Main > Series > Chapters > Fame Book 1 > Chapter 27

When Coco finally got Bruno tracked down, she found that he was in the place that she should have looked first - at the school's second-best piano, the Steinway in the music practice room. He wasn't working, just letting his fingers wander and find their own music. Coco remembered when she'd last seen him like this, working out his problems through a song in the darkened auditorium. He gave her a smile as she came over.

'I just heard about Doris,' she said. 'Is she okay?'

'Okay, I guess. They sent her home with her mom. Where were you all day?'

'Trying to get my scene ready for the screen test. I got the call, it's tomorrow afternoon.'

Bruno could see that she was buzzing with nervous energy, but he said, 'How do you feel?'

'Tired and scared - but all tingly inside, and ready to knock their socks off.'

'Well,' Bruno said, 'everybody's pulling for you,' but Coco thought that there was somehting not quite convincing in the way that he said it.



'But there's something else, isn't there?'

Bruno considered for a while. His hands fell silent. He said, 'Look, if this thing happens, you'll have to move on. You'll leave us here.'

'Who says so?'

'Coco,' Bruno explained patiently, 'you'll be a professional. You won't have time for us anymore. You'll have to cut the ties to survive.'

'I'll never forget my friends,' she insisted. 'Bruno, what good would it do me to make it if I didn't have someone to share it with?'

Bruno seemed to think about arguing with her, but then he let it go. The point couldn't be forced, but he knew that Coco would gradually have to come to understand it as the realities of her situation filtered through.

'I don't know,' he said. 'Maybe you should ask Leroy.'

Leroy. She'd already managed to alienate Leroy - how long before the others followed? It felt like a cold knife, deep inside. Was this what it was going to be like? Because if it was, she was no longer so sure that she wanted it.

She shook that thought away, and fast. Of course she wanted it, success and everything that came with it; it was what she lived for. Take that away, and her whole life went as well.

Conflict like that could destroy people. So, maybe it did happen in showbusiness.

But only to others. Surely, it only happened to others.

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