Kayla sighed as she doodled in her notebook on Thursday afternoon. It never ceased to amaze her how boring seventh period U.S. history class could be. She smiled as she wrote "Kevin Richardson" in bubble letters inside a heart. She'd liked Kevin ever since she'd first started liking the Backstreet Boys about three years ago.
Kayla looked up at the clock and saw that there were only three minutes left. She stiffened. The talent show results were being posted today! She quickly jotted down her homework assignment and put her stuff away. As soon as the bell rang, she took off down the hall towards the choir room, vaguely aware that Linz and Sara were following her.
A thick group of people had already clustered around the window where a sheet of paper was taped up. Kayla pushed up to the front, looking down the list. Her heart stopped when she saw that one of the song titles was "I Turn To You..."
And started right back up again when she saw the name of the person who would be performing it. Amanda McFarlan. Mr. Lakeland's favorite student.
Kayla groaned inwardly as she squeezed out of the crowd. She should have known this would happen. Amanda always got the part over anyone if Mr. Lakeland was involved. Always.
"Well?" Linz asked Kayla immediately when she had emerged from the clump of people.
"I didn't make it."
Sara hugged her, and Linz touched her arm. "I'm sorry," Sara said.
"It's okay, it's not that big a deal, I just...I thought I actually had a really good audition. I don't know what I did wrong!"
"Maybe you were right. Maybe Lakeland just doesn't like you," Sara suggested.
Kayla sighed. "I don't know," she mumbled.
"Well, do you want a ride home?" Linz asked.
"No, I'm getting one from Scott again," Kayla replied, grinning mischievously.
"I think that someone has a little crush on our friend Scott Bailey," Sara observed.
Kayla laughed. "No shit, Sherlock. Have you seen the guy lately?"
"He's a prep," Linz pointed out with a disgusted face.
"He's a nice prep though," Sara said.
"Like Kev and Brian," Kayla added with a grin, referring to the Boys.
Sara grinned. "Right."
"Well, I'd better go. I wouldn't want to keep Scott waiting!"
"Bye," Linz and Sara said.
"We'lló" Linz began.
"Call me, I know!" Kayla laughed as she walked away.
She almost crashed into Scott as she turned the corner. "Oh, hey!"
"Hey!" he replied with a grin. "So? Did you make it?"
Kayla looked down. "No, Amanda McFarlan tried out on the same song and made it instead."
"That sucks. You can sing better than she can," Scott declared.
"Apparently Mr. Lakeland doesn't share that viewpoint," Kayla muttered.
"Well, I have something to cheer you up," Scott said, pulling a newspaper clipping out of his pocket and handing it to her.
"'Backstreet Boys' Next Single to Be Duet,'" she read aloud. "That's cool, but...why will this cheer me up?"
"Keep reading," Scott encouraged.
"'Teen heartthrobs and record-breaking chart toppers the Backstreet Boys have decided that their next single, composed by member Brian Littrell and entitled 'For The Rest Of My Life,' is to be a duet with a brand new artist. The Boys have determined that, in order to find this new artist, open auditions will be held in major cities across the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, Boston'...Boston!" Kayla shouted in excitement. "Oh my God! They're having auditions here in Boston!"
Scott laughed. "I knew it would cheer you up."
"Do you know what this means?" Kayla exclaimed. "It means that I have a chance to not only meet, but to sing with the Backstreet Boys!"
"And not just sing with them. Keep reading," Scott said, pointing to the second paragraph of the article.
"'Print out music online'...blah, blah, blah...'as well as one song of choice'...yada, yada...'the person chosen will not only record the duet with the Boys but will also most probably be offered a contract from Jive Records and open on their next international tour, which kicks off in New York City,'" Kayla read. "Wow! That would be so amazing! To tour with the Backstreet Boys." Then she sighed. "But, Scott, there's no way that I'll get it. They're going all across the country. Tons of people are going to audition."
"You have just as much of a chance as anyone else," Scott reasoned. "You meet the requirements. Female in between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five with singing and dance experience."
"But I couldn't even make it into my school talent show. There's just no way..." Kayla sighed again.
"Sure there's a way. Lakeland is a prick. I can grant you that. But that doesn't mean that you're not talented. You have a beautiful voice, Kayla. You could do it," Scott encouraged.
Kayla smiled shyly. "You really think I have a beautiful voice?" she asked softly.
Scott nodded and smiled warmly.
Kayla impulsively gave him a quick hug. "Thanks so much, Scott."
"Well, I'm just telling it like it is!"
A few minutes later, Scott was pulling up in front of her house. She started to get out of the car, but he stopped her. "Wait. Are you, uh, doing anything tomorrow night?"
"No, I don't think so," Kayla answered slowly.
"Do you want to go to the movies with me?" he asked, glancing nervously at her.
Kayla blushed slightly. "I'd love to," she replied honestly.
"Really?" Scott asked eagerly.
She grinned and nodded.
"Okay. I guess I'll call you then."
"All right. Bye, Scott," Kayla said, getting out of the car and pulling her backpack with her.
Kayla didn't notice his sly smile as she unlocked the front door and went into the