“Do you all want to know? Yes? Yes?” Her voice oozed with sweetness and I could feel my skin recoil from the sound of her voice. “I know that you all want to know and the final results are right here, in this envelope. Well then, let’s see who bagged the second runners up.” She tore open the envelope and with a huge plastic smile shouted into the microphone, “Maverick Johnson! Come on up here Maverick.” A figure at the corner of the room stirred and inched towards the stage, wary of the lights and cameras. “Come on up here Maverick. Here, look. It’s a prize.” She beamed at him. The little kid stood staring at her red lips and the red package in her hand. He waddled up the steps and walked up to her on the stage. He seemed confused and unsure of why he had been pushed out of his comfortable chair to walk into this halo of light. He looked in front of him and shielded his eyes from the glaring light. The red lipped lady stooped down and pushed the prize into Maverick’s hands. His look of extreme consternation was laudable. He smirked and haughtily walked off the stage without pausing for a photograph. “Maverick! But Maverick Johnson. Come back here for a picture.” The kid pretended not to hear her and began unwrapping the prize with a new found enthusiasm. His parents shrugged their shoulders and waited for him to finish tearing up the red wrapping paper.
“Well, moving on to the first runners up. Aren’t your ears itching to know? Right? Well, you don’t have to wait long. I have the result right here, in this blue envelope.” I rolled my eyes and turned to check on my little brother. He was intently staring at a piece of string. He looked up and caught my eye and waved the string in my face. I shook my head to show that that was unacceptable behaviour. He immediately stopped and straightened his back and flashed a polite smile tipping his imaginary hat. I laughed and a few heads turned to show their displeasure. I ignored their scathing looks and patted my little brother on the back. “… Denise?” I looked around to see who the winner was. This so-called-Denise was sitting on the ground surrounded by tiny piles of plastic chocolate wrappers. She looked up when she heard her name and looked at her mother questioningly. Her mother swooped down on her and wiped her mouth and hands clean with a fluorescent green handkerchief. Then she pointed to the stage and whispered something in her ears. The kid stood up, slightly unsteady and strutted to the brightly lit stage. She didn’t find it difficult to get into character once the light was shining on her. She had a wide smile and gracefully took the prize from the red lipped lady. She even stopped for a couple of pictures before walking off the stage. I raised my eyebrows and tilted my head wondering how she did the strut.
“And now, the name we all have been waiting for. Who could it be? Who is the winner of the lucky draw?” She tore open the last envelope in her hands, letting the green paper fall to the ground like dejected leaves in the autumn wind. She stared at the paper and then shouted in her incredibly shrill voice, “Eric Sheerdan! Eric is the winner. Come on up here Eric!” My brother stared at me and then looked at the piece of string in his hand. His shoulders drooped and he slunk down in the velvet chair. I put my hand on his knee and tried to cheer him up. It was a stupid lucky draw after all. He looked into my brown eyes and grabbed my neck and began wailing like a wolf in anguish. Woof, woof, woof. I licked his face and sniffed. He stared at me again and I got up strutted out of the pretentious hall. He quietly walked behind my brown tail knowing that this standing ovation wasn’t meant for him. He didn’t need this. He didn’t need a standing ovation to be prove that he was better than all those ostentatious and hollow people in there.