Speechless

19 Oct

By Lily Lemme
6th Grade

My head is throbbing, laughing at me, saying, “Na, na, na, na, na. You forgot your notes.” I look around me. The boy on the stage is finishing his speech. I rub my temples, searching frantically in my mind for something that could help me.

I hear clapping, and the boy walks down the steps of the stage. Slowly I stand up. My thoughts are dry. Walking up to the stage feels like a mile. It feels like my funeral march: Bum, bu, bum, bu, bum, bu, bum, bu. I hear a drum march in my head. I want to run and curl into a ball, in a closet where no one will find me.

I scold myself for leaving my notes on the table and rushing out without them. Why?! I ask myself. Why?! Why?! Why?! Why did they pick me to give a speech for continuation? Why does everyone think I’m so perfect? Why didn’t my alarm go off when it was supposed to? Why did I forget my notes?

At last I reach the stage and walk to the podium. “Hi?” I say.

Their eyes stare through me like stones pelting a brick wall.

There is a saying, “It’s bound to get worse before it gets better.” This saying is true for this story.

I hear snickers going around the room, and a murmur of, “When is she gonna start?” and “If she doesn’t say anything, she should give up.” I feel like crying.

Suddenly I remember something my mom once said to me: “If you give up now, all you will remember is that you didn’t try.”

My confidence is back, my pulse is slower. I start again with full confidence. “Hi,” I say. “My name is Lillian Lemme.”

That day I realized that things don’t always go your way and things always get worse, maybe, before they get better. I learned that speaking from the heart is more powerful than any notepaper, and confidence is all you need to get better. That day may not have been perfect, but I like to think of it as a day I learned from my mistakes.

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