-The sound of the music resonated through the hall, as the little boy was called on-stage to play the guitar. He was his ever effervescent self as he began playing his favorite tunes with ease. Everything was going alright. He was lost in his world of music… and then all of a sudden, the music faded, the earth stood still…
He stood mortified in the middle of the stage with his broken guitar string; streams of tears running down his eyes. He didn’t want to see the crowd; he ran off the stage and refused to come back.
She was seated in the audience, helplessly watching the little boy crying, unprepared to deal with the world.
A memory returned to her in that cling worthy moment. Something she had almost forgotten.
Thirty years ago, she remembered the little girl, who went up to the stage one summer evening to recite ‘The Listeners’ and it was not too late before she realized she had forgotten her lines. It was their annual school concert, where everyone was welcome, parents and one extra pass for a guest. She was very excited to be part of it. But things did not go as expected.
She stood on the stage and looked across the hall, knowing it was packed and couldn’t remember a word, except for the first line of the poem. She stumbled over her lines and her mind went completely blank, she froze. The lights were bright on her face, but all she could see was shadows of people.
The cold horror rushed through her as she tried and failed to make her panicked brain work. For a moment, her eyes got fixed on the second row where she could sense her parents pasting a smile on their face. she knew she was doing it all to impress them. She couldn’t take it any longer, and just like the little boy, she ran away, tears running down her face.
She was an adult now, with her own life and she didn’t need to be defined by that awful sense of failure. Yet some memories can never be erased.
She followed him quickly and gave him a hug. She wiped off the slick of sweat on his palms; wearing the best possible smile, just like her parents did. History often repeats itself they say, and it did happen. She felt guilty for not having a backup guitar on stage for his little boy. This embarrassment could have been avoided.
But it’s okay, she thought… behind every success is an embarrassing story, a stumble, a setback or a radical change of direction. She promised to him, this would never happen again. Never.
As she gave him a warm hug, the softened sunshine melted down from the clear autumn sky. There was a scent of nostalgia that filled her heart with happiness to always stay hopeful for the future!