Alice tapped her pencil on her desk, waiting for library class. As much as she loved singing, she loved reading. About singers. All the other students were doing their math worksheets, leaving Alice to tap her pencil a bit more. Alice began to stare at the "No noise!" sign on the wall, but she couldn't stop tapping. Suddenly, everyone began to line up to walk to the library, or so Alice thought. Alice lined up with the others, and they began walking towards the auditorium.
"Welcome," he said. "I am Mr. Nile, and I am the main drama teacher."
"Anyways, we will be hosting open calls for singers, and the best singer of the state will get to perform on the Serenity Cruise."
Alice's heart seemed to stop. The Serenity cruise was the richest ship in the world, and Alice could not afford to be on the ship, but with a simple song could get her on the ship. After drama class was over, Alice learned that you had to be at the auditorium by 4 pm, and the club would let out at 6 pm. By then, it was 3:30, which meant school was over. Alice had enough time to grab her backpack from the class, get all of her books and leave. The bus took her home, because Alice's mother had a quite hard job and by every night, the gas nearly seemed to be empty. Alice's mother, with the little energy the car had, would drive it to the nearest gas station and go home.When Alice arrived home, she told her mother about everything.
Alice kept protesting, and finally her mother caved in and said she would, before Alice's classes started, pay for the open call. Alice walked up to her bedroom, nervous, but she had to do this for her parents. For herself. Alice laid in her bed and practiced singing for the rest of the night.
The next day, Alice learned that her mother had already paid for the open call. Before Alice's first class, she met up with Marie, one of her childhood friends. "So, you joined up for the open call?" Marie asked.
"Yeah," Alice said. "But I wasn't ready."
"You're a beautiful singer. You can do this!" Marie protested. At the same time, a girl with long hair and sparkly clothes had managed to catch a glimpse of the two friends talking together, and glared. Alice almost saw the girl's glare as she swiftly looked past Marie.
What's wrong with her? Alice wondered.
Then, the bell for the first class, Reading, chimed out as the girls grabbed their backpacks and walked over to the classroom. But this was also no ordinary day. This was the day that a new student would come in. "Class, we have a new student today," Ms. Calico introduced. Slowly, the student said that his name was Steven and walked to his seat. Quickly, Alice fell in love with him.
He is so cute... she thought. Once school was over, it was time for the open call. Alice made her way slowly to her assigned seat. And the same 30-year old stepped on the stage. Slowly he called the students up to the stage to sing. Then Alice was called. "So," Mr. Nile said. "You can sing?"
Alice, knees shaking, replied "Yes I can." She gripped the microphone, trembling, then began to let the melody pour out. Everyone seemed so shocked, amazed at how Alice could sing so beautifully in the heat of the moment. Once she stopped singing, she closed her eyes and waited for Mr. Nile to assign her back to her seat.
"Next step, you will be singing in your classrooms, then performing at the state, and anyone who passes the state will get Serenity. Alice felt too scared, but she remembered.
Remember, this is for you, your mother paid for this.
Later, at 6 pm, the same girl from earlier grabbed Alice and said, "You may have sung better than me, but I will perform amazingly in the classroom. Anyway, my name's Lily." And she let Alice go. And thus, the rivalry of Alice and Lily was born.
It was now Friday, the day that Alice was supposed to sing in her classroom before lunchtime. The same glare from Lily before school, and the support from Marie. Finally, when it was time, Alice stepped up to the front of her classroom and let the melody pour out like last time. The same amazed stares. Alice went back to her seat and just waited for the open calls. After school was over, she noticed Marie and Steven had joined. Marie was done singing, however Steven had been called up. When he started singing, Alice felt...different. Like he had a relation to her.
When he was done, Mr. Nile said "Marie and Steven, you will be singing in the classroom by Monday. And now, here's the tallies for the other girls who performed." Once he was done with all the other girls except Alice and Lily, he announced "And the top student for the singing is... Alice!" He clapped. "Good job in making it to the state. You'll be performing at the state theater next Saturday."
Alice clapped so that she didn't know Lily had stormed off. At 6 pm, Alice needed to take a dump so she went to the bathroom only to find a red-eyed Lily. Alice could tell she had been crying. As she approached Lily, she screamed "Get away from me! I should have won!"
