I stood on the stage sweating and probably shaking. I figured that since I didn’t really know the piece I was singing I could use the music. I rummaged through my pockets…empty. I panicked. This was not the time. All eyes were on me. Everyone was staring. The piano started up. I tried to cut him off, but my mouth was welded shut. I turned back to the waiting audience.
“I…” was all I managed to croak before the room seemed to get 5 shades darker. Next thing I knew I was in the nurses’ office.
“Hey are you okay?” A voice called out to me, I didn’t recognize it at first. “Charly?”
Now I knew who it was. Only one person ever called me Charly, my mom though it was too butch “Charlotte is such a pretty name honey…” she would coo when I tried to correct her. Only one person agreed to it, Corey.
“Corey!” I practically jumped out of the bed to hug him. My head swam and I collapsed in his arms.
“Whoa there, you ready for the whole vertical thing?” He pulled me up. “You look…um…great.”
His smiled at me. He had really grown up since I’d seen him about a year ago. He was taller than me now, and his buzz cut had grown out into long dark curls that fell over his ears. Corey had also gotten a nice tan; he was now a few shades darker than me, where he used to be so pale, paste would look tan next to him. He was two years older than me and ho usually looked it but now you could really see the difference.
I didn’t even want to think what I looked like. I knew what I felt like, dizzy, and young. Not to mention embarrassed. I had to spend the rest of the summer with these people after embarrassing myself like that…
“Aren’t you a little old for this camp?” I looked up at him, surprised I had to.
“I’m a counselor now, actually.” He said, bragging, as usual. “Maybe you’ll be in my group.”
“Yeah…” I said. I had no reason to be embarrassed in front of Corey, I knew him, and he was my best friend, still….