Usuki Star: Part Five
Once Rose asked Ali if she wanted to come to the Usuki Star concert, the rest of the week passed slowly for both Neopets. When Friday finally arrived, the Shoyru and the Yurble were thrilled. Surprisingly, Rose found that Ali was almost as excited about the concert as she was.
“Today’s the concert, Rose!” exclaimed the Yurble at the breakfast table. “It’s pretty exciting. I’ve never been to a concert before.”
“Neither have I,” Rose replied. “It’s going to be really fun.”
“Make sure that you can see Rose at all times,” their owner warned Ali. “If she has to go the bathroom, go with her.”
“Yes, Mom,” Ali said with her mouth half-full.
“I hope you have a good time,” Mat told his sisters. “I would be jealous of you, but I’ve never even heard any songs by Usuki Star.”
“Well, we’ll have to buy a CD for you to listen to.” Rose laughed.
“Finish up breakfast, everyone,” their owner interrupted. “I don’t want you to be late for school.”
The three Neopets hastily finished their breakfast and got ready for school. Soon all three of them held full backpacks and lunches in brown paper bags, and they were walking out of the house as their owner waved goodbye. Already Ali and Rose couldn’t wait until the evening.
Throughout the school day, both Ali and Rose found it hard to concentrate during their classes. The blank, dreamy expression that had appeared on Rose’s face during the two school days when she was waiting to hear back from the magazine now appeared on Ali’s face as well. Their teachers simply assumed that they were tired now that it was almost the weekend.
The only time during the whole school day that Ali and Rose actually saw each other was lunch time, as they had no classes together because of their different ages. Once Ali caught sight of her sister in the cafeteria she beckoned the Shoyru over so they could eat together. This was a rare occasion; usually the two sisters would eat with their friends, and not talk to each other during school.
When Rose sat down, Ali immediately started talking to her. “I’m really excited about the Usuki Star concert today, Rose! My friends were really annoyed that I wasn’t sitting with them today, but I felt like I should sit with you today for lunch. I’m just so grateful that you asked me to come to the concert with you. I know it was probably Mom’s idea, but it was still really nice of you.”
“Yeah, it was Mom’s idea,” Rose replied, embarrassed but glad that Ali didn’t mind.
“And I’m also really sorry that I seemed annoyed at you. You were really obsessed with winning this contest, and now I understand why. It’s really exciting when something like this happens, because you don’t know if you’ll ever get an opportunity like this again.”
“It was pretty exciting for me. I understand why you would be annoyed, though.” The Shoyru stopped eating for a moment, “I’m really glad I asked you to come to the concert, too. You’re my sister and I love you, Ali.”
Ali smiled at her sister but continued to eat. She had found that she was very hungry. “Well, I’m just glad I get to share this with you, Rose.”
Soon enough, lunchtime ended, and the two sisters hugged. They threw away their lunch bags and headed back to class. The rest of the school day passed slightly quicker than the morning had, yet Ali and Rose were still anxious for school to end. When their last class finally finished, the Neopets hurried to collect their stuff. The siblings ran all the way home; once they had arrived, they hurried to put away their things and get ready for the concert.
About half an hour before the concert started, their owner took the two excited Neopets to the concert. She lectured Ali on the importance of safety and looking after Rose, and then waved goodbye to Ali and Rose. The Shoyru and the Yurble were alone.
“Come on, there’s a line over there. I think that’s the line to get in,” Ali observed. She grabbed Rose’s hand and brought her over to the line, where numerous Neopets were waiting, donned in Usuki Star clothes and hats.
“Can you believe that we’re going to see Usuki Star?” asked Rose, “I know I can’t.”
“Well, it’s really happening, so you should believe it,” stated the Yurble, laughing.
After ten minutes the line started moving and the two Neopets were more excited than ever. They handed their tickets to a tall Lenny and suddenly they entered the building. The building was a huge circular structure with no ceiling. There was a large space where all the Neopets stood to watch the concert and there was a tall stage all the way at the back.
“Let’s go right by the stage,” Ali suggested.
Rose nodded. “I hope we’ll still be able to see. We should hurry before everyone else takes the good spots!”
