Cmon, Edward! Alice urged, reaching for my hand. Itll be fun!
I scoffed. For you, you mean.
She simply giggled in response, clasping my hand in her tiny one; she took Emmetts in the other.
We are so going to regret this, arent we? he stage-whispered to me, and I grinned.
Big time. Alice gave us a knowing look.
Im doing this for her, you know, she informed us. I love her, and you will, too. Shes great!
Alice had had a vision where shed hung out with one of the humans at this new school of ours in Canada. Elizabeth. Lizzie, as her friends called her. Unfortunately, Alice had no classes with this girl, so she had to think outside the box on how she was supposed to meet said girl. And, of course, she couldnt do it alone.
Lizzie was a musical buff--and, to her immense delight, the school was going to perform The Phantom of the Opera, her favorite musical. Obviously, the only way Alice could get close to this girl was to join the musical, something she couldnt seem to do without us.
Please, Edward! shed begged the second Id read her thoughts. Youd get to play the piano! That had been the selling point for me--anything that involved a piano instantly grabbed my attention.
Whats in it for me? Emmett had asked warily when Alice had cornered him that same evening.
Join it for the laughs, she offered, and he didnt need any more persuasion than that. Rosalie had never had plans to enter any school musical, and Jasper just thought we were torturing ourselves with the thirst. Bella wasnt going to school yet--even with her intense self-control, she was still nervous about it--and the only reason I was going was because Alice had particularly wanted to go this year, and Carlisle had convinced me that it would look odd for a new family to home school one of their five children while the other four went (Bella apparently had some rare disease that only Carlisle would look up, and she wasnt supposed to be around other people.) We werent taking any risks yet with Nessie.
Alice pulled us into the auditorium: there were only a few dozen--that many I could count at a glance before Alice led us deeper into the crowd. We headed to the first row of seats.
Which one is she? Emmett whispered to her, and, discreetly, Alice pointed to a brunette who was turned around in her chair, talking to a friend in the seat behind her with interest. She had a pale, round face, and her cheeks flushed with her animation. Tiny freckles were sprinkled over her cheeks and nose; she was very---
Cute, Emmett said as he looked away. I nodded; although I was 100% biased for my Bella, I couldnt deny that Lizzie had a pretty face.
There was a short introductory speech given by the musical director then, and he described the process: we would get our librettos now, and we would be expected to come back in a week to audition for our parts. A very quick process.
It took only the short introduction for me to know that I would audition for the part of Erik, the Phantom. The only other role I could consider auditioning for, the part of Raoul, was pathetic: he was a class-A FOP, very feminine, even if he was the main female characters love interest.
I couldnt help but chuckle as when I realized that Lizzie desired the part of the lead, Christine. That would be so cool! she repeated, thinking over the scenes in her head; I leaned over to Alice.
She wants the lead, I murmured, but Alice was one step ahead.
Well, duh. Shes going to be my friend; I already know that! Im trying out for Meg. I nodded--I could see it.
And now, the director concluded, I leave you to do some mirror exercises. He gestured to the stage. Find a partner, face them, and copy their movements. This was a well-known technique, and it took no more explanation from him.
Alice jumped up from her seat. Ill be Lizzies partner! she exclaimed. Startled, the human turned to the direction of her name, and her green eyes widened as she took in my sisters appearance.
Uh, she hesitated, glancing back to her friends.
Its fine! Go! one of them urged. Ill just pair with Alicia. The two other friends left, and Lizzie was left staring.
Cool! Alice smiled, holding out her hand. Alice Cullen, by the way.
Lizzie Hanna. They shook hands and began for the stage.
Emmett sighed beside me. I guess were stuck together.
Guess so. We, too, headed for the stage, and we stood only a few feet from Alice and her partner.
So, what exactly is the plot of this thing? Emmett asked, and I stared at him in disbelief.
You dont now what Phantom of the Opera is about? Knowing Emmett, it really shouldnt have surprised me, but it did. He simply shrugged, and I glared. You are a disgrace to the literary community.
Whatever! I scoffed.
Fine. But didnt you watch the movie with Rosalie when it came out? He chuckled.
Not really. I shoved Esme in the room at the last second; watched ESPN the whole day. I think she liked it, though.
Esme likes everything, Emmett. And because I knew his mind better than he did himself, I tried to stop him before he could make a sexual innuendo out of my words. I could not stop his thoughts, however, and I cringed.
Eugh! Emmett, please, I do not want to think about my mother and father that way! I could not even describe what I was seeing to myself. Luckily, Alice had heard our conversation.
Emmett! she hissed. Behave! He snickered.
Who? Lizzie asked her innocently, and I turned to look at her.
Just my brothers being idiots. She gestured to us, and Emmett smiled and waved. I simply nodded my head in recognition. I shouldve been prepared for her reaction. Her eyes widened and her jaw slackened.
Oh my GOD! she exclaimed. Guys like that just do NOT exist. I cant tell which one I like better, the brawny one--Emmett, maybe?--or the scrawny one.
Scrawny. I growled.
