It must be some kind of mistake. That is what Lawrence keeps telling himself. He was not supposed to be here. It was someone else’s time, someone else’s place, and he is absolutely convinced that they would not have felt what he is feeling now. He knows their stomach would not be twisted in a millions ways. They would stand up, stand proud and be confident that their bladder was not about to give out on them.
Someone had to do it though. The lead had to go and get drunk at the cast party and punch his understudy in the face. Everyone joked with the director that it was what you get when you put cousins in the same cast. Said director shot back that in twenty plus years of community theater he had never seen that happen, and everyone agreed that the two were out. That meant, of course that they had to cancel the show.
No one liked the idea though. Everyone volunteered to take their place, but there was only a week to learn the part. They went around for three hours when Grace mentioned that both of them had been rehearsing with Lawrence. She made sure to take a picture of the look on his face with her phone when it sank in what she was getting at. It was a great idea, Lawrence had to admit it. He knew the part. He loved the show. There was just the tiny problem of his never having been in any named part before.
Lawrence had always been happy in the chorus, part of the show but never noticed. He did not like being the center of attention, and now he was about to be thrust into the limelight. His knees are week as he walks out to center stage and delivers his monologue. He hits his mark, remembers every line, and his timing his impeccable.
When it is done his heart is racing. It was not as awful as he thought it would be. Just three more performances and he can be done. He will be safe in the background again, loving the theater without being noticed. Enjoying things on his terms, the way he likes. For now though he will not disappoint anyone, no matter how uncomfortable it makes him.