Things were pretty much the same for the next two years. We stopped the annual party simply because we have grown tired of organizing it. A few months later, Kellina invited me to facilitate a stay-in camp. The camp was organized for all the youth cell groups in Singapore. I must say, I was honored by the invitation. These camps were usually facilitated by more experienced leaders. I was just a 14-year-old member that had no experience at all.
After many months of grueling planning and preparation, the D day has finally arrived. I was really nervous for the opening act. The facilitators were supposed to put up a short skit to introduce ourselves to the campers. The skit was set at Hollywood, where all of us were Superstars. I was supposed to be "Kelly Clarkson" going on her world tour.
I wore a black dress that I borrowed from my cousin. While waiting for my turn to go up on stage, I pulled on the dress uncomfortably. It had been two years, but I still did not have a very good sense of dressing. I honestly could not recall when was the last time I wore a dress apart from my school uniform, which I wore my gym shorts underneath.
"Alright, you are up next, Jess" Ian whispered to me at backstage.
I walked out shakingly and got frightened. There were so many people down the stage, all staring back at me. "Yikes!" I internally exclaimed. Then the song came on and I had to lip sync to it. I tried very hard to look convincing, but I thought I looked like a duck waddling on stage.
"And here we have Jessica! Our newest member in the facilitator's team!" Christopher announced. Some claps were heard off stage and I vaguely smiled. That was my cue to exit the stage.
"Phew! It's over!" I danced around backstage.
"Not too bad for a first time!" Ian encouraged.
The skit was over and all the facilitators went down the stage to meet the group that we were supposed to facilitate.
"Group 1, you will have Madeline and Ian as your facilitators" Christopher's voice was heard again.
"Group 2, ..." Christopher continued.
While scanning the crowd, I saw Marcus and Jerome seated at the back of the group. They looked pretty much the same. "Gosh… why are these two here?" I sulked.
"Group 6, you will have Luke and Jessica as your facilitators" Christopher instructed. Luke and I walked up to our group.
"Hi! I am Luke and this is Jessica" Luke introduced himself and gestured towards me.
"So glad that you guys are here for the camp! I am sure everyone is excited?" I smiled. To my surprise, all of them stared at Luke and me blankly. "Rights… why are they so quiet?" I whispered worriedly to Luke.
"Don't worry, they will warm up to us after a while" Luke reassured.
"Hi, Luke and Jessica!" A quiet voice was heard. I looked towards the direction of the voice and saw a slender girl standing amongst the group. "My name is Melissa. Nice to meet you." She smiled. Melissa had a sweet voice. She was pleasant looking with the typical girl-next-door look.
"Nice to meet you too, Melissa!" I smiled. "Boys and Girls, let us head down to the Canteen for our Dinner shall we?" I quickly broke up the awkward silence from the rest of the group.
Luke led the rest of the group while I waited to make sure that no one was left behind. Melissa waited with me. She was the first to start the conversation.
"Are you new? I have not seen you before." Melissa enquired.
"I am not exactly new, I just have not been too active in these camps" I smiled, a little taken aback by the spontaneity.
"I see. Well, it's nice to see new faces around." Melissa chimed. I am not sure how she did it, but Melissa draws people to her. She was not loud and attention seeking, but she was calm and charismatic. I found myself starting to like her and really look forward to being her friend.
Dinner was rather awkward and uneasy. Everyone was quietly finishing their food. I sat beside Melissa and decided that I should get to know her better.
"So Melissa, which school are you from?" I asked.
"I am a Year 2 student in the National Art School." She replied, smiling modestly. Melissa is a year younger than me.
"Wow! The National Art School! That's really prestigious! Even my cousin, whom I thought was very talented, got rejected by the school!" Someone joined in the conversation. I turned to see a boyish smile so charming that I was smitten. "Hi, I am Jake." He introduced himself when he saw our puzzled face.
Jake looked like he was older than me. He was a lot taller than me and had a clean and neat haircut. When he smiled, his lips curved up to reveal perfectly white teeth. His eyes sparkled when he spoke. I almost drooled over my dinner.
"Hi, Jake." Melissa's voice pulled me away from my creepy stare at Jake. I must have looked like a hungry predator, ready to devour him any minute. "I got lucky, one of the judges were friends with my Art teacher."
We continued exchanging small talks during Dinner and before we knew it, it was time for lights out.
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