Disclaimer: I, Sophie don't own any of the following characters/songs whatever because a) I'm not Stephen Sondheim and b) If I did I'd be basking in my luxury jaccuzzi somewhere in Barbados, counting my diamonds and not writing fanfics for which I earn N

{Disclaimer: I, Sophie don't own any of the following characters/songs whatever because a) I'm not Stephen Sondheim and b) If I did I'd be basking in my luxury jaccuzzi somewhere in Barbados, counting my diamonds and not writing fanfics for which I earn NOTHING. Etc. Enjoy. (Well actually, I don't want you to enjoy this. I want you to cry. But hey. For those of you who've only seen the film of WSS, this is based on the play my drama group are performing, and what could have happened afterwards. Guess who I played?)]

I loved Tony. I always loved him. I thought he was my friend. He stood up for me when we were little. And I loved him. I guess I always sorta knew but it's only now it really hit me. Squatting in a corner of the playground, hidden in the shadows. Oh, I loved him.

Riff, wow, Riff was amazing, my hero since we were little kids, but it's awful…cos when he moved into Tony's apartment with Tony's family, Tony didn't care 'bout me anymore. They left me out. All the time. I helped them start the Jets, it wuz like a game me and Tony had, but then Riff muscles in, and I'm out. Huh. I was Tony's best friend. Before Riff, it was Me. And Him. No-one else.

Then they start letting the other kids join. Only boys. Dan. Peter. Jay Rabboni. And they gave them all new names. Action, Peter and A-Rab. It sounds sorta stupid now, but I wanted a new name too. You needed a new name to belong. O.K, so I wuz a girl. So? But they wouldn't give me a new name. They laughed, called me my real name. I can't say it. It makes me wanna puke. PUKE. Well, I'm gonna go kill myself anyway. So I might as well tell ya. Lulamae. Isn't it awful? A hick name. Irish hick. Mickhick. That's what they called me, said I wasn't American enough. Not a proper Yank. Which wasn't fayr as A-rab's a jew, and most of 'em had European blood through an' through. Germanic. And Tony was a Polak! I tried to tell 'em, but it didn't matter, Tony was a man, and he wuz Riff's friend, so I always had to cut out and keep schtum. Boy, it hurt.

Oh, yeah, eventually I got my new name. I had tried to act like a boy for so long, then one day I went to find them in the playground, and there was Riff with lousy Velma on his knee. Girls! They had let GIRLS in the gang! A few months ago I shoulda been pleased. Real girls, maybe this wuz a chance for me. But I'd changed. If I couldn't be a boy, I was goddamn gonna look like one. I threw out my dresses, walked tough, tried to learn baseball, and…I cut off my hair. My beautiful red hair. Long and thick and glowing in the sunlight. I took some scissors, and in the early morning, I stood in front of the long mirror, and cut it all off. Handfuls of straight red, glowing hair fell. I cried so hard, when it was all gone. Buried my face in the handfuls, and sobbed. The little pieces of hair looked fragile, and I tried to cradle them to me. Like a baby, rocking them backwards and forwards.. ridiculous they were only hair, but I talked to them, telling them I still loved them, and it would be alright. I thought I was trying to comfort them. When what I really wanted was someone to comfort me.

My head felt cold and light, and by the time I had to go an' face the music, I wuz more scared than anything else. Then I met Tony in the passage. His family had the apartment next to ours. He stopped, and smiled. "Wow, Lula." He ran his hand over the shingled skull. "You're lookin' pretty cool." I almost flew down the stairs. That wuz the first time since Riff had arrived that I'd gotten acceptance off anyone! But it didn't last. Tony got a job. But not before I had my name.

It wasn't lousy Velma who gave it me. It was Graziella, that low-down no-count little trash with the tacky dyed hair. She thought I had a crush on Action. They had a fight about me. I was there. She pushed me back and forth, throwing me at Action. At first, he tried to be kind, and protect me, but Graziella was venemous. Insane with fury, I reckoned. So he knew he couldn't protect me anymore.

