He stands onstage and the world watches him.
It takes a minute — a second, really — for him to start smiling again.
For a second it doesn't matter who he is. Football player, a man, or simply a boy — up there, he's just another one of them.
And that's what he really wants, to blend in. He doesn't need to be at the top of the school as long as he's just another face. Nondescript. No one looks twice.
At the top, it's easy to fall. Everyone sees you when you're at the top. They wait and wait for something to happen. They stare until they think they see right through you.
It scares him more than anything.
So when he's up there, no one laughs at him.
They just watch.
No one waits for him to fall.
They're just ready to catch him.