Told you it was coming soon…I just feel like writing my life away right now. So, this is the scene at the end of Lose Yourself Part 2. It was adorable wasn't it? I can't wait to write it.
So, I should get on that, no?
Clare's Point of View:
It had been tremendously difficult to read in some places, but I had stayed up all night to finish the latest draft of Love Rolette…and the lack of sleep was completely worth it.
I had been totally unfair to Eli; he gave me more credit than I deserved. I had no right to blow up on him during his read-through, and I definitely shouldn't have been convinced that he had been out to get Jake. Just when I thought I had Eli figured out he surprised me again…this time it was a sweet surprise. Reading his play was like getting a taste of the reason I fell in love with him in the first place. As much as the chemicals were misfiring in his head, he was still the same sweet, sensitive, caring guy. How had I lost sight of that?
"So," Jake started when I got in his truck and handed over the script, "what did you think?"
"There's no way to deny that he's brilliant. It's really…something." I still hadn't come up with the right word to describe Love Rolette; to describe how it made me feel. The word was elusive and frustrating.
"Yeah, I thought so too. I guess being weird has its advantages- he sure can write."
"It…it left me speechless," I admitted.
"I think he still loves you," Jake confided, sounding like he wasn't totally in love with that idea.
"I can never tell with Eli," I brushed off his comment, turning to stare out the window. I didn't want Jake to see the tear that escaped…because I thought Eli still loved me, too. And I had been treating him like crap. Nobody said this was supposed to be easy.
Jake seemed to sense I needed quiet; needed time to be alone, so as soon as we were at school he gave me a quick peck on the lips and promised to seem me after class. I nodded after him, grabbing the mirror in my purse to make sure there was no evidence that I had been crying.
After I was sure everything looked normal, I tracked down Adam at his locker.
"What is it this time?" he asked while I approached. "Is Eli going to torch down the school today?"
"No, I was being ridiculous. Eli's not going to hurt anyone."
"That's quite a change of opinion. What sparked this newfound trust in Eli's mental stability?"
"Have you read Eli's new draft of the play?" I asked Adam in lieu of his question.
"He hasn't let me; he wants me to see it on opening night so it doesn't distort the magic…or some weird logic. I don't know; it's Eli. Why do you ask?"
I shook my head, not really wanting to get into it with him. "I just need to talk to him. Do you know where he is?"
"The theater; where else? Sounds like there is something you're not telling me."
"We'll talk later," I promised him before taking off. Sure enough, Eli was at the same place at the table that was set up last night. He was scribbling something on a copy of the script. He was just never satisfied with his work.
I took a deep breath, steadying myself. There was just so much I wanted to say, and so much I couldn't say. It was hard to find the right words.
I walked over to the table, stopping directly opposite Eli. He was so involved in whatever he was writing he didn't even notice me come in. So I came up with the most brilliant opener ever. "Hey."
He looked up immediately, his expression a mix of shock and sadness. I wondered if the pain and sadness would ever disappear from his eyes, or if it would always linger. I wondered if the sadness Eli left in my eyes would become a permanent fixture.
He seemed at a loss for words, so I decided to tell him why I was there. "I read your play," I informed him softly. The entire thing flashed through my mind once again. Why couldn't things just work sometimes; why did they have to get complicated and messy.
Why couldn't we go back to the beginning and start over?
I tried not to start crying again.
"And…," Eli prompted, his eyes catching every play of emotion across my face.
"It's…," I needed to find that elusive word, the one that would sum up Eli's work- the one that would sum up Eli's heart and his soul…the one that would sum up Eli. "It's beautiful," I told him, the word finally coming to me.
He smiled for just one second at my word choice- one short, genuine second. "Yeah, I made some changes," he joked, trying to keep things light.
"You made Clara the hero," I reminded him, still amazed that he cared that much about me; thought that highly of me. And yet, it didn't change a single thing. He was still the guy with the dead ex-girlfriend always getting in the way. He was still the guy who crashed his hearse to keep me from leaving.
He was still the tragically beautiful Elli.
"That's because she is the hero."
His voice was fervent, sure. How could he still believe that? After all that I had done to him, after all that he had put me through, how was I still the hero of his story?
I suddenly felt the tears again; they were trying to push their way out.
Because no matter how much he still thought I was the hero…no matter how much he still loved me…no matter how much I still cared about him, or how I still loved him, too, it couldn't change our stories ending. We were never going to be in the right place at the right time, wanting the same thing. And that killed me.
