise for nothing! Peter had majored in psychology and would sometimes try to semi analyze me. Asking me,” What are you thinking Emma?” when I got too quiet.

Then there was the whole dance partner thing. If anything should have been a red flag it was that. Imagine being on your second date with a man you really like and he asks you,” Do you mind if we dance with other people?” Like a fool, I agreed because I didn’t want to push him away. That was when he first saw my old college rival Helen even though he didn’t know it was her yet. Her black hair was pulled back into a ponytail and she was wearing a midnight blue dress with white polka dots. I’d seen him pull the same dip that took my breath away the night we’d meet with every partner by that point so I thought she was no different. The problem was that Peter liked her more than his other partners. Not only did she get two back to back dances, one of them was a slow dance. That made me a bit mad because I felt that he should have at least saved those dances for me. We were on our second date after all! I tried hard not to be the jealous girlfriend because I knew that was no way to start the relationship.

Even with all the warning signs I still believed that things could work out and get better. I chalked the dance thing and uncontrollable desire to the fact that Peter hadn’t been in a relationship for a while and initial excitement. I really believed that things would get better with time. Peter made me believe that we stood a chance. Talking about future plans and even this fantasy of me making dinner in the kitchen when he got home with his cat making figure eights around my feet begging for just a little bite.

I was originally planning on auditioning for the part of the Dragon. Blame hearing ‘Forever’ for the first time. The power and intensity of that song had me hooked. Plus, I’d never gotten a whole song as a solo before. My star was on the rise, this was my chance to dream big. The short-lived affair made me feel even more of a connection to the role.

All I can say is that Peter couldn’t have timed this better if he tried. Forty-eight hours until my audition for Shrek the Musical and he decides to dump me. All because of his doubts and the fact that it was a long-distance fling. As if the past two weeks of dates, texts, Facebook messages, and intimacy meant nothing to him. The part that hurts the most is that I was falling for him!

He was beyond cute. Black hair and clear blue eyes that seemed to be able to see right through me. When we meet I was a beginning swing dancer. He taught me transitions, a lift, and even a dangerous dip called ‘the death drop’. Even made a slight change to the move to make it safer for me. Just an adjustment of hold, but enough so that it was strong enough.

He seemed to really care about me. Seemed interested in my ambition to be an actress. Even admitted that he’d tried out for shows when he was in school. He tried to sing a piece from’ Into the woods’. Emphasis on tried. Peter had one of the worst voices I’d ever heard and he couldn’t even remember all the lyrics. I tried not to laugh when I took pity on him and joined in with the lyrics he’d blanked on.

Don’t get me started on the more private moments. He was my first kiss. The first man to ever see the kind of lover I could be. I’d be lying if I said that there hadn’t been any passion between us. Even he admitted that it had been a while since he’d been like that with anyone.

I might regret my decision to stay friends Peter later, but I had my reasons. I couldn’t stand to lose him completely. Staying friends gave me a bit of hope. However small it might be.

I was originally planning on auditioning for the part of the Dragon. Blame hearing ‘Forever’ for the first time. The power and intensity of that song had me hooked. Plus, I’d never gotten a whole song as a solo before. My star was on the rise, this was my chance to dream big. The short-lived affair made me feel even more of a connection to the role.

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