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I listened as the song started. The beat that had called me to take that first step called me to take it again. I felt the slight pain as it radiated through me but I pushed through, pointing my foot to its full extension possible. The music began claiming me as it took over my body. It filled my lungs, both breathing simultaneously as the chilling peace settling over my skin, seeping into my bones. Slowly every physical and mental part of me was transported into it’s home where it was forever safe.
“Help I have done it again.” A girl sang.
I slid my arm behind me, my head swinging back. Soon I was up on my feet. “I have been here many times before.”
The music pulsed through my bones and I was completely and fully immersed. “Hurt myself again today.” The song was no longer the artist’s; it was mine. It had been mine since the day I heard it faintly through the radio. “And the worst part is there’s no one else to blame.”
The music, dance and I were one. We crossed the floor together. We grew strong together and fell down when the time came. We were a living, breathing organism.
“Be my friend.” I opened my eyes as I reached out into the blackness beyond. In which my family and loved ones floated in space, unreachable. They were always unreachable these days but the distance increased when I entered my dance world, nothing could touch me there.
“Hold me, wrap me up.” I was turning around and around, my hair flying behind me as I sailed through the air effortlessly.
“Unfold me.” I fell, grasping the floor for support in my struggle. “I am small.” Back on my feet I ran, reaching for something in the air that I couldn’t find. My arms circled around, thinking they had but once again they were fooled by the blackness.
“Ouch, I have lost myself again.”
I fell again in my struggle for the truth. I curled up and then back out, extending my arms.
“Lost myself and am nowhere to be found.”
I lifted my body up, kicking the air in frustration, but pulling back with the pain.
“Yeah, I think that I might break.”
I moved, opening my arms to the air around me as I reached back into an arabesque, trying to fly but falling again. “Lost myself again and I feel unsafe.”
The race began and my body was thrown around in graceful maneuvers. I was fighting the time I had left before the song ended and the peace was taken away from me until I danced again.
“I am small, I’m needy. Warm me up and…”
I lay on the ground, breathing heavy my whole body pressed into the floor as if I never wanted to let go.
The applause started and I looked up, bringing myself back to the real world that surrounded me, attacking once the song ended.
The lights came up and I saw my beaming parents and the fear set in, my dance world was gone until I called for it again. It pained me to leave it; everything was better there. Reality didn’t exist. The pain, the denial, the enclosure fell away and it was just my soul and me.
I looked out and slowly stood up, a single tear falling down my cheek as the pain became real again. I reached up to hold the small necklace that laid across my collar bone in between my fingers. It was the best thing next to my dance world that could bring me happiness.
“Halley, you were amazing.” I felt an arm wind itself around my shoulders, supporting my instantly weak frame. “We’re all so, so proud of you.”
I knew who it was without even looking up. I had known Ms. Cranberry my whole life. She was my second mother; she had spent more time with me than my own mother probably had in the long run.
My mother, the perfect woman. She sat in her chair, her blond hair up in a tight bun, and light makeup gracing her young face. She wore a modest sleeveless maiden dress with slight kitten heels and pearls in her ears. The perfect woman anyone would say.
My father, the perfect man. He sat next to her, his hand in hers, a broad smile stretching across his tan face. He sat in a proper business suit a slight bulge in his pocket where his coveted blackberry rested on silent while his daughter performed. His broad shoulders fit the fabric perfectly and you could tell that he had spent a decent amount of money for his flawless attire.
Then there was me, the perfect daughter. Long blonde hair spilled down my toned shoulders, leading to my fit, from endless hours of dance, body. All ending with my small size 6 and 1/4 feet, not perfect but acceptable. Underneath the hair lay a flawless face, affixed with blue eyes, a pert nose, and button ears. Yet something was missing, the smile that should have been stretched across this young face was absent. It never appeared because no matter how perfect her exterior was she lacked the interior to go with it. She was ill and there was no changing that.