Hey look I'm alive.
Sorry for not updating as regularly as I used to, guys :( Oh and by the way, let me wish you Happy Nauryz! It's Kazakh New Year, a very old holiday which is a national one in our country. It celebrates the spring equinox which means the start of spring and life for Kazakhs. So, Happy Nauryz, or, as we say, "Nauryz kutty bolsyn"!
Note that these one-shots are not in chronological order, so don't get confused :) This chapter brings us back to high school times.
It comes with a soundtrack! "Don't Stop Believing" - Glee Cast version :) The start is indicated in the text, as usual.
Two months before HA Graduation.
"I said I'm okay!"
The growl I used to indicate I was okay said otherwise. I don't really fucking care.
But Vega cares too much. Most of the time, that's one of the many reasons I'm so in love with her, but right now, it's getting on my nerves.
"Jade, it's alright if you're upset," she tried gently again, those damn soulful eyes gazing at me with sympathy I didn't need. "I would be upset, too."
"So what if I didn't make it?" I scoffed, gulping my soda. "Broadway is old news. And that was just a minor part in a stupid ass second rate musical for, what, one summer month? I'm better off without this role."
I'm lying, and we both know it. That was huge for me. Any kid at school with a decent voice would kill for the opportunity. I got the audition. Not the part.
And it sucks.
"Baby, look at me," Vega, the ever-supportive girlfriend, said softly as she cautiously placed a hand on my shoulder.
I rolled my eyes, turning further away from her so she wouldn't see traitorous tears prickling at the corners of my eyes.
"Just drop it, Vega," I snapped. The regret washed over me instantly as she tried to mask the hurt, but when I was on a roll, I was unstoppable. So I continued. "If anything, you should be happy."
"..W-What?" She looked astonished at my words.
"Well, now that there's an opening, since I didn't make it, you could try out, and I'm more than certain you'll get it. Your voice is richer anyway," I bitterly replied. The tears stopped as familiar anger ran through my being. Mostly, it was at myself. "Come on, Vega. Let's be real. If you see the opportunity, you take it." Shut up, don't say what you're about to say, don't- "After all, you did so a handful of times at school. All the leads are yours. Go on, take this one from me, too."
You fucking idiot.
Tori looked like I slapped her. I could have, as well; and still it wouldn't have hurt as much as what I've just said.
"You really think so low of me?" She whispered, sounding so broken.
"Oh God, Tori, I'm – I didn't mean it," I shook my head, realization of how badly I just screwed up hitting me full force. "I'm so sorry, I just.. .This is messing me up, and-"
"I have to go," she interrupted me, shooting to her feet, her trembling voice betraying her unshed tears.
"No, Tori, please, don't go," I begged. "I'm so, so sorry, I don't know what came over me."
"I need to be alone," she quietly replied, not looking at me. Goddammit.
"Tori-" my words died in my throat as she ran from the empty classroom, leaving me behind. "Fuck!"
Maybe I should go through that anger management program my shrink has been yapping about.
"I can't tell you."
I groaned exasperatedly, physically restraining myself from punching the lockers.
"Cat," I started with a fake gentleness. Her brown eyes widened in fear as she searched for the possible escape route. Right. She wasn't getting away from me. "Either you fess up where's Tori, or I'm withholding candy." She let out a horrified squeak. "That's right, Kitty Cat. Any candy. I'll break into your home every night, if I have to."
"I still can't tell you, Jade," she pleadingly said. "Please don't take away my candy!"
I sighed. Of course I wasn't gonna do that. Tori would kill me if she found out. Well, she would kill me if she found out I was even threatening Cat in the first place. My nonexistent morals don't sit well with my girl's ridiculously high ones.
"Cat, please, just tell me where she is," I quietly said. "I screwed up, and I need to fix it."
"Jade, you know I would like nothing more than to help you, but… Hold on, I got a text." She quickly scanned the screen with her eyes, blinding me with the whiteness of her smile next. "Tori's at BlackBox Theatre, and I gotta go!" With that, the craziness that is Cat turned on her heels and skipped away somewhere.
That's… somebody should look into her case.
Whatever. Now I know where Tori is. I practically ran to the theatre, bursting through the doors.
She was sitting in the front row, her back facing me, her head in her hands. My chest seized painfully as I looked at her. Tori was always enthusiastic, and perky, all smiles and rainbows. But underneath it all she was so delicate, so fragile, and now, as she sat alone and still, it was on full display.
She was my fragile girl, and I was the one to cut her so deep.
That was why I wanted to let her go in the first place. I'm no good for her.
I'm also too selfish to do that, so I don't.
She whipped around, a gentle smile gracing her lips as she waved me over. I walked hesitatingly, sitting next to her as she sighed.
