i'm human. i'm normal. // drabble.
Choir had never been Jacob's idea of a great time. Being surrounded by a bunch of kids whose parents taught them to be afraid of someone like Jacob, naturally, left Jacob feeling some what cast out among the other performers. He could feel the cold shoulders--the uncomfortable stares and the way kids were ushered away from him when practice was over. It was one of the many Hell on Earth scenerios Jacob wished he could yank himself out of, but alas...this is what 'normal' children did, and as his father expressed many times, Jacob NEEDED to be normal. His quiet nature and explosive temper had worn his parents thin and they were grasping at straws to put in an end to it, but Jacob gathered they were too stupid to realize it was just another place where Jacob could be miserable.
"I don't wanna go," Jacob expressed as his mother rummaged through his closet, attempting to find him a nicer shirt to change into.
"I know but tonight's kind of a big deal," she said as she turned around with a black sweater in hand. She handed it off to him, and he simply scowled. "We already bought the tickets, Jacob."
Jacob's eyes rolled and he took the sweater from her hands. He had been to many of these special choir performances they would put on at the local community theater, but only as an audience member. And the thought of being an actual participant had him sick to his stomach. Instead of being simply surrounded by his peers that hated him, he was going to be aurrounded by an entire audience of judgemental eyes wondering why Jacob had been allowed to participate. He was about to protest more, but he could hear his father yelling outside his bedroom door at his brothers and sisters to get ready. He was in the kind of mood Jacob knew better than to mess with. "Fine," Jacob finally said, surrendering to his parents whims.
The community theater was alive that night--Cherry Hill, Illinois was an extremely conservative, church-loving town that loved to gather round and celebrate just how church-loving they were. Of the performers, Jacob and his family were among some of the first to arrive. He noticed Mary, and her twin brother Michael were there. So was Olivia. That was the typical 'first to arrive' crowd, but one person was missing--Joshua Baker. He was typically the one to take on the most challenging harmonies, when he wasn't doing a solo by himself. That night he was supposed to be singing How Great Thou Art to blow away the crowd, but Jacob recalled his absence from school on Friday due to a flu. He must not have recovered. Pastor David, who had been talking to Olivia and her mom, strayed away and approached the Brooks family.
"So listen, I'm sure you noticed Joshua isn't here," Pastor David said. Jacob said nothing, but nodded his head. It was odd that Joshua would opt out of a solo performance, but he would have more in the future Jacob was sure. He was the choir's golden child, after all.
"Would you be willing to take his solo? I've heard you in practice, and I really think you'd do a good job." Pastor David was all smiles while Jacob quickly shook his head.
"No, I don't--" Jacob began, but quickly Eric cut him off by grabbing onto his shoulder and sliding in with a, "he'd love to," which had Jacob scowling once more at his father. But his grip tightened and Jacob knew what that meant. Be normal. Be normal. Be f***ing normal. Jacob turned to look at Pastor David and finally nodded, "Yeah...I'd love to," he agreed. After being made to thank Pastor David for the opportunity, or whatever, Jacob went backstage where the rest of the kids were starting to go as well.
Jacob stood on his own, hands trembling as he glanced around at all the other kids coaching each other through their nerves. No one was there to coach him. Then, suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder and he jumped. Quickly he turned to see Pastor David standing behind him. He then breathed a sigh of relief while Pastor David laughed and apologized for startling him. He wished him luck and Jacob smiled at him but didn't offer him much else. The kids warmed up their voices backstage, and then Pastor David ushered them back to the wings, so they could be prepared for their call time. Jacob would be opening the show. He felt sick to his stomach--his head spinning as the lights went out and he was nudged on stage by Pastor David. On his way out, he bumped into the microphone stand, which he quickly latched onto to make sure it didn't fall over. At least now he knew where to stand.
A single spotlight clicked on, and shined right into his eyes, causing him to squint. The applause that once filled the crowd had now stopped out of courtesy for the performer, and sudden the piano began playing. Jacob knew this song like the back of his hand--he only had to hear it at every single rehearsal. "Oh Lord, my God..." Jacob began, his voice cracking at first which caused him to clear his throat. He struggled through the first verse, but he began to notice that he had everyone's attention--everyone was silent. He resumed fumbling his way through the song, and began winning the crowd over slowly. The more impressive, or even slightly different a note he hit, the more engaged they became. Some cheered on the better notes, and with each clap he earned, he couldn't help but smile.
See, I'm human...I'm normal...
He thought to himself as the song ended and the crowd cheered him on. That typical glare he wore had been replaced with a frazzled but grateful smile as he placed the microphone back on the stand and he waved to the crowd. Finally...they saw he was human.