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First pages


Amy put her hand on the brass handle and opened the intricate glass door that led to the theater. As she entered, her big brother by two measly minutes held the door wider for her to pass. The aroma that permeated the building didn’t smell like a theater. It smelt like garlic and her stomach rumbled, reminding her of the fact that she hadn’t eaten dinner. She wasn’t expecting to be able to eat real food when she agreed to come to the oldest theater in town with Dean tonight.

She scanned the room, noticing long lines were forming both at the box office and at the little restaurant in the middle of the room.

She turned to her brother. “Why don’t I grab some food and you go get the tickets.”

She stepped towards the small café restaurant, figuring it would be faster to divide and conquer.

“Don’t worry about getting me anything to eat. I brought dinner to Sarah earlier and we had a picnic in the parking lot in between her beading classes.” He said this as he followed closely beside her.

She turned and smiled. “You are so romantic.”

“Hey, Sarah didn’t mind.”

“I’m sure she didn’t,” she knew his girlfriend Sarah wouldn’t mind almost anything they did as

long as they were together. “Go get the tickets before they sell out.” She nudged him toward the ticket line when he didn't move fast enough.

He was worse than a girl. She’d come to the conclusion the reason he needed someone around at all times was because they were twins. He was used to always being around someone since birth. Sarah seemed to be getting busier and busier with the shop she owned so he reverted back to spending all his free hours with her. 

She looked around the room taking in the details for the first time while she waited for her turn at the counter.

The Organ Loft, she thought of the theater’s name. Something about this place seemed right. Like the very walls were telling her she belonged here. She wasn’t expecting to feel this way about a theater they had ignored until now, even when Dean told her they were playing her favorite Broadway musical, The Phantom of the Opera. Although it wasn’t Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version. This theater played old black and white silent films, and had made a name for itself because if it.

The plush red carpet had beautiful gold and red runners going up the two spiral staircases on either side of the giant room. The railings that followed the stairs looked as if they were made of gold, leading to an area that was roped off so no one could use the balcony anymore. She looked up at a sign that hung on the wall directly in front of her, noticing what the small café style restaurant sold for the first time. Her smile broadened as she read it. The Cinegrill, Fresh Italian Food, was etched in calligraphic letters. A few small tables and chairs were set up off to the side, creating a nice little eating area.

She turned around wanting to take in more of the building’s detail. The walls were covered with old movie posters, inlaid in gilded frames. Directly opposite from where they had entered were double doors that swung both ways so you didn’t need to use your hands to enter what she presumed was the theater. In the middle of the ceiling, topping off the old Victorian feeling of the place was a crystal chandelier.

She heard a cough from behind and brought her attention back to the line. It had moved considerably in the time she had spent gazing about the room and a nice gap had formed. She quickly filled its space then studied the menu, waiting for her turn. She still had no idea what to get when the cashier asked her what she would like to order.

“It all looks so good. Do you have any suggestions?”

“The chicken alfredo pizza is a popular one,” the cashier offered.

Amy pursed her lips. “Maybe I’ll try that one next time.”

The words, freshly made noodles caught her eye and she couldn’t resist ordering the fettuccini alfredo, her go-to at any new Italian place she tried.

She moved aside, waiting for her food to be ready. It was given to her in a round foil container with a cardboard lid, hot and ready to eat. She couldn’t wait to dive into it.

“The cutlery is over there.” The boy who’d given her food pointed to a counter next to the drink station. She smiled and thanked him then walked in that direction. She grabbed the necessary utensils, then stood in front of one of the drink dispensers, pushing the Dr Pepper button until her cup was full. She reached for a lid and her hand brushed up against someone else’s.

A current whipped through her body and she jerked her head up, staring into the deepest green eyes she had ever seen. A tall handsome man with ashy blond hair stood staring at her, his lips turned slightly upward.

“I’m sorry,” his deep voice took her by surprise.

