Part Thirteen

Nigel raised bleary eyes to the marquee, where neon letters spelled out Destiny in stylized script. Below the custom-designed neon, a traditional board glowed, silhouetting changeable black type. Prices were posted, along with show times and a blurb about the showís multiple Tony Awards. It was really ludicrous, when you thought about it. The performances were sold out for a year in advance. Why advertise show times and prices when the only way to buy a ticket was by a scalper?

With a miserable shiver, Nigel tucked his injured arm closer to his body. When Sydney suggested he go home, he brushed off her concerns. Of course at the time he was comfortably numbed by painkillers and felt perfectly fine. Several hours later, the medication had dissipated and he was reconsidering his decision to come along.

The press of bodies didnít help. They arrived just as the nightís final performance let out, and a river of patrons poured down the long, broad stairs. Sydney and Nigel moved against the current, no small task in light of the sheer number going in the opposite direction.

Three times someone smashed against his injured hand, and Nigel bit his lip to keep from crying out. After the third encounter, Sydney moved in front of him to run interference. Moments later she reached back and caught his good hand, drawing it around her waist. "Hang on," she admonished. "Stay close to me."

It took nearly half an hour to negotiate their way to the theaterís massive glass doors. Only half an hour after the show ended, the interior of the building was practically deserted except for the crew and a few stragglers from the audience. The lobby lights dimmed within moments as the crew began cleanup.

"You can let go now, Nigel."

He was too tired and in too much pain to be embarrassed. Stepping back quickly, his knees threatened to abandon him, and probably would have if Sydney hadnít reached out and caught him. "Whoa, partner, take it easy!" She steered him toward the low crimson velvet bench along the curved eastern wall. "Lie down, Nigel. No arguments."

He let his frame stretch out over the plush bench. It felt like heaven, and he could have cared less that he was in the lobby of the biggest play on Broadway. His eyes drifted shut and he was asleep within seconds.

Go to Part Fourteen.

people have been to this page since September 30, 2001.