Alice ,shocked at Lily, replied "What? No! The award is mine, fair and square. Mr. Nile isn't going to change it."
After letting out a scream of fury, Lily pushed Alice off and began crying again. "I...deserve....it..."
As Alice left the bathroom, she felt a bit of guilt hurting Lily's feelings. But who cared? They were still rivals, and besides, even though Alice was quite shy, she made it to the state, and the next step was the Serenity. Alice told her mother all about this good news, and her mother yelled "I'm so proud of you! But first, we'll need to get you something nice..." Alice had forgotten all about getting a dress, and now the car had little gas...it was enough for a trip to the gas station, but not enough for a shopping trip.
Alice said, "Can I have that dress from Sing?"
Her mother replied, "I don't know, but I'll try to find a similar costume! Why do you need it, though?"
Alice replied, "Costume making."
The next day, Alice had no school and her mother no work, so they got the closest dress from the movie Alice mentioned. It was not sparkly, but Alice could use the glitter Marie gave her that Alice never used. When Alice and her mother got home, she picked up a pair of scissors, the glitter, and a special glue. First, Alice spread the special glue all over the dress and the glitter and waited for it to dry. She'd gotten one of her mother's recycling belts and did the same thing, finishing the belt by stapling a purple bow and repeating with that. Normally, in the movie, the dress had been cut above knee length, but Alice was going for a longer look so she cut it a bit under knee length. The dress was finally complete. In 6 days, she'd be heading over to the capital. Marie saw the dress and loved it, but worried that she should only use it for one show because Lily would be jealous.
Marie finally caved in the day before they were about to leave. And when the day arrived, Alice was very nervous. Alice and her mother strolled over to the airport in a taxi, their luggage in their hands. The capital was 2 hours away, and it was only 10 am. Alice boarded the plane, and already thought about eating pretzels and drinking water to make her calm. In the middle of the flight, the chance arrived when they were passing out the drinks and snacks. Alice took two of both, and when the airplane finally landed, her mother got the rental car to drive over to their hotel.
Alice spread the dress out on her hotel bed and watched TV before she could take a shower. Later, Alice had taken a shower and put her dress on, and they were heading towards the theater. Backstage, Alice noticed that Steven had gotten ready in his finest suit, and she fell in love.
Without warning, she skipped towards him and slowly said "Hello."
He noticed her welcome and he stared at her. He seemed hypnotized just looking, and his eyes began to relax. Alice immediately knew that he was in love with her, too. Suddenly, they called his name, and he snapped out of it and hurried to the stage, covered with a curtain.
Alice fell in love with his singing again, and before she knew it, someone yelled "Next contestant, Alice!" Alice, with a sigh, stepped onto the stage.
Alice was shaking as the curtain rose up. In just a few seconds, she'd be given a signal to sing. Still shaking, Alice took a deep breath, and then the signal came. Alice took another breath, then let a few words pour out her mouth. They came out shaky, but still the audience was blown away. Alice kept on singing, trying not to flop it all. The audience seemed more and more interested in her, but what they didn't know was that Alice was too scared for this moment.
When she stopped singing, she seemed more relaxed, and then the applause came. Alice blinked and then she realized that she was finally done, but it wasn't quite over yet. She'd have to wait for the results. After her turn was over, she ran back into her mother's arms. She could tell that she was so very proud of Alice. Later, the results were finally in. Alice had won again, and now she would make it to the Serenity. As Alice left the stage again, she noticed a glimpse of a girl.
It was Lily, she was leaving with her mother in the same tears as the day Alice had won singing in front of her classroom. Alice felt like vomiting, and her heart was sinking like a boat with a hole in the bottom.
She couldn't sleep, and when she finally did, she dreamed she was at the Serenity, singing, but she saw Lily again, lost her balance and tumbled off the stage. People threw fruit, ruining her homemade costume. Alice shot awake, again, worried with the despair that she would see Lily again, and Marie would clap, making the situation strange for her. The next day, they packed up and got on another plane to the city with the cruise. As Alice waited near the gate for the cruise to come, she thought about Lily, Marie and Steven. Would Lily be bitter again? Would Marie be there, cheering Alice on? Or would Steven have a second chance on the Serenity as well?
