Awaiting my name being announced from the stage with a twisting feeling of anxiety, sickening me to the core. Fingers are cold and sticky as I rub them together, visualising the words of the song I had sung too many times. I hear it: my name.
For a minute, I’m stuck, frozen and afraid. Then the legs I recognise as mine begin to take small but assured steps on to the squeaking wooden panes of the vast, empty stage. Looking to the right reveals a bright light obscuring what looks, sounds and smells like a sea of heads. Squinting for a familiar face to no avail, I stop and the music starts. I come in and hear my song, as though from a spectator’s ear.
The last note is followed by silence. Deadening and belittling. Then rapturous applause, like a wave of intense relief, swells into my senses. I pull what I hope looks like a grateful smile, then a bow. I spur into life the legs I remember are my own and stride back to the wings over the shrunken stage. My stage. At least it was for a minute.
Perhaps that won’t be the last time.
Mr J Tattersall
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