My honorable mention from short Story place...
Just Around the Corner: “The Show Must Go On!”
By Sylvia Stein
Raleigh, North Carolina
As Cassandra packed her belongings, tears began rolling down her face. As much as
she tried to fight it, it all led back to one person.
“Damn it! “ she shouted. Then as she said this, she fell to the floor and began sobbing
uncontrollably. “ Oh, I just can’t do this!”
As she lay there motionless for a few minutes that felt like never ending hours, she
thought of the good times.
“Oh Reed, how am I supposed to go on without you?” As she said this to herself, she
saw in the corner of her room what appeared to be a letter.
Cassandra was scared of reading the contents of the letter. As she deliberated about
whether or not to read it, a sudden image appeared before her. At first she thought it
was a hallucination or that maybe she was seeing a ghost.
“Oh, come on Cassandra,” she said suddenly. “Get it together!”
“Okay, I am about to read this letter now!” she added. “ Please stop…”
My dearest Cassandra,
I write you this letter as a farewell to you my love. I know these past six months have been so hard for you. I can only imagine what you are feeling. I know we did not anticipate this happening! As I am writing this, I am trying to fight the tears. You see, I am so angry, but above all sad to have to be without you. Cassie, you are the love of my life, and from the very first time, our paths crossed I knew you were the one! But I wanted you to know that, even though I do not get to be with you, I know that God has a plan for us. Please, do not give up on all you have worked on, baby. I wish I was there with you, but know that I will be, just not in the way we would have wanted. But remember all the hard work we have invested. Please Cassie, promise me you will keep on for the both of us. Remember, all of your dreams are within grasp, and know they are “Just Around The Corner”.
Love you so much, and the Show must go on!
Once again the tears began over taking her, then she began to shout, “No Reed, please
don’t hate me!”
She was so emotional that she did not notice the image getting closer to her.
“Cassie,” said a familiar voice.
“Reed?” she thought, as she began to once again dry her tears.
“No, this just can not be,” thought a very distraught Cassandra. “Reed is dead,” she
said as she tried to compose herself.
“Cassie please listen,” said the again familiar voice.
“Who is that and how do you know me?” she asked in a very demanding tone.
“Cassie please look up,” the mysterious voice called out. As she began looking up, her
heart pounded very loudly.
“Reed,” she hesitantly answered. “ How can this be?” she added.
As the image of her love revealed himself, Cassandra began to weep very loudly.
“Shh,” he said. “I am here to help you baby,” he added.
As she tried to calm herself, she then stated, “You are here to help me.”
She added, “What do you mean?”
“Cassie you know what I am referring to” said a sterner Reed. Just as he was about to
“Oh, you mean the big show and how I decided not to do it after all?” she said in a
very dismissive tone. Cassandra always had a way of acting like nothing mattered once
things began to fall apart.
“Cassie,” he pleaded. “Please, baby, you must not give up!”
“Stop!” “You are not real!” “Please stop doing this now!” she shouted.
As Cassandra got angrier, her eyes began looking a very wickedly green color. As the spirit of
Reed tried to reason with her, Cassandra did not notice how it suddenly began raining very
loudly. It took her about five minutes to finally hear the loud thunder as she got up from her
“Wow that was some illusion” stated a calmer Cassandra. “Oh no, it’s really pouring out there,”
In the meantime, she decided to take a nice bath and relax for the remainder of the night. It was
obvious she was not able to travel tonight. “ Oh well, I guess I’ll just leave back to Seattle
tomorrow.” She then smiled. “I can’t wait to get back to my normal life.” “I mean, to think that I
could cut it in dance, and move to New York City, was just so crazy!” she said.
Except, as she tried to convince herself that she would be content back home, Cassandra
suddenly realized that was just not what would make her happy. Then all of a sudden, she began
“Oh Reed!” “I love you and miss you so much, so how can I do this without you here?”
Then she once again took out the letter and looked at the end of it: “Remember, all of your
dreams are within grasp, and know they are “Just Around the Corner.”
At that moment, Cassandra thought of when she first met Reed Smith. They both had aspirations
of dancing and being on Broadway, and both had gotten a full ride to The School of Art and
Dance in New York City. They both were excellent dancers and both showed much promise from
the very start.
Sadly, after a year into fulfilling their dreams Reed began to get really sick. After a
painful few months he was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer lymphoma. At first
the doctors felt that Reed would make a full recovery with the chemotherapy treatments.
However, as he continued treatments, Cassandra noticed that Reed was not getting better.
Another exam showed his cancer was spreading and Reed decided to live the remainder of his
time without chemo and dedicate as much time to spend with Cassandra.
Reed’s death came quickly and the pain of his loss was so unbearable for Cassandra,
that she decided to take a leave of absence.
Soon after, the School of Arts and Dance in New York City began casting for a big
production on Broadway and Cassie was put at the top of the list by a well known dance
choreographer named Charles Mondain.
“No, I just can not do it,” said a very emotional Cassandra, once Charles reached her on
“Young lady, do not throw it all away!” “You have a gift,” he stated sternly.
Now she was back in the present, and Cassandra decided that she had to seize the
moment for both her and Reed.
“Oh Reed, you are going to be so proud of me!” Then she immediately began dialing on
After a few weeks, Cassandra began preparations for her big debut. She was so
excited to be the lead role in an Italian production entitled, “Mi Amore”, which means
My love. From beginning to end she thought of Reed. This role was made for her,
because sadly the male character of this story dies at the end. As she heard the
applause roaring, she began to smile, and for a moment she again saw the image of her
beloved. For she knew now as Reed had stated in the letter, Cassandra had reached
success for both of them. It also had been as Reed said, “Just around the corner” and
as much as she missed him, “ The Show Must Go On!”