There are over five-hundred miles between Inverness and London, and tonight’s the first time Karen’s felt every single one of them, her heart battering against her chest. She watches the audience from backstage and tries to count her breathing, steadying it out, listening to her mind tell her one, two, three, four. It’s just like tapping out the beat of a song. For a second she forgets where she is until a swell of noise from the crowd brings her back.
“Are you ready?” Matt asks, his mouth at her ear, pressed up close against her side. His words start a slow burn in her toes, moving up until it settles in her chest.
“Yeah,” she croaks out and feels anything but. What if she loses her voice or forgets the lyrics? Not when they’re this close to making it — but what if she does?
“Get set,” Arthur mutters, coming up behind her.
-Like Stars Burning Up the Night