I stand on the stage, in front of my mic. I take a deep breath in. I really hope this goes well. Armand stands about a foot from me. I refuse to look at him. We rehearsed this song several times today and the only time I would look at his was in the middle and toward the end. Unfortunately, the end was rather long. The curtain begins to rise. I take another deep breath.
The piano starts slowly, followed by the guitar. Armand begins singing in that warm, sultry voice. The sound sends shivers down my spine. I begin the next line of this sad melody. I look to the corner of the stage. Armand sings the next line, slightly louder than his first. The piano follows his rise in volume. I sing the next line equally as loud, but trail off at the end of the line. I glance at Armand. This is where the harmonies begin.
We pick up volume and the piano follows our lead. We harmonize beautifully. I make the mistake of looking into Armand's eyes. The sparkling blue pops out of his beautiful tan skin. He is a very good actor. He honestly looks torn, just like his character in the song. I look away at the end of the harmonies and begin the next verse. I feel my character's pain. She desperately wants him, but it will never work out. Armand takes the next line. It is full of emotion, and something else that I can't make out.
I sing the next line. It almost hurts. He picks up the harmony and I look back at him. He's facing me with those wonderful eyes. He starts his next line and then I pick up the harmony at the end. His eyes say he means every word, but I know that's a trick. We begin the chorus again, this time, fully facing each other. We sing, matching each other in volume and emotion. His eyes look sad. I want to reach out and touch him, but I resist. Our harmonies rise and the piano follows our lead. We're standing so very close now. I can almost feel his breath on my face. We are at the climax of the music.
We slow our voices and the piano cuts out. I feel as if we are whispering our voices get so low. We dip our voices lower and lower. By now, I can feel his warm breath on my cheeks. I see a glint of something in his eye. We sing our last line and he closes the distance between us. His lips are soft against mine. His hand cups my cheek. This communicates everything that we have failed to say. He breaks away, and looks directly into my eyes. "I always will." He whispers.
"I know," I smile. This makes up for everything, this one simple gesture. He drops his hand to find mine and we turn back toward the silent audience. They applaud. We bow. The curtains close.