Of Confidence


“John! Where are we going?” Melanie laughed, pulling at the blindfold that was over her eyes.

“Hey, hey, hey! A surprise is surprises now stop trying to ruin it,” he laughed. “Besides, we’re almost there!”

She sighed in annoyance, knowing that John was fully aware of how much she hated surprises. “I swear if you take me to a strip club I’m going to kill you.”

“Oh,” John said nervously. “Uh, cab driver could you turn around?”

Melanie playfully hit his stomach as the boy laughed, “I’m not dumb, Melanie!”

“You’re not funny either,” she said, giggling.

John laughed next to her. Soon she felt the car pulling to a stop and she listened as he paid the cab driver. John grabbed her hands and pulled her out of the car into the hot summer air. Las Vegas was similar to Tempe in the way that even in August the weather was over one-hundred degrees.

Melanie’s heels clicked against the asphalt below her as John slowly led her as what she presumed to be a parking lot as the only sounds she heard was cars parking. But then she heard something else. She heard screaming, laughter, and the mechanical movement of rides. She felt John’s hands slip up to her eyes and pull off the silk scarf he had gotten from Charlotte before they left.

Melanie let her eyes fall to the bright colors of a carnival. There were announcers everywhere trying to persuade people to spend their money on the game they ran for the night. There was cotton candy, funnel cakes, frozen lemonade, and everything else you could find at a carnival, including all of the rides. The quick set up rides that Melanie had never in her life been a fan of.

“John,” she whined.

“I don’t want your excuses. You are eighteen now, and you will have fun, Melanie I promise!” he responded, grabbing her hands and leading her to the carnival like a five year old boy. “Besides, I’ll be there to hold your hand the entire time okay?”

“You promise?” Melanie asked after a moment of contemplation.

John smiled and walked towards her grasping both of her hands in his. He kissed her forehead softly, “Just trust me.”

She felt butterflies in her stomach much as they used to just a few months ago. She smiled and let John lead her through the fair that was in town. They played a few games and John won her a teddy bear that she named Phillip, even against John’s wishes. The whole night was full of the friend’s laughter, just joking and truly having fun together.

It was nearly twelve o’clock and the fair was making announcements telling people to ride their final rides before they shut down in five minutes. So that’s why they were there standing in front of the Ferris wheel arguing over whether or not they would ride the thing that Melanie considered a sure way of death.

“Melanie, it’s not going to fall apart, trust me!” John pleaded for the seventh time, finally getting a sigh from Melanie’s lips, and a pout as she followed him up the dingy stair case that lead to the seat they would be sitting in.

The worker gave them a smile as they sat in the seat, latching a safety bar across their laps. She watched apprehensively as he pressed the go button and the ride began spinning.

Melanie closed her eyes quickly, digging her finger nails into John’s arms. “I hate you,” she mumbled.

“No, you don’t,” he laughed. “And trust me it’ll be worth it in a few seconds.”

“What do you mean?” She asked.

She felt his lips near her ear as he spoke, “Open your eyes, babe.”

And, so she did. The Vegas lights shone like stars in the sky. They were an assortment of colors that seemed to make up a rainbow, and she now understood why people got lost in this town. The town’s colors were mysterious and had an excitement that just seemed to draw you in.

“This is beautiful, John,” Melanie gasped, as the Ferris wheel stopped, their cart at the top.

“It is,” he replied, and she noticed that he was staring at her instead of the view in front of them.

“So,” Melanie began, “Is Taylor cool with you being here?”

She knew it sounded rude but she didn’t care. She was reminding herself not to fall for the boy who had a girlfriend waiting back in his hotel room.

“No, that’s why I told her to go home,” John said promptly.

“You what?” Melanie asked surprised.

“If I wanted her here I would have told her to come,” John said honestly, running his hand through his hair. “We’re done.”

Melanie smiled, “Honestly, this night just keeps getting better and better.”

He looked at her from the corner of his eye, a smirk on his lips, “Just you wait.”

Ever since Melanie was young she had loved the Phantom of the Opera. She wasn’t sure if it was because of the deep sultry colors of the set that automatically set the mood for a mysterious romance to evolve or if it was the star struck lovers that sang their passions for each other honestly throughout the entire play.

It was a story of deception and impossible love that made your heart wrench and twist because you were unsure of whom Christine would pick to leave her heart with: the safe bet Raoul or the mysterious and dangerous phantom of the opera.

“John, this is-gosh, just…wow,” Melanie said all at once, not being able to express her gratitude or thankfulness in words.

The boy smiled back at her as she sauntered across the large stage in amazement. “Is this an okay birthday present?”

Melanie looked around the theatre in wonder. The reds and gold of the statues and of the red velvet furnishing burned as bright as they did in the movie. The theatre held a mystic feeling, making you feel as if you yourself were trapped in the forbidden love story by just standing among the props on the stage. “This is the most amazing thing anyone has ever done for me, John. Thank you so much, I don’t think I could ever thank you enough. This is so cool!”

The stage had props from the scene where Christine and Raoul sang their famous duet “All I Ask of You” in which they confessed their long time love for one another.

John smiled, and walked over to Melanie grabbing her hands on his. He put his hand on her back, and wrapped her arms around his neck, getting in perfect dance position. “Then say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime. Let me lead you from your solitude. Say you need me here with you, beside you. Anywhere you go, let me go too. Christine, that’s all I ask of you.

Melanie grinned at the boy, adoration in her eyes as he softly sang to her. Sure, he was no opera singer but the delicate words of the song still made her heart race. “Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime. Say the word and I will follow you,” she sang back quietly.

Share each day with me, each night, each morning,” they sang in unison, following exactly the blueprint for the song when it was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber himself.

Say you love me,” Melanie sang back, acting as Christine.

John smiled looking into her eyes, “You know I do.

He stopped the spinning figures as they stared into one another’s eyes, finishing the last words of the song in unison, “Love me, that’s all I ask of you.”

The dancing couple was stopped in the middle of the stage, never leaving their positions of which they started in. Melanie chuckled, nervously breaking eye contact, “I guess all those years of me making you watch this movie actually paid off, huh?”

John laughed gently, “I guess so. I know that entire movie forwards and backwards, obviously better than you.”

Melanie scoffed, “Better than me? How is that, John?”

He looked into her eyes, taking a step closer to her small frame, “Raoul and Christine kiss after that last line.”

She looked up at John nervously, butterflies batting in her stomach. “I know they do.”

He took a single step closer once again and placed his hand on her hip. “Love me, that’s all I ask of you,” he sang softly, resting his forehead against hers.

Melanie looked into his eyes that were staring into hers. She closed hers timidly and rubbed the tip of her nose against his smiling as she felt him sigh, making her able to taste his breath against her tongue. And, as he pressed his lips to hers, she marked this as the best birthday she had ever had.
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Happy Halloween! Don't you just love five day weekends I get to update! Haha! Now I'm off to Trick-or-Treat; I'm a cowgirl (;
Oh, so is anyone completely in love with John or just me?