”Can Ms. Jensen report to the stage for sound check, Ms. Jensen to the stage”, a voice said over the intercom. Looking at my watch I got up and started walking to the stage. “I’m here”, I said raising my hand up. “Ah Ms. Jensen, lovely to have you here”, Cameron said, “Everyone this is Karen Jensen, she arrived here last night from Norway, where about are you from again?” he added looking at me as he introduced me to the group. “I’m from Bergen”, I said and smiled. “Well I’m glad we could get you in on this project”, Cameron said and smiled, “Glad to be a part of it sir”, I returned the smile. It was all quite new for me; it was my first musical and quite a big role too to be honest, which kind of scared me. “Hey I’m Samantha”, a brunette girl said offering her hand. “Lovely to meet you Samantha”, I said shaking her hand lightly. Okay many of you might want to know what’s going on at this time let me tell you. My name is Karen Jensen, I’m 18 years old from Bergen, Norway and I got the role as Cosette in the 25th anniversary concert for Les Misérables at the O2 in London. I was offered the role after I sent in an audition tape of me singing ‘On my own’, ‘Castle on the clouds’ and ‘I dreamed a dream’ from the play. I’ve always loved the music from the play and I have never gotten to London to see the show live so to even get the role of Cosette is just amazing especially with the cast that they have for the anniversary. “And I’m Nick Jonas”, I knew perfectly well who Nick is. I’ve been a huge fan of him and his brothers band Jonas Brothers for years. “I know, I’ve seen you guys on Disney when I was younger and I have all your cd’s”, it was quite awkward to talk to him about that. “Really? That’s pretty cool”, he said and smiled. “Ah my Cosette! I’ve been looking all over for you!” a person said coming up from behind me and picking me up, spinning me around, making me squeal. “Put me down!” I giggled, feeling my feet touch the ground. Turning around a man, taller than me smile. “I’m Alfie, Alfie Boe”, he said smiling his broad smile, it was a very infectious smile, “I know I’m a HUGE fan”, I said smiling wide, “It’s such an honor to meet you sir”, I added trying not to look like a complete fool.
Tomorrow we'll discover
What our God in Heaven has in store!
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!
“That’s a wrap everyone!” Claude shouted. Sitting back down at the ground in the rehearsal room I grabbed my water bottle and my phone and snapped a picture of me posting it on twitter adding the caption: “@This_CareBear: “First rehearsal in check, bring on the rest of it””. This sure was loads of fun. “Hey new girl!” looking up I saw Hadley and Ramin who play Grantaire and Enjolras. “Yeah?” I asked “What can I help you with gentlemen?” I added looking at them from where I was sitting. They sat down with me. “We wanted to congratulate you, and maybe take you out for a drink, but then we remembered Sam telling us you don’t drink and your family will probably have our heads if they found out two men at age 30 and 32 took an 18 year old girl out for drinks on her first full day in London, so I think we should drop that”, Ramin said smiling a half smile. “Sam’s right it would be rather odd to have two grown men and a teenage girl out for a drink”, I said, a hint of sarcasm in my voice, “but then again I wouldn’t care, they kind of got angry at me when I said I was moving to London for a year”, I added shrugging. It was mainly my nana and sister who threw a fit, my dad was very supportive of my choice and he knew that if I didn’t like it I would come back home. He had always known I had a passion for acting and singing and had told me many times that I should follow my dream. ‘Do what you have to do, I’ll be here to pick you back up if you should give up’ was his words when we hugged goodbye at the airport. I know that if my mom had still been here she would agree with my dad, and oddly so would by grandpa too. “Sarcasm I see, on your first day too, I’m impressed”, Hadley said winking at me. That man sure was charming, way older than me, but none the less. “Boys leave the poor girl alone”, Lea said walking over to us. “Are they bullying you?” she asked me, her soft voice soothing me, I just shook my head. “See Le, she’s not bothered” Ramin said nudging her side making her laugh.
~The next day~
The early hours sure was killing me, but I shouldn’t complain, I was loving it in London, which happened to be my favorite town, besides my home town of course. Walking into the nearest Starbucks I got in line getting my wallet up of my bag. “What may I get you young lady?” the barista asked smiling at me, how he was able to smile so early in the morning was beyond me. “I’ll have a venti vanilla latte on lactose free milk with four shots of espresso please”, I said trying my best to return the smile. What can I say I’m not a morning person. “Sure thing sweetie, what’s your name?” he asked, “Karen”, I said, rubbing my eyes. “Beautiful name for a beautiful girl”, he said, trying to smile I walked over to the bar area to wait for my coffee. “A venti vanilla latte with lactose free milk and four espresso shots for Karen!” another barista called, looking at his nametag I smiled and took the coffee, “Thank you Mitch”, I said and plugged my ear buds in walking out the door. Early morning flirting, not for me, unless you give me coffee, then yes I’ll be fine with it.
