“Awakening Truth”

It’s a hot Monday afternoon for Kate and it’s not going well. All the things she planned for the day has been ruined. Her Chemistry group mates did not bring the materials they needed for the experiment on the same day. As a result, they ended up getting none from their teacher.

“It’s my fault… I’m sorry.” Amy, Kate’s friend and group mate, said after their class.

“Yes, of course it is! I told you to drink milk to boost your memory.” Mike, on the other hand, is teasing Amy as they approach the cafeteria.

“You know what? It’s done, okay? We already got nothing and it was our fault.” Kate interjected to stop Amy from crying on Mike’s quirks.

“OUR? Hey! I brought the sulfuric acid you asked me to and it’s still our fault? I should be exempted!” Mike whined.

“Stop acting like a kid.” Kate slightly slapped him on his shoulder. “Okay, so it was no one’s fault.”

“But… but, it was really my…”

“Amy, stop self-pitying.” Kate did not finish what Amy is about to say. “It’s not your fault and let’s not talk about it anymore. She said as they take their seats.

“Yeah, right.” Mike said with his eyes rolling. “Oh, by the way, Amy. Are you auditioning for Princess Sophia?

“I don’t think so…” she hesitated on what to say next. “I think I’m not fitted for the role and it’s obviously going to be Francesca as the Princess.”

Mike gave a as-a-matter-of-fact smirk. “I suppose”

“You suppose? Kate seemed to be puzzled. “I suppose you might want to give it a shot, Amy. I sure think you can give justice to the role, right?

“I can but…”

“What about you?” Mike turned to Kate. “You’re interested in theater acting, aren’t you? Don’t you want to audition? I heard Josh is auditioning for the role of Prince Anthony.”

“Josh…” Amy said dreamily as she puts her hand under her chin. “I like that guy. He’s very talented and…” She stopped and though about teasing Kate. “…and I think Kate has a crush on him, if I’m not mistaken.”

Kate gave her a shot look.

“You are not mistaken there.” Mike excitedly nods to Amy.

“You, guys, are mistaken. “ Kate ended her silence and jumped into the conversation. “Josh to me is like… only a classmate, which apparently is true because he is my classmate.”

“You’re denying it.” Amy looked away as if she would reject any more word coming from Kate.

“Why would I deny?”

“Don’t believe her, Mike.”

“I won’t.” Mike agreed.

“Come on. It’s too obvious that you’re zeroing on Josh! Ha-ha!” Amy laughed, feeling like winning on a battle.

“You can’t lie to us.” Mike, pointing to Kate. “We are a real truth verifier.”

Kate remained sitting between her two friends thinking, why on earth these people have become my friends? “Yeah… a fraud truth verifier. Remember, we were here in the cafeteria to eat, not to gossip.”

“Speaking of eating…” Amy blinked her eyes on Mike, wondering. “…what are you eating?”

“It’s a wafer stuffed with peanut butter, stuffed in a loaf bread, dipped in a strawberry jam.” Mike proudly said. “You guys want? It’s an authentic delicacy – I made it.”

When he noticed that Kate and Amy are just staring, he took a big bite.

“Gross…” Amy whispered to Kate.

“Now you are not mistaken.” Kate looked away from Mike.

Nearly after 25 minutes, Kate and her friends decided to leave the cafeteria and went to the library to browse some books. After going to the library, on their way outside the campus, they saw the sign-up sheet for the Junior play—The Prince and His Battle for Goodness—posted on the bulletin board. It is noticeable that most junior students are interested in joining the production, the sheet is almost full. Amy looked at is seriously.

“Wow…” She frowned in disbelief. “ The list is almost full and yet… Francesca’s name was not on it?”

“I guess…” Mike offered his opinion. “…it’s automatic. She got the lead role.”

“How could you be so sure” Amy asked.

“Because the drama club adviser is her aunt.” Kate interjected.

“I don’t think so.”

“Well, you should start thinking ‘so’ now, Amy.” Mike answered her.

“Then, if that so…” Amy, not sure of what to say next. “…why did they still post this piece of scrap if they already chose the characters?”

