A Walk to Remember: Chapter 8
The night of the play arrives. The first thing Landon does when he arrives at the playhouse is to apologize to Jamie for his behavior the previous evening. She asks him if he really meant the things he said, and he replies that he was just in a bad mood. He promises to make it up to her. Landon goes backstage to prepare, and he is visited by Eric. Eric asks him if he is going to deliberately mess up the play or do it as best he can. When Landon indicates that he is taking the play seriously, Eric comments that he appears to be growing up.
The theater is full, with over four hundred people present. All goes well in the first act. In the second act, Landon’s character Tom Thornton, sees the angel (played by Jamie) for the first time. He is amazed and says “You’re beautiful.” In rehearsals, Landon has always had trouble with this line because he doesn’t sound convincing. However, in the performance, things are different. Landon has never seen Jamie in her spectacular white “angel” dress but when she enters and he turns to look at her, he sees a different Jamie Sullivan than he has been used to: her hair is no longer in a bun but falls to her shoulders; the glitter in her hair makes it sparkle, and her flowing white dress is a perfect fit. She really does look like an angel, and Landon is stunned by the sight of her. For the first time when he says Tom’s line, “You’re beautiful,” he really means it, and everyone in the audience knows it. It is the perfect theatrical moment.
This is a real breakthrough for Landon and represents the fulfillment of the observations he had made in the first couple of chapters, that Jamie might actually look attractive if she dressed better and made more of herself. Seeing her literally looking like an angel goes a long way to removing the resistance he has to courting her seriously. But the way forward will not yet be smooth.