A Chance At Fame

I've always been so sure that I was born to be a fashionista. My friend Laura thinks so as well. But I'm not sure even she can pick me up from the biggest fall of my life... Maybe one simple phone call can, though. (Complete.)

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5. My Name In Big Lights

I'd heard of people ruining their best shoes and calling it a fashion disaster, but never mind that-this was a fashion apocalypse! I peered at the clock. There were only five minutes before the show began. Pulling the costume hanger from the rack, I stalked back into the main backstage area. Thea, Roxie, and Nadine were rushing about, lining up outfits at the last minute so they could easily change into them later.

"Has anybody seen my dress?" I asked them all simultaneously. Nadine shook her head, looking genuinely clueless, as did Thea. However, when it came to Roxie, she sent me a half-hearted shrug and tugged Thea into a corner. I pretended not to notice as the fashion queen whispered into her colleague's ear. Then I saw Roxie's finger motioning slightly in my direction, to the empty coat hanger-she was talking about my dress.

"You took it, you hear me?" I caught as I inched closer. I saw Thea not unhappily. "Good girl," Roxie teased her, before pushing her back into the main backstage area.

 

Choking on the dust rising from the boxes I'd perched on, I sighed dejectedly. This corner smelt like wood, but it was only cardboard; old cardboard with a sickly-sweet smell like too much candy floss had been packed into one. My fallen tears tasted bitter on my tongue and the skin surrounding my eyes had turned a tender red. I must have looked bad, but  it didn't matter now, I had no hope of finding my dress. The sinking feeling inside me paused for a moment, then my soul continued plummeting downwards.

 

"I took your dress," I looked up and saw Thea stood there, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I was about to say something, when Roxie caught my eye. She was hiding behind the one of the curtains, watching us. Glancing again at Thea's face, and working the obvious out, I nodded. "And I want you to have mine," she said, holding out a hanger.

"But this is your first dress!" I gasped, unable to believe it. "You won't be able to participate if you don't go out first! I can't accept it."

"Please, just-" Thea began, but she was interrupted by a loud shout of 'the show begins in less than a minute'. I rose and took Thea by the shoulders, pushing her towards the dressing rooms.

 

I took a seat in the audience next to Laura.

"Hi," I whispered.

"You nearly gave me a heart attack!" Laura giggled, only to be shushed by a pair of teenage girls with their hair in plaits. "How did you get a seat?"

"I begged the guy who was selling them, and he took pity on me. I told him that I lost my dress and couldn't take part," I told her.

"I thought he looked like a big softy inside. And you lost your dress?"

"Well, I actually think one of the other models, Roxie, took it."

"Mean girl. Look, the show's starting now," she pointed to where a model, who I recognized as Nadine, was waiting at the edge of the backstage area. Then, in the blink of an eye, she was off.

 

Thea was the last of the models to come out. She twisted and twirled elegantly, as though she'd been practicing since she was born. I'd swear she winked at me one time. The show was over now, though, and it was time for the award ceremony. The judges would pick the best model based on their poses, their catwalk, and the fashions they had managed to borrow. Edward prowled onto the stage, an envelope clutched in his hand. He came to a halt in the center, and held the envelope in front of him. Pausing for what he must have thought was dramatic effect, he pulled out a sheet of matching paper.

"The winner is...Thea May," an applause erupted from the crowd as Thea strode onto the stage. From the opposite direction, a man rushed onto stage and handed Edward a golden trophy. "Congratulations," he said, handing it to Thea, then holding the microphone out to her. "Would you like to say a few words?"

"I want to thank the judges for allowing me to win this," she held up the trophy, "but it should really go to my friend who was unable to take part because of some foul play backstage. I won't say any names," she stepped down from the stage and I realised she was heading for me. In moments, her heels had carried her to where I was seated, and she bent down.

 

I felt something cold pressed into my hands. Looking down, I saw the tiny gold figurine of a posing model. I allowed my finger to trace the intricate lines of her dress as I stared at Thea, awestruck.

"Why-" I began.

"You deserve it," she replied, turning and making her way back to the stage. Maybe I still did have a chance at fame.

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