“I’ve got an email about the show!” Mom shouted from the living room.
My brothers and I pounded down the stairs. I wanted to get a part in the play, but I didn’t want to want it too bad, because then if I didn’t I’d be sad. I tried to tell myself that I didn’t really care, but I tried hard to get a view of the screen as we crowded around Mom.
“I’m in,” Mom said.
“We’re all in the show! We all got parts!”
It was a good feeling.
I only got one line.
It was a short one too. I had it memorized in about thirty seconds. My brothers had more lines than me, my dad had a whole bunch of them, but I only had the one. None of us had a really big part, but mine was the smallest of all the small parts we had.
Even though I only had one line, I got to wear a costume, and go to lots of rehearsals. I got to walk around backstage in the dark, and try not to giggle with the other children while we were waiting to go on. And every night of the show I got to stand on the stage with everyone else, and my whole family too, while the audience clapped. During the show the audience always seemed so far away, distant and quiet, but each night when we ran on stage for curtain call at the end their applause rushed over us like a wave, and they were as close to us as the ocean was to the beach.
I’m not sure why I ever was afraid of them.
After the show was over, I got to help take apart the set and put away all the props, then sit on the dusty stage and eat pizza with the whole cast and crew, after midnight! Taking apart the set seemed like making a whole other world disappear, one we had all lived in together for a little while, but now it was gone never to come back.
But the feeling of belonging was still there. These were the people who could make a world out of a stage, and I was one of them, and someday, we were going to do it again.