I walked up the stairs to the stage. I grabbed the microphone under the bright stage lights. I could feel the warmth of the lights on my skin. I could feel the attention in the room as the crowd cheered.
I had been a regular performer at Jojo's and was making great waves with my music career. It allowed me some awesome travel opportunities to travel abroad and work with artists around the globe. Jojo's Steakhouse was the reason why I stayed as an independent artist.
As the cheering died down, I greeted the crowd.
"Happy Holidays, Jojo's! Your Queen has arrived!"
I was excited. It had been months since I had performed on a stage and with my song, "Sustaining," I knew that the house would turn into one hell of a house party.
Before I began my set, I crooned the first verse of "O Holy Night," in a strong velvety contralto tone. The crowd went wild.
"Now that wasn't even a part of my set. The first song that I'm doing tonight goes out to those who have done you wrong. This goes out to your ex, your family, and even your haters. This is for those that sought to break you down. Anybody here sustaining?"
The crowd erupted in cheers and applause. I was ready to premiere this single. AJ had no idea that he was about to make me a rich witch. His actions were lemons that I turned into pure lemonade.
The DJ started the track. The funky intro gave me the confidence that I needed to get into the groove. As soon as I heard my cue, I began to belt out the words.
"You tried to knock me down, but I stood my ground," I sang with a fiery determination.
I could here Kyra, Tanille, and Denzel yelling at me.
"That's it, Honey."
The crowd began to clap along and a few people even started dancing.
Once I got to the chorus the whole bar was on its feet. Darshay and AJ were clapping along, not realizing who the song was about.
I don't know what got into me, but I began to dance and move in a way that I hadn't moved before. I sang notes that seemed unfamiliar to me. Was I coming out of the box? This experience was thrilling and healing.
As I sang the final cadence, the crowd went wild with applause. My heartbeat seemed as if it was attempting to escape my chest. I felt the beads of sweat on my face, but my makeup and clothes were still dry and intact. I took the napkin and I dabbed my face so that I wouldn't ruin my makeup.
"Thank you, Jojo," I said as I prepared to exit the stage.
Jojo, the owner of the bar, yelled over the speakers, "Topaz, you owe us one more after storming like that!"
I simply smiled. I looked at Tanille and Denzel. I smiled a mischievous, yet pure smile.
"For this next song, I need some singers. Tanille and Denzel please help your sister," I requested.
As they entered stage right, I began talking.
"Many times we go through tumultuous relationships where we endure so much pain from the one we love. Have you thought to ask them what they would do if the shoe was on the other foot?"
The crowd again cheered. I looked right at AJ. He dropped his head as if to avoid my gaze. I panned the room as I continued introducing the song.
"This song is an oldie, but a goody. Let's thank Patti Labelle for this hit. It simply says 'what would you do if the shoe was on the other foot.'" I looked at the band and gave them the sign to start the song.
As the harp intro sounded and I softly sang, "sorry to disturb you," the crowd grew silent and concentrated on the words of the song.
As we talked about karma and the golden rule, Tanille, Denzel and I created harmonies of love, pillow talk, and warning.
Sharla sat at our table and recorded the show live on my website. She waved one hand and held her phone in the other. I felt gratefulness in my heart for friends that looked out for their girl in her time of need.
As the song ended, I began to cry. I felt a hand touch my shoulder. It was Denzel handing me my towel. I wasn't crying tears of sadness. I was crying tears of relief.
I was relieved of the heaviness that flooded my soul. I crooned one final note, I began smiling. The crew and I bowed and exited the stage with a wild trail of applause trailing behind us.
I quickly walked past our table to the powder room. Sharla and Tanille were right behind me. I needed to cool down before I sat down and enjoyed the night.
"Girl, you ate the set tonight," Sharla exclaimed.
"Topaz, I've never seen the side of you."
By the time Tanille finished her sentence, Darshay entered the room.
"Topaz, I enjoyed your set tonight. Girl, you showed your behind on that stage tonight," she said.
I smiled a genuine smile. She wasn't my enemy. It was AJ who did the dirt, not Darshay.
"Thanks, Darshay. You know at times art imitates life. I just sing from the heart."
"I feel ya, girl. I just wanted to say something to you before you left."
"Thanks, Darshay. Happy Holidays," I said.
Sharla was helping me refresh my make up as Darshay exited.
"You handled that nicely."
"I tried. AJ hurt me. Darshay did nothing."
Tanille chimed in, "while you were singing AJ moved with the music but he couldn't look at the stage."
"Wow. I guess he sees what he missed out on. That's not my problem anymore. Right now I'm healing and I'm not taking his issues forward with me."
"Girl, let's party. I just made a comeback."
With that, we rejoined Denzel and partied the night away.