Eli smiled at me again, this one softer, sadder. And, suddenly, I couldn't look him in the eyes anymore because it was too much.
How could a love so beautiful and pure get so out of hand?
How could Eli still look at me with that hope in his eyes, and why did I want so badly to give him a reason to hope?
Why did I have the feeling he was still the hero of my story?
Eli's Point of View:
"All I'm saying is, don't you dare touch that script again, Goldsworthy. Everything about it was perfect. And our cast is so talented. I got Goosebumps at the end, Eli…Goosebumps!"
Fiona had been waiting at my locker just to praise me…again. If she didn't stop soon, I might float away on account of my big head. "I understand what you're saying, I really do, but there are just a few lines that need tweaking. I won't be happy until every line is perfect, and I caught just a few flubs in the read-through last night. Just a few!"
Fiona sighed, but I could tell I was already winning this particular battle. She wanted the show to be spectacular, as well, and she knew I was capable of providing her with a spectacular script.
"Fine, but you will do them immediately so I can approve them before lunch. Give our poor actors a break; Imogen is going to explode if you do any more major rewrites."
"They are minor tweaks, I promise you. And even if they weren't Imogen is the least of our worries. I'll bet she already has the new script memorized."
"True…she is kind of a freak."
"I think he prefers the word passionate, but I could be wrong."
Fiona chuckled, pinching my cheek. "There's that smirk I love…now go, rewrite…make your play perfect."
I gave her a salute, and started toward the theater so I could work in quiet. The computer lab would be too noisy and crowded.
I passed by Adam's locker and remembered that we were supposed to hang out before he had to do radio stuff…we weren't exactly seeing a lot of each other lately. But Adam would understand; he always did.
I pulled out a post-it note, quickly scribbled a sorry, and told him where to find me if he needed me, and then stuck it on his locker. I felt bad, but my director would bite my head off if I begged for my revisions and then did not have them to her by her deadline. Someone had to keep me on track.
As soon as I got to the theater I set up at the table, and dove in. I was so absorbed in my work that I didn't even notice when another person joined me in the room.
"Hey," an unexpected but hauntingly familiar voice cut through the haze of the alternate universe I was so focused on. I looked up to make sure I wasn't imagining things, and, sure enough, Clare Edwards stood across the table from me. She looked…regretful? I couldn't imagine why. "I read your play," she continued.
Ah, so that's why she was here. Jake must have given it to her to read. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to see her initial reaction to it, but I wanted to hear what she was thinking now. Her opinion meant more to me than Adam's, Fiona's or Imogen's combined. She was my inspiration, after all. Still my muse no matter how she tried to distance herself from me. And, of course, I could understand that impulse. I was a monster, and I drove people away. I drove the person who meant the world to me away.
"And…," I asked, anxiously awaiting her response. She obviously had something to say or she wouldn't have come to find me.
"It's…," Clare seemed to struggle with the right word to describe Love Rolette. I watched as she seemed to flip through the files in her brain to find the perfect adjective. "It's beautiful," she finally was able to collect her thought.
Clare thought it was beautiful…all that hard work had been worth it, then. It was for her, inspired by her and about her…I was glad she thought it was beautiful because that meant I had portrayed the story right. She was beautiful.
She would always be the most beautiful, shining light in my dark, messed up world.
I smiled at her, the pride breaking through for just one second. "Yeah, I made some changes."
"You made Clara the hero," Clare sounded so surprised by this; she was in awe.
"That's because she is the hero," I told her immediately, and I could hear the passion in my own voice. Yes, Clare was my hero. Even though she left, she was never truly gone, and she continued to save me. She would always be the heroine of my story…she was the hero in every story she ever touched.
Clare was amazing, and I would never live a day where I would take her for granted. I had done that once, and the consequences were far-reaching.
She was holding my gaze now, and I was afraid to look away; afraid that if I did she would disappear and take this beautiful moment of peace and serenity with her. Because for a second, just for a second, I saw a look on her face that told me she still loved me every bit as much as I still loved her.
Yeah, I screwed up, and there were still things in my life that I needed to fix. But maybe, just maybe, I had a chance at fixing the most important thing.
I smiled at her, tentative and bittersweet, and she looked away. I saw the tears welling in her eyes. I had made her cry so many times that it broke my heart…but there was nothing left to break at the moment.
'I love you, Clare Edwards,' I screamed in my head, willing her to hear the things I could not say out loud. 'Please pick up the pieces of my heart, put them back together and be my hero again. Because my heart, broken or whole, will always belong to you.'