Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Half of Me: Chapter 12

Half of Me
by Paul Diaz

Chapter 12: Moving On

A week before the scheduled September 25th anniversary concert Adam had already had the press people going crazy. Every night he has been visiting local bars and performing for free to announce to the whole world he was back. With seven days to go Adam was back to his usual self, gone were the excess hair and his handsome face was again visible.

That night as Adam was about to leave the bar a middle-aged man approached him. Two huge bouncers prevented him from reaching Adam, “I am sorry sir but he has to get some rest” Kristine told the man. “Adam I need to talk to you, its urgent” the man said but Darlene was pulling the crooner away.

Adam looked at the man and patted his assistant’s hand. “He has been coming to every show ever since I came back. Maybe he has something important to say” Adam said but Darlene insisted that they leave immediately. The man was persistent but he could not get passed the two huge men blocking him. “You can tell me what you wanted to tell him and I will make sure I tell him” Kristine said to the man.

“I am Harvey, I come to tell Adam about Aimee” the man said and Kristine held the man’s arm and pulled him outside of the bar. “Adam has moved on already. You cannot come here bringing that kind of news. Aimee hurt him badly and for six months he has wept, for six months he has been in pain. He has moved on so he does not need to hear anything about Aimee right now” Kristine said in an angry voice.

Harvey straightened his clothes and looked at the pretty blond girl, “Let me just ask you one question then if you don’t mind” he said. “Fair enough, what is your question?” Kristine replied. “Has he chosen you to take her place?” Harvey asked and the young woman paused and didn’t know what to answer. “You don’t need to answer it, your face said everything. What you told me a while ago about him moving on and not wanting to see Aimee were all from you. Aimee told me stories about Adam and I believe he would not say those words. Aimee didn’t want to leave Adam, she feels worthless because she had an accident and she injured her hands. It’s up to you if you tell Adam this or not” Harvey told her.

Kristine stood motionless as the man started to walk away. She shook her head and walked towards the bar but he heard Harvey speak. “I know you recognize me; you know where you have seen me. She is there, and she will remain there waiting. It’s up to you now” she heard him say. Kristine pretended not to hear and entered the bar.

At the back alley the limousine was waiting, Kristine got inside the car and seated beside Adam. “So what did he want?” the young man asked. “Oh just like any other fan, he wanted tickets” Kristine replied as she avoided looking at Adam. “Tickets? He said he was not a fan” Darlene said. “Yeah I know but he told me this story about his wife being the fan so he wanted to surprise his wife. They could not afford tickets so I told him to come back and I will give him two” the young woman lied.

“You know what he looks familiar” Adam said and Kristine trembled and slowly looked at him. “Anyway I don’t remember where I first saw him and it was nice of you to do that Kristine. Let’s go have dinner now I am starving” Adam said as he rolled down the window to catch some fresh air. “I really thought he was going to bring news about Aimee” Adam softly uttered as he leaned back and sighed. Kristine rolled down her window and took a deep breath, she was feeling guilty and it was starting to eat at her.

Two days before the big concert Adam stood outside the concert hall and was staring at the giant billboard bearing his name and face. “It doesn’t feel right” he softly whispered. Darlene looked at the billboard and didn’t notice anything wrong with it. “I don’t see anything wrong” she told him. “Hey, if I wanted to change it would be there time?” he asked. “Change it? Why? Two days before the concert?” Darlene asked. “Yes, is there time?” Adam asked again. “Yes they could but I don’t see the point to it” his assistant told him.

“I want it changed; do you have a problem with that?” Adam angrily said and stared at Darlene. His assistant immediately brought out her phone and started to dial. “Yes hello, its Darlene. Adam wanted to change the billboard in front of the concert hall, and he insists you change it” she said and Adam grabbed the phone from her. “You go ahead and tell them I am coming” he instructed his assistant as he held the phone to his ear and looked at the billboard.

