Main > Series > Chapters > Fame Book 2 > Chapter 13
Thursday morning, Charlotte phoned again. She caught Angelo just before
he was due to go out.
'Mister Martelli,' she said, 'it's Charlotte
Miller. I was just wondering whether or not you've had time to talk to
'Uh, yeah, I did,' Angelo said.
'And was there . . . a lot of communication?'
'Well, you know . . . you got to listen
between the lines a little bit. You talk to Julie yet?'
'Yes, I did.'
'Lot of communication?'
'Oh, you bet.'
There was a stillness on both ends of the line,
and then Angelo said, 'Mrs. Miller - are you lying as much as I am?'
'Oh,' Charlotte said dispiritedly. 'You bet.'
The truth of it was that Bruno and Julie were planning no secret assignations;
all that they were doing was following up on their original intention of
doing something good for Doris. They'd decided that it ought to be some
kind of formal mark of thanks; Bruno had first suggested that it ought
to be something like a gift certificate, perhaps for somewhere like Mike's
pizza, but Julie had scotched that idea.
'Doris goes there a lot,' she'd explained,
'but that's because porking out helps her forget when she's feeling lousy
about something. I'm afraid it will just remind her of how low she's been
getting. It ought to be something more, kind of . . . I don't know. Official.'
'Something she could hang in her room?' Bruno
'So, where can we find a sale on horse thieves?'
But from there, they'd started to become more
ambitious. If it was a question of making a formal gesture of thanks for
the organisation of the activities, why not extend it to the parents who
were also giving up their time to help out? Secrecy therefore became the
first order of the day, and questions at home were to be fielded as if
nothing was being hidden.
It was an innocent enough plan; but of course,
they couldn't know about the bow wave of anxiety that was starting to follow
Leroy, meanwhile, had been thinking through a problem of his own. He
'Beginner's luck,' Danny assured him.
'Hey, be serious,' Leroy said. 'This is about
us, and the basketball game.'
Mention of the basketball game was enough to
make Danny serious, all right; like Leroy, for most of the week he'd been
having to fight the feeling that he was letting the kids down. He might
have shaken it off, if not for the fact that he'd known that it was true.
But what could they do? Leroy was dancing the
Johny Willcox role, and Danny was running the stage management team. Whichever
way they tried to play it, they were going to disappoint a lot of people.
But Leroy had an idea concerning Friday night's
major rehearsal. Althogh they would be having a couple of polishing run-throughs
before the main event on Wednesday night, this rehearsal was being considered
as the all-important Dress Rehearsal, the make-or-break occasion that would
tell them whether or not they had a show. Even though a lot of the kids
had been involved in so many performances that they already had near-trouper
status, it would be a tense time all around.
'Listen,' Leroy explained. 'If this number
comes off without a hitch . . . without one foul-up . . . then Miss Grant
couldn't have no notes for us and we could be out of the place in about
Danny could see what he was getting at - but
a perfect Dress, with no notes? It didn't sound likely. Lydia Grant would
probably think it bad psychology to send her dancers out thinking they'd
already hit their peak without an audience and could expect to do no better
But Leroy was looking at him steadily. 'You
following me?' he said. 'We get out of here and break the crosstown record,
and we might just make the second half of the game. That means I don't
put a foot wrong, and you don't miss a cue, Mister stage manager.'
'But what's the point?' Danny said. 'It'll
be too late. Too late for coaching, too late for anything that could help
the kids to win.'
'But we'll be there,' Leroy said. 'We'll be
showing that we didn't walk out on them.'
Danny sighed. When Leroy set his mind on something,
he aimed high.
'You got it,' he said.
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