I was shivering, literally shivering, as I stood quietly backstage. The 2nd band was finishing up their song, and soon it would be our turn. Tyler, our guitarist, stood next to me, apparently as nervous as I. We grinned uneasily at each other.
"You ready?" I asked.
He exhaled, "Man, I've been ready all day. I'm sick to my stomach."
The Battle of the Bands audition was yesterday; it was our first time playing together. We literally formed the group an hour before the audition, and we barely made it through our song. I had been frantically recalling the lyrics, and I nearly slipped up twice. But we did it, and now we were getting ready to perform on stage in front of hundreds of our peers.
James and Charlie, our pianist and drummer respectively, came up to us and prepped us about the stage set-up. The 2nd band had now finished their song, and the crew was setting up our gear as the host kept the audience busy. We did a quick group prayer, then clapped hands before going out onto the stage.
"...And now, we give you: Tom and the Procrastinators!"
The curtains flew open, and all the sudden I was standing on the edge of a vast sea of people. Cheers erupted from the crowd, and I heard my name being shouted from several indistinguishable sources throughout the auditorium. I took a deep breath and picked up the mic.
"Who's ready for Spring break?"
A cacophony of cheers welled up from the crowd.
"Alright, alright, we're gonna play you a special song this evening. It's dedicated to a girl I loved very much; her name is Amber. This song meant a lot to us; it's called The Scientist."
Right on cue, James began chugging out chords on the piano. D minor. B-flat. F major. I knew it backwards and forwards. Tyler entered gently with the guitar, followed by my vocals.
"Come up to meet ya, tell you I'm sorry, Ya don't know how lovely you are..."
The lyrics flowed out of me like words from a divine script. As if they were meant to roll off my tongue. I relished every second, every nuance, every note. I rested easy when Tyler's guitar solo came up. I grooved my body to the beat of Charlie's drums, and the crowd began to sway their hands back and forth. As I sang the final descending melody of the song, I felt a kind of magic wash over me. It was followed by a sensational cheer from the crowd. I nodded approvingly and took a modest bow before running off stage with my band.
And so it was; the last song sang, the last note played, the last chord struck. I reminded myself of the past, the present, and the future. I knew this was the right way to go.