Finally, the ship came, and Alice boarded. Alice had to go to the main theater for the safety rules, that was where she would perform on next Saturday, however today was Sunday. As Alice and her mother settled into the room, Alice began to think about what she thought about earlier: how the show would turn out, Lily, Marie and Steven, and if she would mess it up.
It was Monday, and Alice was beginning to settle more on the ship. The ship had an interesting buffet feature, the kids could make their own "creations." Alice made herself a pancake with whipped cream around the edge and 3 strawberries in the middle while her mother chose eggs with bacon and strawberry crepes.
While Alice was eating, her mother said "Want to go down to the arcade?" Alice had never bought a video game before, nor had she tried to be in an arcade. But this offer seemed intresting, so Alice accepted it and before she knew it, they were heading down to the arcade. Alice noticed people dancing on one of the machines. This seemed to be a dancing video game! After the people had their turn, Alice tried, found the best song she could on there, and it wasn't too easy.
The movement was quick, and Alice couldn't really keep up with it. She missed half the notes, so her final award was a C. Yes, they ranked you with school grades. Alice only got 50 notes. 75-99 was a B, and if you got all the notes it was an A. "Sorry, mom." Alice apologized.
"No, it's fine, honey! But if you spend more time in the arcade you can probably get a B next time."
Alice took that as a compliment and they began to head up to their room. Alice used her mother's phone to search for her favorite songs list. Since Alice didn't have a phone, she submitted her documents on her mom's phone. Alice had 4 songs, 3 she had already sung. The song that she didn't sing yet was a duo song, but she could imitate the partner's singing. She got up from her cruise bed and started to practice the song. Her mother heard her singing and complimented it, she kept singing for the rest of the day.
Alice was finally interrupted by her song as her mother said "You should rest for today." Alice copied the lyrics as a document on the phone, and put on her nightgown as she went to go brush her teeth.
You did great, Alice thought. Next time, we'll work even harder. Alice finished brushing her teeth and went to bed, as she lay her head down and finally got to rest. Then she thought about Lily again, and that woke her up. Alice tried to keep in a scream of fury.
Many things happened on Tuesday. Alice's mother had signed her up into the "Teen's Room" on the ship. The room had many interesting activities, none of which interested Alice. Room times were at 12:00-2:00 pm. Alice entered the room at 11:50 am, as to her worried-looking instructor, who repeated, "There's supposed to be another girl here. Why isn't she here yet?" Finally, at 11:59, when the club was about to start, the girl walked in. Alice took a closer look and saw that it was Lily!
Lily is everywhere, Alice thought. Lily took a quick look at Alice and growled at her, with the same glare. She hates my guts, Alice wondered. When the clock struck 12 pm, club activities began. "Okay, teens, are you all ready for fun?" the instructor yelled. Everyone except Lily and Alice screamed "Yes!" None of these activities interested Alice, they were all for kids. Mystery bowl, slime making, they even got to paint. When the clock struck 2 pm, Alice was finally free to leave. As she was leaving, she felt a sharp tug on her arm. It was Lily.
"I'm going to win this time," she growled. "I'm going to win. I'm going to win. I'm going to win." Alice felt a fury building up in her stomach as Lily let Alice go. Who did Lily think she was, bossing around Alice? Alice would win, just like last time. She walked back to her room and sung again. Well, many things were crystal clear to Alice:
Lily's on the ship and she's not messing around.
Marie's probably on the ship.
Steven just might be on the ship.
Alice kept practicing for her song, imitating the partner, singing beautifully. She only worried that she didn't have a partner. Her mom didn't really sing, she'd hate to be with Lily and nobody else on the ship could really sing or dance with her. Nobody really could, but Steven? She kept thinking about Steven. He'd be...amazing as a duo. But he wouldn't just simply accept her. She'd have to get him to really notice her.
Friday had to be the most interesting day of all. While Alice was relaxing on her bed, her mother said "Get dressed. We're supposed to have a fancy dinner tonight." Alice found her fancy dress, right next to her concert dress. Alice, after sighing at the concert dress, put on the fancy dress and and strolled to the buffet room. From across the table...could it be...Marie? Alice got up and looked a bit closer...and it was Marie!
