Short Story: 'The Performance'
This could be the day he had been waiting for. No, he couldn't afford any doubt now. This would be the day he had been waiting for.
When he first got the call telling him about this opportunity, he tried not to get too excited. It was just a possibility and he shouldn't get his hopes too high, just in case things fizzled out again, like they had done several times before. But gradually, things kept falling in place, and as the process moved reluctantly forward, he let himself begin to feel the happiness that such an event should bring.
He had toiled long and hard in anonymity. At first he had thought that it was a necessary step on his way to further success and recognition. But years had passed and he had settled into a rut. He liked to think of it as a groove now, but if he were to judge himself on the ambitions he had in his youth, this was definitely a rut. Youth is the only time when the goals we set for ourselves are a simple expression of our dreams; unblemished by clouds of doubt, unhindered by fear.
It is hard to come to terms with your life when you know you could have done so much better, that you could have been so much more, if only you had gotten the chance.
But a chance he did finally get. And this was it.
The room was packed with the audience. They all had season’s tickets and turned up on most days for the scheduled shows. The tickets were very exclusive and it was an achievement just to get hands on them. Which is why they turned up for most shows, believing that their hard-fought tickets would ensure that they got served interesting fare. Sometimes they got what they wanted, at others they were sorely disappointed. Which would it be tonight?
Fifteen minutes into his performance, he began to have serious doubts about it. He wasn’t catching anyone’s interest. A few had dozed off already. Others seemed to be engrossed in stuff that had nothing to do with his performance.
In the last row, one audience member whispered to his neighbor, “Dude, this new professor sucks.”