INT. BACKSTAGE – DAY

That boy. This guy. Him. Where is he? She asked everyone.

They’ve been working with each other for quite a few productions now, and surely have gone to crew parties together. But she never got to talk to him about things unrelated to work.

That boy. This guy. Him. Where is he? She asked everyone.

That question.

Was she asking because she needs him to do some work for her? Or, she just wants to see him.

That out-of-fashion get-up, those off-colored shoes, that smile. That smile that anyone hardly even notice. Those eyes. Those beautiful eyes.

He enters the theater. Talks to no one, but his friend, Aman.

It’s a little late, and they have to rehearse, but she does not know how to tell him. Even about work, She can’t even talk to him. She doesn’t know how to do that. He does not mingle with everyone that much.

He does not mingle with everyone. He talks only to few guys, and sometimes sits quietly, with those earphones on his ears. Which makes her want to know him more.

But she can’t talk to him. How pathetic.

She walked to the technical booth, sat down, took her script and reviewed the cues. The show will start in an hour, but they haven’t even rehearsed the full play yet.

“Marielle.” He stood beside her.  She knew that voice. She turned to him.

“Hello, Ken.” Like she have not seen him a while ago.

“I have the music here. Do you want to hear it?” He pulled out his USB from his pocket, and handed it to her.

“But we don’t have time. We need to rehearse a full run.”

“I know, but shouldn’t you be listening to it first, to see if I got it right? So I can compose another song if you did not like it.”

“Shouldn’t you be giving that to Hana? She’s the director.”

“You’re the one who requested these tracks.”

Wrong move. Wrong words. Wrong answer.

She took the USB and checked the files in her laptop. She played one song. Another song. Then the last song.

He pulled out small pieces of chocolates from his pocket. “Here, have some.”

She took four. “Don’t you think it’s a little early for chocolates?”

“Nah, never too early for chocolates, for me.” He munched on one. “You know, I was supposed to e-mail those songs to you. But, I fell asleep while attaching them. I did not get to send it.”

She chuckled, “It’s alright, I guess.”

“Italian run, let’s have that instead of a full run.” He turned on the mixer, and pushed the button for voice over. He took the microphone and gave it to her. “Announce an Italian run. I’ll just get Aman.” Turned his back and started walking.

“Wait, Ken! I need you…”

He smiled and turned to her.

She blushed and looked away, “I need you here at the booth.”

“You can do it, Marielle.”

“But I want you to stay with me.” Wrong sentence. She dropped her pencil.  “I want you to stay and help me with the music here. Please Ken, the mixer will eat me alive, and the show will be a laughing stock.” She wants him to stay. Just stay.

He smiled at her, picked up her pencil and put it on the table. “I’ll be seated in front of the booth. Aman will be here with you. He needs me to sit in the audience area to check how the speakers sound.” He had his hands in his pocket, and started walking backwards.

“Okay.” She smiled at him.

He left. At least they talked, about work. Like always.

But she was all right with that. At least they talked, and he was the one who started the conversation. About work.

“Marielle,” Aman arrived. “Ken said you need me here.” He sat beside her.

She needs him here.

“Yeah, hey Aman. I made this script for you and Ken, for the music cues.” He handed him another copy of the script.

“Thanks. So, are we having the run now?”

“Yeah, please.” She looked at the chocolates. “You want some chocolates?”

“I’ve had enough. We were munching those a while ago. Ken has a lot of those. Those are from Ken, right?” He stood up and leveled the volumes on the mixer.

“Yes, they are.” Aman looked at her. He grinned.

“What?”

“Ken gives chocolates, only to girls he like.”

Ken sat in front of the technical booth. He looked at Aman, “Game?”

He smiled at her. That smile that she always has been noticing, but never knew it was for her.

Author: Jam Ibay

Proud Filipino who moved to New York to be with the love of my life, Gerald. Now navigating through the huge changes in my life.

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