“Moooooorning!” Alfie, Ramin and Hadley said when I walked in the door scaring me half to death and almost making me drop my coffee in the process. “If I’d dropped that you’d have to go down to starbucks and get me a new one because I’m not going back down there”, I scolded at them. “Why? Did something happen?” Alfie asked, going from goofball to worried father in .2 seconds. “Just a barista trying to flirt with me far too early in the morning”, I said sipping my coffee. “Ugh aren’t some men just dogs?” Sam asked wrapping me in a hug. I laughed a little when the guys gasped. “What I said some, not all” she said looking at them with a raised brow. “Morning ladies”, Norm said smiling at all of us, making me and Sam laugh hard. I’d only known them one day and yet it felt like we’d known each other for years. “Morning everyone”, Claude and Cameron said walking in the door both with a coffee in their hand.
Around lunch time Sam and I decided to go for lunch with Robert and Mia who play Gavroche and young Cosette. “Where do you guys want to go? And somewhere which is not McDonalds I’m not in on going there twice in one week”, I said looking at Robert who had convinced us to go for McDonalds yesterday. “What about Bills?” Sam asked getting an agreement from all of us. “Bills it is then”, I cheered and we made our way down the street. It was good to know that for now we could walk the street without being recognized. Because in a few weeks time everyone would know about us. “Here we are”, I said opening the door for the others.
We finished our lunch in 20 minutes and made our way back the theatre. “Girls! And Rob”, Ramin said grabbing me in a headlock and messing my hair. “RAMIN!!!!” I screamed in shock as I kicked him behind his knee making him let go of me. “OW!” he pouted. “You deserved that Ramin”, I said fixing my hair.
“Are you nervous?” Nick asked looking at me, I nodded, I was so nervous, my hands were shaking. “Don’t be, I’ll be there with you Karen, I’m not letting you down, neither one of us is”, he reassured me, kissing my forehead. He was almost a head talker than me, my forehead reaching up to his chin. “Showtime”, one of the sound guys said looking at us. And on the stage we went for ‘Heart full of love’
For it isn't a dream His heart full of love
Not a dream He will never
After all! Feel this way...
The crowds were cheering and I could feel excitement building up. As Nick and I exited the stage he leaned over and whispered ‘well done’ in my ear and I could help but smile.
It was the ending of the show and we were going for the bowing, the curtseying and thank yous. “I want to give a special thank you to our Cosette, Karen Jensen, who flew over from Norway for this celebration. You were marvelous and I think everyone on stage as well as in the audience can agree on that”, Cameron said smiling at me as the entire crowd cheered. “And I hope I can work with her later on as she evolves into a beautiful adult and a superstar”, he added hugging me.
“You were absolutely amazing Karen!”Alfie said when we got off stage, he was wrapping me in a bear hug. “I thought I was gonna cry when Cameron gave that speech”, I laughed. “And I actually have a speech, which is rare from me because I don’t like giving speeches but whatever. Everyone listen up”, I said getting my glasses on an taking out a paper opening it, “Dear Cameron, thank you for opening your wings for me and letting me in on this fantastic journey, I couldn’t have asked for a better boss and friend. Dear Ramin, Hadley, Killian and Alistair, shut up, you four are like brothers to me, annoying, pain in the ass brothers but none the less. Dear Lea and Sam, you are the most charming and wonderful women I’ve ever gotten to work with, you are my rocks. Dear Alfie and Norm, what’s up, you did not see that one coming did ya? I’ve been so lucky as to work with two of the finest men in the musical theatre business, and for that I am forever grateful. Dear Robert and Mia, the world has big plans for you two, and I know you will both achieve big things, huge things actually just you wait and see. Dear Jenny, Earl and Matt, wow, just wow. Thank you for being awesome. And finally dear Nick, thank you for being my Marius. This will be a show I will never forget, because of all of you making it possible, so thank you everyone”, I don’t think there was one dry eye in the room as I finished the speech. “Aren’t you just the sweetest little munchkin?” Killian said pulling me in for a hug, resting his head on mine as I rested my head on his chest. Killian was very protective of me, just like Norm, Matt and Alfie was, they knew the borderline between fun and rude.
“Karen can I have a word?” Cameron asked just as I was about to leave the arena. “Yeah of course sir”, I said and looked at him. “I’ve had a chat with Andrew Lloyd Webber who you may have heard of?” I nodded, he did Phantom of the Opera, “Yeah well we are planning on having a anniversary show of The Phantom of the Opera next year and I was hoping you’d consider maybe being in that one, as Christine Daaé, but only if you want to of course”, he continued. I was shocked to say the least, “Are you serious sir? I would love to”, I said maybe a little too excited, but I didn’t care. “Then it’s settled I will let you know more when I do”, he said and smiled.
