The day of the premiere of the play had come sooner than expected. With that came early morning stress. Everybody involved in the production had begun work as soon as they had arrived at school, having been excused from classes that day to do the last grand rehearsal and to get ready before the premiere.

"Okay, guys, I want everybody to give one thousand per cent of themselves. We can do this!", Jade attempted to give a quick pep talk before the general rehearsal, as the actors were getting into the costumes.

Everybody was surprised to hear her say that, to see Jade changing. Her walls were beginning to crumble down. It was going to take time to fully let people inside her life, but she was working on that. If she wanted to save her life and her relationship with Beck, she had to work on becoming a better version of herself, alongside Beck, who wasn't going to let other girls make his girlfriend feel insecure anymore. He had promised himself and he wasn't going to break it. He couldn't handle losing Jade again. The months of them being apart had made him acknowledge that. And when they had gotten back together, he had realised that Jade was the woman he wanted to get married to someday. If he told any of the adults around himself, especially his parents, he would be deemed "too young to understand true love", so he kept his feelings between himself and the most important people in his life.

Beck grasped Jade's hand and went together with their co-stars to get ready for the long rehearsal. When people saw a production on stage, they could only see the glitz and the glamour. They rarely, almost never saw how much work, blood, sweat and tears was being poured into it. Especially in their case where they had had only a couple of weeks to prepare. Most productions were rehearsed for at least a year before they were put up for the audiences to see.

Then there was Jade who was anxious whether her family would come on time. She had to pick Jack up straight after school and to bring him to her school where he would have to get ready too. He wasn't part of the play, but his sister had picked him a formal outfit to wear for the premiere. In fact, on the invitations she had sent, she had insisted on a formal or at least semi-formal attire. The premiere was going to be the most important, especially if the play was approved to be performed in other theatres in Los Angeles and around it.

"Why do I have to wear this?", complained Jackson while Jade was helping him change in the tuxedo she had chosen for him.

"Because today is a special day and on special days we should wear our best clothes," said Jade, while messing with his hair.

The rest of the cast and the crew were watching the way Jade was interacting with her little brother, some of them already beginning to see her in a different light. Maybe she wasn't such a bad person, some of them were thinking. They just had to not give up on trying to communicate with her (in spite of how intimidating she came across as) and then they would see the real her.

The hours flew by and soon The Black Box Theatre was starting to get crowded. From her place, Jade's eyes were frantically searching for the rest of her family. Jack had sat in the first row where she could easily spot him, but for now, there was no sight of either of her parents.

She felt a hand on her arm but didn't flinch, too focused on the audience, the little girl in her hoping to see her Mom and Dad coming with a bouquet of flowers that they would give her at the end of the play (another of her biggest dreams).

"Who are you looking for?", spoke Cat, who had noticed how distressed her best friend was.

"My parents," said Jade, worry evident in her voice. If they didn't show up, then her hard work had been almost for nothing!

Cat wrapped her arms around Jade's waist to comfort her, nuzzling her head into her friend's back, "I promise you they will come."

The brunette couldn't help but smile and gently squeeze Cat's palms, before patting them, signaling to her that the redhead had to let go of the embrace and go take her place before the play's start.

The guests had taken their seats and were chatting, some of them about the play, others about the upcoming holidays and their plans, when the theatre's lights were dimmed down.

Jade took a deep breath as the curtain opened and the scene was revealed. The actors portraying Emerald's parents and Tori were the first ones to step on stage. Jade had to hold back tears during certain scenes based on her childhood, including the one where Jack was born.

She would whisper the lyrics of "Okay" while watching Tori, who was dressed as a little girl and holding a baby doll representing Jack's newborn self. It felt as if she was back in time.

It wasn't until the middle of the play that Jade had to step on stage, portraying Sarah Vasquez - the prototype of Tori.

"Who the heck are you and why are you rubbing my boyfriend?!"

"I'm so sorry, I didn't know any of that. You see, I spilt some coffee on his shirt and I was trying to-"

"Stop with the pathetic excuses and leave him alone!"

Chuckles could be heard from the audience. If Jade wasn't portraying a character, she wouldn't think it was funny.

Unexpectedly for everyone, the end of the play came and all the actors lined up on stage to receive applause. The audience was standing on their feet, clapping and cheering loudly, some even whistling. Jade felt as if she was in a beautiful dream. Never in her life, she had gotten a standing ovation that was so long.

As the whole auditory was on their feet, applauding, Beck suddenly exclaimed:

"A grand applause for the scriptwriter, director, and colleague actress Jadelyn West, everybody!"

The applause was even louder now.

In the audience, Jade couldn't see her parents. Normally, that would upset her, but now that she thought about it, perhaps it was a sign from the universe. Perhaps that meant that she didn't need to give them any more chances or to try to please them anymore.

Instead, a person she never thought would be there had come - her Elementary School teacher - the person who had given her hope and had taught her to dare to dream. She knew she had to speak to her later and to thank her for coming.

"I would have never done it without my friends!", she announced into her microphone, giving a side hug to the people standing to her sides - Beck and Cat.

