Her brilliant blue eyes glanced from side to side like a ping-pong ball being volleyed by two expert players. She remembered her preparation, weeks and weeks of practice, but it all seemed useless now. Emma could feel her heart beating faster than usual; she could hear it thumping in her head. It might as well have been the bell tolling at her funeral, because she knew she would perish as soon as the bright lights lit up her face for all to see. The headline tomorrow would read, “Ten year old girl dies during audition – directors don’t even stop try-outs.” Picturing her imminent demise, Emma’s shoulders slumped and her breath caught in her throat. She felt a soft tap on her shoulder and turned so quickly that her blonde pigtails whipped her father across the cheek. “You’ll do great sweetie!” he said with a comforting smile, but Emma was far from soothed. She managed a strangled “Thanks Daddy,” but then grew silent. As she turned her back to him and faced the double doors, Emma closed her watery blue eyes and took a deep breath. With a trembling hand, she pushed on the doors and entered.
November 17, 2011