It was a year later. And yet again I was back in London for another anniversary, this time for the role of Christine Daae. “Well, well, well, look whose back, if it isn’t Ms. Karen Jensen?” Hadley said smiling at me. “Hadley you saw me two weeks ago, you’re such a drama queen”, I rolled my eyes. “I know but I just missed you soo much Care Bear!” he whined hugging onto me. Rolling my eyes once more I pat his back and start the process of getting him of me. “CARE BEAR!” oh god no, not him too, “I’ve missed you my love!” Ramin said hugging me, kissing my cheek repeatedly. “Ewwwww! Ramin germs!” I screamed as I wiggled free from Hadley’s grip on my waist and Ramin’s grip on my shoulders. “Karen?” yet another familiar voice caught my ear, as I turned around I saw my best friend Rosie in her ballerina outfit. “Rosie?” I had no idea she was here, and it was the first time we were to meet in real life. “It really is you”, she said, her smile so wide that if she didn’t have ears it would reach all the way round. “What are you doing here Rosie?” I asked hugging her, she gladly returned it, “I could ask you the same question Kara”, she said and smiled wide. “I’m playing Christine, what about you?” I smiled wide. “I got the role of Meg Giry. Oh my god YOUR Christine Daae? That is AMAZING!” ever since we started talking a two years ago we’d become really close. “I’m so happy for you Rosie”, hugging her again I could see Ramin and Hadley standing like puzzle pieces looking at us. “Oh yeah sorry lads, this is Rosie, Rosie this is Hadley Fraser and Ramin-“ I started but she cut me off, “Ramin Karimloo, I know, I went to see Les Misérables in London back in ‘02”, her dimples were showing as she flashed her bright white smile, always a charmer. “Ah lovely to meet you Rosie”, Ramin said kissing the top of her hand, making her swoon. “Beautiful name for a beautiful girl”, Hadley added kissing her other hand. “Guys your gonna kill her doing that”, I scolded at them, earning a glare from Rosie. “Oh shush Karen, you’d be the same”, she said, truth in her words. “Really?” they both said in unison looking at us. “Oh god, let’s go to our dressing room and get ready for rehearsals”, she agreed and off we went.
Flowers fade, fruits of summer fade
They have their seasons, so do we
But please promise me that sometimes
You will think of me!
Looking over at the sideline I saw Rosie sitting with the boys, she was telling them something and they nodded, making me curious, but knowing her she would never let me know unless she felt it was something I should know. “Wonderful work my love”, Rosie smiled hugging me. I smiled back, having some water. “Are you ready for your first ever musical?” I asked, she nodded, nervously. As I had done something like this a year ago I knew what to do, Rosie on the other hand had never done anything like this ever and she looked like she was gonna pass out any moment.
“Showtime, Karen you look gorgeous, Rosie, wonderful and bright. Ramin, you look terrible … good job!” Hadley pep talked our small group. “Is he always like this?” Rosie asked looking at all of us, one at a time. Ramin and I looked at each other and shrugged, nodding, “yeah, pretty much”, we said in unison. “Everyone let’s do this”, Cameron said walking in.
Love me -
That’s all I ask
Of you . . .
Anywhere you go
Let me go too . . .
Love me -
That’s all I ask
Of you . .
There was a roar from the audience and we remained standing as the rest of the song played and we went on singing. At the end of the show, down in the layers of the Phantom
Pitiful creature of darkness,
What kind of life have you known?
God give me courage to show you,
You are not alone...
(She kisses him)
Out on the stage I went first over to Hadley who took both my hand, and kissing them, then over to Ramin who took my hand and kissed it too, before going out center of the stage and curtseying low. “Oh thank you, thank you, please do sit down I might talk for a while”, Andrew started, looking at the audience, then turned and looked at us. “I just want to thank each and everyone in the audience for coming here tonight and being a part of this extraordinary event as we celebrate 25 years of the Phantom the Opera. And what a great cast we have here, especially Karen and Ramin who are my Christine and Phantom”, he added looking at me and Ramin.
“What a show, what a night!” Rosie and I sang in chorus, making everyone laugh. “You were amazing tonight Rosie”, I grinned hugging her to me, her dimpled smile filling the room. “You were both fantastic, but especially you Karen, you were a fantastic Christine, I heard people talk about it, they only spoke good things about you”, Cameron said, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. “Thank you so much sir”, I blushed, and soon I was wrapped in a bear hug, a hug I would know from anywhere, “ALFIE!” I giggled, hugging his arms. “My darling”, he said putting me down so I could hug him properly. “You were fantastic up there”, he added, hugging me. “Thank you Alfie. Uh this is my best friend by the way, her name is Rosie, and she plays Meg”, I said after a while, pointing to a very starstruck Rosie standing on the sideline. “Hello Rosie, you were fantastic today”, he said hugging her too, it was looking like she was about to faint when he did so, which made me laugh. She’s a huge Alfie Boe fan so this must be a pretty big moment for her.
Chapter 3 – Back in your arms my love
Guess what? I’m back in London. After having started my studying I got permission to take some of the studies online, but having to do the four weeks of my practice back home when that started in the end of January. Laying in bed after a long day I sent out a tweet “@This_CareBear: “Guess who’s going back to London #LesMiserables”” I got a response pretty quickly from Rosie who was dying from excitement about my return. She also told me that she would meet me at the airport with Killian who was gonna be the driver.
Having packed everything I got into my nana’s car and smiled wide at her. She had started opening up to the fact that this was my life, going to England once a year to do a musical. “I’ll be home a week before practice”, I said and got a nod from her as we started driving to the airport. “Are you sure about this Karen?” she asked when she stopped the car and we got out. “I’m positive, this is what I love to do, and sure the school is great, but it’s probably only gonna be my backup plan. We’ll see, I promise you I will finish the education though”, I promised her as I hugged her goodbye.