“Because…” Kate trailed off. “…they are actors?”

Amy and Mike looked puzzled. They did not get her metaphoric reason.

“I’m saying it’s only a false audition. Making it look like they’re conducting an audition but the truth is they already picked the lead actors.” Kate cleared her side with a sad facial expression.

“That’s a good point.” Mike thought.

“But…” Amy turned to Kate. “…why do you look so sad?”

“I don’t.” She denied.

“Yes, you do.” Amy confirmed. “Oh! I know!”

Mike excitedly asked “What do you know???”

“She looked so sad because Francesca already got the lead role! Amy answered.

“If she got the lead role, why would I be so sad?” Kate defended her side.

“Now I know!” Mike shouted. “Because you were not given a chance to be Josh’s Princess on the Junior play! Ha-ha!”

“And how could you be so sure the Josh will be the Prince?” Kate asked.

“Because they are actors.” Amy answered in as-a-matter-of-fact way. “And remember you said that they are only conducting a false audition.”

“I won’t argue.” Kate looked away.

“So… you admit that you’re sad because you are not the Princess?” Mike asked.

“I did not say that.” Kate answered calmly.

“Then, why don’t you argue more?” Amy smiled, daring her. Kate can be easily teased, she thought. That’s what she’s currently doing and she met her expectations: Kate walked out without saying a word.

On their circle of friends, teasing became a part of their routine. The more someone loses its temper, the happier the day would be and that complements their friendship.

“You think I hit it right?” Amy elbowed Mike.

“Sure, you did.” Mike answered with a grin.

—–

After Kate was successfully teased by her beloved and adorable friends, she went straight home then put down all her stuff. She’s all by herself right now since her mom is still in her office. She lay down on her bed. Peaceful, she thought, without her friends’ disturbance. She’s still trying to figure out what happened on that day. First, nothing went well on her Chemistry class. Second, she was again harshly teased. Great. Those were the last things she wanted to happen. But then there was Josh.

Josh.

No matter how often she denies it, her friends would automatically know what she’s thinking and feeling about that guy.

Josh.

She admits he’s good looking, talented and smart – a real triple threat. The ideal guy of every girl out there.

Josh.

She can’t stop smiling whenever she hears his name.

Josh.

She can’t stop the butterflies in her stomach whenever he passes.

Josh.

They guy she likes but never had, and probably never will have the chance to befriend. Every girl on the campus likes him, she thought, and those girls are way more beautiful compare to me.

Kate could act, that’s for sure.

So maybe I could audition, she thought. No, scratch that. I cannot audition because everyone knows I have a crush on him although I never said it because my so-called friends tease me in front of every student body. But, auditioning for the role would be great… it would be a lot of fun and experience especially if Josh happened to be the Prince! But, what will everybody think about that idea? I’m sure they would whisper unpleasant things and that’s the last thing I wanted to happen.

Kate sighed. Maybe she was thinking so much.

She jolted at the sound of doorbell. She knew it was her mom. She woke up from bed, cleared her mind from everything and walked down the stairs to prop open the door. Her mom gave her a warm hug as she enters the house.

“How was your day, sweetie?” Irene asked.

“My days’ are always the same, mom.” Is the only answer Kate could give since she doesn’t want to talk about the dilemma happened earlier that day.

“You look tired. Are you okay?” She asked her daughter as they put down the groceries on the table.

“Yeah…” Kate answered with a sigh.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“Nah, I’m fine.”

“Then, maybe, Lasagna’s okay for dinner?”

“Sounds great.” Kate Finally smiled.

After the dinner, Kate composed herself to sleep. She never thought of joining the Junior play that night. She doesn’t want to be disturbed and she wanted to focus herself for tomorrow. But despite all that, she slept at 2:30 a.m.

—–

“Kate…”

“Kate, sweetie, wake up! It’s 6:15 a.m. and you don’t want to be late for today, do you?” Irene tries to wake her daughter up.

“6:15?! Seriously?!” Kate jumped out of be in disbelief.

“Seems like the three alarm clock don’t work anymore, eh?” Her mom said. “Now go shower up. Breakfast is ready.”

