xlovex

There are a lot of things they don't teach you in Popstar School.

They teach you some stuff. The superficial stuff. They show you how to stand and how to shake your hair, and they tell you how it feels to sing a ballad in front of ten thousand fans screaming your name. They teach you how to post Twitters that make girls blush and how to flirt with Miley and Beyonce.

But they never mentioned what to do if you fell in love.

What to do if you're standing onstage, the shouts of the crowd pulsing in your eardrums as you moan your famous lyrics. Light floods the stage; blood rushes to your heart. Sweat drips into your collar.

Your eyes shine as blue as jagged
icicles on a July day
Your hands are soft as snow
and melt in my cupped hands

It's a vague song about a girl you dated for five minutes in the sixth grade. Teenage girls faint in the audience.

You can handle all this. You're used to it. You're used to the paparazzi, the rabid preteens, the god treatment--that was Popstarology 101, which you learned right away. Tonight you'll sign autographs, dodge the fans, and collapse into bed.

You're that winter girl, winter girl
that winter-in-my-summer girl
that twisting-up-my-stomach girl
I've got the hots for you

Then you open your eyes.

Fourth row.

She's the only girl not screaming. She's texting. Texting at your sold-out concert.

She looks up.

Lightning bolts you to the ground. For a split second, the words fly out of your head as she holds up her phone, smiles, and seems to take a picture.

You're that winter girl, winter girl
that winter-in-my-summer girl

She flips her hair to one side. She's so pretty. So pretty--like you could stare at her forever. Her light eyes suck you in.

that twisting-up-my-stomach girl

She smirks, hiding something.

I've got the hots for you

Lights down. The song ends. Stagehands rush you backstage for a costume change and makeup touch up, prattling, "Good job, Sir," and, "I really felt the passion. That song gets better every time."

You let them tug and poke and dab, strip you out of your shirt, change you into a new one. You let them spray starch on your hair and paint your face. It's a whir.

Your mind is on her. You need to pull her onto the stage. You need to get her name after the show. You need to do something. Your head pounds, your throat is dry, your chest contracts, and a hole forms where your stomach used to be.

In Popstar School, they never mentioned falling in love. And they definitely didn't teach you how to cope when you do.