Twelve-year-old Ivy loves acting but has panic attacks whenever she tries to perform on stage. When her recently deceased cousin starts offering encouragement from beyond the grave, Ivy must decide whether to follow the ghostly guidance or give up her dream of starring in the school play. GHOSTS x UMBRELLA SUMMER.
I can’t do this.
But I want to. More than anything.
My heart races as I gaze out into the dark auditorium, picturing it filled with hundreds of people.
But really, it’s only Chloe sitting out there. We have exactly ten minutes until the custodian comes to mop the floor. I know this because Chloe’s been helping me after our exams every day this week. It’s the least she can do after making me sign up for drama. She holds up her llama print pencil case and grins. “Are you ready to win this Oscar for world’s best actress?”
I smile, even though my breaths are getting faster. “I’d be honored.”
“Don’t worry, Ivy. You’re going to be awesome.”
I clear my throat and read the sample monologue she printed for me, my voice filling the room. “Where’s the door? It was here before, I swear.”
I glance down at my hands. Not shaking. I’ve got this. My entire body buzzes. I’m glowing like bulbs on a Christmas tree.
Chloe bounces in her seat. “Keep going. You’re doing great!”
Maybe this is what I’m meant to do. Maybe I’ll be OK in drama class, and I won’t get that feeling ever again, as if I’m underwater struggling to breathe. Maybe I can be known as the best actress at school—instead of the weirdo with a ghost cousin. My cousin Nora used to sparkle on stage. Maybe I can too.