“Okay.” Kate nodded but still wanted to sleep.

On her way to school, after stepping out of the school bus, she accidentally bumped into a guy. A pretty familiar guy. As she heard his voice saying “I’m sorry.”, her heartbeat gone fast. Even his voice is very familiar, she thought. Kate slowly tilted her head up and surprisingly found Josh standing right in front of her.

Josh.

Oh… my… gosh… Oh my Josh! She thought. How could this be happening? I seldom meet him n campus and now he’s the first guy I bumped into?

She flustered, said nothing and stared at Josh the whole time.

“Are you okay?” Josh curiously asked her. “Did I hurt you?”

I don’t care if you’d hurt me or not. Better hurt me now, Josh. You could even hit me with your car and I would still say thank you. Oh my God, what am I thinking? Kate told herself. You better tell him you’re fine before you scare the hell out of him.

“Yeah… I uh… I’m fine, thanks.” Kate finally managed to say.

“Are you sure?” doubted. “Because you don’t like you are…”

Yes, thanks. I’m good.”

“Glad to hear.” Josh smiled.

Kate blushed. “I have to go.” And she regretted saying it too soon.

“Okay. Have a great day, Kate.” Josh once again smiled at her as he walked away.

Kate dreamily stared at him, not moving for a several seconds. She couldn’t believe that Josh actually uttered her name, HER NAME! He knew her name!

After the wonderful incident, she is now sitting inside her History class, waiting for their teacher to arrive, still thinking of what just happened. Kate wanted to tell that to Amy and Mike as soon as she saw them, but no. I don’t want to be vulgarized again, she thought.

The school bell rang and after a while she was stuck in the middle of her classroom, feeling alone, although there were no absentees on their class. She was haunted by Josh, by what happened. Then she suddenly felt falling asleep since she didn’t get enough sleep last night.

Still thinking about Josh…

She hates this day, feeling too tired…

Then her thoughts drifted to the Junior play. Should she join or not?

She really wanted to doze off…

The voice of her teacher echoes as though it comes from afar…

More distant as it cannot be heard any more…

Then everything went so peaceful and quiet…

Until she can’t hear anything any more.

—–

“Have you heard the news?!” Amy jumped as she shouts at Kate. They are in the cafeteria.

“Hell, what are you talking about?” Kate answered in annoyance while Mike, on the side, is silently licking his deluxe ice cream in cone.

“Come on! I’ll show you.” Amy grabbed her friend’s hand and dragged her to the bulletin board, leaving Mike alone.

“Can you not shout?” Kate struggled as they read the bulletin post.

TO ALL THE JUNIOR STUDENTS,

MEET MS. DAVID AT THE AUDITORIUM FOR THE IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS REGARDING THE JUNIOR PRODUCTION AT 3:00 P.M.

– FRANCESCA DAVID,

DRAMA CLUB PRESIDENT

“So,” Kate trailed off as she read the post twice. “what’s so major about this?”

“It’s an announcement. They might say something important like,“ Amy, very proud of what her idea might appeal to her friend. “you’ve got the lead role instead of Francesca so that you’re going to be Josh’s Princess!”

Kate looked at Amy pathetically as she heads back inside the cafeteria.

—–

The auditorium was full. Kate and her friends were sitting at the front seat beside Francesca and Ms. David. It was because they arrived 25 minutes earlier the meeting time.

“I told you,” Kate murmured. “it won’t start in time.”

“But it’s still better to prevent than to cure.” Amy answered in a childish manner.

“What?” Mike, beside Kate, looked puzzled.

After a minute, Ms. David stood straight and made her way to the center stage. She made sure that every student body’s inside before she start with the announcement.

“Okay,” She looked around the auditorium. “Can I get all your attention, please?”

Everyone listened as the adviser continued

“Now, I’d like to make this very short and clear to each and everyone of you, so listen carefully.”

Amy looked at Kate with excitement.

Ms. David held the clipboard and read the printed papers in it. “Our end of semester production will be called ‘The Prince and His Battle for Goodness’. It is about a boastful and evil prince who got cursed and transformed into a beast. The only way to get back to his original physique is to do good things for his people and find a girl who would truly love him despite of his UGLINESS.”

