Monday, 3 August 2015
Short Story - Amelie, Michelle and Gracie - Day Five
"Girls! Quieten down please, the films are about to start." A camp leader is trying to gain control, but
I think we are all too nervous to settle down. My heart is going at a rate of knots and my palms are sweating. I wipe them off on my jeans just as Michelle comes and sits down next to me. "I'm not even going to ask." She laughs. The old Michelle would have made some smart comment to try and make me feel small, but she seems to be trying really hard to be nice.
"Are you nervous?" I ask.
Her smile fades, "Terrified. I'm trying not to think about it."
I'm taken aback by her response and try to reassure her, "You've got nothing to be afraid of, I bet our film is the best one here." As I say it I try to sound optimistic, but really I know that I have no idea whether ours is good enough. I really want it to succeed, not just for Michelle, but for Gracie and I too.
As the films start playing, everyone falls silent. At the start of each different groups' one, a little cheer will go up from somewhere in the hall and then everyone listens intently, seeing what they were up against. Although I enjoy watching all of the films, the wait to see ours is tortuous. They seem to have put it at the end and I really wish they hadn't; I don't think my nerves can take much more!
When we finally get to ours, Michelle is shaking so much I worry she might fall off her seat. As they
start playing it, I grab hold of Gracie and Michelle's arms for support. I really hope everyone likes it. It all seems to be going well until we get to a clip I don't remember seeing before. After watching it for a little longer, I realise it is the argument I had with Michelle. My mouth falls open in horror at the realisation that someone has sabotaged our film. They have filmed us arguing with each other and then edited it in. I turn to Michelle to see if she knows what is going on, but her eyes are welling up and she has pressed her lips tightly together. I have to find out who did this. They have ruined our whole film and embarrassed us in front of everybody. After the clip is over, there is another one, this time Michelle apologising to me and Gracie. I can't believe somebody has secretly filmed us, as if we were on some kind of reality TV show. They have kept all our other clips and edited their ones around them, so it looks like we meant it to be that way. Michelle has her head in her hands and is trying to hide her tears, but people have noticed that something is wrong and are starting to crane their necks for a better view. I give her a hug, but she mumbles something to me. "What did you say?" I try and pull her shoulders up so she will face me, but she keeps her hands in front of her face.
"You don't have to try and comfort me," she whispers through a sob, "I know our film is ruined."
"No it isn't," I try to make the best of it, "our original clips are still there, we can tell them afterwards that those other ones shouldn't have been included."
"What's the point? They've already picked a winner and it isn't us." Michelle has given up and it breaks my heart to see her so defeated. I have got to put this right.
After our film has finished, Ms Varrelbass strides up to the front and shouts, "We will announce the winners once you all quieten down." I roll my eyes; only she could manage to make winning sound like a chore. Another camp leader walks up beside her and mutters something before saying, "The winners of the competition whose film will be shown on our website are ... Amelie, Michelle and Gracie!" I can't believe my ears. Surely this isn't right. Not after our film was quite plainly destroyed in front of everyone. There is a silence and the camp leader tries again, "Amelie, Michelle and Gracie, would you like to come up to the front?" I grin at Gracie and Michelle as we stand up, Michelle wiping tears from her eyes. "Do I look okay?" she mouths at me.
"Yes, you look great!" I nod back, smiling. We walk to the front and stand in front of a sea of faces, all as shocked as we are that we have won. "Well done girls." The camp leader pats us on the back, "A very good film which showcases that summer camp is not just about the games or activities, but learning the value of friendship and how to stick by each other, through thick and thin." If what I'm hearing is right, we won the competition because of those extra clips. The ones Michelle was sobbing over a minute ago. Life is really surprising sometimes.
"Thank you both for helping me achieve my dream and making this camp such a memorable one." Michelle engulfs me and Gracie in a massive hug as we say our goodbyes.
"And thank you for giving me confidence that people want to hear what I've got to say." Gracie smiles, picking up her suitcase.
"My turn to say thank you!" I grin, "Thank you for being the greatest friends I could ever wish for. This has been the best camp ever."