Unexpectedly, having been released from Jade's embrace, Beck commenced singing the signature song from the play:

There is no upper hand
I'm giving you mine
It doesn't have to end up wasting your time
There's things that I could say
But hear in my way
I want to let you know that it's all okay

What he wasn't sure if he had expected or not was when Jade joined him, continuing where he had left off, the audience taking out cameras to eternalize the ethereal moment.

By the time the chorus came, the whole cast, and the audience slowly as well, had begun singing, the hall echoing the lyrics of the meaningful song.

Tears of pride and happiness were brimming in Jade's eyes. She would never forget that night as long as she was alive.


*

The audience and the crew had gathered in the hallways where there was a buffet table. While their group of friends was getting drinks and chatting, Jade, who had just received a grand bouquet from her Elementary School teacher, was pulled aside by Beck, who wanted to speak to her.

Making sure there was nobody to interrupt their privacy, he, holding Jade's hands, spoke:

"Babe, we've been together since the summer before high school began. We've been together through heaven and hell."

Jade was hoping that what he was saying wasn't leading to him getting down on one knee and proposing. It wasn't like she didn't want to marry him, but she thought that if he ever proposed to her, it would be better for them to get married when they were older and when they had jobs and a home. The thought of her possible future marriage ending in non-stop fighting and eventually a divorce terrified her and Beck knew that. He wasn't going to propose marriage to her. Not yet. And definitely not in an obvious way like in the movies. He had his own idea.

Before even thinking about tying the knot, they both had to be legal adults. And they had to have had a little bit more life experience together.

"Jade, I want to make you happier. I don't want to see you suffer and struggle anymore. I want to wake up every day and to see your beautiful smile and a spark in your eyes."

The bright-eyed beauty couldn't move an inch from her place, as she was attempting to process the words she had just heard. What was the love of her life trying to tell her?

"Will you move in with me?"

Jade teared up. She knew how much it would mean for Beck to have her move in with him, but she had responsibilities, "But what about my brother? Beck, you perfectly know that I can't leave him."

He cupped her face with his palms. He had a perfect plan, "You won't have to leave him, I promise you. He can come with us."

There was some extra space in his RV to accommodate Jack as well. Sure, that meant he had to sacrifice his privacy with Jade, but he would rather lack that than not provide safety and comfort for the people he loved the most.

"You, I, Jay, Whiskers, and Jack will be a small family. And then when we graduate from school and when we have enough money to afford it, we will get married,"

Her lips twitched in a small smile. She nuzzled her head in his neck and kissed it before facing him again, "Sounds like a plan to me."


*


On the way to the house where Jade and Jack were staying for the week, she was hoping that her mother was not home. After making sure the coast was clear, she descended downstairs and commanded to her brother:

"Jack? I want you to pack your most beloved possessions. We're moving."

The little boy's eyes were full of confusion. What was going on? Why were they moving? And where? When? His mind was full of questions for his older sister. But the most important were:

"Are Mommy and Daddy coming?"

With a grim look on her face, Jade slowly shook her head. She knew that moving in with Beck with her brother would have its disadvantages, one of which was Jack missing their parents. But if he realized that the way they treated their children was wrong, when he grew up, he wouldn't regret the decision Jade had made for both of them.

"Jack, we have to leave. I want you to be quick, okay? I'm waiting for you here."

"But why do we have to go, Jadey?"

"Because if we stay here, then Mom will continue not giving us almost any attention, she will continue forgetting about your soccer matches or to even buy food and help us with the homework. You know how she is. And don't let me start on our father who can't keep one promise!", there was a hint of anger in her voice. She had rarely spoken to her brother this way, "Do you really want to stay with these people until the day you turn eighteen?"

Her question would be one Jack would never forget until the very day he died. He was beginning to comprehend that his sister was right. If he went with her, then he would get nothing but care and love. If he stayed with his parents, he would be mostly ignored and could grow up badly. Jade couldn't let her brother's childhood and teenage years be tarnished the same way hers had been.

But there was one issue, "You're not eighteen yet, aren't we going to get in trouble?" the little boy pointed out.

"Beck is almost eighteen," Jade justified the decision she had made. Besides, it wasn't like she was planning on telling the whole world that she was moving in with her boyfriend. It wasn't anybody's business, except for maybe their group of friends. And even they had to make sure it wasn't being spread around in fear of Child Protection Services coming to investigate what was going on and possibly separating Jade and Jack from Beck. And that couldn't happen - not when Beck had just made the giant promise of starting a family with Jade.

With that Jack rushed to his bedroom to gather his belongings, while Jade packed the cage for her bunny Whiskers and its stuff.

In less than fifteen minutes, Jade and Jack had sat down in the car, their luggage resting on their feet and the spare spaces in the car.

Beck put on his seatbelt, "Are you ready?", he asked, looking at Jade, who was holding the cage where Whiskers was. Her eyes met hers and then Jack's before she turned to the love of her life again and nodded.

With that, Beck's car drove off to a new beginning.


THE END

#yoors #corona

THE SCRIPT [12] - a Victorious Fan Fiction