LABYRINTH: The Piano Recital By Nan Ressue

Week 1 Word: Labyrinth (of self-doubt)
Word Count 317

THE PIANO RECITAL
Nan Ressue

Mom told me it would happen. I would have to go on the stage by myself and play my piano recital piece. She said it would be fine if I practiced a lot and could play it every time with no mistakes. Do mothers really know everything?
It was time to check the calendar again. Yes, there it was in one of those little squares. “Joseph, recital, 2 pm, Benton Hall”
By the next morning, my heart was still beating pretty fast and my hands shook on the keys when I practiced. Why did I think this was going to be fun? Lunch came and went but my stomach wasn’t interested. At least we were going to walk to the school instead of driving so it would take longer to get there. Mom wanted to sit right down in front. I got a copy of the program so I could see when it was going to be my turn. Oh dear. It looks like I’m going to play second. The auditorium was filling up in the front rows and before I was really ready, the lights dimmed. Here it comes. During the applause for the first pupil, I suddenly realized that the only safe place for me would be under the chair. That’s where I slid my quivering body.
There was the teacher, standing, searching the auditorium for me,
“Joseph?” she called. “ Joseph Andante?” No answer
My mother’s voice found my ears. “Joey? Come on. It’s your turn”
“I can’t Mom,” I whispered
“Why not?” she asked.
“I wet my pants”, I confessed
It was pretty quiet on the walk home. I know Mom was disappointed but I really didn’t care. There were lots of other kids who played for the audience.
“Besides,” I said quietly to myself, “in an emergency like that, it’s good to know that a kid can always use their secret weapon”.