Only In His Arms...Page 2
A New Star !
Neeley gulped down her orange juice, grabbed the piece of toast Dorrie had made, and rushed out the door where Dorrie was waiting anxiously on the steps.
Today was going to be a new day, a new start. She was going to concentrate on the musical and not what happened yesterday with the director.
"If we're late, that's all the director will want. Just an excuse to fire us. Come on Neeley," she urged as she grabbed Neeley's arm and almost pulled her down the stairs. Raising up early was still a problem for her, even at the university when she had early classes. They flagged the bus, and yelled as it was pulling off. The driver pulled over to the curb and opened the door.
"You ladies better up your game and get here on time, I'm suppose to pull off at exactly 7am, not 7.05."
"I know , Dorrie said smiling sweetly...you're so sweet to stop for us.....we'll do better, we promise."
"Yes, we will, Neeley added, also with a smile."
The driver mumbled something under his breath that neither of them could hear and drove on.
Neeley's mind was still on Chance's visit yesterday. He was in New York now, somewhere in Manhattan, and he was doing great. While here she was struggling to make it on Broadway, living in a small run downed apartment not worth the nine hundred she and Dorrie had to scrape up between them every month. If it wasn't for Dorrie's father sending her extra money they might be on the streets now. She had to admit she envied Chance, he was in the field he loved...his career was taking off, while she was still trying to get noticed.
"Neeley, Dorrie voice brought her back to reality. We're here."
They rushed from the bus, ran to the corner where the theater was and rushed up the steps, and through the squeaky double doors. It was 7:30.
"Oh boy, Dorrie sighed as they walked to the back entrance of the stage. Everyone's already in their places....oh! we're in real hot water now." They both slipped silently into their spots. Thats when they both saw her. She was stretching like dancers always did before a performance. Her long red hair flung over her shoulders, and wearing a black cat like jumpsuit. She was definitely holding all the male cast members attention.
"Who's that, Dorrie whispered to Neeley?"
Neeley shook her head mystified. "I have no clue."
"I see you two have finally decided to grace us with your presence."
The director said, looking in their direction. Then came up the stairs and stopped directly in front of them.
"When I say rehearsal is at seven, I mean seven." He turned and walked a few steps, then walked back. He stopped right in front of Neeley, his eyes looking into hers.
"It wasn't going to work with you I'm sure..., you just don't have it I'm afraid. You can pick up your pay on the way out....both of you. "
Neeley and Dorrie were shocked.
She knew why he was replacing her, but why Dorrie?"
"I'm so sorry Dorrie, Neeley said as they walked from the stage. It's all my fault because I wouldn't, you know..... now you don't have a job, all because of me."
"Forget it, I didn't like the script anyway. Dorrie smiled and hugged Neeley."
They both looked back at the new girl. The director was standing close to her, his hand on the backside, and she was laughing as her hand caressed his shoulder. He was going to get it from someone...she definitely knew that now, and Neeley knew it was going to be the new star of the show!
"So what are we going to do, Neeley looked at Dorrie."
"Well as for me, I'm going back to Tennessee."
"What, Neeley sat down on the theater steps next to Dorrie.
"What about your acting career...your dreams of being a star?"
Dorrie smiled. "I can still act in Tennessee, it may not be New York, but I like it there. And, she smiled shyly, besides Billy Clark is there.
It was the first time Dorrie ever mentioned a guy."
"Who's Billy Clark?"
Neeley could see the gleam in her roommates eyes, and she knew he must be special.
"He's the man I love, but he doesn't know it yet. I'm going to make sure he does once I get back home."
Neeley hugged her friend.
"I'm getting daddy on the phone tonight and asking him to send my fair. I'm not a big city girl Neeley...but you are..you've got that special something, and that special someone."
Neeley looked away, but Dorrie turned her until their eyes met."
"Now you're not going to be able to keep this place. You take that there card he left you and call him."
Neeley looked away again.
" You'll need a place to stay real soon Neeley, and he's still your husband.
As they walked up the stairs for what Neeley knew would be their last times together as friends, she knew Dorrie was right. Maybe Chance would let her stay...just until she could get a place of her own, and a new acting job .
To Be Continued on Thursday !
Everything has changed in one day for Neeley. A dream has died. Once again her future looks bleak. She doesn't want to lean on Chance, but she knows Dorrie is right. Chance is her only option whether she likes it or not. Lets listen as Dorrie preforms one on her favorite country songs that got her to New York. Listen as she laughs, dances, and has a good time and brings a smile to Neeley's face, forcing her to see that this is not the end for her or Neeley... "There's Got To be Something More"
The Audition !
