By APRIL GEORGE
It was now or never. The curtain was about to go up on the most important night of Phoebe’s life. Lucy had yet to show, and everyone was anxious. It wasn’t like Lucy to miss an opening night.
Phoebe watched James pace. Three different people were on cell phones, trying to find the wayward Lucy. David and Phoebe had taken turns dashing back to the dressing room. No one had located her.
James was cursing his decision to send Lucy’s understudy home. Phoebe chewed on a fingernail. They couldn’t do the show with no Joanne! Her worst nightmares were coming true. Her show business dreams were slipping away.
David peeked through the curtain at the audience. “The natives are getting restless,” he whispered. They were already 20 minutes behind schedule. If Lucy wasn’t found soon, James would cancel the show.
Phoebe bit her lip. “Where is she? I didn’t think she’d actually ruin the entire show over my punching her!”
David put a hand on her shoulder. “James called Maryanne, the understudy, but she can’t make it. Weird how no one can reach Lucy, though.”
“It’s like she disappeared from the face of the earth,” Phoebe said. She sighed and leaned her head on David’s shoulder. “It’s over, then. We have to close before we’ve opened.”
“She’ll be here.” David sounded unsure, and James confirmed the fear when he announced the words Phoebe had been dreading.
“I’ll tell the audience. We’re canceling the show.” He looked around at the cast. “You’ve all been wonderful, and I’m truly sorry it turned out like this.”
There were disheartened murmurs from the cast. James slipped between the curtains. They could hear his words clearly. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience. It is with great sadness that I must announce…”
“Wait!” The entire cast turned, and James stepped back through the curtain.
Lucy dashed onstage. “My car broke down, and I killed my cell battery trying to call a tow truck and my dad.” She was in costume already, and looked around at the cast. “I couldn’t let you guys down, so I walked the last three miles to get here.”
James smiled. “Well, better late than never. Get into your places. I’ll let the audience know.”
Lucy caught Phoebe’s arm. “No hard feelings, Pheebs? After the show, we need to talk.”
Phoebe nodded. “After the show, Luce.”
The cast dashed to their places as James explained to the audience that they had been having technical difficulties, but the show would now proceed as planned.
Phoebe smiled as the curtain rose. Finally, her dream was coming true.