A/N: I wrote this story a year ago and never finished. Maybe with a little encouragement, I'll get to finish it. This was inspired by my goal, to be known for my voice, and dedicated to my mom for pushing me in singing and writing. My first original novel. Please READ and REVIEW. Thnx, y'all!

Chapter One: Welcome to My Life.

"Aaaaaaaahh!" I cried as I flopped down on my blue flower print bed. Life wasn't fair. It was the middle of April and that only meant one thing here in Fremont, California: the talent show. And there was nothing that could have stopped Chantel Grigney from auditioning.
Except for a dentist appointment.
I pulled my distorted face from the face and looked around. In a frustrating time like this, I needed the medal I had proudly accepted from a strange, red-haired lady.
"Aha," I said, pulling it from my desk drawer. I brushed off the dust and read the inscription: 'The City of Fremont proudly presents this medal to Chantel Grigney for winning first place in the first annual Fremont Talent Competition.' I looked at it proudly. I sighed and my gloom returned. Stuff like this didn't count unless you had a future in it. And let me make one thing clear: Chantel Grigney does not have a future in the music industry; unless my luck miraculously changes.
My mom knew how important the talent show was to me. But did she care? No, she did not. She had scheduled the appointment at the same hour as the talent show auditions.
Not that it's important. Let's see. it will only determine the course of my life. Jefferson High has had this talent show since it opened in 1974. And ever since then, there have been college scouts at the finale, eager to recruit some more talent to the Bay Area Arts Academy. The BAAA is only.what? My dream. My goal. And my mother had ruined that. Every year, three new people, only three, get into that school from the state on scholarships. And with the money you need to go to the BAAA, you NEED a scholarship.
I've been dreaming about the BAAA ever since Jacklyn Hoer came out with her debut album, To Kill A Crisis. Her voice captured me in one note. And you know what? She is a BAAA graduate. You see where going to the BAAA leads you? A place where all you see is lights, lights and more lights. It leads you straight to Hollywood.

"Chantel! Phone call!" my mother called from downstairs. I picked up my phone and answered. A sympathetic voice replied.
"Didn't make the auditions, huh?" said Alex Riley. I've known her since our thumb sucking days, ever since she spilled red paint on my Barbie lunchbox.
"Nope. And I have only, what? Three more years to get a scholarship to BAAA," I said sadly.
"Ah, well, freshman year in high school isn't supposed to be easy," she said, trying to cheer me up.
"It's not that, dammit. Everyone's supposed to have an equal chance to audition. But my mom went and screwed it all up."
"Look Chantel, you've got what it takes. You've definitely got the voice for Hollywood. All."
"Even the look?" I interrupted, "I even have the look?" I could hear Alex hesitate. My heart sank.
"Sure," she said confidently. Instinctively, my gaze averted from the medal to the full-length mirror on my wall. The dark hair hung wavy at my shoulders. My brown eyes cast a dull shadow on the bags that hung below them. My burnt complexion looked dark and overcast. And my ears were a hundred times too big for my body.
"Yea. Whatever," I said.
"No really. With a little, um, 'touching up', you could be as pretty as Cassandra Miller." I snorted into the phone. Cassandra Miller had it all- the money, the face and most importantly, the curves. While all I had was a size 32 bra and a size 1 in juniors. I told this to Alex.
"You also have the vocal range of Amy Lee. That's what counts," she said. I was about to argue when I heard the mother who betrayed me call me for dinner.
"Gotta go," I said, "It's feeding time."
"No prob," Alex said and hung up.
A few seconds later, I was dining oh so uncomfortably with my mom and Dylan, my older brother who actually acts like my dad. When we saw what I was going to wear to school today (which by the way, was a harmless tank top and nice capris), he pointed to my shirt and said, "That top shows a bit TOO much of the upper region. Go CHANGE." Then, he actually made me do it! Yes, I went to school today in a stupid turtleneck and jeans. Yes, he made me change my pants, too. I still haven't forgiven him for that. So the dinner table was really quiet today. Well, until the Twister arrived.
The Twister. What a name, huh? That's our neighbor, who spends so much time at our house, we don't even say anything when we walk downstairs on Saturday morning to find him sitting on our couch, eating some Cheerios and watching MTV. Oh and by the way, Twister is his real name. Pretty sad, right? He is always saying something, no matter what we say. Today, the topic was the latest episode of Survivor. Not that I care. I think it's a dumb show, anyway.
So that's my miserable, boring home life. I have a mom who doesn't give a damn about my musical interests, a 16-year-old brother who thinks he's my dad, and a neighbor that lives with us so much; he's literally my younger 12-year-old brother. But wait, it gets even better. That is just at HOME.
School is even worse. I am labeled in school as the "wannabe" Britney. Just because I beat Cassandra, one of the "popular", in the Fremont Talent Competition, they think I'm a slut who tries to be "sexy" and can't sing. And I don't even like Britney Spears. My winning song was "Before the Dawn" by Evanescence. I wear jeans and sweatshirts, tanks and tees. Never ever shorts (though I would wear modest if it weren't for Dylan). I can't see where I got my reputation.
But still, I have my small circle of friends to help me out. I get pretty decent grades; my GPA is 3.66. My teachers hate me because Cassandra poisoned their minds. I'm in Debate Club, though I haven't gone to a tournament in 5 months, I also in PAC (Performing Arts Club) but they don't do anything, I played tennis back in the fall and I started my own club, Musicians United, though it stopped because not even people joined. And through all these miserable times, my friends were there, pulling me back up when I stumble. Then they push me back down and betray me. Only to come crawling back when Cassandra takes advantage of them.
And then there's Tommy. Oh yeah, he is the most sweetest, nicest freshmen guy on campus. And Cassandra hates him, which leaves him to me. Though he doesn't know that we're meant to be yet. Why would he? He's a guy.
Once, Alex slept over and we were playing Choose. See, a person gives either gives two really bad choices or two really good choices. And you had to be truthful, or you get the silent treatment for three days. But that wasn't a problem with us; we told each other everything. Okay, it went like this:
"Choose: Cassandra or Britney Spears," Alex said.
"Britney. Choose: American Idol or Star Search."
"American Idol. Choose: hmmm, let's give an interesting one. Orlando Bloom or Tommy Davidson," she said slyly. At that point, she didn't know about my crush and quite frankly, I didn't want her to know. Tommy was the subject of her jokes and ridicule. She didn't have to know. But hey, it's been our policy to not leave anything out.
"Uh, Tommy." Alex fell over laughing and I threw a pillow at her. She's never made fun of Tommy since. Yep, Alex and Tommy are the highlights in my life. Sure, I love my family. But they don't understand. Amy Lee from Evanescence understands, Alex understands, I wish I could say the same for Tommy but then, that would be lying.
So that's my boring, boring life. I'm a just a teenager in a small suburban town on the coast in California. No big deal. But then, my whole life changed in just a matter of days.