The sisters ran towards the stage holding hands. They finally found a place on the right side of the stage where they could still see what was going on onstage. A crowd of Neopets quickly filled in behind them, and soon the concert started. Ali and Rose screamed as they watched the singers of Usuki Star come out on stage and start singing. They jumped along with the rhythm and screamed when each song finished. The sisters were having a great time at the concert.
Finally, the concert ended and the two sisters sighed. They were sad that it was over, but they knew that now they would get to meet the three talented singers that were part of the Usuki Star band.
Rose and Ali struggled to find the backstage entrance. The employee working at the snack bar refused to help them, thinking they were obsessed fans trying to get backstage to meet the members of Usuki Star. Before Ali could mention that they had backstage passes, the employee started helping a customer. Eventually they found someone who was in charge of cleaning the building, who pointed in the direction of the backstage entrance. When Ali and Rose arrived at the backstage door, a tough Grarrl stood guarding the door. A group of Usuki Star fans were pleading with him, trying to get backstage, but the Grarrl only shook his head.
“Excuse me.” Ali pushed through the crowd of Usuki Star fans clutching Rose’s hand tightly. She waved the backstage passes at the Grarrl. “We have backstage passes.”
“You have backstage passes, do you?” the Grarrl replied skeptically. Ali handed him the two backstage passes. “Well, I guess you do. Go right ahead. It’ll be the second door on the right.”
Ali smiled and the two sisters went backstage. They opened the second door on the right and found three Usuls and a Nimmo sitting down in a messy dressing room.
“You must be Rose.” The Nimmo went over to the dazed Shoyru and shook her hand. “I’m the manager of the band Usuki Star. We received your letter and we’re glad you came. Who’s this?” The Nimmo pointed at Ali.
“This is my sister, Ali.” Rose smiled at the Yurble, who was already grinning happily. “Since there were two tickets I brought her along.”
The Nimmo shook Ali’s hand and introduced the two Neopets to the three Usuls. “Rose and Ali, meet the members of Usuki Star.”
One Usul, the lead singer of Usuki Star, a cheery Usuki Usul, got up and shook the hands of Rose and Ali. “I’m the lead singer of Usuki Star. My name is Star, which is why our band is called Usuki Star,” Star laughed.
“My name is Lea.” A Purple Usul waved at Ali and Rose.
“And I’m Jen,” stated a smiling Snow Usul.
“It’s nice to meet you all,” Ali responded.
“Don’t you want to have a conversation?” asked the Nimmo to the two shy Neopets.
“Of course we do!” exclaimed Rose. “I really love your music. I listen to it a lot.”
“She was very excited when she received the tickets and backstage passes to the concert tonight,” added Ali, who sat down on a large sofa.
Rose moved a bottle of water off of the couch and sat down next to her sister.
“Your letter was very unusual, Rose,” Star said to the Shoyru. “We were really shocked when the magazine told us about it. Everyone else just sent in submission forms. We did pick one winner, who will come to meet us next week, but when our manager told us about you, we knew we had to meet you.”
Rose blushed happily. “Thanks. I’m really glad you actually read my letter. I was really sad when I saw that I was too young to enter.”
“You showed us that you were mature enough to enter the contest through your letter,” Jen added. “And we’re glad you brought your sister, too. I’m sure she’s very happy to be here.”
“I am!” Ali exclaimed. “I’m very happy to be here!”
The three Usuls laughed in unison. It was a melodic sound that made Ali and Rose smile. They had never heard laughs like that.
“Rose, the most important thing about your letter is that you showed us you weren’t afraid to stand up for what’s right. We thought that was great,” Star explained to the smiling Shoyru.
“It can be hard to share your opinions like that. I know that I’ve had many opportunities to stand up for what was right, but I was too scared to say anything,” Lea confessed. “I’m glad that you’ve learned how to express those opinions.”
“And at such a young age, too!” Jen said, nodding. “It’s very impressive.”
“I want you to know that this concert will symbolize something for us; not only for you and your sister. It showed us that when you follow your beliefs, great things can happen. And even if you don’t get a paint brush or concert tickets, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you did what was right,” Star told Rose and Ali.
“I’m so proud of you, Rose,” Ali said, and the two sisters embraced.
“We’re all very proud of you,” Star said to Rose.
The three Usuls in Usuki Star and Ali came over to Rose for a group hug. Rose started to cry, but this time, they were tears of joy.