As she hit the last note, the so far deadpan crowd popped loudly, much to Darren's surprise.
"Thank you very much. Have a good night." smiled the girl meekly.
"Wow." Darren thought, seeing her leave the stage to another round of applause. Her heartfelt performance reminded him of the prom where he saw Emily sing for the first time. Simply beautiful.
"Hey hey hey," Nelson nudged him. "Another one coming right up."
Strains of a melody which Darren recognised as Selena's Dreaming Of You flitted through the place. Another dressed-up girl, though less elaborately this time, made her way onstage with mic in hand.
And that was how the night mostly wore on, rapid successions of singers crooning slow numbers he had never heard of, apart from a few Elvis and John Lennon tunes. Some carried their own guitars and keyboards, while a good number even had gimmicks like heads rolling off midsong going on. Though he found it bland most times, the partisan crowd lapped up every moment of it.
Nelson, too, appeared to be enjoying himself thoroughly. Halfway through a ballad by some young black girl whose name he'd forgot, Darren turned his gaze round the room. There were now much more Ghosts than when they first came in, all with a silly smile plastered across their faces. Boring.
Then suddenly he chanced upon a familiar face. A young girl standing near the stage with her dark lips pursed. Kat!
"Pst!" Darren tapped Nelson's shoulder furiously. "Look that way!"
Nelson turned around, almost falling off his chair. "Whoa! What are the chances?"
"Let's go confront her."
"Uhh...dude, I don't think that would be such a good idea."
"Why not? She stole my papers, and I want them back!"
"I mean...what if she screams, or something? We would be seen as harassing her, you know."
"Oh, come on. That's ridiculous."
Darren took another glance at where she was. Unfortunately, she chose the same moment to look his way. With a mildly alarmed look on her face, she hurriedly made for the exit.
"She's leaving!" He tugged at Nelson's shirt. "Let's go after her!"