Say what? Archie? NO! (I don't own any songs I've used in here)
Theresa wasn't allowed backstage for Dani's make-up this time so she got to join the group.
Atlanta sat looking distastfully at Archie who was sitting very close to Sherrice. She wanted desperately to tell him about Sherrice's secret but she rembered what Dani had told her: She'd take care of everything today. Atlanta knew the wait would be agonizing, but the reward would be sweet.
The curtains rustled out of the corner of her eye. She looked over and saw Dani and Lani coming from backstage. Lani picked up his electric guitar and slung the strap over his head.
Dani walked to the mic and picked it up. She was wearing her sweatpants and a high school t-shirt. Not exactly the apparel A preformer should be wearing. On top of this, her hair was in a tight ponytail and she wore only a slicking of lip balm for make-up.
"Sound check." Dani announced. "We have no plans, so requests are encouraged."
Odie was the first to holler out "Juliet".
"Alright, Odie." Dani said raising her eyebrows.
Lani started plucking out a series of notes on his guitar.
"Follow me down to the edge of the town,
the edge of the town, where the graves are.
Swallowed in weeds and the throws of those trees, the throws of the trees,
Where my heart lays.
You can be my one if you wanna go,
You can be my Juliet then,
And we can drift asleep in a lovers' pose,
But never go away, no poison here,
Atlanta always thought this song was too slow. The lyrics were romantic and all, but too slow. She glanced sideways at Archie who had his arm around Sherrices shoulders. He looked mesmerized by Dani's singing, he always was, especially with this song. Atlanta knew his secret passion for poetry, and Royal Wood was a poet. His songs always captivated Archie, the depth of the lyrics and all that. Atlanta preffered to have an upbeat song that she could dance to.
"I know the bonds with grow,
With evry passing wave,
But we'll never toss,
The strength of the poets page,
Lani sang next.
"Juliet, ah ah aha,
Juliet, ah ah aha."
Dani came in to finish the song with grace.
"You can be my one if you wanna go,
You can be my Juliet then,
And we drift asleep in a lovers pose but never know,
You can be my one if you wanna go [wanna go]
You can be my Juliet then,
And we can drift asleep in a lovers pose,
But never close our eyes,
No we will,
Lani played the long outro and the crowd burst into applause. Several people stood including Archie and Odie.
Dani grinned and followed Lani off stage. The crowd bagan to chatter again.
Dani came running around the side of the room back to where the group sat. She came up behind Archie and he swivled in his chair and lowered his head to where hers was when she knelt. She had a peice of paper clutched in her hands. She was whispering quickly to him. Atlanta read the last part of her speech perfectly. "You can wait, but she needs to go now."
What if Archie had said, "If she leaves I leave?" Dani had told Atlanta that she was making Sherrice leave. What if Archie wanted to go with her? That just couldn't happen.
Archie nodded and grabbed Sherrice's arm. He leaned into her ear and whispered something. She nodded and rose to follow Dani back to the backstage area. Archie turned back around to listen to whatever Jay was talking about. Atlanta tryed to look like she was listening but inside, she was dying. How could Archie even think of leaving? Sherrice had him under some kind of spell. Maybe she was a Siren. That would explain a lot. But of course it couldn't be. Atlanta had seen the way Archie looks at Sherrice. It was a true love, not a false, magical one. Atlanta just had to accept that she was doomed. Doomed a lonely, aching love life.
Out of no where the flood lights were killed and the sotlights began to dance around the runway. While Atlanta hadn't been paying attention a microphone had been placed at the end of the catwalk.
A large spotlight focused on the curtain split where Dani soon emerged. She wore a stunning gown, floorlength, silvery sation, with a flowing skirt and flowing full-length sleeves. Her hair was done in a tight bun on the crown of her head and he wore silver eyeshadow with black eyeliner and black mascara. He lipstick was a deep scarlet. Atlanta looked sideways at Odie who's jaw hung limp. She reached across the table and pushed back up to the rest of his face. His eyes remained wide.
Dani approached the microphone and smiled. "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the "Rising Stars" Arts Preformance." The crowd went wild. "This morning we will be seeing the efforts of top designers and models from across the city. The top designer and the top model will be given contracts to have their work featured in a special edition of LOU LOU or LOU LOU Men's magazine coming out next spring!" The crowd went wild. Theresa even whooped at this one. Fashion, of course, was a passion for her.