“Ladies and gentlemen flight 1496 for Heathrow airport, England”, an older lady said over the intercom and I started walking towards the gate. “Hello, ticket?” the guy asked, holding his hand out for a ticket, handing it over to him he clipped it before handing it back. “Have a good trip”, he added with a smile sending me on my way. Here we go, next stop, England. Looking out the window when the plane took off I smiled to myself, I was going back to the country I love.
“KAREN!” looking up from my position on the floor with my bags I could see Killian and Rosie run over smiling, getting up I threw myself at Rosie causing her to fall, only to be caught by Killian last second, “Geeez not doing that again”, she said sarcastically and hugged me again. “I missed you too babe”, I teased, hugging Killian in a long and comforting embrace. “How are you love?” he whispered in my ear, such a charming young man. On our way to the car I couldn’t help but smile at how cute Rosie and Killian was together, he had his arm casually wrapped around her shoulder as he told her something that made her laugh.
“KAREN JENSEN COME OVER HERE AND LOVE US!” turning around I saw Alistair and Sam run over to me. “NOOO!” I giggled, running away and crashing into a tall figure. Looking up I saw eorge her me at the airport . the four months of my practice back home when that started in the end of Jsuch sha set of blue eyes, I could feel a smile creep up on my face. “Hadley”, “Karen”, he smiled back hugging me. “Long time no seen love”, he added, rubbing my back. “Yeah”, I replied smiling. “Karen can we go meet the other actors now?” I heard Rosie ask from behind my back as she was standing with Killian. Nodding my head I said bye to Hadley and took off with the others. “What’s up with you two Karen?” Killian asked when we had gotten far away from Hadley. “Should there be something up with us?” I asked looking at him with a raised brow. Shrugging we went back to walking. “Ah Karen, I’m Tom Hooper, Cameron tells me your going to be one of the barricade ladies”, the director, Tom, asked. “Yes sir I am”, I nodded. “Lovely to meet you”, he said shaking my hand. “Nice to meet you too sir”, I said, shaking his hand back.
“Guys and girls I brought someone here for you to meet”, we were in one of the rehearsal rooms and there were a few people in. “This is Karen, Killian and Rosie. Karen and Rosie are playing barricade ladies, while Killian is playing Combferre”, Tom added introducing us. “Welcome”, everyone said smiling at us as the meeting and greeting started. Looking over at Rosie I saw she was talking to the boy named George and Killian was glaring at him. “Um Karen what’s going on with them?” Fra asked, wrapping a secure arm around my waist. “Killian likes Rosie, but it seems she has gotten eyes for George”, I rest my head on his chest. “Well George seems like a nice guy, but so is Killian”, Fra tried to reason. “I just don’t understand how Killian hasn’t told her anything you know?” he nodded. “Karen can we talk?” Rosie asked finally having torn her gaze of George, nodding my head I smile at Fra and starts walking with my short, brunette friend. “I don’t think Killian likes George”, she says, making me raise a brow, “he’s got a good reason Rose”, she tilted her head, frowning, “being?” “He’s in love with you Rose, deeply and madly in love with you. Haven’t you noticed?” she shook her head. “Oh sweetie if you could only see the way he looks at you”, I hug her. “I don’t know what to do you know”, she sigh, “Do you like George?” she nods, “and what about Killian? Do you like him?” she nods again. Oh dear not good. “Oh there you are girls, were about to start rehearing now”, Killian said, popping his hear round the door and smiling when he sees Rosie. “Thanks Killian, we’ll be right there”, I say smiling at him. Nodding his head he disappears behind the door. “We should go rehears”, she nods and we walk to the rehearsal room. “Sorry we’re late”, I excused us, getting a reassuring smile from Tom, “It’s nothing to worry about Karen, we hadn’t really started yet”, nodding at him I sat down next to the tall blond guy I hadn’t met. “I’m Aaron Tveit”, he whispered offering me his hand, his American accent ringing, shaking his hand I whisper back, “Karen Jensen, nice to meet you”, seeing a smile on his face he whispers back asking if I’m from England, I shake my head, “Norway”, I whisper, seeing a surprised expression on his face.
“Eat with me!” Alistair and Fra sing, parodying the song ‘Drink with me’ from the show. “Losers”, I stick my tongue out at them before turning away from them and dragging Sam, Rosie, Anne, Amanda and Helena with me, “Lunch time ladies”, I smile at them as they nod and we go to the nearest restaurant. “Table for six please”, I ask the guy in the restaurant as he takes six menus and guide us to the table. “I’ll be back in a while to take your orders ladies”, he say smiling at us. “So Rosie and Karen tell us about yourselves”, Anne says smiling her perfect smile at us. “Can I just say I’m a huge fan of all of you ladies? I’ve seen a lot of your works”, I confess, making them all smile. “I totally agree with her, especially your character Karen in mean girls”, Rosie say looking at Amanda. “Totally nailed it”, she added. “Oh I’m sorry you can’t sit with us”, Amanda say grinning, she had us in all in a laughing fit, and I’m pretty sure the waiter thought we were mad.