“Oh.” The students suddenly reacted and murmured to each other.

“I am not finished yet. Listen, children. I have chosen the main cast, therefore, we would not conduct an audition anymore.”

“Huh?!” The students grasp but the teacher wasn’t distracted about it. She continued. “I chose Justin and Lloyd to play the chicken and the dog; Rhina is to play the old fairy; Amy as the young fairy…”

“Yay!” Amy rejoiced as she heard her name while Kate seems too serious and anxious.

“Mike as the overseer; the antagonist to be played by Jake; Austin as the ugly prince; the handsome prince will be played by Josh and for the Princess…” Ms. David trailed off a little bit, creating a bit tense in the auditorium. “The Princess will be played by Kate.”

“What?” Kate looked surprised while Amy and Mike were celebrating beside her. “I’m the Princess?

“Yes, you are.” Ms. David, from the stage, told her with a wink.

“But, how about Francesca? Isn’t she supposed to play the role?

“No, she will be our playwright.” Ms. David continued, “Now, the rehearsals will start tomorrow after you class. You, the remaining students, will then find out your tasks and duties. Our Junior production will be played six weeks from now. Therefore, I need all your cooperation to make this one successful. Thank you for coming. I expect all your presence tomorrow. Our meeting is done, you can now go home, kids.”

As the students gone home, Kate cannot summon the energy to stand up from her seat, still cannot believe that this is going to happen.

—–

After that very driving day, Kate was at her Math class. Couldn’t take her mind off of the Junior production. Every time she thinks of it, she feels butterflies in her stomach—wild butterflies.

When she arrived at the auditorium, she saw her classmates and other Junior students arranging the seats at the center stage. She went backstage and saw the other kids making hand props. She looked for Ms. David and she found her with the other cast on the front seats. Ms. David was distributing the scripts.

“After this, please come to – our playwright – Francesca in case you need any help with your roles. Now, go practice. Let’s not waste time, kids.”

And they rehearsed as what their adviser told them to. Josh and Kate apparently had a good chemistry on the first day of the rehearsal. He held Kate’s hands according to the script. She felt a streak of emotion as though this is not happening.

As days of rehearsals wore on, Josh and Kate became good friends. They also started eating lunch, throwing lines and even arriving in school together.

Six weeks passed and today is the day of Junior production. The auditorium starts to full. The backstage started to get wild since every body’s panicking about the last minute things they still have to do. The actors throw lines to remind themselves.

On the other hand, though, Josh and Kate are talking nonchalantly and not minding the pressure everyone feels.

“After this, I will tell you something.” Josh said, “and it’s very important” Kate smiled at the thought.

The auditorium lights dimmed. Everybody’s ready now and the anxiousness got more intense.

The actors started to play at the center stage and as Kate watched them, she felt like all of it was just a dream – a very beautiful dream that she doesn’t want to end. Despite that this seems like a vivid dream, she felt some reality in it. She stepped out of the backstage when it was time for her scene.

The Junior play went very well, as well as the scene with Josh. It was like a real fairy tale.

The curtain closed and the audience gave them a warm round of applause and a standing ovation. It was an overall success, as everybody expected. All the students went backstage, cheering and rejoicing with glee. They were all thrilled for what happened.

“I guess,” Josh turned to Kate, “it’s time to tell you…”

“Don’t mind the noise all around, go ahead.” Kate gave him a shy smile.

“Kate, on the course of our friendship… “ He trailed off, “I like you. Would you go out with me on a date?”

“Oh Josh…” was all Kate could say. She was blushing, couldn’t believe that this was happening.”

When Josh is about to kiss her, she suddenly heard the school bell ring. She doesn’t get it. Why is the school bell ringing? It can’t be, she thought. Right now is the Junior production. Kate closed her eyes and opened it after a split second, surprised that she’s apparently sitting alone inside her History class. She couldn’t say anything but “What?”.

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Author: Danica Aquino

Tied the knot with performing arts since fourth grade; is an amateur writer (currently on her quest to writing her first novel); book and animal lover; always entranced by nature.

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