"We will see three fashions from each designer today on their models. The top three will then be chosen for a fashion showdown. The categories for the first three fashions are as follows: casual wear, athletic wear, and formal wear."
The band, meanwhile, had set up their instruments to the left of the catwalk on the stage.
Dani took the microphone from the stand and handed the stand down to a technician. "Let's get this started!" She walked back to the band and began to narrate the styles as the band played behind her.
Neil was the eighth model in.
"Ryan Hoya has designed this next peice modelled by Neil Anderson. Ryan has combined comfort and style into this ensamble."
Neil (ostentatiously) walked down the catwalk posing mercilessly flipping the collar of his leather jacket and shoving his hands in the pockets of his flared, acid-wash jeans. His shirt was printed with a paint-splash design and he wore distressed army boots to top it off. Once he left the stage, the models seemed very undertoned with their movements.
Neil's other styles were a cinched nylon jumpsuit and a classic suit with a stripe of electric green laced through the jacket. The latter (the whole table agreed) was easily the best.
Neil did not make the top three, probably due to his vivacious modelling style. He joined the group at the table as the winner was crowned and he drowned himself in a smoothie.
Atlanta could only roll her eyes.
Dani came running back to the table, once again dressed in her sweatpants. Her hair and make-up were still in tact however, looking even more bold from close up. She put a hand on Archie's shoulder and knelt again. Audibly she said: "It's now, or never."
Atlanta sat stunned. She was making him leave with Sherrice now? But that just wasn't fair!
Atlanta cringed even more when he stood. He followed Dani to the backstage entrance and reluctantly went in. Atlanta couldn't believe it. He chose Sherrice over the group.
Almost half an hour later the stage had been taken down and the bands entire equipment had been set up on stage. Atlanta was dipping deeper and deeper into a depression. Archie left. And he probably wouldn't come back. What if she'd told him that Sherrice had two boyfriends already? Would have stayed? Would he have cared? Probably not, the way he was looking at her.
The floodlight was killed again and a sole spotlight was concentrated on the curtain break again. All the guys came out in black suits and sat or stood at their instruments. Dani emerged from the curtains and walked the mic as everyone burst into cheering and applause. Whoever was doing her hair and makeup was doing a good job. They had put her hair in tousled waves reaching her shoulders, her flattened bangs hangig to the side. She had on subtle orange eyeshadow with blackliner and mascara and neutral lipgloss.
Her dress was a dress! It had two inch thick straps on each of her shoulder, a v-neck cut, the bottom was cut diagonaly from her right knee to her left calf. It was a stunning bronze with sequins all over the material. They had managed to stuff her into a pair of peep-toe slingback black heels.
"Welcome back ladies and gentlemen! We have just seen Joshua Lindi and Stephanie Ryke win a feature in LOU LOU magazine. Now we will see ten couples battle it out for a chance to win a spot in a national competition with a prize of fifty thousand dollars.
"There are four categories in the competition. Each couple chose one dance from each category to preform. The first category is fast dancing. The three dances the couples could pick are: the 'kiss of death' quickstep, a sassy salsa, or a sexy samba.
"The first couple is couple 916 Corey LaRoque and Cheryl Lavigne!" A well dressed couple came from the backstage entrance and bowed on the dance floor. "They will be dancing a salsa to 'Hips Don't Lie' by Shakira."
And so this went on for eight more couples. Three salsas, two quicksteps and three sambas. All were phenominal in the groups opinion. Atlanta was too depressed to appreciate the beauty of the dancing.
"Last but certainly not least, we have couple 623 Archie Quinn and Sherrice McMillan!" Atlanta sat bolt upright at the name.
There was Archie and Sherrice walking onto the dance floor. She looked (Atlanta hated to admit it) stunning in an electric blue dress that only covered the right half of her body and cinched at the hip and chest. Archie on the other hand. Atlanta was floored to see him. He wore black flared pants and a royal blue shirt cut down to his navel. Ruffles boardered the neckline down his torso and the colour made his hair look like purple flames.
He spun Sherrice around so their bodies were close, he left hand was on the inside of his elbow and his hands were on her back. Her right arm was slung over his shoulder.
"They will be preforming our final samba today to 'Hiphip Chinchin' by Club Des Belugas. Jake?" Dani handed it off to Jake and the music began.