After we finished our lunch we made our way back to the studio. “Karen I’ve missed you!” Fra said as soon as I walked in, hugging me. “Ewwwww Fra get off”, I giggled. “Meanie”, he pouted, smiling I poked his pout and went on to vocal warm-ups. And rain will make the flowers grow. “Beautifully done love”, smiling I turned around to see Hadley stand there. “Have you been avoiding me?” he asks looking at me. Shaking my head I hug him. “I’ve just been very busy”, I assure him. “I’m just kidding”, he says pecking my cheek before adding: “I should go rehears.” Nodding I go back to my vocal exercises and smile to myself.
We had the afternoon of so Rosie and I decided to hang out in London. We had just bought some coffee and were on our way out from Starbucks when I crash into a tall figure, falling flat on my bum and spilling my coffee I look up to see who it was, and to my surprise he was smiling at me. “I’m – I’m so sorry, I didn’t see where I was going”, I stutter, getting back on my feet, “No its okay, it’s my fault”, he says, taking a better look at him I freeze, gripping onto Rosie’s arm. “I’m Colin”, he says offering his hand, taking it I shake it lightly, “K-Karen”, I mumble, blushing. I had just spilled my coffee all over Colin –I was in The Tudors- O’Donoghue, great. “I’m gonna get you a new coffee Karen, I’ll be back in a bit”, Rosie said leaving me alone with the much older Irish lad. “Again I’m so sorry, how can I make it up to you?” I ask, looking at him before looking at the ground, feeling my cheeks going red. “It’s no worries love”, Colin assures me lifting my head up with his middle and index finger. “A beautiful face like that shouldn’t be hidden”, his smile is crocked and it coming closer to my face as he pecks my cheek. “How bout I take you out for a cup of coffee one day love?” he whispers in my ear, smiling. To afraid to speak, in case my voice crack I just nod, and write down my number on a post it. “Looking forward to it already love”, he smiles and walks into starbucks just as Rosie exits. “You okay Karen?” she asks handing me my coffee. “Y-yeah I’m good”, I mumble, smiling to myself. “Did you just get asked out on a date by Colin?!” she almost shouts, nodding I blush hard thinking about the kiss on my cheek. “Oh my god, you do realize he might have Henry and Jonathan’s numbers”, she squealed. “Hey you have George and Killian, don’t be selfish”, I look at her, raising my brow. As we were walking alongside the Thames I could feel my phone buzz, picking it up I saw a text from Colin. (Bold him, italic her)
Hello love, can’t wait for our coffee date –Colin
Me neither. Just let me know when your free –Karen
How about tonight? I would love to take you out as soon as possible<3. I hope that didn’t sound creepy? –Colin
Not at all, I’d like to see you too soon <3 –Karen
Looking over at Rosie I could see her smiling. “I’m so excited for this; we should go shopping, getting you something for tonight’s date”, she smirked, dragging me with her. Rolling my eyes I could only follow her.
“What about this one?” she asked as we stood in the shop. “I like that one, kind of fitting the whole style I want”, I smiled looking at the fifties looking blue and white stripped flowy dress. “And these black ballerina shoes should fit perfect too with your red lipstick, oh your gonna look so pretty for tonight”, she gushed. Texting Colin my address I went with Rosie to pay for everything then we went back to the hotel so I could get ready.
At about five to six there was a knock on the door. “I’ll open”, Rosie called. Touching up on my makeup I looked one last time in the mirror and smiled to myself. Walking out of the bathroom I cleared my throat and smiled at Colin as his jaw dropped. “You look amazing love”, he mumbled, pecking my cheek. “Have fun and don’t be too late out, text me if you’re not gonna come back here tonight okay Karen?” Rosie said looking at me as she tried to parent me. Taking his hand in mine we made our way out the door. “You look stunning tonight Karen”, he said as we got into the elevator, I could feel his hand snake around my waist, and for some odd reason it felt right. It wasn’t because he was my idol, cause I knew very little about him other than him being 31 and me being 20. “Are you okay love?” he asked looking at me worried. I nodded, “I just didn’t think I would ever be asked out on a date by someone older than me”, I blurt out, looking down again, “you’re doing that hiding your face thing again”, he grins, lifting my head up and smiling. “I’d love to know more about you”, he smiles his perfect crocked smile. “How old are you anyways?” he asks, holding my chair out for me to sit down. “I’m 20”, I mumble, biting my lip nervously. “It’s not that bad, only eleven years”, he reassures, taking my hand, stroking circles on the top of my hand.
“I had a lovely date”, Colin said smiling as we were standing outside my hotel room, “me too”, I smiled looking into his eyes, “Would you like me to kiss you?” he asked, quoting Prince Philip of Bavaria, knowing how much I loved his Tudor character, nodding my head he leaned in, kissing me softly on the lips. “Goodnight love”, he mumbled and pecked my lips before walking off. Going inside I leaned on the door smiling wide as I cuddled up in his jacket. “Did you have a nice date?” Rosie asked, making me jump. “Yeah, he quoted his Tudor character”, seeing her nightlight come one she sat up in her bed. “What quote?” she asked, that show was like a religion to her, I’ve sort of lost count at how many times she’s seen it. “He said and I quote: “Would you like me to kiss you””, I smile wide at the thought. “Oh my god that’s so romantic. Did you kiss him? How was it? Is that his jacket?” “Yes. Yes, amazing and yes”, I still had the dorkiest smile on my face as I replied to her questions. Going to the bathroom I got out of my dress and put on my pj’s washing off the makeup and brushing my teeth before getting into bed.
