After the applause had faded, the stage lights dimmed as Ian stepped up to the microphone for his monologue.
”Very often I’m asked to reveal the secrets of my success. It’s quite simple. Never give up on your dreams.”
The audience responded with applause.
”Most people don’t pursue their dreams because it may seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. Just break it down into smaller steps. Take me, for instance. One day I would practice my guitar and the next, I would reach out to people with experience doing a live radio show. Soon everything fell in place, and here I am on stage, doing The Orlando Program.”
”Look at it like climbing Mount Everest. It seems overwhelming when you see it as a whole, but not so when you break it down into smaller destinations. With a little persistence, even you can reach the top.”
Even more applause.
“And now I’d like to bring out our special guest, someone whom you may recognize but at the same time, you’ve never seen him. Here’s Me As A Nobody.”
A dark, shadowy figure drifted out onto the stage. The audience was unsure how to make of this strange arrival and held its applause.
Pointing to the Nobody, Ian continued, “This is what happens when you hold all your dreams in. Along with them you hold yourself back with your talents forever hidden. This is also what happens when you don’t believe in yourself and your potential. Nobody ever gets to see what you’re capable of because you keep holding yourself back. As in the case of Me As A Nobody, nobody else believed in him because he didn’t believe in himself. Soon he lost everything, including contact with his family and all the money in the bank. Just about the only thing he has left is the will to live.”
“That’s right,” the Nobody spoke up with its deep, sinister rasp of a voice. “And as long as I continue to exist, so will your pathetic show.”
“Observe the Nobody’s excessive negative mood,” Ian pointed out.
“Let me finish,” the Nobody continued. “The success you’re enjoying right now, this so-called radio show of yours, is not real. It is only a figment of my mind reminding me of what my life could have been had I made the effort.”
“Um, this show is not a figment,” Ian stammered. “I earned it through years of patience and hard work!”
“You don’t understand,” the Nobody retorted. “None of this is real. Once I disappear from this world, so will your show and your dreams. In fact, you’ll wake up right back where you started, back in your bedroom, back to dreaming but wide awake in your sadness.”
“That’s not true!” Ian began to panic. “I’m living the dream!”
“And sadly, all dreams must end,” the Nobody muttered as it began to rise above the stage. Slowly the stage, the microphone and the audience began to dissolve to blackness, leaving Ian alone and confused in the dark.
Behind him a light began to shine and Ian walked towards it, right back to his bedroom, right back at his parents’ house where he had lived, right back to dreaming of a better life, right back to Square One.