She sucked in her breath at his words and her heart started pounding. She had absolutely no idea what was wrong with her. She’d never experienced these sensations for a stranger. Especially one she hadn’t even talked to. Her mouth went dry and she felt herself pushing her tongue to the top of her pallet before trying to respond, but she couldn’t seem to form any words. This was definitely not a reaction she was used to. They stood there looking at each other for what seemed like an eternity and she could feel the pink starting to form on her cheeks. Not good. She finally opened her mouth to respond, when Dean came from behind asking if she was ready to go into the theater. The words she was about to say died on her lips before she was able to make a sound.

The man looked at Dean. A slight spark of annoyance flashed through those deep green eyes of his, but then he excused himself and turned away.

Amy watched his retreating figure, slightly annoyed at Dean for interrupting whatever just happened.

“What was that?” Dean looked as if he was ready to interrogate her.

“Nothing!” The way he asked instantly put her defenses up. It had been too long since she had brought any man into her life and the look Dean was giving her meant he knew her exchange was significant somehow. She could see more questions in his eyes.

“Let’s go before all the seats are gone.” She stood her ground, not wanting to discuss this topic with him again.

“That wasn’t nothing. It’s like I just walked through a thick fog of electric—something! How do you know him and more importantly why don’t I know about it?” He wasn’t letting this go as easily as she would have liked so she did the only thing she could think of. She rolled her eyes and stalked off in the direction of the theater. Her food in hand. Dean followed close behind, giving the attendant the tickets before they entered the pivoting double doors leading into the theater.

She scanned the theater stalls, looking for empty seats.

“Amy, I didn’t mean to upset you. I was just shocked when I looked over and saw you talking to a man. I thought you knew him. It looked like you were interested, but when you weren’t talking to him, I assumed you wanted me to break the tension. Don’t tell Sarah I broke up your conversation. She’d kill me.”

Sarah would be upset if she knew Dean had ruined the moment she’d had with deep voiced hot guy. She smiled at the thought of Sarah reaming him out then realized she shouldn’t encourage him telling Sarah about this. After getting her heart broken too many times to count, Amy had sworn off men, content to spend her free time with Dean and Sarah, and devoting herself to being the best elementary teacher at her school. Sarah didn’t approve of the direction her life had gone.

“I’m not upset. Just a little annoyed at myself for not responding to him. I’m not interested in him at all. Like I said before, I touched his hand, looked into his eyes, and became speechless. End of story.”

Dean smiled, but nudged her forward. She took the first set of seats she saw. The theater still had plenty available but it was filling up fast.

“This looks like a popular place.” Amy hoped she would be able to derail the subject and turn the conversation.

“Yes, it does. It might have something to do with the movie they are showing tonight. That is why I put a time limit on your getting ready.”

Amy relaxed, Dean was taking the bait. “You are lucky I had already taken a shower when you called. Otherwise all bets would have been off. As it was, I only had time to put my hair in a ponytail and throw on some makeup.”

“I don’t get it. You have natural curls, doesn’t it—I don’t know—just do itself?”

Amy laughed out loud then cupped her hands to her mouth to stop the sound. A few people turned to look at them. “If I had a nickel for every time someone said that—”

“You’d have a dollar?” Dean finished for her.

She laughed again, but more quietly this time. “Probably. But really, we have it worse than the straight-haired girls. If we ever want a straight do, it takes hours. It’s almost not even worth it.” She touched the side of her head with her fingertips then pushed a stray curl back into the confines of the pony tail.

“It serves you right for waiting until dinner time to get ready.”

“I would like to point out that it is Saturday. I have every right to be lazy.” She challenged him with her eyes and pursed her lips trying to look serious. It didn’t work. She felt like laughing but didn’t want him to think he’d won the argument so she kept her unnatural gaze.

“Say whatever you like to make yourself feel better. I’ve known you since birth, I can see through that gaze.” He was just trying to get a rise out of her now, she knew him too well also. It was impossible to keep anything from each other.

