Carla answered her mobile phone after the second line of her special ringtone “Nobody Weird like Me,” Travis’ favorite song. ‘Hi, Travis, what’s up?’
‘Not much, I just wanted to see what my baby sister was up to.’
‘Oh fine, I guess. I just wish Dad would ease up on me.’
Travis chuckled. ‘Still skipping classes, aye?’
‘You know I hate school, Travis. Why do I need an education to be in movies? It’s…’ Carla’s voice trailed off.
‘I know, Sis. You just want to hit the big time now.’
‘Yeah, as if that’s going to happen when I’m in a stupid Math class or something. What have you been up?’
‘I had a few minutes. Just wanted see how my kid sister was doing before I ironed my uniform, polished my buckle and shine my boots. You know how it is.’
It was Carla’s turn to chuckle. ‘Ok, have fun at boot camp. Don’t let them catch you with your mobile phone.’
Carla rested back on her pillows and sighed. She missed Travis; missed his loud music and after school visits with her to the youth centre to play snooker when they were supposed to be doing homework.
Her phone buzzed. ‘Hello,’ she answered without checking the caller ID.
‘Hey, Carla, you up for some fun?’
It was Toni, a girl she’d met a few weeks ago at the youth centre. Toni wanted to be a model and Carla liked her right off.
‘What kind of fun?’ Carla answered half-heartedly.
‘Yeah, he’s the camera nerd that was playing chess at the youth centre. Goes to that snooty school off Main Street.’
‘Yep, that’s him.’ Toni sounded excited. ‘He’s making a video for his school. Kevin’s uncle is on the school board and has heaps of money and some neat video equipment. He likes Kevin’s script and wants to enter him in a junior filmmaker’s competition in Hollywood!’
‘So what’s that got to do with me?’
‘Kevin needs some girls to do some acting for him.’
Carla sprang from her bed. ‘You’re kidding! When?’
‘We’re meeting them at the youth centre in half an hour.”
‘I’m on my way.’ Carla ended the call. This could be the break I’m looking for. If Kevin wins the competition, Toni and I could be on our way to Hollywood, too.
It took less than a minute for Carla to see Toni talking to Kevin near the snooker tables. They were talking to another who was leaning against a soda machine. Carla smiled at the handsome young man. He reached out to shake her hand. She was mesmerized by his presence.
‘Hi.’ Kevin broke the spell. ‘My uncle is waiting for us at his home. We’re doing the video there.’
Kevin’s uncle’s house was a few blocks from the youth centre. On the way Kevin explained his script. ‘It’s a film I’m doing for my photography and visual effects class. My uncle offered to help with his equipment.’ He laughed. ‘He doesn’t trust me with his precious stuff.’
They arrived at a huge two-story house surrounded by an immaculate garden. They climbed the front stairs and Kevin unlocked the door.
Carla was elated as she stepped into the impressive entry. She looked beyond an archway where two video cameras and a still life camera were set up on tripods facing a sofa… a sofa covered with cushions and satin sheets. Toni grinned at her and winked. The boys walked on past the girls and headed to one of the cameras and began to adjust some dials.
‘What’s going on, Toni? Where’s Kevin’s Uncle?’ Carla began to panic.
‘Who needs his uncle? They have the equipment and we have the opportunity of a lifetime right here.’
Steve returned to Carla’s side and skimmed his index finger down her cheek and flicked her hair. ‘Hey Carla, don’t fret. Isn’t this what you wanted? Glamour! Fame! It’s worth a hundred bucks.’
Carla’s heart raced and her breathing quickened. With one sudden movement, she turned and ducked through the still open front door. She raced up the path and onto the street turning her head to see the three of them standing outside. They were laughing at her. Carla gasped and began to run.
When Carla was sure she hadn’t been followed, she slowed her pace. Tears and sweat streamed down her face. She drew in deep breaths and swallowed repeatedly trying to regain control before returning home. Maybe I should wait a few years before I think about Hollywood. She wiped her brow with the sleeve of her sweater and wished for some big brother advice.
‘I’m home,’ Carla called from the front room. ‘I’ve got an assignment due. I’ll be in my room.’
‘OK,’ her mother called back. ‘We’ll be eating at seven. I’m running late.’
Carla entered her bedroom and closed the door. She took her mobile phone from her pocket and hit Travis’ speed-dial. Taking a deep breath she struggled to fight back more tears.
‘Hey Sis, you just caught me. What’s up?’
© Chrissy Siggee