"I'm gonna win it…I'm gonna be the shining star…I'm gonna beat them all…because success is not that far."

Eight-year-old Tess Tyler looked at her music sheet in satisfaction. It had taken her a nearly week to write that song. Virtually her whole week had been spent eating, sleeping, and writing. She had to get it down perfect—perfect lyrics, perfect melody, and perfect rhythm. She couldn't wait to show her best friends, Peggy and Ella.

Just then, her mother opened the door. "Tess, dear, would you please keep it down? I'm on the phone here," she said angrily, pointing to her cell phone. "And anyway, don't you have homework to do?"

Tess rolled her eyes and laughed at her mom. "It's the middle of the summer! Why would I have homework?"

TJ Tyler walked over and picked up a sheet of paper from her daughter's desk. "Yes, I know it's summer. And you have that packet of worksheets we got from the school, remember? Have you started on them yet?"

Tess winces and shook her head. She had forgotten all about it. She hated disappointing her mother, but her summer homework packet really wasn't that interesting.

That made TJ even angrier. "Come on, Tess! You're going into third grade, young lady. You need to develop better work habits. You are fully incapable of just sitting down and working on something, and putting your heart into it, too. Now go read and be quiet. Stop singing…whatever it is you were singing."

"It's the new song I wrote…" Tess started, but her mother cut her off.

"I don't care what it is. Just do your work and stay out of my way."

Tess was stunned, but picked up the packet and tried to focus on the work. But she was too upset to multiply two-digit numbers. She leaned back in her chair instead. To keep from crying, she flashed forward about five years, to when she would be old enough to go to Camp Rock. Stupid age limit. Tess wondered for a moment if she could somehow make herself look thirteen and somehow convince her mom that she was at home the whole summer. She smiled to herself. She knew it was all ridiculous, but she liked fantasizing anyway. In her fantasy, she would find a double to fill in for her; her mom didn't notice her much anyway, so she probably wouldn't notice if her daughter wasn't really her daughter. She would hire a professional makeup artist that would make her face look older. Tess was tall for eight, so she wouldn't have to worry about height. She would get to camp and everyone would adore her songs. A talent scout would come to the camp and see her perform, and she would pull her aside and offer a record deal. Of course Tess would take it, and she would become famous and everyone would adore her and she would go on a worldwide tour. Of course, her mother would be knocked to the bottom of the charts.

After daydreaming for a while, Tess decided to start on her packet. It was horribly boring, but she thought she could make her mom proud of her. She worked as hard as she could all afternoon, and by dinnertime she was finished.

Tess was looking forward to telling her mom the news, but when she came downstairs, she saw only one place set and a frozen dinner on the table. She sighed. As usual.

"Mom, where are you going?" Tess asked sullenly.

"The press called and told me I had to do an impromptu concert. I'll be back late tonight. Work on that homework packet, OK?"

Tess wasn't sure what 'impromptu' meant, but she let it slide and said, "But Mom, I finished my—"

For the second tome that day, TJ cut her daughter off. "Tell me tonight, OK honey? I love you!" she called as she ran out the door.

Tess stood there silently crying for a minute. Then, since it wasn't dark yet, he ran down the street, where Peggy and Ella lived next door to each other. She knocked on both of their windows, and in five minutes the three of them were in Peggy's tree house, Ella and Peggy trying to console their sobbing best friend.

"That wasn't very fair of your mom," Ella said. "She never has dinner with you anymore."

"And it wasn't fair how she you off, either," Peggy said. "If she cared about you, she should have listened to you."

Tess looked up miserably. "Thanks, guys. I really appreciate it."

"Aww, we'll always be here for you, Tess," Ella soothed.

Tess looked up at her, her face tear-stained. "Always?"

"Always," Peggy confirmed. "The three of us are BFFs, remember?"

Tess nodded. "BFFs. Best friends forever."


"BTW, your lip gloss is so not glossy anymore!" Ella yelled, stomping away.

The now fourteen-year-old, queen-bee-of-Camp-Rock Tess gaped at her best friend. Did Ella just dump her? What happened to best friends forever? What happened to, "We'll always be here for you, Tess?" Where exactly did that girl think she was going? And Peggy, too? Where were all her friends going?

She peered around the corner and saw Ella talking with Barron. Her blood boiled. She had heard Ella say something about joining in his and his friends' act, but she thought she was kidding. Apparently, she had been serious.

She rolled her eyes. She didn't need Ella, anyway. She still had Peggy. Speaking of Peggy, where is she? Tess wondered. She looked around, and finally found her other best friend talking to Dee about something. She waited around for a few moments to see if Peggy was going to finish talking to her anytime soon, but Peggy took notice of her and sent a glare her way. It was obvious that neither of her best friends wanted her around.

Tess stalked off, slightly embarrassed. "'Best friends forever?'" she asked no one in particular. "Yeah, right. What liars."

A/N: Any thoughts? Sorry if it was a little on the short side; it was intended to be a ficlet. So…review?