“You’re up next.”
‘Walk.’ I think, as I force my feet to move. One step, two step. I falter. When did something as simple as walking become so difficult. I feel someone nudge me from behind. Now my feet move automatically.
I can’t see anything in front of me. The light is blinding. Then I hear the applause and it goes quiet. They’re waiting on me to say something. I can feel the expectation. My mouth is dry. I open it to say something but words fail me. ‘Where is my carefully rehearsed speech.’ I think as I try to find a focus point. Anything or anyone to look at during my two minutes of fame. ‘Where is Keith?’ I need his reassuring smile. To know that I’m doing ok. ‘Why do I always get myself in these situations? I need to learn to say no.’
Damn this light is killing me. I feel hot. ‘How can I imagine anyone naked if I can’t even see them?’ Full blown panic mode sets in. I turn to my left and I see two of my biggest fans smiling at me. “Go mom! You can do it.” 1st K and Middle K encourages me. I take a deep breath. ‘It’s game time!’
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It’s an honor and privilege for me to stand before you this evening…” I start. Carefully rehearsed speech completely forgotten but what is in the heart will come out the mouth. So I wing it.
The crowd cheers… I did it! I really did it! And they loved it! I smile as I walk off the stage and finally exhale. ‘You did good Celeste.’ I tap myself on the back.
I wonder if I’ll ever get used to public speaking but hey, it’s really not all that bad.