Next to Perfect
Simrin. Age 12. Furlong, PA

ďIt has to be perfect.Ē

My momís voice echoes through my head as I get ready to step onstage. I am performing in our school talent show tonight with my two friends: Rachel and Karina. We huddle together in the center and hold a hushed conference, whispering and reassuring each other. We look like a football team, except dressed in sparkles and sequins instead of sweaty uniforms. Finally, we break up, each of us standing separate in our beginning positions. Our flashing jelly rings start lighting up as we turn them in one at a time. Hands trembling, legs quivering, I prepare myself. I can do this. I think back to endless days practicing. Spending hours learning the motions. It all led up to this.

The curtain parts. Iím blinded by the bright lights glaring harshly down at me. The crowd, a lion, roars at us, hungry for a good show. The cold linoleum under my bare feet stings my toes. I feel alone, afraid, and abandoned up onstage. Iím paralyzed with fear.

Suddenly the music begins. I force myself to start moving to the rhythm, my motions choppy and robotic. Arms swinging, legs moving, I count out the beats of the familiar music. My movements become fluid and mellifluous. The smile comes naturally. The audience fades. Itís just me and the music right now.

Iím so caught up in the moment my arm flies out of place - Iím in the wrong position. I stop dancing momentarily. Did anyone notice? I ask myself. Did anyone see? My mom, our choreographer, smiles and flashes me the ďOKĒ sign. I take a deep breath and focus again.

After what seems like only a second, the music stops. Becoming statues, we finish in our ending poses. The audience roars again, but this time with applause and approval. The lights are no longer glaring and are now shining down at us. I smile wide, and the audience refocuses into view.

Later that night, as I watch our videotape, I see my reflection like in a mirror. I see my rhythmic movements guiding myself into the right positions. I see my panicked face at the apex of the dance, knowing I had made a mistake. I see my wide grin at the end, knowing that I had done it. It definitely wasn't perfect. But really, nothing ever is. There will always be bumps. Creases. Wrinkles. Rips. Nothing is ever completely perfect, but we did the next best thing.

Home | Read | Write | Copyright | Privacy

This page was last updated on August 06, 2015 by the KIdsWWwrite Webmaster.