My feet stumbled a bit on my way to stage; I felt piercing stares searing my back. Retaining my pride, I hitched my crown to balance on my head and teetered up the stairs. The lights and audience applaud met my entrance.
"I am King of this land!" I posed with my arms outward from my side, standing on one foot. This garnered laughter from the crowd and the development of clapping towards the back of the theater. My heart fluttered and my short stature rose a bit in confidence. "But something's wrong this evening. Terribly wrong!"
As my scene ended I whisked off stage to the right, almost bumping into a classmate preparing to perform. I barely noticed, though. The splendorous environment of the backstage world was already enveloping me.
Light pursed tight ends of curtain shadows, and props were leaned all about. The glow of dim light from above glittered faintly against the glossy wooden floorboards. This was where I always wanted to be.
"How's it going, Anita?" She giggled at the mens' clothes that I wore, and blush along her cheeks matched the frills around her dress. "Y'make a great King. The seniors will love it."
"I hope so." I stood proudly over the freshman and her short, crumply brown waves. "I won't get to see the real performances next year."
I met Mo on our second day of school. She thought me to be a freshman but I was a junior. I caught her in the school auditorium during an hour entry wasn't permitted, and in the darkness I could barely see her milky brown irises.
She snuck in through the back door, too.
That was my first thought.
She's just like me!
Mo giggled and pointed to my headphones. "Are you sure you should be wearing those on stage?"
I glanced down to the pair of headphones around my neck; the long chord hung low near my feet, only to swoop up to my back pocket where it was plugged in to my IPod. Grinning, I pulled the chord up slightly and it fell comfortably where gravity called it. "You don't like it, huh? I think I look like a modern day king."
"It clashes with your outfit pretty badly."
"Ah, well. Think Mrs. Johnson'll notice it?"
"Anita, they're calling you!" Sure enough, a student on the other side of the backstage was waving me down. My mindset altered. This was my last scene, after all. It was my final performance before moving away--it had to be the best.
I rushed to classmate waving, and without realizing, my foot stepped down onto my headphone chord. There was a snap and I tumbled through the curtains and onto the middle of the stage.
My crown drooped from my head, defeated among my long, frizzy hair. The Princess stepped forward. "King! You've finally made it here!"
I stood up, smiling brighter than the spotlight as I straightened my crown. The audience was clapping.
Some last performance.