“I’m going to eat my dinner. Why don’t you give me a break for two seconds.”

“What am I supposed to do if I can’t tease you?” His grin told her he was liking this too much.

She shrugged her shoulders. “Try people watching. You are good at it.” People watching was an activity Amy, Dean, and Sarah took up when they were teenagers one night. They’d found themselves lacking in more productive activities so Dean found their first victim and made up a crazy story about them. It had Sarah and her rolling in fits of laughter after he expounded on said person’s secret life. It had quickly become a favorite game of theirs and they had been playing it ever since.

“Okay.” Dean sat straighter in his seat looking for his unsuspecting victim. Amy laughed, seeing how serious he was about finding someone to make up a story about. His seriousness in the game always made it more hilarious, like he really believed in what he was saying about the person.

Amy popped the top off the alfredo and let Dean have his fun. The aroma of the garlic in the sauce made her smile. Dean couldn’t have chosen a better place to bring her. Italian was her favorite. It couldn’t be a coincidence. She jabbed her fork onto a piece of broccoli and started twirling the noodles around it, making sure she got a good combination of the three and forgetting about Dean and their silly game.

“Wow,” she said aloud. This place was authentic, which made the theater even more quirky. It wasn’t the combination one would expect in a theater. The owners must have a lot of love for this place. She found herself wondering about its story. She looked over to see Dean gaping at the ceiling and nudged him with her elbow to get his attention.

“Ouch, that hurt,” Dean rubbed his hurt arm.

“Sorry, but you have to taste this. It is so good!”  

“I already had dinner remember?”

“I know but this is really good. Come on just taste it.” She rolled the noodles onto her plastic fork again. She wanted him to get a feel for everything about this theater even if he wasn’t as passionate about food as she was.

“Fine,” he relented.

She stabbed a piece of chicken making sure the noodle didn’t come off, then fed it to Dean. “It’s good isn’t it?” Amy prompted, wanting him to love it as much as she did.

“Six stars.” He stuck his thumb up and she laughed at him. 

“I think they only give four stars to restaurants.”

“Okay, four stars.” He was wearing a grin. Amy knew he still didn’t appreciate food as much as she did. He was happy to eat almost anything as long as it filled his stomach.  

Amy snuggled into the seat and started eating her pasta again, not put out in the least that she couldn’t refine her brothers taste palate. She listened to the soft music that surrounded them waiting for the show to start. Warm contentment flowed through her and she was glad Dean had called her to come out with him tonight.

Her mind drifted towards the unexpected touch she had experienced with the stranger and she smiled at the thought of his gorgeous green eyes staring at her. Butterflies swirled in her stomach and she knew she was in trouble.

“You look comfortable,” Dean said pulling her thoughts back into the present.

“I am.” And she meant it. She hadn’t been this comfortable in a long time. “Thanks for bringing me here tonight.”

“We should have done this a long time ago. I can’t wait to bring Sarah back here.” The sound of his voice told her he was enjoying this unexpected evening as much as she was.

“I think Sarah is the reason we haven’t come before now. She doesn’t like this sort of thing and she’s talked us out of coming here every time someone brings it up.”

“I know, but I am going to drag her here now that we’ve come.” He looked at the high ceilings and empty balcony again. “I can’t believe the craftsmanship of this building.”

Amy watched him looking at the large organ that sat on the balcony. He seemed transfixed on it and she quickly saw why. It was a beautiful dull white, intricately carved with gold embellishments. It had as much detail as everything else in the old building. Around the large balcony, encased in glass, were the pipes. They were both large and small, stacked next to each other in an almost natural way. She had never seen so many together in one place. There were other instruments encased in the glass as well.

“Did you see the organ?” Dean pointed to the balcony.

“Yes, it’s gorgeous.” She marveled at the old building again, thinking she would never get enough of the beauty it offered. “We need to find out more about this place. I had no idea the pipes would be that big, or separated from the organ itself.”

