The Price Of Fame

Is Fame Taking It’s Toll On Violinist Kaiden Townsend? What Will This Mean For The Simoleon Philharmonic Society?

Summer, Year 3
Kaiden was playing a melancholy tune in the streets of the Spice District. It was past midnight and he was aware that his neighbours probably wouldn’t be too pleased with him in the morning but he didn’t really care. Once he was engrossed in his music, nothing else mattered.
The Simoleon Philharmonic Society was doing fairly well. They were gaining popularity, particularly for their performances of Kaiden’s own compositions. His name was becoming quite recognised among classical circles.
However, he was restless. He felt there was something missing. He was 24 years old; shouldn’t he be doing something else with his life? Instead of signing photographs of himself and Justina, shouldn’t he be at clubs and parties? His university friends often were. Some, like Ethan, were living the domestic life but Kaiden couldn’t see himself doing that. He just couldn’t work what he wanted out of life.

The following afternoon, he dragged himself out of bed and off to the Royal Willow. He was meeting Justina there for a small meet and greet, organised by the theatre. A lot of fans of the classical music, and particularly Kaiden’s original compositions, wanted to meet them both and it was important for him to arrive.
Cristina was one of the first people at the venue. “There you are!” she exclaimed as he walked through the door into the lobby. “We were wondering whether you were coming. A lot of people want to see you, you know!”
Kaiden nodded and laughed. “I know. Come one, let’s have a photo before the masses turn up!”

He’d only been joking but when people started swarming into the lobby, he realised Cristina had been right. There were an awful lot of people wanting to meet with him and Justina, particularly him.
“There you are, you rogue!” A voice called from the depths of the crowd.
Kaiden spotted Rebecca pushing her way through and realised it had been her voice he’d heard. “Rebecca?” he replied coolly.
Rebecca flung her arms around him. “I’m so proud of you! We should get together soon. For lunch or something. Give me a ring soon and we’ll sort something out.”
Justina watched with interest. She knew Kaiden would regret a relationship with Rebecca if that’s what the actress was thinking. She only hoped Kaiden could see that.

Rebecca had suggested Kaiden should go out more, make himself more available. So he took her advice and joined her at one of the nightclubs in Windenburg.
Unfortunately, and to his great surprise, he was mobbed on arrival. Who would have thought that fans of classical music would visit a nightclub?

Kaiden spent the next several days practicing with Justina at the Royal Willow. Thankfully, Rebecca wasn’t around and they actually managed to get a lot of work done. Kaiden had even begun work on a new composition, which would feature in the next concert they gave.

He offered to take Justina to lunch at the Royal Willow’s restaurant. They were in the middle of enjoying their meal when Rebecca suddenly turned up.
“Kaiden! Fancy seeing you here!” Rebecca sauntered up to their table. Justina rolled her eyes and carried on eating. Rebecca ignored her. “I was just thinking about you! Have you thought about hosting your own Meet and Greet? I mean just you? Because I think you could do really well.” She fluttered her eyelashes. “I’d be glad to help you out.”
“That might not be such a bad idea,” Kaiden said slowly.
“I’d better go.” Justina suddenly stood up.
“You haven’t finished your lunch!” Kaiden was surprised. “Where are you going?”
Justina shook her head. “Don’t worry. Look, thank you for lunch. It was lovely but I don’t want to intrude any further.” With that, she swept out of the restaurant.
“What’s the matter with her?” Rebecca asked, before flicking her hair over her shoulders. “Listen, you don’t need her. She’s dragging you down. You’ve got potential, Kaiden Townsend. Stop shackling yourself to her and be more independent.”
Kaiden agreed. Rebecca sat down as he finished his lunch and they talked for ages.

As he left the restaurant, Kaiden glanced through the windows and smiled ruefully. Rebecca was immediately chatting another young man up at a different table. It never took her long.
Pensively, he sat down on a bench near the cinema and bowling alley. He wanted to reflect. Justina leaving the restaurant so abruptly was out of character for her; she normally had impeccable manners. Maybe she and Rebecca weren’t friends? Kaiden had to admit, he had no idea. Maybe they were mortal enemies and Justina was too polite to mention it.
Or, he suddenly realising with alarming clarity, Rebecca’s words had probably stung Justina right there in the restaurant. He groaned inwardly. He’d agreed to host a solo meet and greet and not even tell Justina about it; Rebecca was going to help him.
He had to find a way to make things right.

The following day, Kaiden had a brainwave. He invited a handful of his University friends to The People’s Park in Brindleton Bay for some laughs and a barbeque.
“Well this turned out to be a washout,” Hayley commented drily as she watched the rain pour.
“The sun was shining at home,” Kaiden replied mournfully.
“Look, we’re going to get soaked standing here,” Andrea pointed out. “Why not have some fun instead?”
“All right then. Last one to the fountain’s a loser!” Hayley cried and they raced towards the fountain.
“This is so…childish,” Kaiden puffed but he made it. “Wait, where’s Justina? I thought she was behind me.”
“She’s over there.” Jack nodded towards the far side of the park. “She looks really fed up.”
“I’ll go and talk to her.” Kaiden jumped out of the fountain and jogged over to his friend. “Justina, are you okay? You seemed upset the other day.”
“I’m fine.” Justina shrugged. “Nothing out of the ordinary.”
Kaiden wasn’t convinced.

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