Neeley didn't want to call Chance, but she did. It was a relief when his secretary said he was in court and she would give him a message. Neeley knew she had to be at an audition in an hour so she left the message where she would be, and that an it was extremely important that he contact her. She hurry and dressed. The producer of a new play was looking for a girl who could sing as well as act. A part her agent said fit her exactly. She had never sang the song "Listen " before, but she knew it from the musical "Dream Girls". She was no Beyonce, but she could sing it, after rehearsing it numerous times last night. Maybe she should have turned down the audition but if Chance let her stay at his apartment, she wanted him to see that she was trying to make a living on her own, and not just leaning on him. Her agent Morty said it would pay her substantially if she got the part. Enough to perhaps get her own place. She thought about Dorrie who was now back in Tennessee. She would have given her an honest evaluation of how she sang the song. She really missed her energy, and all the fun she brought to her everyday life. Nothing seemed to effect her...she loved life and never let anyone rain on her parade. She brushed her hair vigourisly, to help it shine more. Morty said she should wear it long, the director liked long hair, and it would fit for the song. Then finished putting on the last of her makeup. The sound of the cab horn blowing made her stop, take a deep breath, and one more long look at herself in the mirror before she went out the door, it was show time !
Neeley is about to audition for yet another part in a musical which if she's good could be the break she needs . Her thoughts as she rides in the taxi are of mixed feelings . Will Chance let her stay at his place for a while, she had to know soon as the end of the month was only three days away. Will she preform well enough to get the part, will she take new York by storm and be a famous actress on Broadway. Only time will tell, and she knows this audition could be the beginning of it all !
Lets listen as Neeley is on stage singing Beyonce's song "Listen" A part of her can relate to the words as she thinks about Chance and how he never listened to her dreams or goals for her life, or recognized her feelings for him....that's why she had to leave....he too like the guy in Dream Girls never listened !
The Talk !
Neeley waited patiently as the director talked to the stranger beside him. She wondered if her performance was good enough to get the part. She prayed silently under her breath , as she saw him walk closer to the stage. He was smiling. That could only mean good, she told herself silently as he approached. He was an older man with pure white hair, and wore glasses. He stood before her chewing on the tip of his glasses handle as if in deep thought. He reminder her of an old college professor she had in school. He had to be at least sixty or maybe even older. But there was no rule that said a director had to be young . She smiled as he motioned for her to come down the steps to where he was. She hated walking down steps in high heels but she knew he was watching her to see how she would handle it. Another test she thought as she stopped a few feet from him.
"Well young lady I think you'll do quite nicely. He patted her shoulder. Rehearsal starts on Monday, promptly at nine am. He turned and started to walk away. Oh, I might be late. If I over sleep, start without me." He laughed loudly.
Neeley smiled happily as she took the script from the stage manager along with the other cast members who were leaving, and stuffed it in her duffel bag. Thats when she saw Chance, he was leaning against the stage just looking at her.
"How long have you been standing there," she questioned as she walked up to him?"
"You're really good Neeley, I never knew how good until now." His eyes looked deep into hers forcing her to look away and head for the door.
"Thanks." She said as she walked swiftly ahead of him until they ere outside on the streets.
She recognized his car right away parker at the curb.
"My secretary said you wanted to talk with me, and that it was urgent." He leaned against his car as he waited for her to reply.
"Dorrie's gone home to Tennessee, she said finally, and I only had enough money to pay this months rent. She looked up quickly at him. It would only be for a few weeks, maybe not even that long."
Neeley looked at him. "I would have to move in this Sunday since the first of the month is Monday."
Neeley didn't know how to react. She had been the one to walk out on him, she left with only a note on the coffee table...no explanations. Now he was willing to help her without hearing why she left him and asked for a divorce.
"I'll drive you to your place, he said opening the car door as she got in. Tomorrows Saturday, I 'll come over early and help you get your things together."
Neeley sat silently as he drove. He deserved an answer to her leaving him, but how could she give him one. How could she tell him that she loved him, when he only thought of her as a fri
Neeley knows how hard it will be living with Chance again,being there when he wakes up each morning, seeing him go to sleep every night yet never once being able to be with him...love him as her heart desired. Those were the .feelings that drove her away from him ...will those same feelings drive her away again...or drive her closer to him once more. She doesn't want to be the girl with the broken heart again...not again !
Lets listen to this song as it plays on the radio as Chance drives Neeley home.
Chance was right on time that Saturday morning. Neeley was standing in the hallway packing the last of her belongings into her suitcase when she heard the doorbell ring. It seemed odd to only have three suitcases, she thought as she walked to the door. This was all she had to show for her life. A sadness swept over her. She didn't have a husband, well technically she still did, but that would change soon. No home, no furnishings, or children. Most of her girlfriends back in Chicago were married happily with careers and children.
She opened the door. Chance had boxes in his arms.
"Thought you might need these to pack things in," he said smiling at her, then sat them down in the hallway.
"No, I've already packed everything...didn't have much, she said turning away from him.
Why did he always have to look so perfect.
His blue jeans were pressed and creased, and he had on a blue polo shirt. She loved him in blue...it was her favorite color and he knew it. That was probably why he wore it. When she turned around to pick up her suitcase and grab her purse , her eyes looked straight into the face of a young boy. He looked about six years old she thought, but then she wasn't good at judging ages of children. He was just standing there silently looking at her. He had on short pants, a blue sweater, hiking boots , and a backpack strapped over his shoulders. He was a really cute child, with huge brown eyes, and light brown complexion, like Chance.
