“Are you married Yvonne?” Tad asked the older woman as they stood together on the empty stage, barely any light to guide them; the electricity yet to be turned on. Yvonne looked at Tad, wondering what had brought this on. “Or have you ever been married?” “No.” She said simply. There was no happiness in her answer, but neither was there sadness. Yvonne was, to the outside world, perfectly happy all by herself. That’s how she chose to appear and it was mostly true. She had never found someone worth marrying and she was okay with that. It didn’t stop her wanting a particular critic though… Out of the corner of her eye she saw Tad glance towards to orchestra pit. Páll had a set up some microphones and other things in the space, making it look professional and much more real, bringing the dream alive for everyone. Tad glanced back at her. Yvonne smiled at him. Some people find their love earlier than others.
“My name’s Tad Knights, short for Thaddeus, but no one calls me that. Are you a friend of Ed’s?” a reasonably tall, slightly scruffy man, with soft as fur light brown hair and glamorous green eyes, leaned on the ticket counter. An actor, Páll assumed; he was exceedingly charming and downright adorable. Stop it, Páll had to remind himself. “Páll Leville, Mr Knights. Actually I’m a colleague of Ms Motion.” “Ah, you’re in with ol’ Yvonne. Hopefully she can get us this place, and then we’ll be rich as pie. Well, maybe. Have you met Ed yet?” Tad smiled at him, swinging his scrawny legs over the dull wooden surface and gesturing the Scandinavian to follow him down the hall to meet this mysterious playwright everyone spoke so highly of.
“That’s Ed.” Tad pointed at his friend, grinning. “He is quite brilliant.” Yvonne chirped. “The best man for this job.” Tad stated. Edwardo Smith was not quite as tall as Tad and his hair was much fairer. He had a serious look and the air of someone who knew exactly what was happening, but in a calming, content sort of way. Slim, instead of lanky, his clothes looked simple but expensive and large glasses framed his face. Edwardo looked over at them, then away, as if shy, even around his friends. He was rather amiable, Páll concluded.
Yvonne unfolded something from her handkerchief, wondering what on earth it was and how it got there. She was far too organised to let scraps of paper drift around her handbag. She looked down and realised. It was a clipping from a play review. It wasn’t special in any way; the play meant nothing to her and the words weren’t especially kind or harsh. But that wasn’t the interesting part. It was written by Garfield Vinetta, the most acclaimed theatre critic in London… and the man who held her heart. The play had been the one time Yvonne and Vinetta had been in the same room, breathing the same air, admiring the same actors and actresses at work. His words could make or break a show. There was the answer.
Tad looked at Páll, unable to define what he was feeling. Was this envy or the feeling of being threatened? Tad was no longer the most talented person in the room as he gazed after the lanky man who wandered down the lobby corridor with a guitar. No, it didn’t feel like jealousy; Tad didn’t hate the newcomer, not in the slightest. The emotion was deeper than that. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it and that irked him enough to stop thinking about Páll and concentrate on learning the scene Edwardo had given him before conferencing with Yvonne to discuss the direction of the company.
“Ed, I can’t do this. I can’t walk away from this.” Tad said urgently as he and his best friend stood inside the green room for the last time. “Tad, we can pick up when we get back. It’s only a theatre.” Eduardo tried to reassure him. The war wouldn’t go on for very long, he was sure. Even so, Tad was unnaturally pessimistic – what had happened to the upbeat young man he had met in a bar, not all that long ago? “Ed, I’m not talking about the theatre. I’m talking about a person.” “But I thought you and Liliana-” Ed stopped suddenly. No, it couldn’t be. Tad wasn’t that person. “You’re not-?” Tad had been looking down, glummer than Eduardo had ever seen him before. He raised his face to look at the playwright, expecting him to accept his secret, as he had done for his friend. “Oh…”
It was the first time Thaddeus had written a love letter. He was an actor, not a writer and this certainly wasn’t something he could go to Eduardo about. Ed would laugh if he knew. No he wouldn’t, Tad reminded himself, Ed would be disgusted. This wasn’t a letter for … well, she hardly mattered now. It was for him, that beautiful singing angel of his - his Páll - then he knew what to write. But he would never ever read it.