Goodnight love, sweet dreams <3 –Colin
Goodnight Colin, sleep well <3 –Karen
And with that I feel asleep.
~a few weeks later~
It had been a few busy weeks rehearsing and today was my last day before my practice started next week. As I had promised my nana I would come home a week before so I could do all the necessary preparations. “I’ll miss you when you’re gone”, Colin mumbled hugging me. “I’ll miss you too Colin, but we’ll Skype everyday yeah?” he nodded and kissed me. I had offered to take the part as Cosette for the night at the Queens Theatre as the girl who originally had the part, Katie Hall I believe her name was, had called in sick. “Karen it’s time”, Sierra, who plays Fantine, said smiling at me. Nodding I turned to Colin again, “Good luck love, I’ll be out there supporting you the whole way”, he smile, kissing me once more before going out in the audience.
After the show I take a quick shower and change into some comfy jeans and one of Colin’s t-shirts. “Karen, there are some fans outside stage door who wants to say hi”, Damian, one of the students, say looking from around the door. “I have fans?” I asked frowning as I followed him downstairs and out stage door where there were tons of people. “OMG! Karen!” one of the girls called. “Hi love”, I said and smiled for a picture, then signed her play bill. “Thank you so much Karen, I’m a huge fan”, she said, looking like she was about to cry. “I also brought you something”, she added holding up a book of pictures from my shows back in 2010 and 2011. “This is beautiful. Can you please sign it love? With you twitter name too”, it looked like she was about to pass out as she did what I asked her to do. “Thank you love”, I said and hugged her before going on to the next person calling my name. At the end of the night as I sat in the airport waiting for boarding I had the picture book, some books a few toys and some food. “Flight 23467 to Bergen airport is boarding”, a voice called the intercom, getting up I got my passport and ticket out, handing it to the lady at the counter. “Have a good flight dear”, she said with a smile handing it back to me.
“Hey girls”, I said smiling at Cassie and Cora when we met up for school the day after I came home. I was so happy I had a late class. “Hey how was England?” Cora asked smiling at me. “Oh it was so much fun”, I replied. I started telling them about it, that I had met a guy, of course Cassie recognized him the second she saw a picture of me and him together. “That’s the guy who is going to play Hook in ‘Once Upon a Time’ isn’t it?” she added taking a better look at him. I nodded and smiled. “Oh my god girl you did good”, Cora joked shoving my shoulder lightly. “We should probably get to class”, they nodded at me and we started walking when my phone buzzed, looking at it I had gotten a text from Rosie with a picture of herself, George and Killian at rehearsals, it was also a text attached to it saying they missed me. Smiling at the picture I put the phone back in my pocket and went to class. “Welcome back Karen, I hope you had a good few weeks in London”, my teacher said, smiling. Nodding at her I sat down with Scott, Cassie and Cora just like I usually did.
After class I got my phone out and saw several texts (bold = them, italics = me)
C: Hope you had a great day at school love Xx
K: I had a lovely day Colin, I miss you Xx
R: Did you ignore the cuteness of Killian, George and I?
K: I had class, so here’s a picture of my face
KD: I don’t know what to do Karen, I mean I love her, but I know she’s got eyes for George
K: I don’t know Killian, maybe prove to her that you have feelings for her Xx
G: Hello love, is Rosie and Killian dating? I don’t want to be that guy who flirts with someone else’s girlfriend you know.
K: Not that I know off. Why?
RK: I miss you Care Bear Xx
K: I miss you too Kangaroo Xx
H: Come back and love me Xx
K: I’ll be back in four weeks Rob Xx
Smiling at the text I went to the cafeteria to catch up with the girls. “So tell us how the set was?” Cora asked when I sat down. “It was amazing it made me feel like I was in 19th century Paris. And don’t get me started on the costumes, my god they were so beautiful”, I gush, showing them a few pictures. “I wish you girls could be there with me, I really do, but it’s so hectic I mean we don’t even stay long in the same location once we start filming, it’s crazy”, I blurt out throwing my arms in the air, making them laugh. “I’m so excited to the see the movie now”, Cora exclaimed smiling at me.
