Clara was shaking so badly she thought she might topple over. The stage lights were practically blinding her and the audience were deafening her.
On the other side of the stage stood her opponent, Kelly. She was standing there with her hands on her hips and a smug smile on her face.
Clara sucked in a breath and bounced nervously on the balls of her feet.
It was finally time for the winner of the singing contest to be announced. The week had flown by so quickly, Clara barely had any time to register it.
In fact, her memory was so blurred it was hard to remember what even happened.
Jade Johnson stood in the center of the stage, a shimmering, gold envelope resting smugly in her hands. She smiled round at the audience and spoke into the microphone.
"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the final night of the singing contest. The votes have been counted. It's time to announce the winner.
Will it be Kelly, with her stunning performance of singing 'Shout Out To My Ex' by Little Mix?"
A flashback played of Kelly performing onstage. Clara hated to admit it, but Kelly looked amazing. She definitely had a huge shot at winning.
Jade Johnson continued. "Or will it be Clara, with her heartfelt performance of singing 'Never Win' by Those Damn Crows?"
As the flashback played, Clara felt a rising of doubt in her chest. She had chosen the worst song to sing. Sure, the audience seemed to love it.
Yes, she did a fabulous job at it (if she did say so herself). But it was called 'Never Win'. How could she possibly win with a song like that?
The flashback ended and Jade smiles toothily round at everyone. She held the envelope up.
"And the winner of the singing contest is..."
Clara's heart skipped a beat and time seemed to slow. The audience blurred into one big blob and Jade's movements became slow and deliberate.
Clara's head swum and she was beginning to worry she was sick. She crossed her fingers and prayed for all she was worth that she wasn't going to die onstage in front of millions of viewers.
Now that would be embarrassing.
Jade pulled out a piece of card from the envelope and everyone held their breath.
Suddenly, everything went wild. Clara was jumping up and down, squealing like a maniac.
Jade Johnson was congratulating her warmly and the audience were standing up, stamping their feet, applauding, cheering at the top of their lungs.
And smug little Kelly stood sulkily with that blasted smirk wiped right off her face.
Crazy ideas buzzed around Clara's head. She would be famous, known worldwide! She would be rich! She would become a celebrity! It was too good to be true.
Clara jerked awake, gasping and spluttering. She glanced around frantically.
Where was the crowd? Jade Johnson? Kelly? All she could see was her dull, dark bedroom, the first slither of sunlight peeking through the curtains.
"No," Clara moaned, clutching her head in her hands. "Nononono!"
It was all a dream. The crowd. Jade Johnson. Kelly. Winning the singing contest. It was all just some stupid dream.
The truth hit her like a bullet to the head; sudden and painfully. Clara's eyes widened and she patted her belly.
"But I was dieting in that dream!" she roared.