Ten minutes later Adam entered the concert hall, Kristine was already there practicing her piano pieces. The young didn’t go to the stage but he opted to seat in the front row and watch the people on stage. Everyone felt uneasy so they stopped and looked at Adam, “Oh please don’t mind me. Go on” he instructed. Darlene sat beside the young man and handed him the program list.

After a few minutes Adam tore the piece of paper and again everyone stopped and looked at him. “Adam! What is wrong with you?” his assistant asked. “I want everyone to leave except the sound crew” he said. “Adam what is going on?” Darlene asked and the young man stood up and took a deep breath. “I want everybody out of here except the sound crew!” he shouted and looked at Darlene. “That includes you” he added.

Everyone was seeing a different side to Adam that they have never seen. The backup dancers quickly exited the stage and Kristine stood up and looked at the young man. Darlene shook her head and walked towards the exit and soon the rest followed. The sound crew were left on stage and waited for Adam to get up.

“I am sorry about that but this is my show and I want something different” Adam told them and the crew remained silent. “I want this concert to be about me and Aimee” the young man said and one crew member raised his hand. “Sir, will she be present?” he asked and Adam smiled at him. “Yes she will and that is why I want to change everything” he replied and crew members looked at each other.

“I know you heard rumors but I promise you she will be present. Aimee will be performing on concert night and it will be different” Adam told them as walked towards the grand piano on stage. She will be playing this piano and I will be singing, but everything is going to be different” the young crooner whispered as he sat down in front of the piano and closed his eyes.

The evening of September 25 arrived and there were thousands of people outside the concert hall waiting for the doors to be opened. There was excitement in the air as everyone stared at the giant billboard. Everyone was formulating their own conclusions on the sudden appearance of a familiar face beside Adam on the billboard.

“Why is my name and face there?” Aimee asked as she sat calmly at her wheelchair. She was wearing a blond wig and a green blanket covered her hands. “I don’t know, I was here last week and you were not there, only Adam was” Harvey replied as the young woman looked at Rebecca. “Don’t ask me, I too am bewildered” the elder woman said.

Once the doors opened Rebecca looked at her ward, “Are you sure about this?” she asked. Aimee still staring at the billboard smiled and nodded her head. “I feel something different” she softly whispered so Harvey started to push her wheelchair. “Harvey please wait, I want to look at the billboard a little bit more” Aimee requested so the man stopped as the young woman suddenly regained her long lost smile.

Five minutes before the show Aimee was trembling as they were seated in the front row. “Are you sure he would not recognize me?” she asked so Rebecca looked at her and shook her head. “Who are you?” she joked and Aimee laughed for the first time after so long. “Thanks Rebecca, I needed that. This is so weird, why are the curtains closed?” Aimee said.

“Well maybe there are more surprises in store. The billboard sure made everyone busy thinking I should say” the elder woman said as there was indeed loud chitchat that could be heard all around. The lights dimmed and everyone fell silent and Adam emerged from the curtains. He was wearing a dark green suit, the same suit he wore two years ago.

The young man grabbed the microphone and took a deep breath. The lights focused on him as he moved closer to the edge of the stage. “Its good to be back!” he shouted as he was greeted by loud cheers and applauses. “Thank you very much, wow! I sure did miss that. I know you are all wondering about the sudden change on the billboard. That is my answer to those rumors spreading. I know you know what I am talking about so I don’t want to mention it anymore. Tonight all your questions shall be answered, that I promise you!” he told them.

“Two years ago everything changed. Two years ago we became one. Now, two years later nothing has changed” Adam said as the curtains began to open. Everyone in the audience had their jaws dropped as they marveled at the stage backdrop. The stage looked like a forest and in the center was an image of a calm lake.

“This is what it actually looks like when you are staring out of our balcony at home. Aimee loved this scenery so I wanted to share it with everyone” Adam said as he walked towards the grand piano on stage. Aimee was trembling and in tears at the sight of scenery that greets her every morning when she was still living with Adam.