"Oh!, this is Ben, my son," he said casually as he picked up the two remaining suitcases, then quickly walked out the door.
Neeley was stunned. She couldn't believe her ears, as she followed them down the steps and into the car. He had just told her he had a son. She looked away from him and stared out the window as the car pulled away from the apartment building. He had a son. When, and with who, were the questions going through her mind. He didn't want to love her but obviously he had loved someone..the proof of that was sitting in the back seat behind her
As this song plays on the radio while Chance is driving Neeley to his place, Neeleys feels so hurt like the girl in the song.... as she thinks about all Chance has done to her life...it's all so messed up because of him...lets listen as she reflects over the changes Chance brought into her life...and now she thinks she knows why he never got the divorce...he's wants to bring another change into her life........the part of playing mother to his son Ben !
The Portrait !
Neeley was silent the whole drive to Chances apartment. All she could think about was his son Ben sitting in the seat behind her. When the car came to a stop, Ben was the first one oujt the door and up the steps.
"You'll be having lunch soon so no cookies. Grab an apple," Chance yelled after him.
He looked quickly at Neeley then grabbed the suitcases from the trunk of the car. "I'm on the eighteenth floor...or should I say we're on the eighteenth, " he chuckled a bit.
Neeley shot a angry look at him, then followed him through the door to the elevator. This wasn't a time for jokes, sher thought as she stood waiting for the elevator door to open. He had a son...there wasn't anything funny about that ! It was definitely a classy place to live. There was a doorman who opened the door as Chance brought in her suitcases. There was also a waiting room that looked as elegant as a living room with cozy furnishings and drapes. She watched as a woman dressed in a professional business suit smiled and said hello to Chance as if they were familiar with each other before leaving the building. There also was a reception desk where an elderly grey haired man smile and said hello giving Chance a wink as he looked at her standing beside him. Neeley didn't like heights. She couldn't imagine living so high up. Just looking from the fifth floor where she and Dorrie had lived frightened her, and when storms hit, it always seemed worst and closer. Many nights she had cringed in her bed when a storm hit, with the covers over her head. She followed Chance down a long air conditioned hallway until he came to an abrupt stop.
"This is it, he said, reaching into his pocket, where she assumed he was getting out his key, but the door opened swiftly and there stood Ben laughing eating a apple.
"I beat you uncle Chance, I beat you! "
Neeley looked at him, then at Chance. Ben wasn't his son at all...he was his nephew. Why did Chance say he was his son?
"Yea, but I had suitcases." He playfully turned Ben's baseball cap to the back and walked in, both of them laughing.
Neeley followed, not knowing what to expect. All she had seen was the hallway, and lots of apartment doors. When he stepped aside she was totally floored. It looked so like a rich mans apartment. Well suited for a rising lawyer, and obviously that's what Chance was.
"Your the pretty lady in the picture. " Ben reached over and pulled her by the hand until they were standing in the living room. He pointed up to a picture on the wall. It was her picture. The one the college used to advertise one of the musicals she was in her senior year. It was huge and hanging right over the fireplace where everyone could see it.
"Uncle Chance has one over his bed too,"he said smiling...come, he pulled at her hand again, I'll show you."
"Why don't you go wash your hands for lunch Ben," Chance moved him away quickly and turned him towards a room Neeley could see down the hall from where she was standing.
They just stood looking at each other in the middle of the living room.
"You thought Ben was my biological child didn't you," he said finally breaking the silence, his eyes looked into hers.
Neeley didn't answer, just lowered her eyes. How could she be so wrong to have thought he would father a child and not tell her.
"You remember my sister Gina, she came to out graduation?"
Neeley nodded, but said nothing.
He sat down on the leather sofa in the center of the room.
"She died of Breast cancer seven months ago and left instructions for Ben to be raised by me since our parents died years ago. He has no one else. And yes I have adopted him, so technically he is my son."
"When did you do that, she pointed to the portrait over the fireplace?"
He turned and looked over his shoulder. My secretary dabbles in art, especially pencil drawings. I gave her this old photo, and now there you are. He smiled. Well, your room is down the hallway on the right, across from Ben's. I'll show you."
He started to walk away.
"Chance, she called after him. Ben was just joking when he said you have a picture of me over your bed.. right?" She just had to ask.
He stopped momentarily.
"No he wasn't, I sleep with you every night Neeley, every night."
And with those words he walked passed her to the bedroom .
To be continued on Monday !
As Neeley rests from unpacking by listening to one of her favorite singers, she thinks about the songs meaning to her. "Trust The Voice Within" Its what her mother always told her. To listen to what her heart was saying, and trust her heart. Can she trust Chance. ...he has her pictures on his living room wall, and one over his bed as he sleeps. Does he really care for her after a year apart? The voice within tells her he does, but should she trust the voice within ?