I'm not one for romance, but here goes nothing...

Falling on Stage

It was always the set of stairs that got me before every session. In the blackness of the set, large and spacious, yet so suffocating from all the tension, I stood in wait as the rest of the cast readied themselves. Pauldrons, greaves, armets, it was a medieval-themed play that was to begin this Saturday midnight.

I never liked it. The clothing was always tacky for me. Bright colours and frills lining the oddest of edges, even the girls loathed wearing them. We'd always get a laugh in between sessions, though. At least it helped to relieve the tension. As the members were on the verge of their final adjustments, throwing lines from memory into the darkness and making fun of one another's costumes, I eyed the red-haired girl from the corner of my eye, still tying her hair all this time.

Geez, someone help this poor soul.

Her name was Julie. She was one of the lead actresses. I met her back when I was the joke of gradeschool. I probably still am, but that doesn't matter. She was beautiful, and that's probably a cliché thing to say, but sometimes love makes you say the strangest of things out of character.

That was probably cliché, too.

Anyway, the show was about to begin. Somehow, being the first to finish preparing makes you feel like a one-man play.

"I'd like to thank you all for coming out on this fine Saturday night. Today, we have a special play about war-torn friendships, deceit and epic duels. This is a play by Avarsticus Von vander punt-me".

Honestly, the only thing I liked about these were the awesome sword fights, especially the ones against your class rivals. We'd sometimes overdo the act.

"Once again, I'd like to thank you all"

Alright, buddy, we get it.

"And now, please sit back and enjoy"


The lights went on. Well, one of them did. There was a low-hanging mist that enveloped the stadium. The vicinity was silent, making the beat of our hearts drums in the dark. I went up to give the exposition speech. I was nervous, obviously. I rehearsed the rows of black on my sheet like a scanner, right down to the very last speck of inked black. Julie and I always met after school to practice together. Of course, we always ended up enjoying ourselves a little too much, leaving our papers in the dust. We were very good, though, having been chosen for the more prominent roles. We also had the pleasure of reading the most lines, but I probably shouldn't be too happy about that.

I was at the half-way point of my speech. Sweat was building up to the max. I bet I looked like a sponge, and that probably doesn't make much sense, but who cares. Moments later, Julie joined me under the single stage light. The exposition was a two-way speech, afterall, kind of like a duet.

Yeah, that sounds pretty romantic.

Her presence alone gave me more confidence than I could bear. I straightened up, angled my chin to the sky, and spoke in unison with her. Somehow, I felt her lean closer to me, almost hugging me without hugging me. After that, the crowd applauded, and I was ready to break a leg for the rest of the play.

I spoke too soon.

"You've gotta be kidding me", I said.

"Ha-ha, that's awesome, Richard, you really did break a leg. Keep it up, man"

It was the end of the play. The crowd was packing up to leave, and we had given it our all in that final act. Really, we killed it; we had a standing ovation, and the whole crew was energetic, much to my predicament, unfortunately. I was unloading the pounds of armour on my legs when I suddenly slipped and hit my head on a cuirass. Sounds staged, doesn't it? Well, it wasn't, and it hurt, badly.

"Oh, Richard, you're such a clutz", uttered Julie as she came walking towards my aching body. She probably thought I was making a scene of myself, being an actor, and all.

"You're one to talk; you nearly slipped off the stage"


Man, I just wanted to go home.

"It's getting late. Wanna grab a drink or two?"

That sounded like a joke directed towards my paralysed corpse.

"Sure", I said.

"Cool, and by the way, you were amazing"

Joke? Well it doesn't matter if she was acting or not, I just wanted a drink, and the prettiest girl in the school just offered me one and a compliment.

Two birds. One stone.

But that probably doesn't make any sense.