I yearn for fame and fortune.
So I shall commemorate this by telling you a story I’ve never told anyone. Probably you would understand what drives me after this.
I was 18 when my family and I made a trip to Tokyo. Then I was still young, full of drive, full of ambitions and full of hope that dreams do come true.
We went to visit an old friend of my dad’s. She owned (probably still is owning) a karaoke restaurant in Shinjuku. While waiting for the chef (her brother) to cook up a storm, she coerced us into picking up the mike. We’re a family of singers, once we’ve warmed up to the mike, it would take mammoth strength for us to put it down. But then, I was still shy and unsure about my singing, so I left it alone and let my dad ‘do it His Way’. Finally, as a last song, the sweet lady persuaded me to sing for her. So I chose my best song.
After the hearty meal, she sat down with us and looked seriously at my parents. Then she said something that I will never forget for the rest of my life. In earnest, she asked my dad to let me stay with her and she’d give me vocal training (it turned out she was a trainer) and promised that I would go home a star in a few years. I still remembered seeing my dad swell with pride, but it was overshadowed by the incredulous look on my mother’s face. “No, cannot. She still has to study.” My mum struggled bravely between smiling and bursting veins. It was all forgotten until Auntie bid us goodbye at the door. She held my hands and said, “Think about it”. I looked at her sadly, for I know that was probably gonna be the last I saw of her.
Throughout the day, the entire trip and even months later, my heart pounded like my life depended on it. (Actually it does, doesn’t it?) That was my chance, wasn’t it?! My one and only chance – to make it big. And in Tokyo too! In my heart, I plotted running away from home, and arriving laden with bags in front of Auntie’s house. Then I started fantasizing about the famous studios in Japan and making it on stage, and going home triumphant. It didn’t occur to me then that I didn’t know Auntie’s name, nor where she lived and that it was mission impossible. But that was all I needed – a recognition. I knew I’m meant for better things.
Now that I’m too old for all that (you’d think), I think back about what it could have been. I can’t stop the tears from welling up now, nor can I force my heart to stop pounding. What used to be Hope turned out to be only a Memory, after all. I’ve had my own band, I’ve staged performances to a paying crowd, auditions had come and gone. In fact, I’ve already been a performer in my own right. But it all ends… where it should have been all along.
A girl can have her hopes and dreams, can’t she?