Disclaimer: I own Nothing. It all belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
Just keep going. This became my mantra for the past the hour. Don't focus on the on the pain, or the dizziness. 15,000 people are counting on you. Just keep going.
As I finish my final song of the set, I am struggling to keep up with the steps of my dancers. I can barely see, and this is not just from the blinding stage lights. I feel as if I am minutes from passing out. I can feel the weight of my costume bringing me down. I look around and catch Ryan's eyes, one of my dancers. He looks concerned. I guess I am not pulling this off as well as I thought.
Just keep going. God I feel like that damn fish from Finding Nemo.
During the last few bars of the song, I make my way over to the trap door. When the song ends the floor gives out from under me, giving the illusion that have disappeared from the stage.
"I don't feel well. Do you think we can just cut the show short?"
"No, Rose. Listen to the crowd. They all came here to see you. You don't want to let them down do you?" My assistant Tanya tells me. "Also you are already half way done. This is the home stretch. When have I ever led you astray?" She says as she walks away to answer a phone call, not even waiting for my response.
I begin to undress for the costume change with the help of my wardrobe manager, Alice. This is her first time on tour with me, and I have found myself becoming closer with her than anyone else. I don't know if this is because we are so similar in age, her being 24 and me being 23, or if we actually have something in common. Given that have been in this business for so long, I find myself being very wary of people. I don't have many friends, and I have learned boys only want two things from me: sex and money. But having only known Alice for eight months, I wonder if I have gotten soft because I count her as one of my few friends.
"When has she ever led you aright?" Alice says.
I cannot help but giggle. Alice is always one to speak her mind. Never caring of the consequences nor others feelings. I envy this. If I spoke everything on my mind, the press would rip me apart.
"I know she means well, Alice, but I don't know if I can finish this show. I feel like I am going to collapse. And this isn't a new thing, I have been feeling like this for the last couple weeks. Maybe I just need a break. You know, get some R&R." I tell Alice as she finishes zipping my up the the corset.
Once she is done, I step on to the platform that will raise me onto the stage. I just have to push through this last set. I turned, look at Alice and wink as the floor goes up to the stage. I finish the final set, but as we start the encore I can feel my body begin to give out. My legs felt like Jello. Maybe I should stop doing to choreography, and stand there to help myself get through. I started seeing spots in my vision, and I could barely get the words out on my final song. I began to panic. I felt the room spin. The roar of the crowd felt like it was coming down on me. The last thing I remember was my knees giving out.
When I came too, all I could hear was yelling.
"She needs a break. Look at her. She collapsed today."
"We can't afford that. She has tomorrow off. She can spend the time it takes traveling to Chicago to get better."
"Is money all you think about? She will be worthless when she is too sick to preform."
"I am inclined to agree with Alice on this one Tanya" my tour manager Sam says. "She may need a little break."
"All I am saying is maybe a 30 city tour in 60 days was too ambitious. Just postpone the last few shows. Give her time to get herself together and get better. She will never get better on this schedule." Alice said.
"Now I don't know if we can do that Alice. This is a business that is runs on concert revenues."
At hearing Sam say this, I figured I should get up. When they noticed me begin to move, Tanya was immediately at my side.
"Oh good you are awake. How are you feeling?"
"I have been better Tanya." I said with a sneer. "I told you I didn't feel well. I told you and you still made me preform!"
Tanya bent down to my level.
"Rosalie, you have to understand. I do have you best interest at heart, but I am also here to push you to do your best. And I felt as though you could push through this."
"Riiight." Leave it to Alice to tell the truth.
"Alice you presence is no longer needed here. Why don't yo go clean up the quick change area!" Tanya yelled.
"No! Alice Stays!" I yelled. "She seems to be the only one who understands what I am going through! Now I am going to take a break, Tanya. I don't care what you have to do, who you have to talk to. I need a break. OK. This is going to happen!" By this time I was on my feet. They needed to understand how important this is.
"For once I am going to put myself first. For the last 9 years, I have done what the press, the public and my fans want me to do, and it is wearing me down." I could feel the tears beginning to form in my eyes. I hated using my fans as an excuse. They are the reason I am here in the first place. But I know personally, I will lose my mind if I don't get this break. "I need this, Tanya. If you care about me at all, you will get the record label on the phone and just figure out how to move the couple of shows. I understand this won't be easy, but I really need this."
"Ok Rose Ok. Let me call the record label and see what I can do." Tanya said as she grabbed her phone and let the room followed by Sam.
"Congratulations Rose. You finally stuck up for yourself." Alice said as I sat back down on the couch. "What are going to do with your time off?"
"I don't know. I cannot go home. I will be followed by the paparazzi everywhere I go, and I don't want a security around me on my days off. I kinda just wanna be away from it all. Why? What are yo going to do?" I asked Alice.
"I am going to go home to my boyfriend!" Alice said as she raised her hands in the air like she just won a prize.
"AHHH the infamous Jasper. When am I going to meet this boyfriend of yours?"
"You have met him Rose."
"I wanna see the real deal, not just talk to him on the phone."
"Well maybe you should come to my house for your break and then you could meet him" Alice said as she stuck out her tongue.
"Real Mature Alice. No really, when am I going to meet him?"
"Seriously Rose, you should come to house in Tennessee. I promise you will love it. There will be no paparazzi. You won't be forced to sing all the time. And Everyone will leave you alone because they listen to country music not pop. I doubt anyone will really even know who you are."
"Alice I couldn't inconvenience your family like that. Especially on such short notice."
"Rose," Alice said as she came to sit by me and put her hand on my shoulder. "I thought we had just crossed this hurdle. Think about yourself more than others for once. Put yourself first. Besides my mom loves your music, she will be pumped for you to stay at our house."
"Alice, I thought you said no one would know me?"
"Yea well I lied. That's is the next thing I am going to teach you, how to lie." She said as she stood up. "Ok then it is settled. We are flying to Tennessee tomorrow."
"You sure your parents will be ok with it?" She nodded her head yes.
"Ok." I reluctantly agreed.
"Oh my Gosh. We are going to have so much fun. We can go shopping when ever we want. Oh and the town fair is coming up. It is going to be like a long term sleepover."
"Alice this is supposed to be a relaxing trip."
"I know. It will be." she said with a glint in her eye.
For some reason, I didn't believe her.