21 August 2012

Gemma Randall – His Belief

His Belief

Did you know that tinned food was available 30 years before the invention of the tin-opener? In much the same spirit, my feelings for Avery Whitbread exploded into being long, long before Avery had any idea that I existed.

I straightened my bodysuit nervously, the dragon embroidered across the silvery cloth reacting with a twitch. I fixed my bun for the tenth time, and shivered, unsure of how tonight’s performance would go.

‘Ella!’ called Diana, the circus’s manager, leaning through the door. ‘Are you nearly ready? You and Avery are about to go on!’

I jumped and followed her to the wings, where Avery was already waiting in a bodysuit matching mine. The mere sight of him brought me back to that day, only a few years ago. My parents had taken me to see the same circus I now worked at, and Avery’s performance had captured me from the start. Dressed in a shining gold outfit, he had moved chairs to create an impossible tower, which he miraculously stayed upon, using both hands and feet. His gaze into the crowd, daring them to think he couldn’t do it, arrested my heart immediately. I just couldn’t leave the circus behind; after much hard training, I joined their acrobatic line-up. But this would be the first time I would be partnered with Avery for an act. Under my costume, my heart was beating like crazy.

Avery’s smile brought me back to reality in an instant. ‘Don’t go off into space like that during the performance, or I’m destined for an early grave!’

I blushed and nodded.

The acts seemed to go by in a flash; the dancers moving like fluid in frilly, glowing costumes; Gilly Verdestein with his many balls bouncing and leaping around him; and the Kreol triplets and their group standing on each other’s shoulders and juggling their fluoro hats all the while.

Suddenly, as if through wool, I could hear Diana yelling for me to get on the stage with Avery before the lights went up. People were pushing at me, trying to get me to snap out of my reverie without letting the audience hear; but my feet felt stuck to the floor, my muscles frozen.

Then, I caught a glimpse of Avery through the faces. His face wore an expression of confusion and frustration, and suddenly, for the first time in years, I saw that spark of belief that what people thought was impossible could be achieved, by him, me, and everyone else in the circus. And finally, just before the lights went up, I stepped onto the stage.

I heard the crowd hush as the music started playing, and Avery and I grabbed hold of the wire at the centre of the stage. I felt a tingle as Avery took me by the waist, and I heard the audience gasp as we ran the length of the stage and literally leapt into the air.

Time for our act to begin.

By Gemma Randall, Year 9 (Female)