“Come on, you’re a professional actor for God’s sake, you face audiences all the time,” Gareth paced back and forth in the small back room; he had been acting most of his life, but he still got nervous before each show. Of course, this time it was different.
The squeak of chair legs on a wooden floor alerted him to the arrival of the crowd in the main hall, Gareth’s hands became clammy and his stomach began to tie itself in knots; he knew all of his friends and family had come to see him today.
The shaken man sat but his nerves would not allow him to sit still for long, within moments he was back up and pacing.
A man dressed as a priest rushed in to the room, the sudden appearance of the holy man snapped Gareth out of his contemplation. The terrified actor gave the newcomer a smile but the priest just grabbed a book off the table and left, paying no attention to the pacing man.
“You can do this,” The lone man whispered to his reflection in the window. The last few days had been difficult, he felt lost and segregated, but it was all leading to today. The sudden silence in the adjacent room signaled they were ready for him, “This is it then,” He said to himself before making his way to the door.
Gareth rested his fingertips lightly on the door knob, took one last deep breath to calm his nerves and opened the door.
In the next room was his stage, in the middle there was a large ornate box on a table, the actor began to make his way out towards it. He scanned the crowd as he walked and spotted his mum’s face first; she was crying, she cried at everything, don’t cry mum he thought. Next to Gareth’s mum sat his girlfriend with his little girl on her knee; the infant was too young to understand what was going on today, content playing with a button on her cardigan, blissful childhood ignorance. One corner of the actor’s mouth curled up in a smile, “Daddy loves you,”
Gareth reached the box, stood behind it and looked out over the crowd; a sea of red eyed, grim faces stared back at him. He wanted to tell them, “It’s okay, do not cry for me,” But he knew it would be pointless, they would never hear him, so instead he sighed in resignation and looked down at his expressionless face lay among the cushioned satin they got me a nice coffin he thought.