The Window of OpportunityMature

"So, have you been thinking of what you want to do after you graduate?"

Tam and I were walking after school.  A few weeks had passed since school started and I was already sounding like one of the teachers.

"You sound like a teacher," Tam commented.  

"That's just scary," I said to myself.

"What?  The fact that you sound like a teacher and you're not graduated yet?"

"No; the fact that you seemed to read my mind."

"Well, when you've been best friends since forever; it happens."

I smiled.  Tam and I had been best friends since forever began.  It was the perfect friendship combination; like peanut butter and jelly.  I laughed at the thought. 

"What's so funny?" Tam asked.

"I was comparing us to peanut butter and jelly."

"Oh.  Well, I'm the jelly because you're nuts!"

I couldn't help but laugh at her incredibly lame joke.  Tam joined in until she asked, "Where exactly are we going?  I know you said you had to make a stop, but I didn't think that stop would be in the boonies."

"Oh, we're not going to the boonies.  I just have to stop by the theater really quick."

"Oh," Tam said with understanding.  "I thought auditions weren't for another couple weeks?"

"They aren't," I replied.  "But I'm helping Mrs. Collins with a YA production.  Next week is show week."

"Ah."

We had reached the theater.  Every time I saw the magnificent building, my heart swelled with affection.  Call it what you like, the theater is my home away from home.  I'd accidentally stumbled across the place walking home in elementary school.  I auditioned by mistake and found myself addicted to the idea of acting.  Since then, I'd been an ever-present force in the local theater.  

Tam and I walked through the doors and I called out, "Mrs. Collins?"

She popped up from behind the ticket counter.  Mrs. Collins was an aging woman in her late forties.  Her dirty blond hair was streaked with grey and she had small wrinkles on her soft face.  

"Ah, Ari!"  She came out from behind the counter and gave me a hug.  "And Tamar..." she hugged Tam also.  "I'm so glad you're here," she said, turning back to me.  "I need help setting up the dressing rooms.  Would you mind helping us, Tamar?"

"Not a problem," she said.  Mrs. Collins, Tam, and I walked into the auditorium, down the isles, up on to the stage, and back to where the dressing rooms were.  The dressing rooms were seated on two levels; rooms 1-3 on the lower level, 4-7 up the stairs.  

"I need help deciding who to put who," she said.  "With show week next week, little things like that have escaped my mind."

I placed a hand on her shoulder.  "It's fine, Mrs. Collins.  I'll use computer; I'll type up a list right away and Tam and I will put them up for you.  Why don't you check to make sure the speaker system is working?"

Looking relieved, Mrs. Collins went back out to the stage.  I walked back to the end of the hallway and turned a right into the computer room.  Hanging on the door was the cast list.  I tore that down and began typing away.  Tam wandered the halls, leaving me to decide on my own.  The show had a cast of 36 children, ranging in ages from 7 to 14.  It was a handful.

"Hey, Ari," Tam said, joining me back in the room.  "Mrs. Collins wants to see you.  I'll print those out and hang them up."

I nodded and walked out to the stage.  

"Arianna," she said when she found me.  "There is something I wanted to talk to you about."

"Okay," I said.  

"You know that our next show is Beauty and the Beast?"

"Yes," I said, almost bouncing with excitement.  "I'm so pumped about it!"

"Well, for one of the performances, there will be a talent scout at the show."

My heart nearly stopped and my jaw dropped.  I could barely make words.  A talent scout?  Coming here?  The idea was nearly impossible, yet...

"You forget, Mrs. Collins," I said, in a small voice.  "I haven't even auditioned yet.  It's not for certian I'll get the part."

"Now don't you go saying that.  You're definitely talented enough.  Even if you don't get the lead, you should definitely talk to him."

"Okay,'' I said, breathless.  "Thank you, Mrs. Collins."

I walked away, back to Tam; my mind racing.  A talent scout would be here!  I almost squealed with anticipation.  This was my opportunity.  My chance to make my dreams come true.  

The End

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