It was purely my secret. Not even my mother knew of this monster’s existence in my life.
That day was a red letter day in my life. I was to represent my school in a prestigious elocution competition where many distinguished guests from all walks of life (and some of them international celebrities) were to judge us. It was an event that would make even the most seasoned participant quaver and I was the most nervous of all. For I had a secret monster in my life.
It had come to me quite innocently after my baby brother was born. I knew when it was going to reveal itself and would run off and hide so no one would associate me with it. You get the picture, right? So it was purely my secret. Not even my mother knew of this monster’s existence in my life. All they knew is that I had become unpredictable and withdrawn but since I was doing well in school, no one suspected a thing…at least not until this day of the competition.
I had got chosen by default. You know, the kind of thing that happens when the chosen candidate comes down with mumps, or something like that, and the next best steps in line.
I had surfed the Net for ways to evade the monster and was about to apply the techniques suggested when I heard my mother yelling at me to vacate the bathroom immediately.
Apparently the entire family was going to come and witness the spectacle. My nervousness had started building up. What if…it turned up? I had no time to think as one thing led to the other and it was finally my turn to get on the stage and speak.
There were several teachers and students from my school, come specially to cheer me. I started off well. Mentally I patted myself on my back as I felt I had done a good job when suddenly a shadow darting across the floor left me cold. The familiar feeling started creeping up my throat as the monster made its presence felt. I thought of leaving the stage. I felt I had left my school down. Just then my gaze fell on my mother sitting in the audience.
She was listening rapt with attention. I reasoned that if she could understand what the monster was making out of me, it was worth completing the speech. And I did just that. After the speech there was a pin drop silence. I had exceeded the time limit by a minute but the bell didn’t go off. As I made my way down the stage utterly deflated with the untimely appearance of the monster, I was astounded to hear the audience break into a thunderous applause.
I did not win the top most honor that day but I did make it to the newspaper headlines. What more could one ask for? The headline read “Closet stammerer comes into the open”. I had finally exorcised my monster. I refused to be ashamed of my stammer.
— Learning&Creativity (@LearnNCreate) June 11, 2014
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