I am a star. My performance moves people to tears as they watch emotion unfold on the stage. My voice fills the room with happiness and heartache as my character transforms throughout the play. The spotlight shines solely on me as people leap to their feet in a standing ovation. I bow. My smile lighting up the room following my breathtaking performance. I am… “Turn in your papers at my desk.”
My head snaps up as reality comes flooding back in. Without even looking through my folder I know it wasn’t there. I can visualize it lying on my cluttered desk, forgotten.
Raising my hand, I casually ask, “How many points is this worth?”
Mrs. Weber skeptically quirks an eyebrow and says, “50 points.”
Beads of sweat form on my forehead as my stomach lurches up to my throat. I slowly stand up and walk toward her desk without a paper in my hand like the other kids. As I reach her desk, my hands start to tremble and I start stumbling over my words.
“M-My paper is… umm… at my house and… uh… I-I… well… umm…”
Her stern eyes tell me all I need to know, but I persist.
“I’m really sorry Mrs. Weber, but I’ve been having trouble at home and it’s started to get to me at school…” All my years standing on the stage, slowly morphing into a new character are paying off right now as I watch Mrs. Weber’s doubtful look turn into pity and empathy. Forcing out a few tears, I continue. “A-and I-I just forgot it on my desk. Please! I’ve been having a really rough day.”
I stop talking, but keep the downcast look on my face. Mrs. Weber looks down at her desk for a moment, but finally says, “Just get it to me by tomorrow. I hope you have a better day.”
I nod seriously, but can’t hold back my smile when I turn around. Walking back to my seat, my mind wanders again.
The crowd roars. I am brilliant. I am spectacular. I am an actress.