The front door burst open. A young man walked in. He was wearing a navy-blue shirt, blazer, and jeans. In his hands were pieces of dog-eared papers. He halted and scanned around the hall.
Five hundred and four most important people in the business were chatting animatedly like a beehive eventually broke out after years of waiting. The sun peeked in to see what was causing all the mess, bringing with it lights that had been travelling from tree to tree. The abrupt presence of sunlight must have intervened the ongoing talks because everyone looked up and stared at the wooden door. There stood the staggered young man.
Sensing the discomforting eyes on him, he nodded casually and strode toward the stage. His heart pounded. His forehead beaded. Blood was striving to break through his veins. He couldn’t look any paler.
Hey, is that high-pitched whining noise your heart rate, bro?
A voice echoed in his head. He clutched at the notes. His hands balled into fists.
No, it’s not. Now would you please shut up? I’m about to give a crucial speech here.
Yeah. Right. Crucial. Try “cursory.” ‘Cause you don’t know a damn thing about this subject, man!
His inner voice began to sound annoying. He shut it at once. He glanced sideways. A gorgeous blonde was smiling up at him. He smiled back, suddenly felt in control again.
Yup, yup, smile at her. And when you’ve messed up this presentation, she’s gonna slap you hard on your idiotic face, idiot!
He hated himself. The path to the stage was only a two-minute walk yet he was sure he had spent an entire century just to get there. Not to mention the speech. The speech… Yes, the speech. The speech that had kept him up for a month and which was inevitable to ruin his life any minute now.
He was praying silently that he’d fall down a manhole and the king of the sewer rats would make him its butler. That way, he wouldn’t have to do the thing he was nervous about. Around him, everything seemed murky. Breathe in. Breathe out. He told himself. Keep your nerve to its minimum and you’ll be fine. He repeated times and times. Trace of sleeplessness and drops of sweat were visible in his fragile face.
He couldn’t suppress the nerve any longer. It was occupying him. He gave in and let his nervous system erupt like a volcano in red soot.
Oh gosh, I don’t remember anything. What am I gonna say? What am I gonna do up there? Oh no, I’ll throw up. People will see what I ate this morning. Can they smell my breath from here? Oooh, and they’ll fire me. I’ll lose my job and be a bargainer…
Right in that moment, a resounding voiceover drowned out all of his thoughts.
“And now, I’m honored to bring you our startling presenter for today. Please welcome…”
He looked up. Marvelously, everything fell into place. He knew exactly what he was going to say. He stood up behind the podium. Grasping the mike tightly in his hand, he grinned to himself and started talking.
“Morning. Be prepared ‘cause today, I’m gonna blow your mind away…”