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There he goes again with that ‘look’ he gives me; I just don’t understand what I have done wrong this time. I try so hard and he just can’t see it. I guess he can’t see the pain of disappointing him in my eyes as he slams the door behind him again.
“Art is a distraction from your studies Savannah; I don’t want you to become a flake like my sister,” He says.
Starting college this fall is scary, I mean I have never been close to girls at school; I don’t fit in. But that doesn’t bother me; it’s becoming a lawyer which is something I have never wanted to do. Dancing is something I want to do. In fact, anything with art is what I want to do. The way the colors seem to just dance on to the canvases. The most important thing is to make my father happy, so I’ll continue with art at a later date. I can still dance and paint in my free time. For now my father is all that is important to me, I can’t lose him like I lost mother. I snap back to reality when the music suddenly turns off. I can’t dream anymore, I need to focus on my future. Dancing won’t get me anywhere. I glance at the only picture I have of my mother, in the dark wooden frame on my desk. She was a beauty, golden hair and bright blue eyes.
“Looking into your eyes is like looking into her eyes,” My grandmother says at every get together.
It’s hard to think that just 4 months later she was gone. Cancer acts quickly on our loved ones; I stop myself before I think about how much pain she must have gone through. I would never know I was just a child, only 3 years old, I don’t remember those 4 months. I block them from my mind, keeping them as far from me as possible. The only thing I remember about my mother was how out going and fun loving she was. She would sing me to sleep every night. My grandma told me that I’m the perfect combination I have my mom’s artistic side and my dad’s side for reason and intelligences. She was perfect, everything I want to be, but she was a dancer, beautiful and graceful. She was flawless, my knight in shining armor, until she was gone. When she passed my dad had to be a parent, he never had to before he had a 3 year old daughter he had to raise on his own. I don’t blame him for keeping his distance; he had no clue how to raise a child let alone a daughter. Then he got stuck with me.
The maid walks in, “Savannah I am to remind you that you have a dinner with the dean of your college this evening.”
“Thank You, Trish.” I wiped a tear from my cheek.
“Are you alright?”
I burst into tears, “I just don’t understand why I have to be a lawyer. I love dance, it’s the only thing that keeps me connected to my mom.”
She practically sprinted across the room wrapped her arms around me, “Savannah, honey, we have been over this, you know you dad just wants what is best for you. He wants you to have a good future. But think about this, if you meet a man in college who is going to be a lawyer then you won’t have to be and you can be a dancer just like your momma,” Trish said in a whisper, “He doesn’t want you to end up like me.”
She smelled of soap and laundry, Trish was an older woman in her forties. She doesn’t have children, other than me, but she has the most beautiful blue eyes. I could look at them for hours. Trish has been in the house long before I was; she took care of me when my mom passed. She’s like a mother to me, she would watch over me when my dad would go on business trips. She understands me more than anyone she is my best friend. I sat there sobbing in her arms until I fell asleep and she covered me with a blanket.
After I woke up I walked over to my closet pick out something that my father thinks is appropriate for the dinner. I sat back down on my bed and begin to remove my ballet slippers. This could be the last time I see these for a while. I don’t understand why I am being so selfish, at least my father let me go to the dance lessons all these years. I’m guessing he regrets that after he’s seen how much I have fallen in love with the sport. My toes are sore and I flinch a little when I start to rub them. I’m glad he is coming with I don’t know what I would say to a man about a study I am not even interested in for 5 minutes let alone a entire dinner. My dad knocks on the door.
“Savannah?” He called.
“Yes?” I answered.
“We are going to leave in about 30 minutes. And I bought you a dress for the dinner,” He said opening the door.
“Okay, thanks dad I’ll be down in a minute.” I say as I pull myself up to a standing position.
The dress is a simple but elegant black dress. I see that my dad had other plans for my outfit. I slip on the dress, a perfect fit, and walk to my vanity. I start to put a small layer of foundation and then continue to put a light brown eye shadow onto my eyelids. “Keep it classy.” I say to myself I use a small amount of mascara and the put on the final touch, my mother’s pearl necklace my father bought her on their second anniversary. The necklace is beautiful, clean, and bright; I look in the mirror and quickly wipe my new tears away. I hope she would be proud of me for listening to my dad and going to college to be a lawyer. On the other hand maybe she would want me to stand up for myself and follow my dreams. I pick up my acceptance letter and look it over again; it feels good to have all these people say how I am such a good student and how it’s hard to be this committed in a sport and still have amazing grades.
“Savannah, the car is on its way.” My dad calls up the stairs.
“Coming!” I shout back.
The solid light pink color flows off my walls as I step into the hall and begin down the stairs. The single picture on the wall of me and my Nana when I was 13, the picture makes me miss Minnesota and my family there. The walls down the stairs and into the kitchen are a dull white, boring and quite like everything else in this house. The dark brown cabinets contrast with the walls and make you feel at home.
“Are you ready?” My dad says nervously.
“Yeah, I guess,” My reply is short and unsure.
“Keep your head up baby girl and everything will go smoothly, this night is all for you.” He said sounding even more unsure than me.
I have never seen him this nervous, only before a big day at work when he has a huge pitch to sell, never for me. We move to the front door through a small hall way and I put my red heels on.
He hands me a jacket, “It could get chilly in the restaurant, and do you like the dress?”
“Umm yeah, thanks Dad.”
The car slowly pulls up and my dad opens the front door. There are exactly 6 steps to the street below, I remember from counting when I was a kid. A black handrail guides me down to the waiting cement under me. The driver opens my door; he was young with black curly hair and dark brown eyes. He looks me in the eyes and nods his head and waits for me to be fully seating in the car before he shuts the door with a soft thud. I can hear his footsteps going around the car to the driver’s side. He starts the car and begins to drive.
“Why are you making me do this,” I say without even thinking.
He looks shocked and appalled by me calling him out. “You need to think about what you are saying before you say it Savannah Jane,”
Biting my tongue I look on the floor, trying not to talk back. The last thing I want is him more disappointed with me. I just can’t help it; I want to be like mom, not him.
“I just want to have a connection with mom. It’s not fair, you got to have one and I don’t,” I said, regretting the words as they fell off my tongue. I think that is what hurt him the most; he didn’t even look at me after I said it. I can feel his heart drop, and now I know it’s time to do what he wants.
My heart skips a beat when the car pulls to a stop on the side of the road. I’m suddenly nervous and my heart racing. The driver steps out of the car his footsteps are getting louder as he walks towards my door. His hand is reaching for the door. I hear a small click and the door flings wide open, my feet seemed to move without me telling them to and I’m walking to the front door with my father’s arm around mine. I take a deep breath, and open the door. This is the beginning of my ending.