fiction snippet: Easter morning

Hey readers! In celebration of Easter, here’s another piece for you that I had to cut. (In case you missed it, you can read the rehearsal for this Easter play scene here.) Enjoy and Happy Easter!

I was mummified. It was Easter morning; the whole church was sitting on the other side of those curtains, waiting to watch the story of Easter unfold. I was supposed to be an angel, but I was wrapped up tighter than King Tut.

Butterflies fluttered in my stomach while the cute mini-humans from my sister’s Sunday school class whispered nervously. Their anticipation was resulting in an excited little dance, or was that an “I need to go to the bathroom” dance? I couldn’t really tell. Thankfully, that’s why there were a handful of parents hovering backstage.

Why did I let her talk me into helping out? There were too many ways this could go wrong.

I reviewed my lines again. Nothing too complicated, assuming I could remember them. And deliver them at the right time. And not get tangled up in my costume. And not fall.

So just a few details, then. It should be a breeze.

I waddled around backstage, a wire halo popping up from my head like a wayward antenna in search of messages from the outer limits. Finally it was time for our scene. Alena carefully guided her herd onto the stage, ensuring that everyone was in their proper places, and promised us we would be great.

I, however, had a few doubts about that.

With a flourish, the curtains opened. A few breathtaking moments of silence lingered, the first little actor faltering briefly before exploding with her lines. The rest of the cast delivered their lines without any major incidents.

This time, when it was my turn, I was ready. Taking a deep breath, I projected, in my most dramatic voice, “Why do you search for the living among the dead?”

So far so good. Just keep going.

“Jesus is not here. He has risen, just as He told you.”

Aha! I have triumphed.

The duo of little women stared at me, as if they were waiting for something. Was it my ghostly apparel that was distracting them? But they had seen me looking ghoulish at the rehearsal, so it didn’t seem likely my appearance would disturb them now.

Were they having trouble remembering what to do? Maybe someone was supposed to prompt them. I wasn’t sure what the right procedure was. Surely Alena would jump in, if needed. All I knew was that they were supposed to be hurrying away now to tell the . . . oh . . .

“Now go, tell the disciples,” I added, conversationally, as if the long pause was a part of the script. For all I knew, the original angel had some trouble remembering his lines too.

Yeah right.

At least I didn’t throw up. I could agree that I had improved a little since tenth grade.

I really needed to stop agreeing to things like this.

one wish

It happened when I was walking out of work the other day, a gentle breeze blowing, my heels clicking against the parking deck. I thought, I’m so glad my childhood self can’t see me now.

No, it’s not what you think. It’s not because I was ashamed or frustrated with myself.

It was because I was happy. Because I have a job I enjoy and I’m pursuing a big dream with the support of a fantastic husband.

When I was a kid, I had one major wish for myself: to grow up. To be an adult. So I could make my own decisions and create a life for myself. While other kids would use their hypothetical wishes to get treasure or take a trip to the moon, I wanted adulthood.

So sometimes, when I’ve had a great day, I think about what my childhood self would think. I think about how elated she would’ve been if she’d been able to glimpse the me I am now. Elated and incredibly impatient. It would’ve made it impossible to be content.

If I could go back in time, I’d reassure her. I’d tell her that childhood will eventually end. I’d show her that I’ve become the kind of person she’d always hoped and that I’m still fighting for bigger dreams. I’d tell her one day she’ll have the love of a man who makes her feel like the most important person in the world, that she will be loved unconditionally and wholeheartedly.

I don’t think that would’ve made the waiting any easier. But it gives me such a sense of appreciation when I look at my life now. Of course there are things I would change if I could. It’s not perfect, by any standard, but I can honestly say my life now is good. And that is no small thing.