(My, my, it's just struck me how strangely ironic it is that I'm writing a story about a Katrina at a time when another Katrina's caused so much havoc. But just a coincidence here folks, you can check that I already had the name Katrina locked down in Chapter 5. Prayers to the victims, since we're on it.)
Katrina walked glumly down the hall, semi-ignoring the noisy chatter around her. She felt like storming up to her father, where ever he was, and punching him in the face. It was bad enough that he'd broken up their family - the bitterness was still fresh in her mind - but now he was even scrimping on the alimony. There was no way her mom could earn enough to pay for her piano classes and the rest of the household expenses, and he knew it.
She took a deep breath and knocked sharply on the principal's door. He had called her to discuss the offer from his friend. If things went well, Katrina prayed, it would be a good-paying one.
She stepped in apprehensively. "Good morning, Mr. Harold."
"Take a seat, please," he beamed at her. "First off, I must really commend you again for the fantastic job you did yesterday. I had scores of parents coming up to me asking how someone as good as you isn't appearing on TV."
"It was nothing, really." she blushed.
"You needn't be so afraid of showing off your talent at times, Katrina."
"Never mind, let's talk about what we're supposed to," Mr. Harold leaned forward. "My good friend, Mr. Eric Rogers, will be having a party at his mansion next Saturday at seven thirty, and you have been selected to perform for his guests. I have yet to ask him about the payment, but expect it to be in the range of hundreds. Think you can make it?"
Wow! Hundreds! Katrina quickly pushed her jaw back to place. "S-sure."
"But here's something else you don't know," he continued. "Mr. Rogers is actually a planner for children performances held in numerous schools round the country."
She frowned, not sure how this concerned her.
"Recently I went to one of his events, and after that he came to me asking how it could have been better. I told him that performance wise, he had everything down pat - but the music needed just that extra zing to it; something that was able to draw the audience into every scene. You know what I mean."
"Of course, I had you in mind, and he agreed to see whether you are what he needs. So, Katrina, this party performance serves also as an audition. Do your best, impress him, and he'll take you in, I promise. It'll open up far more doors than you could ever imagine."
Katrina couldn't believe her ears; this had to be the best piece of news she'd heard in years. Already she was piecing together a medley of tunes that were sounding in her head.