~Three and a half weeks later (almost done with practice) ~
Getting home that evening I got to school work when my Skype started ringing, looking at the caller ID I couldn’t help but smile to myself, it was Colin, clicking accept I kept grinning as his face popped up on the screen. “Hello love”, he grinned, “hey Colin”, I smiled, leaning my head on my hand. I was so happy I got to call him mine, and I know I had only known him for a few weeks, but hey, he’s hot, he really likes me. “What’s on your mind love?” he asked after a few moments of silence. “Just some stuff with Rosie”, I sighed seeing his mood changed. He knew how I felt about the whole George/Rosie/Killian thing, don’t get me wrong, I love George, but I just wished Rosie could make her mind up and choose so I didn’t have to see Killian hurt. Sure he’d be hurt if she chose George, but at least he wouldn’t have to be in the state where he had to watch them being all mushy and cute, but hear her say it was nothing going on between herself and George, he could move on, find a beautiful girl and fall in love with her, treat her like a princess. “I know your mad at Rosie for being like that, but interfering with her personal life isn’t gonna help anyone, you might come out on the bad side here”, he reasoned, not wanting to start an argument I just nodded, but I knew I wasn’t done with this topic. “I’ve got to go, I’ll see you late okay?” he nodded and we said I love you before ending the call. Holding the mouse over Killian’s Skype contact info I debated whether or not to call him, in the end I did. “Hey Care Bear”, he joked. “Hey Killian, how are you?” I asked smiling at him, “I could be better, I don’t know how much longer I can hold on here”, he confessed, “I know Killian, but hang in there I’m coming back on Saturday and I’m gonna have a chat with Rosie”, I said looking at him worried. “Promise me something Killian”, I added, “What’s that?” “Promise me that until I’m back in London you won’t hang out with Rosie. I don’t want to see you like this, it absolutely shatters my heart”, I could see the hurt in his eyes; he cared for me as much, maybe even more, as I did for him. He was like the big brother I never had but always wished I had. “I promise, just please let the week go on quickly”, he sighed. Nodding we said our goodbyes and I went to bed, falling to a dreamless sleep.
Morning after I got up early and went on Skype, it was still evening in New York and if I was lucky I would catch Ramin before he logged off his laptop and brain, “Ramin thank god your still awake!” I sighed in relief when he answered, “Yeah I just came home from the theatre what’s up? You look really tired by the way”, he stated making me roll my eyes. “Enough about me, I’m going to London on Saturday and I need you to help me out with something”, nodding he sat back crossing his arms over his chest, listening as I told him about the chat Killian and I had the evening before, Norwegian time. “I don’t know kid, I don’t really think you should interfere, I know he’s your best friend, but so is she, and is it really gonna be worth it if she cuts you out?” he asked looking at me when I had finished talking, “you sound so much like Colin right now. I know it’s probably stupid of me to interfere, but as I said it’s hard to see him so broken and I just want her to stop hurting him. If she could stop leading him on just to break him down it would be great”, I groaned, she was so stubborn. “You’ll figure it out soon kid; just don’t do anything you’ll regret”, he said before looking at his watch. “I’m off to bed, and you look like your off to practice, so good night and good morning”, he grinned and waved before logging off. Applying some makeup I got my bag and left.
Later that day as I sat in the break room scrolling on my phone Cassie walked in and sat down next to me. “Hey”, I said and smiled, she had the dorkiest smile on her face. “We’re going to London in two days”, she exclaimed. I couldn’t help but smile back at her, “I know, I’ve already packed for the next four months”, we were going on a four day trip, Cora, Cassie and I, but the girls were going back after that while I was staying. I was starting filming for the Les Misérables movie and it was so exciting. “Are you excited to see your friends again?” she asked smiling, I nodded, “yeah and I’m excited to introduce you girls to them”, I smiled.
The next two days went on really fast and before you knew it we were on the plane on our way to London. “Next stop London!” Cora exclaimed exited. We hadn’t even been in the air for 1 ½ hour before the plane started the landing procedure. “I’m so excited”, I gushed bouncing in my seat. We had plans on going to the hotel first for check in before going out to meet some of my theatre friends. “This is gonna be the best four days ever!” Cora giggled; Cassie and I nodded in agreement.
Going down the escalator to luggage claim I could see Colin standing with a sign that said my beautiful girlfriend and her friends what a handsome lad eh? “Hello love”, he smiled his same old crocked smile that I loved. “Hello”, I smiled back, kissing him. “This is Cora, and this is Cassie. Girls this is Colin”, I introduced them all. “I’ll take you girls to the hotel, then we can go out and get some food yeah?” he asked taking our bags of the carrier, handing them their bags. “Sounds like a plan”, I said smiling, taking my bag only to have him take it for me instead, wrapping the other arm around my waist. “Have I told you how gorgeous you look?” he mumbled in my ear making me blush, I didn’t feel gorgeous at all, having slept on Cassie’s couch and getting up at maybe four. “Aren’t they just adorable?” I heard Cora whisper to Cassie.
“Karen!” turning around I saw Killian run over to me, “Killian thank god, we need to talk”, excusing us I took Killian’s arm and dragged him with me, leaving the girls and Colin behind to find somewhere to eat. “I kept your promise, I stayed away, it was hard but I did it”, he confessed, smiling proudly at him I hugged him tight. “I’m so proud of you Killian”, I said. His mood changed, “do you know what I can do?” he asked after a few moments of silence. “I’m gonna talk to her, I won’t let her do this to you, I’m sure the tension is killing George too”, I said, having thought out a plot to make Rosie choose. “Are you sure it will work?” he asked worried, nodding at him I rubbed his arm, “It will work Killian, I won’t let her get away with this.” Walking back to the other we sat down at an Italian restaurant.
