Can't Stop the Shine
Joyce E. Davis
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When an American Idol-like competition comes to Atlanta, Kalia and Mariama Jefferson (sisters who couldn't be more different) stop arguing long enough to agree on one thing: Kalia has to try out. A senior at a prestigious performing arts high school, Kalia has a shot at making her dream come true. And with sixteen-year-old Mariama cheering her on, Kalia sings her heart out, eager to beat thousands of other hopefuls.
But when Kalia makes the top twenty, the competition really begins—on stage and at home. Suddenly, Kalia and Mariama are up against each other. And there's only one way to win….
exhibit-type art style,” Dewayne insisted. “Well, you’re never gonna get recognition from the important people in the art community,” said Kalia as they entered the halls of Williams, which was teeming with a mix of urban hip-hop kids and alternative artistic teens. “Who says I want their recognition? Who cares what they say? I’m doing my thing, just like you,” said Dewayne, swooping around a dancer stretching against the wall and swerving to nearly miss getting clipped by a guitar case slung
Grandma was. They couldn’t go anywhere or do anything.” “I know that’s right.” “Well, do you think they were happy when they first got married?” Stopping at a light, Kalia turned and looked intently at her sister. “Why do you ask?” “I really didn’t want to tell you this,” started Mari, then she just turned and looked out of the window. Kalia braced herself for the worse. She had no idea what her sister was going to say. “But?” “K, the other night, I saw Daddy sleeping in the guest room.”
kinda ready to go.” When he turned and looked at her, she thought it took too long for him to recognize who she was. “Come on. Let’s go,” she said. “I think I’m going to hang a little more,” he said, grabbing her wrists. “I wanna dance some more. Come on.” “No, really,” Kalia said, breaking his grasp. When she jerked him, he seemed to wake up from a daze and really look at her. “Okay. Let me take you home,” he said, straightening up. When the valet brought the car around, Kalia spoke up. “I
accompanying Colby to her doctor’s appointment after school and could spill her guts to her friend about how she was really beginning to hate Asha. With that off her chest, Mari was totally relaxed by the time she and Colby walked into the Studio of Peace, Love and Soul expecting to see the same half-empty place they’d been coming to for the last couple of months. To their surprise, the lobby was full. A class was going on in the lavender room and about a dozen people were milling around in the
onstage. The audience was on their feet instantly, but Kalia didn’t notice. She was getting in her own zone. She flowed into the second verse of “You Don’t Know My Name,” aching soul smoldering in her voice. She’d planned to just move on to the bridge of the long song and the chorus, but something made her walk over to the band. The electric bass player vacated his seat, and she sat perched on the stool. She started her favorite part of the song. As many times as she’d performed in rehearsals,