Under Lights

Justine was amazing on stage. The girl had always envied her. When would she get the chance to have her little blond head under the bright lights of theatre? She wanted those lights, she wanted everyone to love her and adore her, just like they loved Justine. She wanted the most applause, just like Justine. She wanted theatre friends, just like Justine.

She'd always wanted to be like Justine but never so much as when she was on stage. And I she could have even a quarter of the beauty and clarity in her sing voice that Justine had, she would be one of the happiest people alive. Justine's voice reminded her of Marina Prior. Justine loved Marina, so the girl loved her too. Now looking back on it the voice also reminds her of Sarah Brightman, so clear and so concise. Sarah sings the song, not just the words, she feels the song in her heart and the girl wanted to feel songs in her heart too. She knew that Justine felt those songs. She knew it. Maybe Justine could teach her how to feel songs like that.

Justine took one final bow in her puffy white wedding dress. The girl clapped and screamed and cheered. She stood up and cheered as the music swam around her.

This was the part she both dreaded and loved the most. She was tired. She always was by this stage for these shows finished far after her normal bedtime. She dreaded the long wait in the cold outside the stage door, waiting like an adoring fan at a Spice Girls concert.

But she loved getting to see Justine coming out of that door, looking radiant, her face still a little red on the cheeks where she'd scrubbed her make-up off. She watched as the people streamed out of the door. Justine always came out last. Even when she was a chorus member, always, always last.

Finally, after being hugged and kissed and pulled around by Chris, Adam, Gail, Joanne, Michael, and a thousand more whose names she could never remember, the girl saw her. Justine had just walked out of the door, as always, looking luminous

People crowded around her, she looked like a movie star, or Madonna maybe, with the paparazzi all around her snapping away with their cameras and her fans asking for autographs. Not even Michael and Chris, the other stars, had got this kind of reception, and they had bigger roles! Ah, well as the old saying goes, 'There's no such thing as small roles only small actors'.

She tried to get through the crowd, but she couldn't. Being so small and only 7 years old, normally she could duck under the crowds of people and get to the front, she did that at the parade every year. Justine was in the parade for the Theatre Company this year. The girl didn't even notice what the costume was though. She was too busy trying to get Justine to look at her, yelling out and waving like a lunatic. Justine had seen her at the parade and waved at her (her and everyone else along the way, but the girl could be sure that Justine had winked at her and no one else).

What if she wasn't seen now? What would she do if maybe Justine forgot to look out for her? She'd said that on the card that she put in the flowers. She'd even put in a photograph so that Justine couldn't forget what she looked like.

By now the girl had started to panic. What if Justine goes out with her friends and forgets to look for her fans. Suddenly she saw a break in the crowd.

Quick as a tiger she took the chance, darting through the hoards of people. Cries of indignation erupted around her. Then she heard a voice above her. It was different to the others. Gentler.

'Move back, let her through.'

It was Justine's voice.

The crowd parted. The girl had a clear path all the way to her idol. She walked very slowly up to her.

'Well done, tonight! You were fantastic. I can't wait until the company does a show that I can be in! I want to wear lots of make-up and fancy costumes!' She bubbled.

'Well have a look at the program, we're doing Annie next year, you can audition for that.' Replied Justine, just a slight smile creeping onto her face.

'Do you really think I'm good enough?'

'Of course you're good enough,' Chris laughed. 'You're Justine's sister!'

With that I ran up to Justine and hugged her tight.

'I'm really going to be on the stage like you are, with all the lights and applause?'

'Yes, Laura, yes of course you are.'