“Hey everyone”, I smiled, standing in the doorway of the rehearsal studio, looking at all of my co-stars, “She’s back!” Jamie said smiling, waving at me like a weirdo, laughing I waved back like an idiot before jumping on him “Hey idiot”, I giggled hugging him. It was great seeing everyone again, Sam, Fra, Alistair, Jamie, Killian the whole lot. “Hey ‘Ponine”, Daniel who plays Gavroche said smiling wide, we had an inside joke that I would be the perfect the perfect Eponine if I was ever to go to the WestEnd or Broadway productions “hey there young one”, I smiled hugging him, such a charmer. “Hey Karen”, the American accent was recognizable from anywhere, “Hey Aaron”, I said turning to him. “Good to have you back”, “Thanks.” Having introduced Colin to everyone, myself, Cassie, Cora and Colin went on to our sightseeing/shopping.
“What a day”, Cora exclaimed when we finally sat down for dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant at Waterloo Station. “They have A LOT of pasta here”, I laughed taking the menu although I already knew what I wanted. “I’m so happy we decided to go together girls”, Cassie started taking a sip of the water we had gotten “it was really fun meeting all of your friends too, it seems like you’ve met the right group of people”, she added, making me smile. “And let’s not forget you and Colin; I said to Cassie earlier that you two are quite the pair”, Cora said with a smile looking at Colin and I. Feeling his hand being wrapped around my shoulder I leaned in and pecked his cheek, whispering I love you in his ear. “See this is why you two are cuteness overload!” Cora said snapping a picture of Colin and I. “I have to get going, I’m meeting my band in an hour, but we can meet up later yeah?” he asked looking at me. “Yeah, have fun and say hi to the lads for me”, I said giving him a kiss before he got up and left. “God you’re so lucky Karen, he’s really hot”, Cassie and Cora said in unison, smiling wide at me.
After dinner we decided to make our way back to the hotel seeing as we were really tired. Getting into our room I fell on the bed, taking out my phone and seeing a text from Colin.
C: Hi Love, I’m staying at the same hotel as you, how about all four of us go out tonight to celebrate your first day in London? -Colin
K: Sounds great, I’ll let the others know Xx –Karen
About an hour later we were all ready and on our way to the bar. Rosie and I had planned out that she would meet us there; hopefully I could have a word with her. “Hello love, you look amazing like always”, Colin smiled kissing me lightly before taking my hand. “You look quite dashing too if I may say so myself”, I giggled, laying a hand on his knee.
At the bar we were met by Fra, who never says no to a pint, Rosie and a friend of Fra. “Francis”, I laughed looking at him, “Karen”; he replied hugging me, “this is Lillian, she’s a friend of mine from Ireland”, he added, pointing to her. “Hello love, I’m Karen”, I smiled shaking her hand. “Ah you must be Colin”, Fra said looking at Colin who was standing behind me, a hand securely around my waist. “Yes I am”, he replied firmly, making me a bit worried. “Nice to meet you I’m Francis, but everyone calls me Fra”, Fra said, without a care in the world. “Colin please it hurts”, I gasped as he tightened his grip on me. “Fra is gay you stupid oaf!” Rosie exclaimed hitting Colin with a foam finger she must have borrowed from one of the guys in the bar, or bought herself for all I know. Feeling Colin’s grip ease I wiggled out of it and looked at him in shock. I had no idea he would be capable of this. Sure he was jealous, but this was scary beyond imagination. “I’m so sorry”, he said looking at me in fear when he’d realized what he’d done. Cupping his face in my hands I looked at him, “It’s okay, I’m okay, look, I’m fine”, I said rubbing his cheeks with my thumbs. “I’m okay”, I repeated, kissing him. Rosie just shook her head as I looked around at everyone. Getting on with the partying I finally found time to get a hold of Rosie. “Can we talk? Outside”, I asked her, she nodded and followed after. “I know this is none of my business, but I’m worried about Killian, ever since you two met he’s had a crush on you and now he’s feeling crappy because he doesn’t know if you like him or not, and you hang around both him and George, please don’t make Killian suffer more than he is”, I said, looking at her as she got more angry, “Your right this is none of your business!” she shouted. “HEY! What’s going on out here?” Colin asked standing in the door, “You don’t get to talk here Colin, you best not hurt Karen or I swear to God I will murder you!” she said slapping Colin over the cheek with the foam finger. “ROSIE!” I exclaimed, rushing over to Colin’s side. “What the hell Rosie?” I asked glaring at her as I took Colin’s hand. “Your blind if you don’t see what Colin is gonna do to you”, she shouted after me as Colin and I walked away. “I’m so sorry she did that”, I apologized. He shook his head and stopped, looking at me. “I’m just scared I suppose”, he said, taking my hands in his. “Why?” I asked, looking at him confused. “I’m much older than you, what if you leave me for someone your age?” he said, biting his lips nervously, “That’s not gonna happen Colin, you’re the one I’m with, and who care how old you are, you and I, it feels right, although it’s not been that long”, he smiled at me and leaned in, kissing me softly. “I love you Karen”, he exclaimed, looking into my eyes. “And I love you Colin”, I replied, leaning in and kissing him again.