“I checked the internet to find out more about silent movies. The organ not only plays music but is meant to mimic an entire orchestra using all the instruments that are encased on the balcony. I didn’t think it would be this awe-inspiring though. I can’t wait to hear the sound that comes out of it when the movie starts.”

Amy took her eyes from the loft area and looked back to Dean. “How much longer until it starts?”

He pulled out his phone and looked at the time. “About seven minutes.”

“Did you happen to see anyone interesting you can make up a story about while I was eating?”

“Not unless you count that woman over there with the child. I don’t know how long she will last. Kids tend to like action not black and white movies with no talking.”                           

“You’d be surprised.” She thought of a little girl in her class who was obsessed with art. Somehow, Amy knew she would enjoy this place.


Amy’s green-eyed stranger walked in with a woman she hadn’t noticed earlier.

“Let’s watch them,” Dean said as he glanced back to her. No doubt wanting to see her reaction.

The color rose in Amy’s cheeks as she watched them walk down the center aisle. The woman was attractive with short brown hair and flawless makeup. She looked like a fashion plate wearing a stylish three quarter length dress that set off her eyes to perfection.

Amy looked down at her outfit. She’d thrown on her comfortable sweater that had seen too many winters. She looked forward to wearing this thing every year when the leaves started to turn, but seeing the woman her dreamy eyed stranger was with made her re-evaluate her fashion choice for the evening. She had no chance against the perfect model he was with.

They chose seats that were in the middle of the row, three aisles down from them. The theater was packed now and they were lucky to find two seats together. Amy unconsciously eavesdropped on him.

“You first.” His hand was almost touching the small of her back, guiding her to where she needed to go saying, sorry, excuse us, please, and thank you to the people he was disturbing. He pointed to the empty seat for his date, his hand still hovering over her back as they fumbled past the people in the row. “Have a seat.” He glanced up, catching Amy’s eyes for a brief second. He smiled at her then turned around and sat in the seat next to his date. Her heart started fluttering again and she was irritated at her body’s reaction to the man.

“He carries himself very well. He’s polite which you don’t see very often anymore. He must be undercover royalty,” Dean said, pulling her attention away from the stranger.

“What?” She was confused. What was he talking about?

“The man you couldn’t talk to in the concession line. I think he is some sort of royalty. They teach their children from birth how to be polite and stately and it comes natural to him now. He’s probably visiting this small town to take a break and get away from his taxing state duties. He doesn’t want anyone to know because he wouldn’t be able to have the vacation he needs. Unfortunately for him he can’t get away from his princely behavior. If he’s not careful he’s going to get caught. I figured it out. It’s just a matter of time before everyone else does too.”

Amy looked at her brother like he had grown two heads. “How do you know?”

Dean burst out laughing, “He really has turned your head hasn’t he? He is our latest victim.”

Amy rolled her eyes and Dean nudged her with his elbow trying to get a rise out of her. She jabbed him back.

“Don’t tell Sarah I bumped into someone who I find a little attractive. It doesn’t mean anything and I don’t need her pestering me about dating again.”

“There is no way I can keep something this big from her. I’m doing it for your own good anyway. Sarah can help you navigate these new feelings.”

“Why did you choose him to make up a story about?” She asked, trying to get him to change the subject.

“Besides the fact that you are interested?”

Amy shook her head and almost rolled her eyes again.

“He was an easy target. No one is that polite. There has to be an explanation.” He said smiling, no doubt at his ribbing her.

“You know I think you might be right. There is something different about him. He carries himself very well. It’s very appealing.” She hoped she could focus on tonight’s movie.

Dean had a look in his eyes that told her he would tell Sarah about her reaction to the stranger the first chance he got. She’d have to run interference if she didn’t want a million questions from Sarah when she got home tonight. Sometimes having her brother’s girlfriend as a roommate complicated things.

