Bye Bye BirdiebyGoldeniangel©
Lisa waited anxiously in the wings of the stage, it was her junior year of high school and she was in the production of "Bye Bye Birdie" as one of the chorus members. Of course she'd wanted to be Rosie or Ursula (she'd known that she hadn't had a chance at Kim... her voice didn't go that high!), but she was determined to do a good job no matter what. It was their second night of performances, and last night had gone so well!
Looking to the side, she reached out and squeezed her boyfriend's hand... she and Matt had just started dating recently and it was so neat that they'd met doing shows. He smiled and squeezed back, then they both turned their attention back to what was going on onstage. It was almost time for the Chorus to run out for "You Gotta Be Sincere" and do their dance number and gush over Conrad... it was one of her favorite scenes in the play. Screaming and everything about Conrad was just so much fun... especially because he was played by one of the most sought after guys in the Theater Department.
There we go... cue line... black out... she let go of Matt's hand and started running across the stage to her spot. Step, step... BANG!
Pain flashed through her knee... SHIT! Someone on the crew had forgotten to the move the black bench that was right where she was supposed to go... some IDIOT who apparently didn't realize that people who are crossing the stage in a blackout CAN'T see a BLACK bench! Sucking in breath through her teeth, she tried not to scream. Her knee was throbbing painfully, she couldn't bend it very much or even put very much weight on it...
Leaning to the side she grabbed onto her friend Joanne, "Help..." she whispered, "I hit the bench and my knee is killing me..."
Immediately Joanne held her up, getting under her arm, and started towards the side of the stage... and then the lights came up. Lisa plastered a smile on her face... they were caught. She couldn't limp offstage, it would ruin the scene with Conrad standing right there...
"Here Lisa, we'll move towards the back," whispered Joanne as the dialogue started, and they very carefully went towards the back.
Not that it helped all that much when the dancing started. Because they were in the back Joanne could still help keep Lisa up, but they had to move with the crowd and at least approximate what they were doing, especially when the whole group moved across the stage. Her knee was burning with pain, she could feel it going all the way down to her toes and all the way up to her hip. Turn turn turn... step and cross... it was only with Joanne's help that she made it, until she was gasping with pain at the end of the scene.
The cast stood posed in their final positions, her smile feeling completely plastered on as she wobbled and her leg burned with pain. Tears were in her eyes that she tried to ignore. Joanne managed to get her to the edge of the curtain line but then had to rush away to help change the set for the next scene.
Seeing her friend Jane, Lisa whispered, "Help..." as the pain suffused the expression on her face.
Taking one step forward as Jane came towards her looking confused, Lisa fainted and fell forwards; right into Jane's waiting arms. Their friend Rita also jumped forward to help and Lisa came to as the two girls pulled her away from the stage. A moment later Matt was there, scooping her up in his arms.
"What's wrong?" he asked as he hurried her towards the doors to the back hall so that they could see what was wrong.
"My knee!" she gasped, the pain jolting through her as he moved. As they crossed the threshold of the door he grinned at her.
"Well I didn't think we'd be doing this quite yet," he said jokingly, referring to the custom of a groom carrying his bride over the threshold.
Lisa smiled back weakly, thankful that he'd done something to take her mind of the pain. Even if it was a little weird that he'd be making marriage jokes already... they'd really only just started dating and they were in high school after all. But she knew he was completely joking and at least he'd tried to make her laugh.
Everyone hissed under their breath as she pulled up her jeans to reveal a bleeding and swollen knee. The director came hurrying up.
"Are you ok?" he asked.
"Yeah, sorta..." said Lisa, looking at the mess she'd made of her joint.
The director shook his head, "When did that happen?" he pulled his First Aid kit out of his toolbelt.
"Right before the scene," she said ruefully as Matt squeezed her. The director found some cleaning stuff and squeezed it onto her cut, making her hiss as he began to gently clear it of the blood.
"Someone go get ice," the director ordered, glancing up and then back at her as one of the girls ran off, "You did the whole scene like that?" He was grinning and shaking his head as he put a bandage over the cut.
"Yep..." ok, so maybe doing a dance scene on her knee had been a bad idea, but there was a part of her that felt rather proud of herself. After all, she hadn't messed up the scene, she hadn't made a big deal of it or anything. Even getting off stage, it wasn't like she'd become a whole drama queen... there was something about just doing the scene before collapsing that made her feel very proud.
That pride surged even more as the director's grin widened and he said, "Now you're a theater person."
Lisa grinned back as one of the other cast members asked curiously, "How come?"
Looking up the Director looked at the crowd, "I probably shouldn't be telling you it like this since you're in high school and I'm your teacher... but real theater people always adhere to the old saying - 'The show must go on.'"
As Matt hugged her shoulders, Lisa stroked his hand. Suddenly the pain in her knee didn't seem like such a big deal... in fact, maybe she could even recover in time for the dance scene in the second act. She was definitely needed since it was done in partners and it would be pretty noticeable if one guy was dancing around without a partner.
"The show must go on." Something she had known instinctively.