“This by the way is the exact piano she played two years ago. Tonight will not be about my comeback, tonight will be about the person I love, and that is Aimee” Adam said as he walked towards the center stage as music started to play. The young man started to sing Aimee’s favorite song. Adam had his eyes closed as he belted out each word full of emotions. From the start of the song until the end he had one had clenched and close to his heart.

For six more songs everyone enjoyed the traditional Adam, no accompanying piano, and pure musical accompaniment. This was the way he started, this was the way he became popular. Armed only with his marvelous voice he serenaded the crowd just like before but this time singing only Aimee’s favorite songs. As the last song ended everyone gave him a standing ovation, Adam bowed gracefully and walked towards the piano. “When I come back she will be with me, and you will hear this piano play once again” he said and then the curtains closed.

Aimee was visibly surprised in what Adam said so she looked at Rebecca. “What does he mean?” she asked as the elder woman shrugged her shoulders. “Did you call him and tell him I was going to watch?” Aimee asked. “Of course not” Rebecca replied so the young woman turned to Harvey. “Don’t look at me, I don’t even know him” the man replied so the young woman was bewildered.

Twenty minutes later the curtains opened once again and Adam stood at the center stage between two easels. There were two paintings on his sides, the young man stepped forward and turned around to look at the two. “This is how we met with Aimee. Instead of painting apples, I painted a portrait of her and unknowingly she painted a portrait of me. I was not good in details, she was and what she was not good at I excelled” Adam narrated.

“She completed my art work and I completed hers and from that moment we were always together…always together until six months ago she left me” he added and the crowd was visibly surprised with his admission. Adam faced the crowd and walked towards the center, he had his head bowed and his hands were trembling.

“Yes I admit she left me. Please don’t blame her, she has her own reasons. But you know what? She is here with me tonight” Adam said and the crowd was confused. “She is here with me” he repeated but this time pointing towards his heart. “She never left me, she has always been here with me. I love her so much and in my heart she will always be” the young man said as he slowly walked towards the piano and sat down.

“I promised you she will play tonight; I never told you she would be really here. For two years we were together and I completely adored her. Ever since we were together I always watcher her play, I wanted to understand her better so she didn’t know I started to learn how to play just by watching her. She will always be half of me so tonight, she will play and I will sing song for you just two years ago” he said.

Aimee had her jaw dropped as tears started to form in her eyes. Adam started to play the piano and he amazingly did it well. The crooner started to sing the same song they performed that night two years ago and most people in the audience started to cry. “Aimee” Rebecca whispered but the young lady could not help but weep. “Not now Rebecca” she softly said. “But Aimee, look! You fingers are moving” the elder woman said as Aimee looked at her hands and they were moving to what seemed like piano playing.

Aimee could not believe what was happening, the tears continued flowing down her cheeks but she was smiling. Her fingers kept moving as if she was the one playing on stage. The young woman closed her eyes and imagine being beside Adam, being the playing as he sang just like two years ago on that same stage.

After six songs Adam stood up and walked towards the center stage and bowed his head as every gave him a second standing ovation. He started trembling so everybody sat down and remained silent. “Please stop asking me if Aimee left me. She is always here with me, in my heart she will always be. So please stop asking me” he softly uttered.

“And if ever you see her…tell her I love her so much…tell her I miss her terribly. Please tell her to make me complete again. Half of me is missing, half of me remains. Half of me she took away and I do hope she is missing her other half too” Adam said as he stood motionless and tears started falling down his cheeks.

The audience was touched and wept with Adam but in the front row there was a blond woman in a wheelchair who was weeping the hardest. “You could show yourself and end his misery right now” Harvey whispered but Aimee kept her head bowed and remained silent. “He has not moved on and he never will. Do him a favor and show yourself and you can end the pain you two are carrying” the man told her.

“I will just cause him more pain if he sees his other half this way” Aimee whispered as she asked to be brought away.