After The Show
by Claire

You were in the fifth form and you'd just come off stage. You couldn't believe you'd done it. You'd gone out on stage and you'd sung -- in front of all those people -- and you'd performed, and they'd liked it. They'd clapped for you.

She was called up on stage and, surprised, she went, blinking back tears and then remembering to thank everyone and call them out too. Typical Darrell, always thinking of other people. You love that about her. You've admired her ever since you were a scared little twelve- year-old and she saved you after you were pushed into the pool.

She came to you, hugged you tightly, and you blinked in surprise at the close contact. She praised you, and all the time her lips were scarily close to yours and you were afraid that you might do something you'd regret later, something that would make her turn away in disgust and think badly of you, and you wouldn't want that.

You blushed as she told you how wonderful you'd been as Cinderella, and how right you'd been for the part. Compliments from her have always meant so much more from her than from anyone else.

Everyone laughs over the way you look up to Darrell, although you've tried to keep yourself in check for the last few years. You're not a baby anymore, and if they look close enough at your hero-worship for her, they'll start putting the pieces together. You don't want that. You don't want them to know.

They turn a blind eye to the way Sally is so possessive of her, because Sally is her best friend and it can be excused. You know that Sally is by nature a jealous person, but you wonder if she feels the same way as you do about Darrell. Perhaps you're just looking for someone else like you so that you don't feel so lonely.

When she hugged you tightly she had such pride in her eyes that you wished you could freeze that moment forever. It hurt when she looked at Mavis the same way, telling her how well she'd sung, and Alicia, and Bill, and the others.

You went upstairs to the dormitory while everyone else was still chattering away, and you cried.

Cinderella lived happily ever after. You're still waiting for your happy ending.


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