Dark room. Fairy lights cast a dim glow on the makeshift stage.
A fifteen year old boy stands looking at the floor and the audience, filled with high school students, is hushed.
“I haven’t sung for an audience before,” he tells the linolium tile in a whisper.
He hits play on his phone and the song begins but he doesn’t start singing. He balls his fists and covers his face.
And the audience erupts.
In applause. And whoops. “I love you!” shouts a boy from the back, and then a girl hollers, “We believe in you!” and the boy on stage takes a deep breath and begins the song again.
I sit in the darkness, my face wet with tears. I nudge my son, sitting next to me, and whisper, “Is your school even REAL?”
And the boy on stage sings in a sweet, pure tenor and the teenagers in the room are rapt with silence and there is so much kindness in this room that I can almost see it, a mist floating in the fairy lights.
Photo Julie Falk
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