My Song

Written in response to: Set your story at a talent show.... view prompt

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Friendship Inspirational Fiction

“I can’t do this.”

I nervously tugged at my braid, looking at the stage behind the curtains. Girls were moving gracefully to the music of their choice, their arms flowing in liquid motion as they smiled and danced. I looked away.

“Of course you can, you just got to believe in yourself,” Jace said excitedly.

I gave him a thin smile but didn’t say anything. I just looked back at the girls. I wonder if I’ll ever be like them…

***

“Mom? Mom!”

I ran downstairs, hearing the garage door open. I bounced on my heels, hardly waiting to tell her the news.

When she appeared, I burst, “Can you take me somewhere?”

She raised her eyebrows. “Where?”

I took a deep breath. “There’s this audition for the school winter musical. There are gonna be a lot of singing parts, and I was wondering if you could drive me there for the audition. It’s in two hours! I’ve memorized all my lines! Mom, please?” I finished, giving her my best puppy dog eyes. 

She set the groceries on the counter and met my eyes.

“Absolute not.”

I deflated. “Why?” I asked in a feeble voice.

She laughed coldly. “You do not have the talent to be a singer! They’ll kick you off the stage before you open your mouth.”

Stung, I looked away, tears burning my eyes. I ran upstairs and into my room, sobbing.

***

“I’m bored,” Emma moaned.

We sat in her basement, candy wrappers and soda cans littering the floor. I sat on the couch next to Jace, drowsy. 

“We could watch a movie?” I suggested.

She scoffed. “Lame.”

“Board games?” Phoebe said.

“Nope.”

Jace suddenly perked up. 

“Truth or dare?”

“Ohh, yes!” Emma squealed, sitting up from the beanbag. I rolled my eyes. Emma will do anything for Jace. She’s had a crush on him since kindergarten. 

We all sat in a circle.

“Ok, I’ll go first,” Jace announced. He looked directly at me. “Luna, truth or dare.”

I decided to take a risk. “Dare.”

“I dare you to sing a song.”

I reeled away as if he slapped me. Jace, of all people, should know how I feel about things like that.

“Um, could you pick something different, maybe?” I asked softly, my cheeks burning.

Emma scowled. “Just sing. You can’t be that good anyway.”

My eyes burned, but no tears came. I looked at Jace and he looked back, his eyes offering support. 

I took a deep breath and started to sing.

In the silence of the room, my voice seemed ten times louder. I sang quietly, my vocal cords using all the power they have. I sang a song I wrote, about a girl who needs to believe in herself, how she needs to quit being afraid.

I sang my song.

After I was done, Phoebe and Jace clapped enthusiastically. 

“That was beautiful!” Phoebe said, admiration etched on her face.

I looked at Emma. She smirked and said,

“Congratulations. You sing slightly better than nails on a chalkboard.”

***

“Luna?” 

Jace’s voice snapped me back to the present. There was a sudden burst of applause, and I could see the dancers bowing and beaming. I would go soon.

I swallowed, trying to bring myself to meet Jace’s eyes. They were soft brown, like chocolate, and matched flawlessly with his hair. Even though I’ve known him for ten years, tonight, I truly saw him and realized how handsome he is. 

His perfectly carved cheekbones, the way his jaw was set, like he was absolutely sure about everything. He looks so confident.

In middle school, every girl had a crush on him, and I used to make fun of them for it. Now I understand why. 

“Hey,” he said softly, taking my hands, “I know you’re nervous, but you’re going to do amazing. I’ve heard you sing, and believe me, it’s way better than those people out there.”

I smile weakly, not believing a word he said. Emma’s voice from five years ago pounded against my skull, the words echoing in my ears,

“Congratulations. You sing slightly better than nails on a chalkboard.”

Jace seemed to understand what I was thinking. His grip on my hand tightened. “Forget what Emma said. Forget what anyone said. They’re all dumb if they think you sing badly. Just forget it.”

I nodded, trying not to cry. So many years of people bullying my singing, smirking, jeering… how can I just forget?

Jace smiled down at me, and I felt relaxed, like anything was possible.

Maybe it was.

***

“Luna Blockster?”

I raised my hand. The woman grinned and whispered, “You’re up.”

Jace pulled me closer and gave me a hug. “Break a leg,” he mumbled into my hair. I breathed in deeply. He smelled like vanilla. 

I pulled away and gave him a nervous smile. I got a microphone and walked on the stage, my heart almost beating out of my ribcage.

The lights focused on me, and I could see dust flying in the air. There was a huge crowd of people in front of me, the combined force of their staring enough to bring anyone down. 

But not me.

As the music began to start, the insecurities started rolling in, overtaking me.

What if they laugh?

What if they hate us?

What if they don’t like our singing?

What if… what if…

Then the beat started coming, and the insecurities melted away. A small warming sensation seeped into my bones, the music so familiar, so friendly…

I opened my mouth, and sang my song.

***

“How did you get over your insecurities?”

I was sitting in a comfy chair on a stage, hundreds of faces looking at me eagerly. In the front row sat Jace, his expression calm and collected. 

I smiled at my interviewer, my cheekbones hurting. 

“Well, as I got older, I realized that I shouldn’t care what others think of me. It’s their opinion, and I shouldn’t let someone get in the way of my passion. After I knew that, everything else was easy.”

“What were struggles you had growing up?”

“No one believed in me, not even my own parents. They all said my singing was horrible and it really put me down. But,” I paused, smiling at Jace. He grinned back, his face radiating pure joy. 

“There’s always that one person who’s there for you no matter what.”

October 08, 2021 22:49

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1 comment

Keerthi Madhu
13:32 Oct 09, 2021

Yet another beautiful story from Veda. Very well written!!

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