He stands at the podium.
His confidence is glowing.
Heart racing. It's his time.
The voice speaks, "Appoggiatura."
A cheer from the crowd draws a smile on his face. His braces glisten in the spotlight.
The word resonates through his head. Origin. Definition. Etymology.
He begins the word, fittingly, from the beginning of the alphabet, "A."
You can almost hear his heart beating, or wait, maybe that was mine.
"P, P, O." So very close.
His voice crescendoes, his spirit lifts.
"G, G, I, A."
And there it is, glory. He almost jumps from his shoes as the word, Appoggiatura, flows from his lips.
Victorious. Life as he knows it is over. Things will all be different, now.
The 2005 Scripps Howard spelling bee champ, Anurag Kashyap.
ESPN's Chris McKendry runs to the stage, "Describe to us, whats going through your head right now?"
The champ responds, "Ecstaticness!"
And so it goes. Another gripping Spelling Bee. Only one stands above the ashes of the other two hundred and seventeen competitors. At the end of the day, no one will remember that this year marked the first time, ever, that three contestants made it to the final 19 words. All they will remember is Appoggiatura, Anurag Kashyap, and his ecstaticness.
Congrats, Anurag on a job well spelled!!!