My thoughts are jumbled! I am a nervous wreck!

I have an audition, and I am nervous. If the audition goes well, I can sing on weekends and earn some money. I replay the song again. I’m singing “Hopelessly devoted to you” by Olivia Newton-John.

Even at 13 years old, I know that nerves will pinch my throat muscles, and I will be unable to hit the high notes, so I have to relax. My sister looks at me with a dreamy look in her eyes.

“You can do this!” She whispers.

“Let’s hope I don’t forget the words,” I say nervously.

“You won’t,” she replies confidently, “Now hurry up and get done!”

I start rummaging around looking for my clothes and putting them on. I ironed them last night, so they look good. I’m not crazy about the peach colour of my pants, and I hope no one can see the bodysuit is big for me. It belongs to my mom, but I don’t have a blacktop.

I’m wearing my mom’s black boots too. I don’t have boots, and my mom and I are the same shoe size.

“Ok, how do I look?” I ask my sister apprehensively.

“Like a million dollars,” she smiles.

She’s so sweet, and I look so much older because I am taller, but she’s only a year younger.

I give her a quick hug.

“Let’s get my name out there.”

I rush around, trying to calm my nerves. My mom is calm as she witnesses me getting myself into a state. Sigh! She’s always calm! I don’t understand mothers.

I take one last look in the mirror. My face seems ok. Thank heavens no pimple showed up to embarrass me.

“Move it down slowly,” I instruct my sister as she moves the tiny broken mirror we have too fast down my body. “I can’t see!”

“You look fine, let’s go, please,” she complains.

“I need to brush my hair then my teeth, so give me 5 minutes, and I am done,” I reply.

I rush the brush through my hair. I really hope it doesn’t rain, so my hair stays the way it is.

I run to the bathroom to brush my teeth. As I see my toothbrush in the plastic cup we use as a toothbrush holder, I don’t SEE the toothpaste.

Panic time! “Mom,” I scream from the bathroom, “where’s the toothpaste?”



Another pause.

“There is no toothpaste your brother used the last this morning!” She answers.

“What!” Oh no, this isn’t happening! “How do I sing and stand close to people in the band with a stinking breath?” I cry.

“Use water,” she replies calmly.

“Urgh! Mom, water does not freshen your breath!” I cry louder.

“Rinse your mouth with saltwater.” She answers.

I run to the kitchen to look for the salt, and as I open the cupboard, I find the empty packet. Seriously! Could things get any worse?

I am devastated. I don’t want to be the girl with the smelly breath. I know we are poor, but jeez, we always have toothpaste, even if it’s the cheap kind.

My mom doesn’t understand that band members stand close together on stage. What if my breath smells and one of them mentions it, or worse, I get a nickname like “smelly breath.”

What if they won’t let me sing for them simply because my breath smells?  “What if” scenarios flash through my head- including visions of my singing career, going down the tubes because of a lack of toothpaste.

“My life sucks,” I whisper to myself as tears roll down my cheeks.

I feel arms around me gently, giving me a squeeze.

“I know what you can do; you can hold your hand in front of your mouth and tell everyone that you have flu and you don’t want to infect them,” my sister says.

Yes! What a brilliant idea and a wonderful sister!

“I never thought of that; you are so right,” I replied, smiling as I hug her.

Let’s do this…