The next day, grabbed his duffle bag and his car keys. He pasted a post it note on Arjun’s door telling him he was going to practice. It actually wasn’t a lie. They had a show coming up soon and he was going to use the opportunity to forget Crisanto, to forget the way the man had held him, the way he had kissed him to within an inch of his life.
The drive to BlackBourne was a thirty minutes one, if he had left the house any longer, he’d have been stuck in traffic. He pulls the car into the car pack, grabbed his duffle and got down. It was a short walk from the car pack to the Big Top. There was no one else in sight but as soon as he entered the tent, he found, Jerome kneeling in front of his lion, his hands running through the lion’s mane.
“Morning, Curly.” The lion tamer greets and Alfie waved back. Curly was Alfie’s stage name. It had been given to him by the ringmaster. Everyone had agreed that it suited him and that was the first time, Alfie had felt comfortable.
“Hey, Jerome. Are you the only one here?” Alfie asked as he walked closer to the man and his lion. He kneels down beside Jerome and ran his fingers through the Lion’s fur.
“Nope. It’s just me and Barney here.”
The lion nudged his head against Jerome’s hand when the man had called him Barney.
“I’m sorry your highness. I meant, Beau.”
The lion licked a big strip of Jerome’s face. Alfie laughed as he stared at the two of them. Jerome took care of two lions, Beau and Rebel. The lion wagged his tail and licked Jerome’s face again.
“It’s just us two but 'esus and Camilla are on their way.”
“I’m just going to practice.” Alfie tells Jerome, pointing upwards where his silver hoop hung. Jerome gives him and Alfie playfully smacked Beau on the bum, earning a strong smack to his leg from Beau’s tail.
Before leaving the house, Alfie had put on a par of grey leggings and a loose tank top. He dropped his duffle bag and pulled out his powder. He pours it into the large bowl by the stairs leading to his hoop. He connects his phone to the Bluetooth and taps on his Calum Scott playlist.
He quickly climbs up the stairs as the song began to play.
There goes my heart beating, cause you are the reason.
I’m losing my sleep. Please come back now.
He stands on the ledge and takes a deep breath, his hoop was a good ten meters away from him. he lets out the breath he had been holding and jumps, his hands closing around the bottom of the hoop.
There goes my heart racing and you are the reason.
That I'm still breathing. I’m hopeless now.
Alfie hoist himself up, his legs sliding open in a horizontal position. He hooks a legs into the hoop and falls backward, pushing his hands into his hair and sensually trailed them down his neck and his body until they were holding onto the hoop.
I’d climb every mountain and swim every ocean
Just to be with you and fix what I’ve broken.
He pulls his leg out and does a double flip, his body going through the hoop as fast as he could.
Oh, cause I need you to see
That you are the reason.
Crisanto’s face flashed in his mind eye and Alfie loses his grip. He closed his eyes as he fell from the hoop to the net underneath, bouncing when he landed. Jerome must have seen this because he ran straight to him, Beau beside him as well as Camilla and 'esus who had seen him fall.
“Are you okay?”
And you are the reason
My heart keeps bleeding, I need you now.
Alfie licked his lips and tried to talk but the words were not coming back. All he could remember was Crisanto’s face, the feel of his hands, his warm lips pressed against Alfie’s lips and the way he had whispered, I wonder if you still stay the same. He shouldn’t have kissed the man yesterday, he shouldn’t have even allowed himself to be in the same room as that man. It has been years, so how could he still be in love with the man. He had always heard first love never lasts so why was his different.
“I need to rest for a bit.” Alfie ends up saying a few minutes later.
“Alright.” Jesus says as he and the others help Alfie off the net. Alfie takes a seat at the audience centre and watched as 'esus and Camilla got ready for practice. They didn’t stop Alfie’s music and had instead used it to practice. The siblings were tightrope walkers, who occasionally juggled and had fencing fights on the tightrope. Today however was different. They were going to ride their unicycles up and down the tightrope with Camilla settled around 'esus’s shoulders while she juggled.
Another song comes on and Alfie winced.
I don’t know how I should say it. in my mind, it’s every word that they don’t wanna hear.
I don’t know how they are going to take it.
One of Camilla's balls fell but 'esus had caught it in time and had handed it to her. They both had big smiles on their faces as they continued. The song hits the chorus and Alfie felt a light sting at the bag of his eyes. The last thing he wants is to cry here, so he tries and tries to push back the taers.
If its me and if it’s you
And if our love is wrong
Then I don't ever wanna be right.
Maybe he should have chosen another song to practice with. Cleary, Calum Scott was not the best choice to go with. But the thing is You’re the reason was the song he was meant to present at the show next week. He couldn’t change the soundtrack this late already. He had even been practicing well with the song, he had always managed to keep his head free of all thoughts concerning Crisanto but after last night, every feeling he had became amplified.
He gets up. He wasn’t going to lose another thing because he was distracted by Crisanto. He had already had his pride bruised and heartbroken since high school, just because of one Crisanto Mendez. So no. He’s not going to lose this too. He restarts the song and powdered his hand, he marched up the stairs with determination, takes a deep breath and jumps.
Below him, everyone was watching. Jerome, 'esus and Camilla, Simon the Jester who was already dressed in his clown regalia as well as Ryan -one of the contortionist. He does his double flip again and this time, he does it smoothly. He pulls himself into a sitting position in the hoop and twist, spinning himself around. Alfie smiled as he watched everything around him blur out. He can do this. He owned this.
The song had become a background noise as Alfie pulls himself to a stop, crossed his arms over his chest in an X formation and jumped onto the next below. He bounces back up, his hands shooting up to grab his hoop. He pulls himself into a sitting position in it and threw his head back a bit. He wraps a leg around the hoop, bent his left knee and raised the other leg upwards, his hand stretching over his head to grab his toes. He had successfully pulled the mermaid pose in his hoop.
He blinks back to reality when he hears a loud round of applause as well as whistling. His heart was beating fast, he was panting and there was a warm blush covering his cheeks. He pulls himself into a sitting position, both hands holding the hoop as he began to swing, a small smile set on his face.
Standing behind, the small crowd of performers was Mr. Andrew Blackbourne who had given him a thumbs up and a salute before walking out of the tent.
“Get down and let we mortal struggle to get our performances right.” Ryan call from below.
Alfie takes a deep breath and let it out. he was going to be okay. He was going to be fine. There was no chance of him ever meeting Crisanto again. He had to learn how to move on, he couldn’t be hung up on Crisanto forever.
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