Disclaimer: I do not own any characters except mine, and I definitely do not own any lyrics
Part 20 – Unexpected: the epilogue
Five Years Later
Shepherd pulled over his car and looked at the GPS he was studying. The snow fell down onto the windscreen and was instantly wiped away by the wipers.
According to his GPS, Shepherd was Antarctica.
"Well, that explains the snow," he said and put away the annoying device. He drove on for a bit looking for somewhere to stay the night, when he came across a pink flashing light that said "Fully Licensed Dinner Theatre"
Shepherd stopped the car again and got out. He had somehow wound up near a side street. The snow was still falling thick and fast and the dinner theatre was the only place that seemed to be alive.
"This is why they say you should never go to New York in June," said Shepherd to himself as he rubbed his hands together for warmth.
It was DJ's idea, to go on holiday. Since Paige had left, Shepherd had slipped in and out of depression for five long years. She had always been there for him, but now it was just getting ridiculous. In her mind, five years to get over a romance was stretching it just a bit too much.
So she made him go to New York. She booked his hotels and flights, and even organised a car for him. Shepherd thought it would be too impolite not to go.
It was his final day, and he had spent most of it in the Museum of Natural History, wondering if he could make some of the exhibits out of Lego.
It started snowing while he was in there, and when he had finally come out it was really starting to blizzard.
And after 3 hours of pointless searching for his hotel, he was standing outside a dinner theatre. Shepherd locked the door of his hire-car and went inside to warm up.
When he first walked in, Shepherd thought he had gone back in time. The whole interior looked like a 1920's speakeasy. There was the main stage, which was really just a long platform slightly higher than the floor, and tables everywhere jotted about near it. They even had waiters and cigarette girls walking around everywhere in costumes.
One of the cigarette girls came up to him.
"Welcome sir, to the Mary Sunshine Dinner Theatre, an exact replica of the one that used to stand here in 1934. Would like a table?" she said smiling. Shepherd nodded and smiled back. He figured he may as well have a drink before he left.
He followed the girl to a table near the far right of the stage. It was one of the last tables left; the place was nearly packed out. Couples and loners were scattered about all over the place.
Shepherd gave his order to the girl, and sat back to watch the show. At the moment, about 20 tap dancers were on stage doing some sort of Charleston type thingy.
Shepherd leaned back in his chair and waited for his drink. It arrived just when the number was finishing.
The opening bars to the next number started, and figure dressed in black walked out of the wings. She was wearing a long, slinky black dress, and walked quickly and confidently over to the microphone in deadly stilettos.
Shepherd had a feeling he had seen her somewhere before. A thought came into his head, but he pushed it away. It could never be her.
But the moment she started singing, he knew that it was.
Sooner or later you're gonna be mine
Sooner or later you're gonna be fine
Baby it's time that you faced it
I always get my man
Her voice had gotten a little lower, but still had the same tone that it had always had. Shepherd couldn't stop looking at her. She had become even more beautiful over the years.
But if you insist, babe, the challenge delights me
The more you resist, babe, the more it excites me
And no one I've kissed, babe, ever fights me again
Shepherd smiled to himself. Paige had finally learned how to fully perform a song. She was using her face to very subtly imply things. The effect was that she seemed older than she was.
I'm gonna love you like nothing you've known
I'm gonna love and you all alone
Shepherd wondered how old she would be now, probably early 20's. He also wondered if she still stuttered. You could never tell when she was singing.
This time I'm not only getting I'm holding
The crowd cheered enthusiastically as she finished the song, and walked off. Shepherd wrote something on a bit of his napkin, called over one of the cigarette girls and asked if she could deliver it to Paige.
In her dressing room backstage, Paige was doing a hurried dress change when Sophie, the cigarette girl, came in.
"Well, that sure them sticking around for more," Sophie said, while Paige quickly pulled on her dress.
"Th-thanks, I thought I could've d-done better though," Paige replied. Sophie laughed.
"It always amazes me how such a good singer like you has such trouble speaking." Paige smiled and started on her make-up while Sophie continued. "Oh, and by the way, some guy near the front asked me to give you this."
Sophie placed the napkin on the table then walked out. Paige put her lipstick on before she finally looked at the napkin. Her heart beat faster when she realised who it was from. She rushed out of the room.
"Sophie!" she screamed. Sophie, who was almost at the end of the corridor, turned around in surprise. "Who g-gave this to you?" asked a breathless Paige, holding out the napkin.
"Some weird geeky looking guy near the front. Why do you know him?"
But Paige wasn't listening anymore. She went back in her dressing room and fell on the floor in a fit of happiness. She looked at the note one more time.
"So you finally mastered the art of performing Sondheim. I thought I told you I didn't like songs from music theatre."
Shepherd was sitting staring at his drink, which had suddenly become very empty. Another number of chorus girls was on, and before that a man desperately trying to sing in the woman's octave. A cigarette girl came up and asked if he'd like another drink. Even though he said no, the girl hung around a bit.
"Your note must have been something special," she finally said after staring at him in a rather disconcerting way.
"Why do you say that?" The girl shrugged.
"Well, ever since I gave it to Paige, she's been jumping around her room like a madcap mongoose," the cigarette girl said then walked away to another table.
Even he kept a straight face, Shepherd was smiling inside.
Paige came on again, but before she started singing she walked over to the band and whispered something to them. Then she walked over to the conveniently placed microphone.
"I-I would like to dedicate this song, t-to someone very special to me," Paige said, looking over at Shepherd. "Thank you, f-for finding my voice, and for finding me again tonight." Paige smiled at Shepherd and then nodded to the band. The intro started, then she sang.
I have never felt like this, for once I'm lost for words
Your smile has really thrown me
This is not like me at all, I never thought I'd know
The kind of love you've shown me
Now no matter where I am, no matter what I do
I see your face appearing
Like and unexpected song, an unexpected song
That only we are hearing
Throughout the entire song, they stared at each other, and nothing broke their gaze.
After the show, Paige was the last to leave. She was nervous but a little excited.
Just as she knew he would be, Shepherd was waiting outside the stage door, trying desperately to warm his hands. He stopped fidgeting when Paige arrived.
For a moment, both of them just stood looking at each other, smiling. Then Paige ran into Shepherd's arms and he held her. There were no tears, no cries, no sound at all. Until Shepherd broke the silence.
"Didn't you get my note about musicals?"
Paige looked up at him and smiled. They kissed as the snow came falling down.
Well, thats it! the end of a story! thought i'd end with a long one. amazing how it can take up so much of your life!
Ok, the first song that Paige sings is "Sooner or Later" by Steven Sondheim, and its actually from the movie Dick Tracy, which shows what Shepherd knows about music theatre. Just for a random bit pf trivia, the song won best song at the Academy Awards.
Anyway, second song is called "Unexpected Song" by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and is from the musical Song and Dance. Yay, i love ALW!
Just one last note. The ending was taken right from the film Rent, at the end of "I should tell you". See the film and you'll sort of understand. The song ends with two lovers kissing as it begins to snow. AWWWW!
Well, i hope you've enjoyed the ride. I certainly enjoyed writing it!