On The Outskirts Of The Gang

Rosa is a pretty, self-conscious girl who wants to be cool. She's a bit afraid of Jessica, the most popular person in the entire year. As she clings on at the edge of Jessica's gang, she notices things that slowly make her realise that there is something odd going on...

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12. Friday 3rd October

I've just got back from the auditions. Flip, am I tired! That's my own fault though; I ran all the way home. There was no way that I was going to stay after I sang.

Right from the moment I woke up, the anticipation, no, the terror of the tryouts began to creep across my mind. Before I left for school, I kept taking quick glances at my lines. At least, if I knew the script, it might make the Drama teachers more sympathetic about my singing.

It was very hard not to let my thoughts wander in lessons, but I couldn't afford to get a detention. After all, Imogen would be wanting to practise. If we kept quite near to the rest of Jessica's gang, she could rehearse singing with them.

By the end of lunch, we had every word memorised. I did know the lyrics of the song, and had hummed the tune a few times to myself. Walking to my next class, I played it over in my head to check that I remembered it. It was quite quiet in the corridor...

"Rosa! Oh my gosh, I've got something to tell you!" The sudden noise shocked me out of my semi-trance. I spun around.

Hattie and Katya were standing at the end of the corridor. Immediately in front of me was Imogen. She was the one who had called me.

"We just went past the Drama department coming here, and there was a new sign up on the noticeboard. Obviously, we read it. It said that we have to sing the song on our own!"

It was like a nightmare come true. Were they deliberately trying to kill me?

"It also had more details about how the auditions will run. Everybody waits outside the hall. They'll call in a pair at a time, but when you're doing the singing the other person has to go out of the room. Oh, I'm so scared!"

She didn't look scared. She was almost jumping up and down with her excitement. I, on the other hand, really was terrified.

The one comfort to me was that no-one but the Drama teachers would be their to witness my performance. That way my shame would be slightly reduced by the fact that not so many people know to rub it in.

Eventually, the time for the audition came. In the queue, the gang were giggling and occasionally bursting into fragments of the song. I stayed silent, regretting that I had said yes to Imogen. We were at the back of the line, so I watched each pair disappear through the doors. They would come out either laughing and happy (the brilliant ones), smiling and accepting the coming decision (the good ones), or disappointed and shrugging (the almost good ones). The line was slowly shrinking in front of us.

After their turn, Jessica and Felicity came out confidently, with an air of superiority. Katya and Hattie were beaming when they returned. Then it was our go.

I smiled at Imogen, and we began our scene. It went perfectly, and I couldn't believe how good we were! I high-fived her at the end, before leaving so that she could perform the song. When I was called through, she passed me and mouthed

"I did well! Good luck!"

The backing track started. Come on, Rosa. Just do your best. I took a deep breath and sung.

When I'd finished, I wanted to get out of there. Before they could say anything, I squeaked a quick "Goodbye!" and sped out of the hall.

I'm going to bed now. I can't face the replays of that any longer.

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