Title: For Both Are Infinite
Living in London was always part of the plan. Ellie just didn't expect to do it alone. Running away and starting anew was the only solution.
She set some rules for herself: no connections, no love, no friends.
Work would be her only solace.
But when she's assigned to train Rhys Edwards, Britain's Heartthrob, for his run as Hamlet on West End, all her plans fade away. Ellie soon realizes that just because you're breathing, it doesn't mean you're alive, and she learns it's the connections in life that make it worth living.
“We’re heading in your direction. We are just parking and we'll be there in a few,” John said.
“Okay, see you in a few minutes.”
Immense pressure welled in my chest so tightly it felt as if my ribs were cracking. Self-consciously, I stood in front of the mirror to tuck stray hairs into place and straighten my skirt. I was the first in the meeting room and the waiting made me all the more anxious. I was quite nervous, not about meeting a gorgeous celebrity, but because this was my first opportunity to really prove myself.
I knew John trusted me, but it would be nice to confirm that he had made the right choice, despite my foreigner status. I also wanted to do right by Shakespeare’s work. Having studied this for over six years, I felt uniquely protective of him and his life’s effort, as if it was my responsibility to care for his legacy since he couldn’t do it himself.
I had been sitting in a chair before I realized that it was impractical to sit when they walked in, so I clumsily stood up and walked to appropriately greet them by the door. Mentally, I reminded myself to relax just as John, Michael Murphy, the director, and Rhys Edwards walked by the glass wall of the room and approached the door. I raised my hand casually, smiling at them as I waved and I noticed hesmiled back. I regretted waving, finding it awkward, not quite understanding why I did it, and his smile didn’t help the situation.
It made me feel noticed and stripped when he gazed at me. I was hoping the butterflies in my stomach were work related because I hadn’t felt that in a long while and it made me uncomfortable to feel such ancient emotions. No one had affected me like that in over two years and I wanted to keep it that way. Barely managing to catch my breath, I greeted John and waited for the director to introduce himself.
Michael Murphy wasn’t tall or short, but of average height and heavy set. The weight was primarily at his center, bulging out of his high-waist pants, with his suspenders barely held them up. He seemed artsy, wearing a golfer hat and a full red beard that covered the majority of his face. But it was his voice that stood out the most, loud and projecting through my ears as he intrusively stood too close.
“Hello, I’m Michael. I’ll be directing the production,” he said, shaking my hand. He then gestured to the younger of the three men, and said, “And this is the star of our show, who needs no introduction, Mr. Rhys Edwards.”
Mr. Edwards shared a warm smile with a hint of modesty over his introduction. Making eye contact, I extended my hand towards him and said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, sir. I’m Ellie Reed, and I’m looking forward to working with you.”
He took me by surprise when he didn’t shake my hand, but instead enveloped it in between the two of his. This was no ordinary handshake, it was affection reserved for people who shared a connection or had known each other for years. He stared at me with an intense, but comfortable familiarity and said, “As am I. I’m glad to meet you and grateful to you already.”
I froze. I hadn’t expected him to be this way or to immediately like him. The longer I stared into his eyes, the more I could see not just their beauty, but their kindness exuding from the crystal blue irises that stared back at me. Instantly, I felt at ease as they gave off the sincerest honesty I’d ever felt from another person. But there was also a discomfort in my heart that came with that momentary peace.
“I’m really excited to work together,” he said, still holding my hand in his, bringing me out of my hypnotic trance. I became hypocritically aware that Mr. Murphy’s proximity had bothered me, yet Rhys’ left me calm and thrilled. I wasn’t sure I was okay with that, or if I really understood it. If anything it left me curious for more.
Blinking out of it, I responded. “Yes, me too,” and despite my earlier apprehensions, I meant it.
Stephanie Alba grew up in Hialeah, Fl. with her Cuban grandparents and holds a BA in English Literature from University of Central Florida. From an early age, she always wanted to become a writer and began working towards that goal during her first year at home with her infant.
Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Stephanie taught high school English and Literature. Though she misses her "kids", writing is her passion and all of her stories resonate with her experiences in some way. They are works of fiction, but just as they connect with her, she hopes they also connect with her readers.
She continues to live in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. with her husband and son. She When she isn't writing, Stephanie is reading, finishing up graduate school, and spending time with her family.