Chapter 21

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“Ms. Tragent is going to kill me if I arrive late,” Maude said as she and Matt hurried towards Morningside Theater. Time had flown on its light wings, and Maude was frantically trying to reach the theater on time.

“Of course she won’t. It’s only 5:45, and we’re almost there. Besides, you’re with me.”

“With Ms. Tragent, being early is being on time and being on time is being late. And unless she’s a fan of your songs I don’t see how your being here will help when she decides to scalp me. Honestly, I doubt ‘The Love Doctor’ is the kind of music she listens to.”

“You’d be surprised. Which scene are you rehearsing today?” asked Matt.

“It’s a beautiful scene,” Maude smiled. “It’s when the Prince and Cinderella meet for the first time in her home. He’s disguised as a valet. While the real valet is disguised as the Prince and is wooed by the two evil stepsisters, Cinderella falls in love with the Prince disguised as a valet, and he is enchanted by her beauty although she is dressed in rags.”

“I see, it’s the fourth scene. Is the Prince a good singer? Maybe I could stay for your rehearsal.”

Matt had thought this through. After the day they’d spent together, he felt he stood a fighting chance. He would tell Maude how he felt after her rehearsal.

“He’s great. He has a lot more experience than me. But I don’t know if Ms. Tragent will let you watch rehearsal.”

“I’m sure I can convince her,” Matt said easily as they entered the theater.

Ms. Tragent was talking angrily to the costume designer who looked like she’d rather be a thousand miles away than under Ms. Tragent’s irate glare.

The teacher saw Maude arrive breathlessly and turned towards her.

“Where have you been, Ms. Laurent? It’s almost six!”

“She was with me, Aunt Cordelia,” Matt said stepping from behind Maude.

Maude looked confusedly at Matt. Aunt Cordelia?

Maude was even more surprised when Ms. Tragent’s face broke into something resembling a smile although rusty after having gone a long amount of time unused.

Nevertheless, Ms. Tragent appeared more than delighted to see her nephew as she hugged and kissed him warmly.

“Maude was with me. We were working on songs for her debut album,” Matt explained.

“In that case, she’s excused. You are, after all, my one and only extremely talented nephew. Don’t let that happen again, Mathieu Beauchamp.”

“Mathieu Beauchamp?” Maude laughed.

Mathieu Beauchamp and Cordelia Tragent. What a family, Maude thought amused.

“Of course, Ms. Laurent. Matt is his stage name and I refuse to call him anything else but Mathieu Beauchamp.”

“I think you’re the only person who still calls me that way,” Matt said a little embarrassed.

“You’ll have to excuse me, Mathieu. The costume designer isn’t doing a single thing right. I must keep a hawk’s eye on her, or she will mess everything up. You should stay for rehearsal,” she said distractedly as she walked away.

“I guess I’m staying for rehearsal, then,” he said, turning to Maude.

“Very well, Mathieu,” Maude said, her lips twitching.

Before Matt could answer, Maude pointed behind him towards Thomas who was coming in their direction.

“There’s Prince Charming!”

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