I shifted in the chair, sitting in the auditorium to watch the high school talent show. I’ve already seen some acts and they were really great. With the auditorium packed, I watch as another act was about to begin. The two announcers came out and stood on the stage. One is wearing a black hat, white shirt and jeans. The other is wearing a black dress and black shoes. They call out the next act and left.

A blonde haired girl, about 17 came into view from behind the curtain. She has thick red rimmed glasses, a red flowy dress and black shoes. Walking with shoulders slumped and frightened, she made it to the mic. I watch eagerly as the crowd dies down to listen to her perform.

The girl starts to sing shakily and a little quietly as anxiety hangs over her head like a storm cloud. Although I cannot hear her sing very well I listened anyways. I feel for the girl on stage because I was shy for most of my life until this year when I finally broke the ice. For the same reason I had a hard time talking to people and she can’t sing in front of a crowd, fear. To be afraid of what people thought of you.

I look around at the crowd, no one is paying attention. So badly do I want to tell them to stop, to listen but I couldn’t. I just watch instead. The girl hits a high note but it’s squeaky with despair. I wait for someone to do something to clap or cheer but no one does. I hear a group of people talking bad about the girl on stage behind me. “She’s terrible! She can’t sing! What a laugh!”

I didn’t dare turn around to face the group behind me. I didn’t join in but I didn’t stop them. I sat there trying to ignore them and listen to the girl on stage but I couldn’t. They had no idea what it’s like to be on stage with all those people looking at you, to have people talk badly about you and you can’t even stop them.

Just then a loud crack came from the microphone, blaring in the speakers. I jumped and so did everyone else. I could feel the girl stare at me wanting me to do something. All I could do is sit there, I didn’t cheer, I didn’t clap, I did what everyone else did...nothing. I can’t take it anymore! I want to scream! Why won’t someone help her? Why won’t I help her? I slowly cupped my hands to my face.

I shouted as loud as I could. “You got this!”

The auditorium was silent except for the girl who was singing. Then I clapped for her because I was the only one that would. Everyone stared at me. A few other kids started clapping too until the whole auditorium filled with claps. The girl’s singing improved as she gained more confidence.

I smiled and listen to her finish out the rest of the song. When the girl stopped singing, the auditorium was silent again. I don’t wait for anyone else to do something this time. I cheered and clapped for her. Everyone clapped for her too as she walked off stage. I realized that day that it takes one person to make a difference.