I’m shy, a little overweight and wear glasses. I’m eleven years old. I’m smart, but I don’t raise my hand in class. I don’t volunteer to read aloud. I don’t want to be included in a school play, even as the narrator reading from a script. I’m not like my older sister who relishes being center stage. When appointed to be the narrator, I’m too scared to object. I practice reading the lines at home, again and again. My sister is my audience. Rehearsals go smoothly; there’s only the teacher and the other kids in the play. On the day of the show, there’s lots of encouragement from the teacher and big sis, but now there is an audience.
“You have to do it,” my sister says
“You do it,” I say. I give her the script and go sit in the back of the auditorium.
She does it beautifully, not merely reading the narrative, but reciting it from memory.
daffodil buds delayed
One Hundred Gourds, March 2012