I Will Always Be Your Biggest Fan
It seemed like just hours ago she’d been a famous singer, though it had certainly been longer than that. Now it seemed that no one was really in to her anymore. She’d been replaced by other new singers, more talented, prettier outfits... Laura sighed. There had to be a way to win back her old, wonderful audience.
“There’s one thing we could do,” her agent said to her, sitting in an uncomfortable chair. They were quickly losing money, and they simply couldn’t afford extremely luxurious chairs. They had other problems besides their backs. Laura turned to him, wondering what they could do. Everyone used to love her, but now she felt abandoned, unwanted, unappreciated.
“And what’s that?” she asked dully, sitting in her chair. It was rather more comfortable, but still not like the old chair she’d sold to bring in a little extra. She’d never had to eat food under 1,000 neopoints before. Her performances had always paid for everything, leaving a significant amount left over. She didn’t perform anymore, though, so she mostly played games all day.
“We could do one more performance, a remembrance thing, and see who all comes. If enough come, we might be able to have you do more performances. After those, you’ll be able to do more and more. The profits will be greater, and you’ll be as popular as you were before all of those new singers,” Laura’s agent said knowledgeably. Laura considered this.
“Do you think anyone would come if it meant missing another concert?” she asked, frowning at him. She doubted anyone would miss seeing those new, popular singers to see one of her concerts. She supposed that singers came and went, and they all had their day. She supposed hers was over.
“We can make sure that they won’t have to. Laura, it’s a concert. Everyone goes to concerts, even if they don’t like the singer very much. It’s a part of being popular; it’s something to do. Groups gather at concerts to have a party, and others go to concerts for their birthdays. Someone will come,” her agent said, nodding confidently.
“I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m even up to singing anymore,” Laura said, hunching over in her chair and laying her chin on her knuckles. Her agent stood up, nearly knocking over the chair in his haste.
“Of course you are!” he boomed. “You’re not just going to give up, are you? You can’t do that!”
“All right, fine. I’ll do one more concert. If no one shows up, I’m through with this. If no one shows up, we’ll have wasted neopoints booking a place for me to sing,” Laura said. Her agent brightened.
“That’s great! Excellent!” he said. He continued in a more businesslike manner, “We’ll need to do lots of advertising, maybe give out a few tickets to some lucky people. I’ll book the place where you’ll sing. We’ll also need lights and makeup, and all of those things that we threw out.” Though Laura didn’t want to admit it, she was excited to finally sing in front of an audience again, just like she used to. She really hoped that not everybody had forgotten her. She hoped they all hadn’t moved on to like better singers than she ever could be. Laura didn’t want to find that, when she walked onto the stage, the only people in the audience were her helpers. Shrugging the thought away, the Desert Zafara left her office to go home for the night.
In her bed, she thought about her coming performance. It wasn’t for a while, but she would need to do a lot of planning herself. It cost many thousands of neopoints to book a place to sing, and she would need to think of some songs to sing. Still, she kept getting a nagging feeling that no one would come. Soon, she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Laura wolfed down her breakfast and raced to the office to get to work. Her agent and a few others were already there, making plans. She took some paper and began writing down some songs to consider singing. She crossed some out, rearranged them and added different songs to consider while her agent worked out some things with makeup and the area where she would sing.
“How’s it going?” Laura asked when she finally knew what she would do for her performance. She bent across the desk to watch the others working on plans for lights and makeup. Her agent looked up.
“It’s going really well, actually,” he said. He quickly added, “As I knew that it would. Our plans could use some work, but everything is working out perfectly to our plans. We just need to contact some people.” Laura went to get some Neomails for them to write and send. Her agent thanked her and began writing the letters very hurriedly.
“I’m positive your writing is better than that,” Laura said, raising her eyebrows at the sloppy mass of words. Her agent blushed slightly.
“I’m sorry,” her agent said. He went and retrieved some more Neomails. His writing was much neater this time, but it took a bit more time to write the Neomails.
“We want them to be legible,” Laura said. She took the Neomails and let them go out the window, to find the receivers.
“Yes, I know, but it does take time. We don’t have that much time,” her agent said. He went back to work on the plans, crossing things out and adding things to the plan. He glanced up at her.
“We have almost a week,” Laura pointed out. He shrugged, so Laura went to find something that she could help with. She caught the Neomails that flew in through the window and tore one open. She smiled.
“Good news?” her agent asked hopefully, but he didn’t look up from his work.
“They remember me and are happy to do my makeup. They wish me good luck,” Laura said, smiling at the letter. She wrote a kind reply asking when they could come, and let her Neomail fly out the window. She then tore open another.
“Hm, they’re asking for a lot, it seems,” Laura said, frowning at the letter. Her agent snatched it from her hands and read it, his eyes looking slightly blurred. He growled.
“That’s way too much!” he said loudly. He scribbled a reply and roughly threw the Neomail out the window. Laura opened another. This one was good news.
“They’ll be happy to help us, for only little charge,” she said brightly. She wrote another kind reply to them and sent the Neomail out the window. She added to her agent, “It’s rough setting up for a concert, huh?”
“Yes, it is,” her agent replied. He’d gone back to his work. Soon, the door opened and all of the people they’d contacted had come in. They were all ready to help with anything and everything that they could. Soon, the place where Laura would perform was booked. Her makeup had been decided as well, and the speakers and everything else needed for a concert had been taken care of as well.
The rest of the week flew by, and soon it was time for the concert. Laura stood behind the curtains, taking deep breaths. She’d never been so nervous about giving a performance in her entire life. What if no one showed up? Her doubts were stronger now than before, but there was nothing she could do. Everything was set up. As everyone always said, the show must go on.
Laura walked out onto the stage and looked out into the audience. She’d known it all along, but her spirits still plummeted. One little Zafara was sitting in the seat up front. The only others there were her helpers, and some were sitting in the back, too embarrassed to show their faces. Laura left the stage through the curtain and sat on the floor, sighing. She’d known it. No one wanted to see her sing anymore. She just wasn’t popular anymore.
“No! Don’t leave!” someone called from the audience. Laura turned around and pulled open the curtain slowly. The little Zafara was getting up and rushing to the stage. Her helpers were getting up, too, but slowly. They didn’t think the Zafara was about to try anything to hurt their employer. Laura walked back out onto the stage.
“Laura, you have to perform!” she said, tugging on her dress. She continued, “You’ve always been my favorite singer! I look up to you.” Laura smiled softly at her and shrugged sadly.
“Nobody’s here,” she said quietly. The little Zafara gave her a huge hug. Laura hugged her back, feeling slightly awkward.
“I don’t care if no one’s here. No matter what, I’ll always be your biggest fan,” she said. And that meant more to Laura than a room completely packed with people to watch her sing.
Inspired by, and a tribute to, one of my favorite shows, Remington Steele.