“I didn’t think there would be so many people here,” Kayla murmured, her light complexion even paler than usual. She was getting ready to perform at Crown Height’s first talent show for women and girls, and she was having a case of stage fright.
“It’s fine!” I smiled at Kayla reassuringly. “Everyone will love your singing! I seriously have no doubt.”
Kayla licked her dry lips. She was worried, I could tell. I patted her shoulder and stood up.
“I’m going to go see what’s happening,” I explained. Kayla nodded. I roamed through backstage, where girls were getting ready to put on their performances. They all had a permanent grins plastered to their faces as they laughed together.
I walked towards the women and girls who were waiting for the program to start.
“Hi Ma!” I waved my mother over, happy to see her. “You came!”
“Of course! I can’t wait to see Kayla sing her solo!” Ma sat down on a chair in front of the stage. I pinched my lips.
“Um, Ma? There’s a problem, actually.” I told her that Kayla was feeling nervous. Ma frowned. “So what should I do, Ma? I feel bad, and I’m not even doing anything to help!”
Ma looked at me.
“Maybe you don’t need to do anything, Basya. Kayla is feeling uneasy right now, thinking about all these women and girls watching her, but as soon as she starts singing, she will become composed. No need to worry, okay?” Ma hugged me and I knew that she was right. I sat down next to her and waited. Minutes later, the M.C came up to the stage.
“Welcome, women and girls, to Lakewood’s first ever talent show! I would like to call up Esther Fogelman for the first talent tonight.” The M.C stepped away from the microphone as a little girl came up. She danced to some ballet music. I applauded when she finished with a pirouette.
The M.C called girl after girl to the stage, each one performing their own special talent.
Finally, Kayla came on to the stage. She raised the microphone to her mouth. She opened her lips, and sang. The clear, sweet voice flew out of her mouth in a melodious song. She swayed, a faint smile crossing her face. She sang the last high note and bowed.
I stood up with the audience. There was silence, then thunderous applause.
“Encore! Encore!” The voices rang out through the crowd. Kayla gave a real grin, and after a nod of approval, she sang one last song.
A song of happiness.