In the sea of faces, there is no one who knows. Knows how much I put into this, how much I grew
I thought it would never come.
Even as I slip into the glittery white organza, I can barely believe it. My stage makeup is done, my hair styled. Backstage is a cacophony of costumes and bags haphazardly strewn around. I can barely hear my thoughts over the noise.
“My costume ripped!”
“My zipper, help!”
“Did someone see a black bag? No, not that one!”
Aviva sidles up to me. She looks like a dream, her blonde tresses bouncing lightly. “Did they do your hair yet?” I ask.
“Obviously! Don’t you smell the hairspray from 20 miles away?” She straightens a bobby pin. “Anyway, we gotta be ready soon ’cuz our dance is one of the first!”
As if on cue, the music begins.
Ayelet squeezes my hand. “You’ll be great!” she assures me. I regard her costume humorously. “You look amazing!” She rolls her eyes. “They made us wear these hats!” she protests, scratching her wig.
“And you look great in a short wig!” I jest.
She pokes me in the ribs.
We sit down to an impromptu party of Jolly Ranchers and tortilla chips.
And before long, it is time.
My dancers gather behind the stage, whispering nervously. Aviva’s at my side, uncharacteristically quiet. “You’re nervous, aren’t you?” I ask. She nods. “Remember my mother and think about yours,” she says almost inaudibly.
The music flutters softly as we sweep onto stage.
The spotlights, they’re blinding.
There is no one in the audience looking out for me.
In the sea of faces, there is no one who knows. Knows how much I put into this, knows how much I grew. Knows what I’m going through.
Savta couldn’t make it — great-grandma’s in the hospital.
So there’s nobody there.
My feet are drifting gracefully as we slide into second formation.
The spotlights are warm.
Hashem’s up there, looking down at me. He knows. Knows how much I put into this, knows how much I grew. Knows what I’m going through.
And He’s proud.
The last notes cease.
I give the audience my brightest smile.
(Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 797)
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