I popped a peanut M&M in my mouth and collapsed onto the cold metal chair, adjusting my Bible era costume. I was told the make-up gals would be with me and the Kid next. I held my king-sized bag of candy coated chocolate peanuts towards the Kid, “Want some? You don’t have to be pregnant to enjoy them but I doubt you’re craving ‘em like I am.”
The Kid gave me a nervous grin, obviously not used to being in a dress-like outfit. I shook the bag. “I only offer once,” I teased.
He held his hand out and I dumped a few brightly colored treats into his sweaty palm. “Don’t be nervous, Kid. Everything will go fine. Know how I know?”
He tossed the candy into his mouth and lifted his ‘dress’ to wipe the multi-colored stickiness on his basketball shorts beneath the garb. “How? ‘Cause you’re older and wiser?”
“Because dress rehearsal was a nightmare and anytime that happens, opening night is flawless or close to it.” I punched his arm. “Watch the old comments, I’m pretty sure I could still beat you up even if I’m seven-and-a-half months pregnant.”
“Whatever,” he smirked.
I liked the Kid. I grew up with his older brother. Kid had a real name, Michael, but we always called him Kid. The youngest of four boys, Michael came along six years later. His daddy always said he started out as an afterglow, and then oops, became the afterthought.
I can’t imagine life without the Kid. He’s a well mannered, talented, handsome young man and the apple of his parent’s eye. In a production the size of our singing Christmas tree, to be seventeen and get a solo is unusual. At least that’s what I’d been told at his age. Now it’s his turn to be in the prodigy limelight.
“Make sure his lips look real pretty,” I continued to tease the poor Kid while Miss Mary-Kay got him ready for the stage lighting. “Line his lips to draw attention to his girly feature.”
He chucked a tube of mascara my direction.
“You throw like a girl,” I tossed it back and beaned him.
The Kid and I played married shepherds in the singing Christmas tree production with a duet after the angel appeared to us on the hillside. You can only imagine the razzing he received being ‘married’ to someone six years older and pregnant. Our voices blended well, but to be honest, the Kid outshined me.
When the concert started, I squeezed my belly into the end position on the alto side of the tree. The Kid sang tenor and stood right above me. Before our part came, I started to get nauseated. I slipped out of my place and sat in a chair stashed under the tree.
Michael had looked over the edge and didn’t see me. Distracted, he left his position early to find me.
“Are you okay?” Worry lines crinkled his forehead make-up.
“I’m fine, Kid. It just got too warm for me.” The baby performed his best somersault ever and I grimaced in pain.
“You’re officially freaking me out now. Our part is right after this song.”
“I know,” I paused, “Michael…”
“I can’t remember my beginning verse,” I confessed.
“You’re joking, right?”
“I’m serious,” I began to breathe Lamaze style. “Relax, it’ll come to me.”
“Relax? This isn’t funny. I didn’t memorize your verse.”
“He-he-hoo, he-he-hoo. Slacker,” I giggled. “Don’t worry, it’ll come. I’m a pro,” I winked and breathed.
“Whatever,” he tried to smile. Fear caused all color to drain from his face, despite the make-up job.
God-confidence filled me. “We’ll be fine. God will give me the words when I need them. Right now I need to focus on getting this baby to relax. He-he-hoo, he-he-hoo.”
We took our place center stage, holding hands as pretend husband and wife. The Kid glanced my way to see if I knew my words yet. I shrugged and shook my head. Nothing.
The spot light blinded us…the music started… the director pointed at me… I opened my mouth. Instantly the words came to me. The Kid’s look of panic faded into sheer relief. He sang his part superbly and our duet blended with angelic quality… in a shepherd sort of way. After our song, my ‘husband’ stood behind me for our acting scene and exhaled. “Phew…don’t you dare do that to me tomorrow night.”
I patted his hand that rested on my shoulder and whispered. “Whatever. He-he-hoo…”
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