The curtain came up showing a giant white screen. Then the lights dimmed, signaling the start of the movie. The sound of the organ floated softly at first then got louder as the movie began. It was the opening chords to the most popular song from Broadway’s Phantom, the one that made her fall in love with the show in the first place. Dean had been right. It didn’t take Amy long to get lost in the words on the screen and feel the warmth of the music that danced in the air.

By the end of the show Amy was very glad Dean had called her. Tonight had taken her back to her childhood when her father had taken her to the Broadway production of Phantom. She had been nine, and obsessed with it ever since.

“That was amazing. Can you imagine watching that show when it first came out? What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back in time and be there for that. It must have been a magical experience.”

“I imagine some would have thought the show slightly disturbing back then.” Dean smiled.

“It probably has more of a cult status now I suppose. It’s still wonderful. I wish I could see it again. Do you think they will be playing it next week?”

“I don’t know. We can check.”

Amy stretched her arms in the air and Dean stood, helping her up when she was ready.

She’d needed this break. It had been too long since she’d done something just for herself. Work seemed to take priority lately for them all. She needed to get out and do mature things more often, instead of scoping the kid section at the library and chatting with online craft and parent groups, trying to find the most interesting ways to reach her little students—although if she was honest, she couldn’t exactly call people watching mature. 

She couldn't help glancing at the prince before leaving. He was on his feet helping his date up, using the same hand she had touched earlier that evening. Dean nudged her forward and she focused on getting into the aisle.

She stood near the restroom waiting for Dean, the excitement of the show still lingering. She hadn’t had such a rewarding evening in a while. She glanced at the theater entrance. People were still piling out and a line was starting to form for the restrooms. She wasn’t the only one waiting for someone anymore.

“Did you enjoy the show?” a deep male voice asked.

She looked to her right and saw their newly dubbed prince standing next to her. Butterflies flew at his closeness and a long enough time had passed since he asked her the question that it was starting to get awkward. She hurried to answer.

“It was amazing.” She hoped she didn’t sound too wistful. “I really thought the music would be different than the Broadway musical but the opening song was the same.”

“I noticed that as well. Once the story progressed the scores started to deviate. They most likely added the recognizable music at the beginning so it would be more familiar to us.”

“You are probably right.” He knew Phantom, the thought made her ecstatically happy. “You know I’ve lived in this town,” she paused, quickly doing the math in her head, “for two thousand nine hundred ninety nine and a half days and I have never been to this theater until now. I have no idea why it took me so long.”

He seemed amused and a slight twinkle was beginning to form in the depths of his eyes. “I have lived here for one thousand two hundred forty one,” he paused and smiled more distinctly, and a half days, and this is my first time as well. My excuse is weak, but I am glad I chose tonight to finally come.”

She almost laughed, but she muted it enough that it came across as a chuckle. “At least we are both good at math. I am a school teacher. What’s your excuse?”

His eyes were most definitely twinkling now. “I’m a—”

“Hey,” Dean came up interrupting them once again. Amy tried to hold in the true annoyance she felt towards him this time. She looked at her prince after she acknowledged Dean. He was looking in another direction. She followed his gaze and noticed his date, who was headed towards them. The moment was gone and her humiliation at feeling attraction for him while he was with another woman took its place making her want to flee the situation. She tried to smile at Dean then eyed the prince one last time.

“It was nice talking to you.” 

He smiled at her and seemed to want to say more but didn’t, he just looked at Dean and inclined his head a little. She turned to leave, weaving her arm through Dean’s, escorting him to the exit.

He’s taken, she thought and tried to convince herself this was a good thing. She didn’t think she was ready to be hurt again and real-life relationships were not like romantic movies. She’d do well to remind herself of that.




Amy had curled herself into a ball on the sofa, replaying the evening in her head. She looked to see Sarah coming in to the apartment they had shared since college when she heard commotion coming from the front door.

