You recognise where you are now. You’re back at your dressing room.

 

Rowan is flustered.

 

“Oh thank God,” he says. “You found him.” He looks at you. “Are you all right?”

 

You nod sheepishly. You brace yourself for the telling-off.

 

But it doesn’t come.

 

Rowan lets out a long sigh. “Okay. We’ve still got ten minutes or so. Let’s get you cleaned up.” He puts an arm around you and guides you into the dressing room.

 

You’re surprised. You expected Jimmy to be annoyed, but he wasn’t, and you expected Rowan to be angry, and he wasn’t.

 

You don’t deserve any of this.

 

How do they manage to keep putting up with you?

 

However, there is one person who does not put up with you. Ever.

 

“ALLISTER BIRD.” Cecily’s disappointed squawk is as familiar to you as your own mother’s. You turn to face her as she approaches, one hand on her hip and the other holding her phone.

 

You wait for her to continue shouting, but to your surprise, she just sighs and shakes her head.

 

“We don’t have time,” she says. “Just get ready.”

 

Looks like everyone’s being a little kinder to you than you deserve.

 

Rowan brings you your usual sobering-up drink - a bottle of ice-cold Lucozade. You drink it while stripping out of your gross rehearsal clothes and one of the stylists comes over and dresses you in tonight’s outfit, which turns out to be frayed black ankle-length jeans and a t-shirt with a little zip on it. Alex the hairdresser pops up out of nowhere to turn your hair from a greasy explosion into something vaguely resembling cool. You have no idea how he does it.

 

And in a matter of minutes, the three of you are being escorted through the corridors and towards the stage. Someone puts your drumsticks into your hand, and when you look up, you find it’s Jimmy. He smiles at you - a comforting smile - and pats you gently on the back of the hand.

 

You make a mental vow to do better. Be better.

 

“Two minutes,” says a stagehand, and that’s when you feel it.

 

An ache in your stomach. Sweat on your palms and the back of your neck. That horrible full feeling in the back of your throat.

 

You need to throw up.

 

Right the fuck now.

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