There are cameras flashing and people cheering. Even through my four-inch heels I can feel the plush red carpet. My dress flows with ease around my body, each sparkle twinkling in the paparazzi's eyes. They call out to me, so I stop and pose. I smile at each individual camera, letting them get their shot. The carpet soon ends, and I enter the largest auditorium my small town eyes have seen. There are lights flashing all around as other celebrities rush into their seats. I pick up the sparkling skirt as I take a seat in the front row. My heart is beating so fast, out of excitement or nerves I don’t quite know. The lights soon dim as the host takes the stage. The Oscars are finally starting.
My anxiety builds as we near my nomination. Sweat drips down back and face. My hands twist the sparkling fabric, tying it in a knot. Around me people laugh at some joke that was said, but all I can hear is the thumping of the blood in my ears. And then, it’s finally time. Sandra Bullock herself takes the stage, envelope in hand. “.......And now the nominations for Best Actress.” I don’t bother listening to the others, too nervous that they might forget my name. That my nomination was just a dream. Sandra pauses, I hold my breath as she draws one in. “And of course…..” My name. She says it, and a camera scans my face and people clap. I realise my breath, and smile. Even if I don’t win, this is my moment. The moment I never thought would happen. The clapping dies down, it will be at least half an hour before the winner is announced.
The half hour passes slowly. My anxiety returns in full force as I wait. And wait. And wait. And of course, wait some more. Finally, Anne Hathaway takes the stage. A golden envelope in her slender hands. A camera turns toward me, waiting to capture my reaction. Silence fills the crowded auditorium, and I feel their eyes turn toward me. The shredding sound of the envelope, the room takes a breath together as Anne pulls the paper out. “And the winner of Best Actress is……..”
“You lazy s***! Get your a-- up and do something for once!” I scramble out of bed, my thoughts interrupted by my mother. She pulls sheets and blankets off of me, yelling that I’m lazy and how she ended up with such a pathetic daughter she’ll never know. I fight back the inevitable tears, knowing she’ll just call me a baby if I cry in front of her. Then she’s accusing me of eating some food that was hers. Of course it’s a lie, I hadn't eaten in two weeks. I try to tell her it wasn’t me, a few tears escaping onto my cheeks. She calls me a filthy liar, and the more I try to explain the angrier she gets. I know I shouldn’t push her buttons like this, I know all too well how it will end. But I just want her to trust me for once, to prove to her that I’m a good person. That I’m worth while. It’s worthless though, she’s too angry too listen. I duck just in time to miss her flying fist. But I’m too slow for her other hand, and it soon collides with my stomach, crushing my intestine. I fall back into the bed, forgetting that I’m supposed to be holding back my tears. They stream heavy down my face, burning my skin with shame. My mom turns her head, “Pathetic s***.” And leaves, done with me. I lay in my dark room, drenching the mattress with my tears. My mind repeats it’s endless chant, “I am not pathetic, I am not pathetic.” Yet deep down, I know I’m lying to myself. So slowly I close my eyes again, allowing myself to drift away to a world where I can be happy. If only for a few minutes.