W-who are they? she stuttered, dazed.
Edward-- I nodded again --and Emmett.
Edward definitely is the hotter one, but hes probably gay. Only, like, two straight guys join musicals, and I know both of them. She examined my stunned expression deeper. Emmetts WAY too buff to be gay--I didnt think that gay guys worked out that much. But Edward
.oh man. He just has to be gay. She sighed. Its too bad, though. He could be taken, though. Yeah, its always the taken ones that are the hottest. Damn it.
Taken. That was more like it. Not that I hadnt been called gay before--at least, not to my face--but I was glad that she could consider the fact that I had a girlfriend. Well, wife, technically, but for all intents and purposes, a girlfriend.
The rest of the warm-up went off without a hitch, as did the rest of the week. Auditions went beautifully: Lizzie landed the part of Christine, Alice the part of Meg, I the part of Erik, and Raoul for Emmett. We brought this last news home with pearls of laughter--just thinking of the big, beefy Emmett singing his love to anyone on bended knee was enough to send any Cullen rolling on the floor with laughter, especially Rosalie. Shed enjoyed it to no end.
Rehearsals were more fun than Id ever expected--all the cast members were very enthusiastic, and we all seemed to share the same sense of humor. It was the first time where Id really befriended humans other than my Bella--it was an intriguing experience.
Lizzie was a great performer--it was wicked fun to work with her. It was interesting to watch her and to listen to her thoughts as she switched from me to Emmett as Christine--to watch her reactions to the both of us. In her eyes, I really did seem to become the Phantom--to her, I was mysterious and dangerously attractive. She treated Emmett like a big brother; she was more comfortable with him, it seemed, no matter his size. Our three-way relationship seemed as complicated as Eriks, Christines, and Raouls was in the musical.
As Alice had predicted, she and Lizzie had become thick as thieves. They were near each other constantly, sharing fashion tips and just a little gossip. She became friends with Lizzies friends, and they adored her immensely. Alice was in her zone, and it was fun to see the happiness on her face.
Performance night went perfectly--a great turnout, and only one or two little mistakes. Lizzie was phenomenal, singing and dancing her heart out--her blood pounded quickly in her veins, invigorated with adrenalin. We became engrossed with our lines, with our every action--it was hard to come back down to earth when the musical ended.
Immediately after the curtain dropped, Lizzie was encircled by her friends, and I stole myself away from the crowded stage, dashing for the lobby. As eye-opening as the experience had been, I wanted to get home. I wanted to see Bella again.
Esme was the first one to find me. Edward! she exclaimed, opening her arms. I embraced her with a smile. You were wonderful! I laughed lightly.
Thank you. Carlisle smiled at me, attempting to speak but immediately interrupted by Jaspers obnoxious laughs. I glared at him.
What? He waved me off, breathless from the laughter.
You--you--so funny--ridiculous-- Even his thoughts were incoherent; I shrugged him aside and waved Emmett over.
You were wonderful, too, Emmett, Esme complimented, giving him a hug as well.
Wheres Alice? Carlisle asked, curious. Id like to meet this Lizzie shes been talking about so much.
Shes just over there. I nodded into the crowds, and it seemed my head would explode with the intensity of Lizzies thoughts.
Oh my God oh my God oh my God that cannot be her dad! Hes so--so--there arent enough words! That blonde hair--his face, so beautiful--like Brad Pitt, but infinitely times better! Is my face melting? It feels like it is. I barely stifled a chuckled as she brought her hands to cover her beet red cheeks. Is that his wife? Oh, shes so sweet! Oh, Im so jealous. Oh, what am I doing?! she scolded herself as Alice took her elbow and led her to us. Im daydreaming about her father! My best friends dad! Thats sick. But still
Her thoughts continued in this way as Alice brought her up to us. Mom, Dad, Jasper, this is Lizzie. Carlisle and Jasper both shook hands, and Esme gave her a light hug.
Its nice to meet you, dear, she said.
Nice to meet you, too, Mrs. Cullen, Lizzie returned pleasantly.
Can you come home with us? Alice asked eagerly. Well have a little party!
Lizzie looked between all of us nervously. Ill just go check with my parents, she said before turning around to search for her parents in the mass of people. Alice smiled widely.
I love having humans friends, she said. And she lets be do her hair, which is more I can say for Bella.
Lizzie came back after a few moments, armed with an affirmative. We left the school in my Volvo, and we reached our new house within minutes. She was speechless for a few seconds as she stared up at it.
Cmon! Alice encouraged, grabbing her elbow again and leading her through the front door. The werewolves were over--or at least Jacob and Seth were. Bella and Rosalie were playing with Renesmee in the corner--she hadnt wanted to leave the house, and Jasper had promised her that hed capture the musical on camera, so shed stayed with Bella.
Seth stood up in greeting as Lizzie came in the house, his cheeks getting darker under the tan of his skin. Shes really cute, he thought. I wonder who she is
He wandered over and started to talk to her and Alice, pleased when Lizzies eyes lit up every time he looked at her.
It became an average evening in the Cullen household.