Monday, November 21, 2016

Guess Who?

by Bruce Carroll

The following is a biographical piece about a real person. I did take liberties with some of the minor details. Still, you should be able to figure it out. Think you know who she is? Leave your guess in the comments.

It was a short walk from the greenroom to the stage, but the excitement in the air always made it seem to take an interminable amount of time. She could hear the audience chanting, as if summoning the trio to make their appearance.

Taking that seemingly endless walk, she thought back to how she had gotten here.

*     *     *

“We don’t know what it is,” the doctor said. The young girl wrapped her arms around her aunt, not wanting to hear what the doctor said, but knowing she must. “But it is taking a toll on their bodies.” He looked right at the young girl. “There is a very good chance you could loose both of them.”

The girl buried her face in her aunt’s side. She was not yet ten years old, and already she was facing the loss of both her parents. To a disease the doctors didn’t even have a name for.

That very night, her aunt came to live with her in her home. Her parents’ home. And every day, her aunt and several family members would go to the hospital to be with her parents. She herself was too young to visit patients in intensive care, so she would sit with her aunt in the waiting room. There was nothing for a young girl to do there. The few magazines there were all about fashion or finance.

“Here,” her aunt said one day, holding out an iPod with a pair of earbuds. “Listen to this.”

The young girl pressed the earbuds into place. It was a pop song. A trio of girls sang happily. The young girl smiled. She began to dance in the waiting room, but not so much that she disturbed the others there.

By the time they left the hospital, the young girl had listened to each song at least six times.

“I want to be a singer,” she said to her aunt, her dark eyes sparkling. “I want to join that group!”

Her aunt smiled. “It will take a lot of work,” her aunt told her. “But if you’re willing to work, I’m sure you will be.”

And now, seven years later, she was walking onto this very stage. The trio she had danced to in the waiting room had disbanded, but a new one had formed, and she was a member. One of that first trio’s members was also a member of this newer group.

Both of her parents had miraculously recovered. Her trio had already taken multiple world tours. They sold out Wembly Arena, and ended their last tour by performing for a sold-out audience of 50,000 in her home country. How lucky she felt. She couldn’t help but smile.

The three girls walked onto the darkened stage and took their places silently. She counted her heartbeats as she waited for the explosive chord that would launch them into their first number.

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