Life After Love
It had been exactly a year after Satine's death, but it still stung as if it were yesterday to not only Christian, but all of the members of the Moulin Rouge, especially Harold. He could not help but feel as if it were his fault, that he pushed Satine over the edge and pressured her to be more than she was capable of being.
Christian left for London in a frail attempt to restart his writing career. He caught the eyes of many beautiful women, yet not could compare to his Satine, with her silky auburn locks, seductive smile and smoldering blue eyes. It left him wondering if he could ever feel anything ever again, for she had been his first love, and he vowed she would be his last.
"Mr. James, please reconsider. She is perfect for the role!" Lloyd was practically on his knees before Christian, who was sitting regally at his desk, pen in hand.
"Now, Lloyd, can't you seem I'm too busy to be bothered with that right now? I told you once and I will tell you again, Eleanor is not my vision of the perfect Rosaline. I'm sorry," Christian explained to the man. The truth was, Eleanor was a beautiful, young blond actress with a bright future, and Christian knew this. Lloyd, as one of her dearest friends, was trying to get Christian to reconsider him rejecting her audition for the lead role in his newest production, The Temptress and The Temple, which told a tale of woe.
"But sir," Lloyd stammered.
"Listen, it is simple. In my play, the young dancer catches the eye of the sultan's son, and they become infatuated with each other, yes? And the prince has a monologue further down the plot where he says how much he loves her beautiful blue eyes and the way her hair catches the moonlight. Now, I don't know if you have noticed, Lloyd, but Eleanor has green eyes. There is simply no way she can play the part of Rosaline with green eyes," Christian explained in depth. Lloyd became frustrated.
"Mr. James the play has no lead! How can we put on a production with no Rosaline? Eleanor is your best bet!" Lloyd insisted. Christian simply put up his hand in an attempt to make Lloyd leave. Clearly angry, Lloyd stood and exited the room, fixing his messy brown hair which had fallen out of place in the heat of the conversation.
Alone with his thoughts, Christian began writing again. He had this habit of writing short paragraphs, all describing a woman. In each paragraph, he appeared to be describing the same woman, and he knew in the back of his mind who that woman was. He wrote stories of his life with her, of their children, of the music they made. Christian endlessly fantasized about his life with Satine had her fate not been sealed so soon.
Before long, a faint knock was heard at the other side of the door to Christian's office. He cleared his throat before welcoming the stranger inside, only to discover it was Eleanor, who had clearly just come offstage from a performance. She was one of the most talented girls in the theater, her voice mesmerizing and very seductive.
"Mr. James, sir?" She asked in an innocent voice. Christian sighed, leaning back.
"Hello, Eleanor," he murmured. She walked forward and sat in the chair in front of his desk.
"I just wanted to know something," she began. "How come I didn't get the part? And don't tell me that excuse you tell Lloyd about me having green eyes because I know that's not the reason. Nobody in the audience can see the color of my eyes."
Christian was at a loss of words. He had known Eleanor to be the quiet, pretty little performer with a big voice when she sang.
"Ms. Casto," Christian started, then forgot what he was going to say. Or maybe he had nothing to say at all. Maybe there was no good reason as to why Eleanor should not be playing the part of Rosaline. It was just, try as he may, Christian could not visualize Eleanor in Rosaline's clothes, singing and speaking her words. It just didn't seem or feel right. But Christian had to be reasonable. He would lose his reputation as a writer if he just turned down any audition that was clearly spectacular for no good reason.
"Yes?" Eleanor was waiting for a response patiently.
"You didn't get the part because… you didn't audition with the right song," Christian spat out. She looked very confused.
"What are you talking about?" She questioned, and he had no idea what he was talking about. The words just fell out without thought.
"You auditioned singing both parts of the duet between the sultan's son and the dancer, which did not show off your true potential. It would have been much more effective had you auditioned with Rosaline's solo towards the beginning of the play. I know you can hit those high notes," Christian explained. Eleanor nodded, slightly confused. She probably knew this was just word vomit.
"So, I will just sing Rosaline's solo for you now," Eleanor suggested, and before Christian could refuse, she began with the opening note. Her voice was like satin, it flowed throughout the room with sophistication and grace, qualities that reminded Christian too much of Satine. Halfway through the song, Christian stopped her. It pained him too much to listen to these words clearly written for a different voice.
"That is enough. You have the role," Christian sighed, waving Eleanor away. She was clearly excited that she received the role, but she knew something was up. Christian sat back down at his desk, burying himself in work to keep his thoughts from straying to just a year ago, where he was the happiest he ever had been, and the happiest he ever would be.