It was her. The new blonde girl. Amanda Whatever-Her-Name-Is. She gave me the wrong call time for my audition. I know she did. Mrs Reece-Smith gave her the times to hand out to all the students, and I KNOW mine said 4pm today. Today! Not yesterday.

The trouble is, I can’t prove it. I punched the time into my cellphone diary and threw away the slip. Why would I keep it, right?

So now Mrs Reece-Smith has disqualified me from the concert. Pop Idols is all about commitment, apparently. We were supposed to prove that we were serious about it by turning up for our auditions on time. And if we messed up, we were out. No second chances. Trust me – our music teacher is not someone you want to mess with.

So if you thought I was a tearful wimp yesterday, you should see me today. Pop Idols has been my dream, ever since I started at Innesfree High. It’s only open to kids in Grade 10 and up. It’s called Pop Idols after the TV show, but it’s really just a talent competition that ends in a big concert for the school and the parents. I’ve been practising Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy” since the beginning of the year. I used to practise with Devorah before she moved to Oz.

If ever I needed a best friend, and a shoulder to cry on, it’s now. Ever since Devorah left, I’ve felt like I don’t fit in anymore. Maybe I never did. She was the only Jewish kid in school, and I was the only mixed-race kid. I think we kind of bonded over that.

I just don’t understand why Amanda would do this to me. You’d think the new girl at school wouldn’t go looking to make enemies, right? Okay, so she wants to be in the concert too. That’s fine, I get it. But there’s enough room for both of us.

The lists go up on the notice board the next morning. I join the scrum of kids searching for their names, even though I know mine won’t be there.

And it isn’t.

Amanda’s is, of course. Naturally, she made it. When you’re that gorgeous and perfect-looking, there’s nothing you can’t do. Then I look at her name again, and something hits me in the face like a baseball bat.

Amanda McBurney. Her surname is McBurney. My breath catches in my throat. I don’t believe this. My worst enemy is also my sister.

Image: Mr Azed, BY-NC-SA-2.0

WHAT DO YOU THNK?  If you could change something about yourself to fit in better at school, what would it be? Or should people accept you the way you are?