Joey was only nine and had been told he had the voice of an angel.
Now he found himself in a big room with hundreds of people bustling around and his parents grinning from ear to ear.
‘Simon should be here any minute,’ his mother said. ‘Straighten your tie Joey. You need to look your best.’
‘Yeah,’ his Dad said. ‘You’re gonna be a star and make us rich.’
‘SShhh Dan! ‘
‘Oh, right. Sorry.’
Joey looked at the girl closest to him on his left. She was dressed in a tutu and trying to stand on her toes. She looked awfully big to be a fairy he thought.
The boy on his right was stuffing his face with a chocolate eclair. He didn’t seem to care he was making a mess.
Further across the way were the older contestants…… that was such a big word for Joey he’d looked it up………… they all looked nervously excited and were dressed in a variety of outfits, some hideous, some luxurious, and some just basic jeans and tees.
Joey wasn’t comfortable in his shirt, tie and waistcoat.
‘Gotta go to the loo!’ he said and dashed off leaving his parents scanning the crowd for the famed Simon.
Joey tore off his tie and rolled his sleeves up. Despite his age, he knew a dork when he saw one, and that was who had been looking back at him from the mirror. Pleased with the revised look, he wet his hair and ruffled it to do away with the prim centre parting
his mother had teased into submission.
In truth, he didn’t want to be there. He loved to sing, but he just wanted to go home.
He rejoined his parents and heard an attendant call his name.
‘Off you go and give it your best shot!’
Joey stood on the stage in front of the four adults in their box and just stared.
He was asked his name, age, and what he was going to do.
In a shaky voice, he said he didn’t know and pulled the notebook from his back pocket.
‘We don’t usually allow props unless it’s a novelty act,’ one of the men said.
‘Oh, it’s not that,’ Joey said. ‘I was just wondering………………..’
In the silence that followed, he felt all eyes were on him, especially four growing angrier by the minute.
Joey approached the box and said quietly
‘Could I have your autographs? ‘
Written for Sadje’s What do you See photo challenge 20th June.
For the visually challenged reader, this image shows a young boy holding an open book/ notebook in his hands and wearing an expression of wonder or awe.