Story 8

Jack stood on the stage for the first time. He never thought he would be here. He scanned the crowd looking for her, but the more he looked the more the crowd seemed to turn into one big blur. Her jet black hair was nowhere to be seen. The guitar strap around his shoulder seemed tighter than it ever had been before. It was as if it was trying to strangle him. Drops of sweat began to gather on his forehead as he tried to stop his nervous legs from shaking. The whole experience was surreal and for the first time he felt completely overwhelmed. For the last week he had not allowed himself to think about how terrifying it would really be. He knew he would never be able to go through with it if he thought about it too much. As he stood there, in the spotlight for the first time in his life, he realised that he had never been so far from his comfort zone.

He woke up that morning, as usual, to the sound of that alarm that he dreaded so much. On this morning it was more frightening than ever and he cursed himself for entering that stupid talent show. He dragged himself from the bed and headed for the shower. He then went down to the kitchen to find a note from his mother to say she was gone shopping. This was music to his ears. He skipped breakfast and practiced guitar all morning. There was no need for him to be so worried. He was gifted at the guitar, a natural. He taught himself how to play and had a flair for it since he was a child. He never felt the need to get on a stage and sing in front of people. He was always more than happy to play for his own enjoyment. He loved everything about the guitar and got a great sense of achievement whenever he learned a new song. He was in his element when he had his guitar in his hands.

Outside of playing music in his room he was a different person. He was not a fan of school. He was the type of person who liked to blend in with the crowd. He was happy to live like this until he fell for the girl of his dreams, Kate Smith. She lived three doors down from him. She had been in the class ahead of him since primary school. She was tall with jet black hair. Her green eyes twinkled and her face was striking. She was attractive in an unusual way. Although he had talked to her a few times before he felt like she had no idea who he was. He was invisible to her. He knew she was friendly and popular with everyone. He decided he wouldn’t fool himself trying to go for someone like her. He didn’t have the confidence anyway. Jack soon had to change his plans. One day Jack’s father told him that Joe Smith had got a job in America and that the Smith’s would be moving in two months. Jack was heartbroken, he couldn’t pretend he didn’t care anymore. He spent the next few miserable days feeling sorry for himself, wondering why he hadn’t told her how he felt. Then on a warm Sunday evening, while strumming his guitar in his messy room, he snapped out of it. He knew he would never forgive himself if he didn’t do something, and he realised that he was lucky to have the time he had left. He had himself in a knot that night thinking about what he could do. He eventually decided to put his name down for the school talent show. Here he was now on the big morning, feeling the effects of his decision.

He got on the bus with his guitar case in his hand. He noticed a few nosy people looking at him fascinated with the guitar they had never seen him with before. He wasn’t used to anyone looking at him but he was beginning to like it. He felt nervous on the bus journey but surprisingly more confident than he ever had been. He got to school and dropped his guitar up to the hall. The show was to start after break. On the way to his first class he couldn’t help but look down to Kate’s locker where she always was at this time. To his horror she was not at her locker. She was there every single day unless she was absent. She couldn’t be absent, not today. For the next two classes he could not relax. He was oblivious to every word the teacher said, school work was the last thing on his mind. With every tick of the clock that passed he became more uncomfortable. He couldn’t bear the thought that she wasn’t in. Suddenly the bell for break time rang and an announcement was made for all students to make their way to the hall.

The day was turning out to be a nightmare but he was not going to let this knock him. He had promised himself that he would do this and he tried his best to keep a positive attitude. He kept on telling himself he could do this. He held himself together well until he emerged on to the stage for his big moment. As he desperately scanned the crowd for her, the 500 students staring at him started to get the better of him. Somehow he stayed calm and got ready to play his song. He had nothing to lose. People looked at him as though they had never seen him before. He played a song that he had written himself and sang his heart out. When the song ended there was a silence for about five seconds before the crowd erupted. The day that had seemed like a nightmare was becoming a dream. He didn’t win the talent show but he didn’t care. He had never felt so relieved.

About a week after the talent show Jack got talking to Kate at lunch time. He discovered that she too played the guitar and she told him that he was one of the best she had ever heard. They met up the next day after school at her house and played guitar together. They found out that they had a lot in common and were going out before the end of the week. Everything was perfect in Jack’s life for that short while until the day came that she had to leave. Although he had never been so sad he would have done it all again if he got the chance.

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