Paul married an emerging starlet and was thrust into a world of fame and deceit. After a huge controversy, Paul's wife goes into seclusion inside their home for over 10 years. She is then offered a final show, which she chooses to accept. During the preparation for the show, she is killed, and suspicion falls onto Paul, as well as an ex-lover of his wife.P
Paul sat excitedly at his table in the dim light of the Bella Trompeuse hotel. He had been placed merely feet from the stage and centered with it. The clamor of the room grew with the crowd’s impatience and already the ballroom’s atmosphere was saturated with cigar smoke. The curtains rippled as the stage crew rushed about ensuring all was prepared for the show. Paul’s dull green eyes were fixed on those curtains. He reached for his drink only to find it empty again – it had not been refilled for some time – but decided it wasn’t worth the effort to call a waiter. He was much more concerned with the show
The fat host waddled up the few stairs that led to the stage, the coat tails of his expensive but ill-fitting suit chasing behind him. The crowd hushed in anticipation aside from the few rude conversationalists. Paul chuckled as the man’s toupee, which was hardly large enough to cover the entirety of his balding scalp, bounced with each strained step. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience,” the host announced, “thank you for your patience. It is now my pleasure to welcome to the stage, Miss Leah Stephenson!” Paul wasn’t bothered by the use of Leah’s maiden name. Even “miss” was okay. After all, they had only been married for about six months. Plenty of time for friends and family to become accustomed to the change, but it would take longer for the fans to accept it. That’s what Leah said. She promised she would slowly make the transition. She promised.
The curtains opened and the house lights died even further. Center stage stood Leah. Paul’s jaw nearly dropped. She looked so beautiful in her silver sequined, strapless dress. Her blonde hair was done up in the style of the late Marilyn Monroe and her nails were painted a bright red which surely stood out even at the back of the room. Without a word of introduction from Leah herself, the male pianist, dressed in a similar fashion to Leah began the slow intro to a song he had written titled “I’m Saved in your Eyes.” What was his name? Stefan? The questions were interrupted by the opening lyrics. “Your eyes make me feel so good…” Leah’s voice rang so clear. Her alto had always calmed Paul and tonight was no different. His eyes followed her every move as she ambled across the stage. He was so in love with her. Thoughts of their first date came to mind. The café off of 21st, wasn’t it? The crowd sat in a silent awe until the final notes of the song ended in a crescendo.
A startlingly loud applause awoke Paul from his dreamy state. He bolted upright and clapped along, but his gaze never strayed from Leah’s. He was desperately waiting to catch hers. The second and third songs passed along successfully. Paul had, of course, committed them to memory already, but he still listened as if it were the first time. The crowd absolutely adored the performance. During the fourth and final tune, the pianist, Steven as Leah then introduced him, stood and donned a large-bodied, cherry red electric guitar. He began to check the tuning while a small band wheeled themselves onto the stage. The bassist began the walk in to a love ballad that Paul and Leah had wrote together: “Look at what We’ve Become.” Paul beamed with pride. Leah sang it beautifully, too. She danced along with the band and shared one mic with Steven for a short duet section. The stared into each other’s eyes and smiled, all the while teasing and pointing at each other. Once the section was complete they pranced in opposite directions and brought the song to an end.
“Thank you! Thank you!” Leah yelled as the crowd went wild. Wolf whistles rang clear, as did the distaste from the wives of the whistlers. Steven ran over to Leah and gripped her over the shoulder with his guitar slung over his own. The two pushed against each other and then bowed to the fans. “Leah!” Paula yelled motioning to catch her eye. She waved and smiled all around the room. First the balcony seating and then the sides. She bowed to the back floor seats and even the extreme left and right front. The crowd screamed even louder, bourgeoning in the attention from the starlet. Leah moved with a jerk towards the back of the stage. Steven had linked his arm with hers and was pulling her back. She laughed after the initial shock and turned to skip away behind the closing curtains. The crowd gave a final applause and Paul joined in. As everything silenced, he grabbed his jacket and slowly made his way towards the exit. He thought over the night and how exhilarating it had been. His smile caught for a second. Why didn’t she ever look at me? She knew where I would be; she picked out my seat. He dismissed these worries easily, though. When she sang she was focused. She had to maintain a perfect onstage presence and interact with the band. There was no need to be concerned anyways. She had promised him. She promised.