Riley woke up two hours before her alarm clock went off. That happened to be extremely fortunate since she spent the entire three hours getting ready for rehearsal. 

As she chugged a mug of black coffee and scarfed down a blueberry muffin, she ransacked her closet, searching for the perfect First Rehearsal outfit. She had to have walked onto her fire escape four times before deciding it was warm enough for a dress, but cool enough for leggings. The only questions is, which dress?

She ended up in a candy apple red skater dress with black lace leggings and black converse sneakers. She straightened her hair, then curled the ends - which took a full hour. She wasn’t much of a make up user, so she just did the basic face make up with eye liner and mascara. 

With her original hour left, she threw her dance shoes in a massive black purse along with her script, music, and wallet. She hurried out of her building on 82nd and Amsterdam. Once on the 7th Avenue train, she pulled the binder of music from her bag and began reviewing the words and melody. She hummed quietly while tapping her foot, hoping to be able to remember the songs. She didn’t want to embarrass herself on the first day in front of Elliott. 

No, don’t think like that! She thought, cursing herself. You’re way over him. You don’t need to impress him, or be starstruck, or think of him like a God. He’s just a person. He’s just a person. He’s just a person.

Riley continued repeat that in her head, trying to convince herself that he was just a man. She got off the subway, walked the few blocks to the rehearsal space at 8th and 36th. Even in the elevator ride, chatting with some of the ensemble members, she continued to focus on pushing her old feelings for Elliott to the back on her mind.

The big room was set up with chairs in a big circle. A massive, black baby grand sat in the corner, awaiting it’s accompanist. 

“Riley!” She turned to see the director, Rod Clyde, entering the room. She skipped over and gave him a hug. 

They had a lot of press events together and they ended up becoming great friends. “Hey, Rod! Or should I start calling you Mr. Director now?” 

His warm chuckle gave her some comfort. “Please, Mr. Director is my father.” he joked. “So you heard about the casting leak?”.

She nodded solemnly. “Yeah, I did. I know you wanted to do the dramatic reveal at rehearsal today. You do love your entrances! But it’s alright. We get more press for the slip, anyways.” Riley shrugged, putting on a fake smile. 

Rod was easily fooled. “You know me well, Riley Masson. Go take a seat, we’re starting as soon as the last few ensemble members and Elliott gets here.” 

Riley took a seat in-between two of her friends from a past show she did. They chit-chatted for the ten minutes or so that the rest took to trickle in. 

“Hope I’m not late!” a familiar voice sounded from the door. Riley took a deep breath and turned to see Elliott jog towards their circle. He wasn’t late, but he was cutting it very short. He sat in the only empty chair across from Riley and shook hands with some of the performers around him. 

There was a loud clap that drew attention to Rod who stood, smiling widely, at his cast. “Welcome to the first rehearsal of Disobedience!” Everyone cheered. “Now I know most musicals start their first rehearsal with a read-through of the script but I’m not going to do that. I want everyone to get a feel for the show through the music. Also, I want to get started on the music since it’s pretty complicated with harmonies and stuff. But before we dive in, I will allow everyone to have a meet and greet. First we’ll go around in the circle, introduce ourselves. I want to hear everybody’s name, role in the show, and what their Broadway debut was - and if it’s this, I want to hear that. Alright? We’ll start with Julie over there. Spoiler alert: her name is Julie.” 

The cast slowly went around introducing themselves. When it got to Riley, she stood like everybody else did. “Hi, I’m Riley Masson. I play Angelina Parker. My Broadway Debut was in Heaven Help Us with these two lovely ladies!” She gestured down to Samantha, who just spoke, and Emily, who was about to speak. She sat down and turned to watch Emily introduce herself. 

Riley could see Elliott staring at her from the corner of her eye. She ignored him and focused on her new cast members. Elliott came back to Earth when it was his turn to speak. He was the last one to go. “Hey guys, I’m Elliot Harris. I play Jordan Smithton. My Broadway debut was Home Alone: the Musical. I was the understudy for Kevin when I was10.”

“That’s great everyone! Congratulations to the five of you making your debut! To those of us returning to Broadway, welcome home. I’ll give you guys a few minutes to mingle while I talk to the accompanist.” Everyone stood and began talking to those around them. 

Riley felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned to see the familiar eyes that melted her heart three years ago much closer than before. She kept calm. In fact, she didn’t feel how she felt then at all. She smiled. “Hi, I’m Elliott.”

“Riley. Nice to meet you.” she shook his hand, proud that she actually did convince herself he was just a person. She could do this. 

“So, we’re love interests, huh?”

She chuckled “Yup.” 

“Can’t wait.” He smiled widely at her in a flirty manner.

She raised her eyebrows but didn’t get a chance to respond before Rod called everyone to the piano. 

He clapped once more. It was habit of his. “Okay boys and girls. Riley, if you don’t mind, could we hear you sing ‘Changes Changing the Girl Who Changes’?” 

Riley nodded and stoop up next to the piano. She had her music out, but she didn’t really need it. She loved this song and memorized it within three days of getting her script and music.

The pianist began tickling the keys softly, playing a sweet melody. Riley tapped he toe to the ballad and when it brought her in, she sang.

Her voice started out soft and quiet, then builded to a high, emotional belt. It was crisp and clear. At one point, she just closed her eyes and sang her heart out. She forgot she was in a rehearsal studio. A smile crept onto her face as Angelina Parker decided to change her ways for the man she loved. 

The song was the closer to Act One and was supposed to bring the house down. It definitely brought the rehearsal studio down. Once she finished singing, everyone clapped loudly and cheered. Riley smiled and sat back down, not before making brief eye contact with Elliot, who happened to be staring again. Except this time, his eyes were wide and he looked out of breath. 

She should’ve realized it was sign. She should’ve understood that look, she’d had it before. But she brushed it off and sat back down, thanking Emily for complimenting her. 

Elliot’s heart was racing. His brain was fuzzy. His mouth was numb. 

Fate. Love. Broadway.Read this story for FREE!