“It’s a little late don’t you think?” Amy straightened out but smiled so Sarah knew she was teasing. They were long past monitoring each other’s curfews. The only reason they had started in the first place was because they wanted some accountability in college. Mostly due to Amy’s partying and Sarah’s natural affinity towards mothering. 

“You scared me! What in the world are you still doing up?”

“I can’t sleep, my brain won’t turn off.”

“Anything in particular?”

“Tonight keeps playing over and over in my head.”

“You liked the movie that much?” Sarah was trying to be coy, she could tell. It was written all over her face that Dean had spilled the beans.

Amy smiled. “Yes I did. How can anybody not love Phantom of the Opera? That aside, it was relaxing watching a movie the way they did when film was so new.” Amy paused for a second, letting the evening sink in some more, as if thinking about it would take her back. “I noticed someone and I can’t stop thinking about him.”

Sarah flung her purse on the floor in front of the couch then sat down, a look of anticipation in her eyes. “Dean told me. After he dropped you off he stopped by the shop. But I need details. He wouldn’t tell me anything. He insisted I get the scoop from you.”

Amy laughed at her eagerness. “I touched this stranger’s hand while I was getting my drink. It gave me butterflies. That hasn’t happened in so long.”

Sarah squealed and took Amy’s hands in hers. “I’m so happy for you. Did you talk to him? What’s his name?”

“I didn’t get his name.”

Sarah frowned, letting Amy go. “I’m guessing you didn’t get his number either.”

“No. There is no way I would ever be that forward.”

“How are you supposed to find him again if you didn’t even get his name?”

“He was with a date and is probably already taken, but that’s not the point.”

“What is the point then?” Sarah looked like she knew the answer already and just wanted conformation.

“I felt the butterflies before I saw him. It was just weird, but when I looked up I couldn’t speak and I felt a connection with him that became stronger when I saw his eyes. It was like I was under a spell or something.”

“Then what happened?” She seemed transfixed with this detail.

“Then Dean came up from behind and the spell was broken. The man just excused himself before I was able to say a word. A little later he came into the theater with his date. Then Dean and I made up a story about him.”

“Between the building and the food you still had time to people watch?” Sarah quirked her lip up in amusement.

“Wait—Dean told you about the food, the architecture, and the mystery man, but not the fact that he made up a story about him? Figures he would leave out that part. It was his idea, not mine—sort of.”

“He was probably just too excited to tell me about your evening and forgot to mention it. What was the story about?”

“Dean wasn’t very original. He pretended he was a prince.”

“Ahh.” Sarah smiled. “Your prince. Too bad you didn’t get his number.”

“Yes, because that is the thing you should do when you notice a handsome man who is on a date with someone else!”

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Now she was just laughing at her. “Do you remember when we used to pretend we were princesses?” Sarah seemed to be liking the way the evening’s details were turning out.

“We were seven,” Amy responded, trying to make light of everything now.

“Maybe it’s a sign. You had to sift through all those frogs before you found your prince.”

Amy stood up. “I’m going to bed. Your advice isn’t any better than Dean’s.”

“I’ll tell Dean he needs to take you back next week. Your prince might be there again.”

“I’ll be going back alright, but not because of the prince. I like the food.” She walked down the hall to her bedroom.

“You noticed someone tonight. Your heart is telling you it’s time to move on,” Sara yelled back to her.

And that was the point, Sarah knew it, and Amy was afraid she was right. It had been three years since Ethan had dumped her. It had been her tipping point. After his noncommittal attitude to the two years she had wasted on him, she had sworn off men.

Amy could tell Sarah was smiling by the laugh in her voice. She would never hear the end of this. Hopefully Sarah wouldn’t use this to try to get her to start dating. No matter how many butterflies there were fluttering around at the thought of the prince, she’d vowed never to give her heart away again.


