It's not easy being a star. Metaphorically, she means. Either way, it doesn't matter because one day she's going to outshine them all.

It doesn't matter that those righteous cheerleaders do everything in their collective uniformed power to tear her down. Or, that they liken her to a cross-dresser, even after she carefully applies her makeup and re-sprays her hair. Her dads adore her and think she is beautiful.

It doesn't matter that she receives those demeaning comments on her page during her late night study sessions, even when she runs to her monitor, hopeful that one may be remotely decent. And God will forgive them, right?

It doesn't matter that after she finishes straightening her sweater and pats it down to perfection, as though the seams hold her dignity, she walks down the hallway and sees the sign-up sheet. Her heart beats faster and she starts to feel happy, because she knows she now has a chance to show just how special she is. It doesn't bother her when that feeling disappears the minute the cold liquid splashes onto her face and she gasps for air. Yet, no one moves to help her. But there is no time to waste and she holds her head up high, determined as ever to make it to the top.

Everybody hates her, but they'll see…

Nothing bothers her, even when she hears loud smashing noises at three in the morning, and she runs downstairs terrified, clutching onto daddy as he opens the curtains. The glass is smudged and covered in yellow slime that slides down ever so slowly, as if taunting her. The porch is littered with broken eggshells, and she can hear distant laughter as a car speeds away, honking. She clutches her robe tighter to her body in the cold and she she's trying to make out who they are. Someone's face is pressed against the window, looking almost, guilty. He looks familiar, but hundreds of guys in McKinley High are tall, with dark hair, and she doesn't know who it could be.

And it doesn't matter even though she knows he is sorry.
Who cares if he's the only one who makes her feel special, like she doesn't have to try so hard all the time.

It doesn't matter that in the auditorium, with those bright shining lights staring down at her, she can't see, feel or hear, anything else except the way her voice echoes around the room. It will surely get her onto Broadway, it'll be her big break, her chance for fame.

Then, when that happens, she doesn't ever have to look back again.

Yet, somehow, all of that disappears for just a brief second, every time she feels him gaze at her.
Or when he lets his fingers linger on hers longer than he needs to each time they sing together.
And when he tightens his grip on her waist to make sure she doesn't slip away.

She doesn't understand it, but being around him, it is almost like there is more to being special than she thinks. But as smart as she is, she can't piece what that means together.

Her heart isn't broken when she first catches a glimpse of that slicked back blonde ponytail sauntering onto the stage. She sees him light up and she is tempted to give up, at least when it comes to him. But she comes to her senses. She will not bow down gracefully and let them steal the show, not without a fight.

It doesn't matter that rehearsals continue, because they need twelve people, and things start to get complicated.

Because sometimes when she looks up and his dark eyes are looking at her, she thinks there is more between them.

It is not significant that he squeezes her hand before every performance, even though she has clearly stated that she does not get nervous. But she squeezes back and pretends that he isn't holding hands with Mercedes and she isn't also holding hands with Kurt, during their group circle.

It doesn't matter that during a fleeting moment, she finds herself alone with him, and his hands are just lightly resting on her back, tentative. And he's leaning in, he finally holds her closer and his warmth is seeping though. She shivers and her lips part, and the blood is rushing to her head. She can't think straight. But they are interrupted and jump apart.

It doesn't matter that maybe, just maybe, she thinks that because she convinced him to stay that very first day, it's possible that she can get him to fall in love with her too…

But she knows it's just wishful thinking.

Because every time the curtains fall back down and the lights flicker on, making her blink repeatedly, she is pulled into reality. She knows it's all just a rehearsal for the big finale that never ends. No one ever dares to break character. And she is no exception. She tells herself it doesn't matter that she cries because it hurts so much.
But no one will ever know, because this is her best role yet.