This was shortly after the infamous
torn-dress episode. My costume had just come back and was hanging
in the green room. I was on stage, doing a scene with the male
lead, you know, Horace. John Snow. So John and I are doing
"You go your way, and Iíll go mineÖ" when
Jareth suddenly appeared.
I didnít look at him; I couldnít. I was in the middle of a scene. "Go away," I thought as hard as I could.
"Amanda is destroying your costume."
"What?" I cried, standing up from the table John and I were at.
John looked at me like I was nuts and repeated the last line heíd said. But then I was walking right off stage, into the green room.
What I saw made me scream.
Amanda had the dress laying on a table and was lovingly daubing the white blouse of the costume with Kool-Aid.
She jerked in surprise when I came in and looked up at me in horrified surprise.
"What are you doing?" I yelled.
"Nothing! I justÖI justÖ" Her face lit up and she overturned the plastic cup of red stuff over the gown. "I was just looking at your costume and you scared me! It was an accident."
"Itís ruined!" I cried.
People were running in then, trying to find out what all the commotion was. David stood in the doorway, frowning. "Amanda, what did you take the dress down for?"
"It was already down here; I was just looking at it!"
"It was not!" I shouted. "You pulled it down, you were pouring the cup on it, I saw you!"
"Melanie, you should have been more careful where you left your costume. This wasnít all my fault. Yeah, Iím sorry, but you canít blame it all on me," Amanda snapped.
"You are so full of shit," Edith hissed, and pushed past me and David and grabbed the dress. She looked at it. "I donít think itís a total loss. Let me try to get some of it out before we go remaking it."
"We already had to have it restitched once because you werenít careful with it, Melanie," sighed Mrs. McHenry, our head director. "Letís hope Edith can save it."
Edith dashed off to her dorm to try and work a miracle. Amanda received a stern talking to about not eating or drinking around the clothes, and I got an earful about how expensive the costumes were. It sucked. I just wanted to punch Amanda. She kept smirking. She knew sheíd gotten away with it. She was just going to keep right on pushing the envelope.
I decided that night that I was going to quit the play. I told everyone so as we sat around in the lobby of my dorm.
"You canít!" cried Edith.
"That is definitely a bad idea," Mark told me from another couch, his arm around Carol. "I canít believe youíre going to give into that."
"Sheís going to ruin it for everyone if I stay in it," I argued.
"Please, Melanie, donít quit," David said. "Weíll think of something. Maybe catch her in the act."
I shook my head. "Sheís not going to let you. Sheís going to be a lot more careful."
Jareth paced around behind the couch where Edith and David and I were sitting. "Sheís cunning. But cunning isnít everything. Oh, no. I shall put an end to this once and for all!" he raved.
I groaned out loud and put my head down on the couch. David pulled me up and gave me a hug. "Itís okay, Mel. Just give it another week, okay?"
"Laundryís done," Edith sighed. "Time to check on the dress."
"Cross your fingers," said Carol, crossing them. We all did.
Edith got up and walked out to the laundry room and waved off comments from people who claimed sheíd been using the washer too long. "I got the quarters, donít I?" she snapped. She reached into the washer and pulled out the costume, sighing, shaking out the blouse and the skirt. She examined them slowly. And she screamed
"Itís out, itís out, I got it! Iím the miracle worker!" she sang, dancing around with the costume. "Look, itís perfect!" she cried, throwing the wet things at me and David.
The stains were gone. It was a sign. I stayed for another week.
See, it turned out that Amanda was something of a closet drinker. She would come to rehearsals hung over quite a bit. She always got the job done, and you couldnít really tell unless you knew what to look for. Aspirin was a big tip off. The way she looked out her eyes was funny too. But mostly, according to Jareth, it was how many times she touched her hair.
Jareth would sit back and watch her and laugh when she touched her hair.
"Why does she do that? What difference does it make?" I asked once.
"When sheís hung over her hair hurts," he told me with a smile.
She could really put them back, according to Edith, who was acquaintances with a friend of hers. Jareth listened to all this intently, but I hadnít realized how interested he was. Not until the day later that week, when the candy box came.
"Whoís it from?" someone was asking Amanda as I walked into the green room.
"A secret admirer," she laughed, showing the card. "Who cares, I love chocolate."
"Probably that dork Kevin."
"Like I said," she told the other girl, munching one of the chocolates, "I donít care."
She got halfway through that box before rehearsal started. She finished it off between scenes. Or should I say, the box finished her.
The candies were, more than likely, filled with liqueur.
Now Amanda, being the good college student she was, drank a lot of weak, light American beer. And she could indeed put quite a few of those back. This was something else. And as I watched her stagger around the stage trying to deliver her soliloquy about Irene Malloy and the hat shop, I realized that she was halfway to unconscious from alcohol.
"Jesus Christ," Edith exclaimed in a whisper beside me as we watched from the wings. She flicked her hat out of her way. "Sheís smashed. Sheís completely smashed."
David snickered behind his hand.
"Itís not funny," I said. "She looks like sheís about to keel over."
"Okay, Pollyanna," Edith sighed. "Me personally, I donít have a problem kicking her while sheís down."
"Which should be any minute now," David said, and giggled harder.
Amanda kicked off her shoes and sat down on the stage. "Can I just do it like this? Iím really tired," she slurred.
"Amanda," said Mrs. McHenry, standing up out of her chair in the first row. "I think you should go home.
"I donít wanna."
"And stay there. Rachel Ellis?"
The little blonde chorus/stage-hand girl came out of the wings. "Yes maíam?"
"You will be taking the part of Minnie. Will someone please see Amanda home?"
We all stood there with shocked faces, watching as Amanda was removed from the auditorium by her friends.
Jareth appeared beside me, dryly quoting Dreaminís story Feeliní Feline. "íSo is the fate of all who meddle with Jareth the Magnificent. Muwhahahaha.í"
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