The after party was in full
swing. Taylor had quickly changed into a shorter black dress with various cut
out panels on her way from the arena to the party. The 1989 era had given her a
confidence she hadn’t had before. She felt sexy, strong and happy. Her life was
exactly the way she wanted. She had an amazing group of friends, huge success
with an album she was really proud of and the media were finally talking about
something that wasn’t her personal life. Everything was perfect.
The atmosphere of the room was
electric – the loud music was vibrating through her and the champagne was circulating
the room just enough to keep her on a happy level of tipsy. Whilst dancing
wildly (obviously) with Ellie and Karlie, she scanned the room. She told
herself that she wasn’t looking for him. That she wasn’t seeking out his green
eyes in the dark room.
Ever since Ellie introduced them
she had been drawn to him. He laughed when he teased her about his past
interview and they chatted through the final performance of the Brits, agreeing
to see each other later at the after party. But she couldn’t see him. She shook
her head and told herself to stop being so ridiculous. They had only just met
and she’d been steering clear of relationships for a good reason. She’d been
burnt before and she wasn’t ready to run back into that fire.
She focused on her surroundings
instead – enjoying the party and celebrating her win. She started swaying to
the music that was booming from the DJ booth, losing herself to the dance
rhythm beating through the floor. Ellie and Karlie by her side. She loved to dance – she didn’t think she was
good but she didn’t care – this was where she could forget about everything
around her. And forget she did, she forgot about everyone else in the room.
He left the Brits in a hurry –
in the crowds of people all leaving at once he had lost sight of her. They’d tentatively
agreed to meet at the after party but was she just being polite? Was she even
interested in seeing him again? He wasn’t usually this worried and uncertain –
he didn’t like the feeling.
Watching her perform had changed
something in him. Sure, she looked stunning and he actually caught himself
laughing out loud at the fact he said she wasn’t his type before. She was
everyone’s type. But, it was something else that caught him off guard and he
wasn’t sure what it was.
After her award win he’d
casually suggested to Ellie that she text her to come and stand over with them –
she’d given him a knowing look but had text her without comment. He was curious
about this girl. He had heard about her – everyone had. She wasn’t dating anymore;
he knew that from the barrage of press intrusion into her life. They analysed
and obsessed over every relationship she had and inevitably it had destroyed
them all. He knew how damaging the press could be to relationships that weren’t
strong enough – it crippled them before they even had a chance to grow.
When she came over he studied
her intently – she was stunning up close. Alarmingly so. He found that he
couldn’t even focus in on the names that Ellie was quickly running through with
Taylor until she leaned in and said to only him…‘Do you still think I look
lovely?’ He just stared at her before joining in with her laughter. She was
teasing him and he liked it.
He was running over every small
exchange they had shared after her joke whilst he walked into the after party.
He caught sight of her, dancing in the centre of the room totally oblivious to
everything around her. He was enchanted. Her watched her for a few minutes, enamoured by her free and careless dancing. She was drinking from a champagne flute,
holding it carefully in her delicate hands. He realised she had drained the
glass dry so before he could convince himself not to he grabbed two glassed
from a nearby waiter and moved over to her.
She drank the last few drops of
her drink and placed it down on a table next to her, before she could even
think of taking her next step a full glass was placed in her hand. She turned
and was suddenly face to face with Calvin. He was here. She couldn’t help the
smile that spread across her face and blushed when she saw that his face was
mirroring her happiness.
‘Calvin, nice to see you again!
Thanks for the drink.’ She quickly breathed out. He was standing so close to
her she couldn’t concentrate. He was tall, very tall. And so handsome she
almost couldn’t breathe.
‘I just couldn’t stay away.’ Her breathing paused momentarily and she could almost hear her heart racing above the music. ‘Do
you want to move over to somewhere a little quieter?’ He was feeling bold and
he would have no bigger regret than leaving this party without getting to know
her better. She nodded in agreement, a slight blush reddening her cheeks, which
only made her more endearing to him. He guided her over to a seated area to the
right of the bar – secluded from the view of the party. It was small and
enclosed, their long limbs grazing each other’s as they sat down.
‘So, Calvin, did you enjoy the
show?’ She was making small talk – she was too nervous for this. She started
looking around cautiously to plan an escape. He smiled at her
‘Please, call me Adam. Calvin is
just a stage name.’ She looked up at him surprised but touched that he would
trust her with something so intimate so quickly. ‘And, yes I did. You were
magnificent and congratulations on the award – very well deserved.’
She beamed at him. Her megawatt
smile filling him with a warm feeling in his chest. ‘Thank you! That’s so sweet
of you to say.’
The more they talked – about friends,
home, music, family – the more comfortable they became with each other. They
had subconsciously moved themselves closer together; his arm over the back of
the chair they were sharing and her face leaned in to hear his voice clearer. They instinctively began reaching out to each other, animated in conversation. She would touch his arm with a laugh at one of his jokes and he could have sworn he felt the heat of her touch there for the rest of the night.
It was comfortable – he made her comfortable. The party was beginning to wind
down and they had spent most of the night laughing and whispering to each other.
She had butterflies, the good kind, and didn’t want the night to end. Karlie
was motioning to her from the distance and she knew she had to leave him. He
noticed her attention had moved on to something else and glanced over his
‘You have to leave?’ he said,
not even hiding the sadness in his voice. She beamed again. It was all she seemed
to do in his presence.
‘Unfortunately, yeah. I had no
idea it had got so late. We’ve been talking for over an hour!’ she looked down,
nervous about her next question. His hand reached over to hers and gave her a
reassuring affectionate squeeze. She could do this. ‘Adam, I know I’m being forward
and trust me, I don’t normally do this but I’d really like to see you again.
Can I have your number?’
Now it was his turn to beam.
Talking with her had been the best part of his night – his week, if he’s being
honest. He was completely enthralled by her and the fact that despite her past
it had been her that had asked him to take this further had completely surprised
him. He could only think of one response to her question.
Alicia Beck (Meg Giry), Harriet Jones (Christine), John Ellis (Piangi), Lara Martins (Carlotta), Lisa-Anne Wood (Christine u/s), Ellen Jackson (wardrobe mistress) and more, from the Nov. 2014 West End brochure.