My First Love
When I was ten years old, I fell in love. It was more romantic and emotionally uplifting than any other experience I had ever been through. The object of my affection reciprocated that love instantly, and since that day, we have never fought, never been apart, and never been unfaithful.
It started one brilliant October day. The bright New England foliage fell like large, fluttery raindrops as I coasted down the road that lead to the elementary school, and the gravel crunched beneath my bike tires as I rounded the corners. I sighed. Today had been just another day at school for me. Another day with the rest of the country-grown kids who lived in the hills of this straight-laced town. Another day in which I said hello to everyone I saw, calling them by name. Just another normal day with normal events. Except for the fact that this was the day that the cast list for Bakersfield Elementary School's production of "Oliver Twist" had been posted.
Big deal. I had auditioned, but mainly because Cathy, a good friend of mine, had no one to audition with, and had whined so much, I did it to make her shut up. It was the most dull and uneventful process I had been through since my last doctor's checkup.
The audition process consisted of the 2 directors (who actually were the school's music teacher and the secretary) saying the following: "Read these lines." "Okay, now read these ones." "Try that again, please." "Right, now sing this... And this." Then they muttered for a bit amongst themselves, and then said, "okay, then, thanks for auditioning!"
Cathy had obsessed and worked herself into such a frenzy by the end of the day that the list was going to be posted. She was worried about if she was going to be cast or not. Her incessant fidgeting and one-way conversation irritated me so much, I had headed home early, not even stopping to see if I was in the play or not. I know that it's bad when you avoid friends, but I think maybe I was just in a bad mood or something.
I now found myself riding back to school, compelled to see if I had actually gotten a part.
As I walked into the school, I saw a small group of kids loitering around a piece of paper by the door that led to the gymnasium. This was it. I stepped toward it, muttering "excuse me to a pair of burly eighth-grade girls who looked quite disgusted. I scanned down the list, looking for my name, and I was surprised when I found it to be matched up with the role of Widow Corney. I then saw the short message at the bottom of the paper. "The first rehearsal will be in the gym. Please bring a water bottle and a pencil! See you there!"
In the weeks that followed, I learned that this role was quite demanding, and that a few of the other students were resentful because I was playing a character that, "clearly should be played by an older and more experienced actor," as one of the prima donnas from the seventh grade put it. I didn't care, but it was a...