"Have her!" Graziella kept screaming. Action grabbed me by the shoulders. I'd been crying before, but by then I was thirteen, and I'd learnt to stay silent when I was beaten. Not insolent, not like it didn't hurt, but silent. Sayin stuff only made them madder and you sorrier in the long run. So I hung my head and told my mind to go blank. I didn't even pray. If you pray they just get angrier.

"I don't want her!" Action shouted, his teeth gritted fiercely. I had my back to him, but I knew he was mad. Graziella tossed her head, eyes flashing.

"Why not? She'd make you a nice little whore-she's ANYBODY'S!" Then suddenly, she laughed. A long cruel laugh, that lousy Velma, Minnie and all the other little groupies joined in.

"Ooblee-oo. Yessiree, I think the little head case just got her new name." They all laughed. Not Action.

"Whaddya say, daddy-o?" she simpered, a vein of poison barely concealed behind her words. He had to agree.

"Yeah," he eventually agreed without emotion. He dropped me, and I stumbled. His hand went out to steady me, then retracted it as Graziella glowered. They all smirked, and left together. I just stood where I was, head bowed, and let them pass. Anybody's. But they were wrong.

I wasn't Anybody's. I never got the chance, I desperately wanted to be Somebody's, but it was never gonna happen. More like Nobody's.

And that's what I am now. Because He's dead. Over the last two days I've watched everything and everyone I love change and die. Riff died in my arms last night. Velma and Graziella will never forgive me for that. I don't stand a chance against their malice. Oh, Riff. My darling Riff. For once I didn't fight. The moment I saw him drop, I went to him. He was covered in blood, and I don't know whether he knew I was there, but I was. I held him, and while the sirens blared, I used all the words I'd never dared to use to any boy, in case they laughed. My darling Riff, oh my sweet, sweet Riff. You took Tony from me, but I always loved you cos Tony did. And he was so brave. And I had to love who Tony loved, don't I?

But not her, not Maria. If she'd stuck to Chino, he'd still be here. Now, I guess I know how Velma musta felt, if she loved Riff, when she knew I'd been the one to hold him. He died with me. ME.

And Tony, oh, Tony, you died with HER. Why didn't you come with me? I tried so hard to save you. I woulda done anything. I should justa followed you. I woulda taken the bullet for you, any day. What would it matter if I died? But you mattered, to me, and to her. But she was the one who mattered to you. I would have followed ya, but I was so hurt, and so scared. You shook me hard, and it hurt. I thought you were my friend. You were always so sweet and gentle. But then they said that about Chino too.

What's gonna happen to them-us-the Jets now? Now, ok, I'm accepted, but just as soon as I get someone to love…Action…. I'm to scared to even try. Everything I touch, I ruin. I kill. Well, the way I'm going, Action'll be lucky if he makes it another hour. I don't care 'bout the stupid gang anyway. Tony was right. It isn't just a game anymore. Damn Chino. Damn Chino. Damn them all.

I just wanna lie here, and die. I'll be safe here. It's cold, and it's dark, but it's the spot where He died. Even the streetlights are down. This is the last place He ever wuz, and if I lie here too, it sorta means we're still together. Spirits are meanta haunt the place they die. Well, maybe if I stay here long enough, I can haunt around here too. So I'll be with him forever. The wind is whistling, there's a low, cold sound. If I close my eyes tightly, and curl up into a ball against the tarmac, I can pretend its his arms around me, and not my own. That I'm dying in his arms, and that he's here, loving me and comforting me, and whatever I do, he won't go. That I'm safe, and loved. I can pretend that the wind is his voice whispering in my ear, that we're sharing secrets, and our own songs. That he's calling my name, and for the first time, it seems beautiful in his tenderness. I know just how it would sound, too. Lula. Lula. Lulamae.