Death By Chocolate

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Centre Stage, all eyes
on one figure. She is tall, tan,
lean, strong. She can perform
what other fantasize about
with ease. When she begins to
move all conversations halt.
When she dances all minds go
blank. Picture this. Her arms
go limp mid Pas de deux. She
freezes., then collapses. The
crowd lets out a gasp, the
orchestra ceases. You are
rushing backstage. You know
exactly what’s wrong.

Sage-Erin is a dancer.
blessed with the coordination
you never had. The two of you
are friends, best friends. You
are undecided, unfocused,
uncivilized. The two of you
balance each other out. She is
calm and quiet, you are loud
and, possibly, ADD. Perfect
match. You tell each other
everything. From when your
parents divorced to when her
father abandoned her mother
and sister. You know each
others darkest deeds and
weirdest facts. She knows your
fingers’ bones are flexible like
rubber, you know she can
clover her tongue.

Augusta Ballet School.
Her home away from home.
She spends countless hours
perfecting her Pas de bourree,
hoping to make the role of
Odette/Odile in the production
of Swan Lake. Flawless in
movement but lacking in spirit.
She thinks her weight is
stopping her from hitting the
variation properly. You tell her
to shut up, she just had to
loosen up. She says she is
going on a diet to rid the
problem. You shrug and
continue playing the A flat
major scale. You should have
stopped her then, when you
felt the shift.

Weeks pass and she is
getting smaller. Her once tone
ligaments now resemble twigs.
You speak your thoughts and
she smirks. Modeling a sharp,
precise plie. The once so
elegant pose seems dull and
lifeless. You say her body
looks tense. She snorts and
continues on. You bite your
tongue and force down the
words. The one time you need
to shout, you don’t.

Everyone is crying.
Paramedics are rushing the
pale figure out the door. Her
mother’s gaze meets yours
and you turn away quickly. The
ground looks fascinating tonight.
She grabs your chin, brings you
eye-to-eye. She ask if you
knew anything about Sage-
Erin. You look everywhere but
up and keep your mouth
clenched. You promised to
stay silent. Holland begins to
sob and clutches your waist
tight. She wants to know what
happened to her big sister. You
sniffle and hug back while
telling her mother the past
month in record timing.
Holland buries her head deeper.
Her mother fights back tears.

One week later and she
is already gaining back
pounds. The doctor says she
can be released tomorrow. You
hold out your offering of
sunflowers and lilies. Your
way of saying congratulations
and apologizing at once. She
takes the bouquet and smiles.
She then ushers you closer and
does something unexpected. She
hugs you and you hug back.





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