"I'm so sorry," I breathed out after the silence got unnerving. "I didn't mean any of it. I was just so angry, and upset, and disappointed in myself. And I took it out on you. You didn't deserve it. And you deserve someone far better than me, but-"
"Stop right there," she suddenly interrupted me angrily. "I accept your apology, but if you say again that you don't deserve me or that you think that I'm in any way or form better than you, I will smack you, and smack you hard." She sighed, frustrated. "I'm not better than you, and you're not better than me – well, maybe in cooking." I smiled against my will. "But it's… Our relationship, any relationship is not about being better. We're different. And it's the best thing in the world for me. You're the best thing in the world for me, because you complete what I'm not." She faced me fully, gently holding my hands in hers. "And honestly, those directors were absolute morons for not casting you, because you're… you're everything," she breathed out in awe, and I feel this incredible shyness inside me as she admired me openly with her loving gaze. "You're passionate, and brilliant, and your singing is flawless. If my heart could sing, it would sing like this," she whispered.
I bit my lip as tears tumbled down my cheeks. God, Tori.
"You're my everything," I whispered back. "You're absolutely everything to me, and I don't give a crap about that audition, or any others in the future, as long as I have you. I know that now."
And there it was. Her smile, beaming at me, filling my heart with satisfying ache.
"You're my everything, too." She took a deep breath, suddenly looking nervous. "You know what else you are?"
I shook my head, smiling a bit through tears as I mentally prepared myself for another heartfelt speech.
But nothing could prepare me for this.
(start of the soundtrack)
"Just a small town girl… Livin' in the lonely world… She took the midnight train going anywhere…"
I watched, dumbfounded, as Tori stood up, singing for me. She remembered. I once told her I used to listen to "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey every time the life at my old school got too hard.
And she remembered. And now she was singing it to me. And not only her.
"Just a city boy," Cat skipped on the stage, tugging a smiling Beck who sang the next lines with her. "Born and raised in South Detroit… He took the midnight train going anywhere…"
Andre with a guitar, four of them singing. Robbie on drums. I didn't know he played drums. And several kids, mostly Andre's pals, on vocalise.
I laughed, embarrassed, as they continued to give everything they were, staring at me with smiles. Her smile was the biggest. It always shone the brightest to me.
"A singer in a smoky room…"
"The smell of wine and cheap perfume…"
"For a smile they can share the night…" Vega sang this line, and then all of them looked at me, hopeful, expecting.
I rolled my eyes, shaking my head with a smile. For a painful second, everyone held their breath.
And then I jumped up.
"It goes on and on and on and on…"
For the rest of the song, something was happening. Probably, everyone was having a good time. Beck's singing was probably great. I'm sure Cat was awesome as always, and Andre killed it with his amazing skills. I'm even willing to accept Robbie was pretty darn good with drums.
However, if you asked me, I wouldn't be able to give you an answer even if I wanted to, because the only thing I saw, the only thing I would ever see for the rest of my life was her.
Tori radiated light as she sang, her eyes never leaving mine. She was wrong. Her heart could sing, and right then, it sang for me. And I knew in that moment that I was never letting her go.
I was unbelievably lucky to find the thing people looked for their entire lives. I got my happy ending when I just barely started, and I was completely okay with that.
I was holding to that feeling, just as she was asking me to with the lyrics of this song, and I was willing to burn for her for as long as she wanted me to, and even after that, because I won't be able to stop.
Last chords played, last words were sung, the most beautiful girl in the world was right in my arms, smiling up at me like I was her sun, and I thought I couldn't be happier.
Yup, I was wrong.
"I admit it," a strong male voice stated from the theatre's entrance. No way. No freaking way. "I was wrong, Miss Vega. I can see that now."
She fucking brought the play director from Broadway here. The director of the play I didn't get the part in.
"Miss West," he stepped closer to the stage, smiling at my disbelieving eyes. "At first I wasn't sure if you'd be able to fulfill the role, but now my doubts are gone. If I was to reconsider, would you still accept our offer?"
Are you fucking kidding me?!
"No, I most definitely am not," he laughed. I blushed as I realized I blurted it out loud. "I'll take it as a yes?"
"Absolutely," I found my voice, slowly replying back to him. "I, uh, of course."
"Then see you at the rehearsals."
"Thank you, Mr. Jeffords."
"I'm not the one you should be thanking," he winked at us as he departed.
"Oh, I know, and I'm planning on it," I uttered, shifting my gaze to the smiling girl in my hold. "Tori… How… God, I love you so much."
Vega giggled as I picked her up, twirling her, with the guys cheering us on.
"I can't believe you did this for me," I whispered, kissing her face all over. "You're amazing. I love you."
"Of course I did it for you," she said laughingly. "You were sad, and I didn't want you to be sad. So I made you happy instead."
"I am. I am so happy, Tori… I'm happy I have you," I confessed, smiling.
"I love you," Tori replied. And it sounded so easy falling from her lips. She didn't hesitate as she said it, like it was the most natural thing for her. And yet it never failed to make my heart skip a beat.
"I know." Her smile grew wider at my words, because she knew, too. She knew I was finally accepting her love. And I might not be worthy of her love in my own eyes yet, but I'll get there.
And she'll be with me every step of the way.