Hey, Little Songbird

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i can't stay

Ophelia looked up at the hotel ceiling. She had her first day tomorrow.

She had training with Rena. She wondered if he would train her? Mr. Hades? Would he teach her something?

Would he be there?
Did it really matter?

She turned over. She had a great opportunity. She was grateful.

Her phone rang.

"Hello?"

"O-Ophelia?"

She sat up. "Eric?"

He sighed. "Ophelia. Please come back to me. I love you."

"Eric, just get a job okay? The lease is up in a few days. Make sure you get everything out. We didn't have much but—"

"Ophelia! I wrote you a song."

She smiled. "I'm sorry, Eric. I have to go to bed now."

"Ophelia—"

She hung up for tossing her phone off to the side.

She wanted to cry. Her heart ached. She loved him. And his songs. And his smile. But...it wasn't practical.

This was more practical. A slightly shady but high paying job.

That was practical. That was real. What they had was love.

But it wasn't sustainable.

It just hurt.
It just...hurt.

But tomorrow was a new day. And she would start her new job.

As a Canary.

• • •

Ophelia stepped into the elevator, turning around. She entered the sparsely populated area, smiling.

This was be good. And maybe...she could save up some money and go back to Eric.

Maybe... they could still be together. The job was high paying. But, she needed to make sure this was legitimate.

There was still a chance she would be trafficked or something like that.

"Um...hi," she approached one of the bartenders. "I'm looking for Rena?"

The Bartender smiled, his bright red hair shining under the dull light. "Hello. I'm Nino. Rena is in the dressing rooms waiting for you."

She smiled. "I'm Ophelia. Nice to meet you Nino."

She walked forward, pausing.

Nino grinned behind her. "You don't know where the dressing rooms are, do you?"

She scratched the back of her head. "Mr. Hades showed me, but I forgot," she chuckled with a shrugs. "Can you show me?"

Nino nodded. "Sure, it's this way." He showed her the way.

"Thank you," She smiled. "I appreciate it."

"Sure. If you need help I'm here to closing time," he waved.

Ophelia stepped into the dressing room, where a woman was waiting in a sleek satin robe was waiting.

She turned around, cocking his head. "That outfit is hideous. Choose something from here. You're what a size 12?"

Ophelia nodded looking down at her outfit.

"Go change. I'll do your makeup too, you look like your about the same shade as me."

"I'm guessing you're Rena?" Ophelia asked.

"I'm guessing you didn't hear me. Hop too, newbie. I gotta see if you can sing or not."

Ophelia looked through the clothes. "So...will Mr. Hades be here?"

"I don't know. Have you picked out an outfit yet?"

Ophelia looked at a yellow dress. It wasn't particularly fancy or anything. She just loved it.

"This one."

Rena looked up, her heavily lined eyes narrowing.

"Hm. That color will look good against your skin. Can you walk in heels?"

"I can barely walk on my own feet without tripping." She snorted.

Rena blinked. "So is that a yes or no."

Ophelia nodded awkwardly. "Y-yeah. Somewhat."

"Put those on then. Will you be sitting or standing?"

"Um...can I try sitting today?"

She could sit? Holy hell! She never had a job where she could sit before. She couldn't even stand in one place.

It was always, why are you lazing around? Do something!

"Sure. You don't have to pick one indefinitely. I sit, cause I'm lazy. Now, can you do makeup."

Ophelia shrugged. "Not really. Not anything fancy. Just some foundation and one color eyeshadow."

"No contour?" Rena asked impatiently.

"Nope," Ophelia quipped.

"Fine. You have a nice face shape anyway. But get on YouTube and search it up."

Ophelia nodded as a rush of information came her way. She got dressed and made up.

And then she went out on the stage. She stood in front of the mic. She held it gently.

She looked up. He was there. Mr. Hades. He smiled smally.

"Go on new girl. Sing."

She looked around. All the bartenders and workers paused to look. The lights dimmed down.

The spot light was soft on her. She was nervous. Her hands were sweaty.

Vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti—

Not now Eminem!

She shook her head.

She looked over the small crowd. Then something drew her eyes. His. His dark eyes. He was in the middle of the room, pulling on her gaze with his own.

Give me a song, he mouthed.

She held the microphone, keeping her eyes on his.

"Didn't I do it for you?
Why don't I do it for you?
Why won't you do it for me?
When all I do is for you?"

He smiled, leaning forward. Keep going, Songbird. His eyes said.

She stepped forward. Toward him.

"They want to see us, want to see us alone
They want to see us, want to see us apart
They want to see us, want to see us alone
They want to see us, want to see us apart,"

She smiled, pausing taking a breath. He narrowed his eyes.

Will you keep singing Songbird?

She smiled. She would.

"And I, just want to feel you're there
And I don't want to have to share our love
I try, but I get overwhelmed,"

She reached out. To him. He just smiled, nodding to her.

She only saw him.

"When you're gone I have no one to tell
And I, just want to feel you're there
And I don't want to have to share our love
I try but I get overwhelmed,"

She finished gently. The room was silent. She was sweating but she didn't even move that much.

Was she bad? She was bad wasn't she? It was an ambitious song choice and the range—

A slow clap come from the center of the middle of the room.

He stood, clapping for her. Everyone one followed.

She smiled breathlessly, bowing.

He glanced at her, before turning around, disappearing from the room.

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