At school on Monday Amy felt different. She went back to the weekend, thinking of how long it had been since she even looked at a man. When she was young she’d dreamed about getting married and wanted ten kids by now. She loved children and the thought of filling her house with them was all she’d ever hoped for. Life hadn’t turned out the way she’d expected.

Every time she found herself emotionally committed, she would be let down when she found out they’d never felt the same way. There were various excuses as to why but it was always the same outcome. A broken heart and another wasted year or two. She felt no closer to marriage now than when she was just out of high school.

She loved her first graders and contented herself with her life as it was now. She trained her heart these past couple years to shy away from any advances a man might throw at her, building walls to fortify that fragile organ. She couldn’t believe one brief touch with a stranger pulled those walls completely down. The butterflies started just thinking back on the moment.

“You're glowing Miss Matthews.”

The opening bell had rung and her students were starting to pile into class. Sammy had interrupted her thoughts with her comment, letting her know it was time to pull her head out of the clouds and focus on her job.

Sammy was a little girl who had chosen to sit on the front row from day one in her class. She always spoke her mind. For the most part this made her a great student, always wanting to learn more and speaking up when she didn't understand.

“Why do you say I'm glowing?” she finally asked.

“You just look different today. You look happier. You are glowing.” She could put perceptive to the little girl’s list of traits. She looked up to see most of her students staring at her. 

“Thank you.” She clapped her hands together, showing excitement for the beginning of the day and addressed the whole class. “I am happy because today I get to teach you guys something new and very special.” Her students lit up with excitement as she proceeded to sing the ABC's backwards to her entire class.

The week ended up flying by and before she knew it, the weekend was upon her again. Dean worked as a geologist for the University they had attended, must have been a busy week because she hadn’t heard from him since last Saturday. Sarah informed her they were going on a date, leaving Amy alone this weekend.

Her stomach growled as she thought of the Italian restaurant at the Organ Loft and her mind involuntarily went to the prince. She wondered if he would be there again. Normally she would have watched her favorite show curled on the couch and would have been content. But last week’s outing had changed things and she felt restless. She didn’t like that feeling. She would have to go to the theater again to purge the prince from her mind once and for all. She’d found herself thinking about his polite smile and deep voice far too often this week. He wouldn’t be there of course and she could show her heart it was useless to think about a man she would never see again.

The drive to the theater felt much the same as the week before but for the difference of being alone. She thought about the trees as she noticed the different colors. Winter would be upon them soon.

 She pulled into the theater parking lot and it was as full as it had been last week. She hadn’t bothered checking to see if they were playing Phantom, just assumed they were, and the amount of patrons confirmed it in her mind. The thought of being able to see the show again made her smile. She would never tire of it. She hopped out of her car and smiled as she walked to the building. If she didn’t know better she would assume she was under dressed in her jeans since the outside matched the insides elegance, even though she consciously put on a nicer shirt. One that said I care about what I look like.

The attendant smiled as she stepped up to the register. “How many?”

“Just one.” The woman didn’t seem fazed at her only buying the one ticket. “How long will Phantom be running?” Amy glanced at her name tag out of habit. Mary, she’d always liked that name. When Amy brought her eyes back to Mary’s she looked confused.


About me

Johanna Evelyn graduated from the school of hard knocks with a degree in, I survived my twenty’s. She loves all things rocks, the ocean, singing, reading, service, gardening, food, finding cures for rare incurable diseases (through raising awareness, Go PSC!), and writing. She gets most of her book ideas from dreams then adds a little of herself to every story.

Q. What is the inspiration for the story?
This story was inspired by a dream. A woman was eating the most amazing alfredo pizza, I swear I could taste how good it was. She noticed a man come in, trying to get to his seat. He was very polite, more than usual and she noticed that about him. I wrote everything down when I woke up!
Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
All my stories have a message! In this one, I try to convey that everyone goes through hard things, but they don’t have to define who we are.
Q. Why do you write?
I have six children, this is my escape. And in my wildest dreams, writing will help me afford a new liver if the need ever arises! Just saying.