"Oh my gosh! How did you get on the ship?" I yelled.
"I did board, but you didn't see me," Marie sulked.
"No, it's fine!" Marie protested. "There were just so many people, you couldn't see me."
"Why didn't you show up at the teen room?"
"My mom didn't sign me up for it," Marie said.
At the same time, the head of the buffet announced "Because tonight is a special night...please welcome Mr. Ricardo Nile!"
"MR. NILE?!" the two girls yelled. "Why is the drama teacher here NOW?!"
As he walked up to the girls, he said "Good job, Alice. You've earned it." Then he stepped up to the microphone and began singing. Alice had not seen Mr. Nile sing before, and now he still felt like a stranger. His singing reminded Alice of Steven. Alice couldn't imitate the partner anymore. Steven HAD to be with Alice. But she couldn't just ask him. She'd have to earn his trust, and the time was nigh.
She walked slowly to Steven, and said, "May I have this dance?"
Without a moment to think about what she'd said, he said "Of course...you're beautiful!"
Alice almost burst into tears as they began to slow dance the night away, he'd accepted her. Everyone else began to slow dance, as the beautiful music of Mr. Nile. When the dinner ended, slowly, she winked at Mr, Nile, and without Alice looking, he winked back at her and said "Good luck..." and then under his breath, "Alice and Steven."
It was Saturday, the night of all nights. Alice was getting ready backstage when she saw Lily slowly slump into a corner. Though they were enemies, Alice slowly walked toward Lily. "Lily? Are you oka-"
Lily interrupted by saying "Leave me alone, please." Alice was too curious to keep it hidden, so she asked why Lily was so bitter towards her.
"I overheard your friend Marie saying that you were a good singer. No matter how many times I attempt at something, there's always "the good person" there. I keep losing to that person. I finally thought I'd be a good singer here."
Alice felt great guilt for Lily, apologized and said "Can we be friends?"
Lily looked up and said "No one has ever asked to be my friend before, but sure!" After confessing to the director and Steven, they had come to an agreement. And thus the rivalry of Alice and Lily died, and the friendship was born. And then, the first actor was called up.
"Okay guys, practice," Steven said. Alice began her part, then Steven stepped in, then Lily. Alice, Steven, Lily. That seemed fair. And then they were called up. The curtain rose, and then Alice began to sing like a goddess. After singing her part, Steven was like the wings to Alice's angel. She fell in love with his singing (again) and then Lily stepped in. Like a trio should, they sung the cruise ship out. For one moment, Alice stopped singing just to let Lily and Steven sing. Then, they hugged as Steven tilted Lily backward as she stretched her arm out. Then, they were spinning so fast it made Alice's head spin. She heard worried mumbles from the audience, but she couldn't give up.
Lily reached an arm out for Alice to join in the spinning. The cheers returned when Alice regained her strength, and someone shouted "We love you, ASL!" Once they stopped spinning, a true applause shouted out. Roses were thrown. Compliments were yelled. Alice heard the yells of her mother and Marie crying happily. Alice had done it, along with a new friend, and a true friend.
Now it was time for the results. The trio waited until all the names were called out. "And now, the true winner of the night is..." A drumroll played in the background as Alice, Steven and Lily waited anxiously for the result. "ASL!" Excited cheers came from the audience.
"They actually did it!"
"Who knew that teens RULE?"
"I'm, like, posting this on Facebook!"
"Who cares about Facebook? They've done it!"
For a whole, amazing 5 seconds, Alice held her tears in, and-
"I should be so happy...but I can't stop..." *hic*
After Alice went back to her room, Marie, Steven, Lily and her mother were there waiting for her sobbing happy tears. Alice, no matter how shy she was, had done it for her parents. For herself. She kept that promise, and finally, fulfilled it.
"You are the best friend ever!" that coming from Marie.
"Welcome to my new life with Alice!" that coming from Lily.
"You are the best person I've ever met.." that coming from Steven.
When Alice and the others returned back to school, they ran up to Mr. Nile and thanked him for all that he did. If he hadn't announced open calls, none of this would have happened. Alice now had 2 new friends, those people changing her life forever. Alice decided that she would write a book about her tales. What is this book, you may ask? Well, if you're so curious, you've just finished reading it.