The star dancer was up, and as soon as the music started, we were all hooked. Everyone was at the edge of their seats, waiting for the experience that was expected every time. Swan Lake started to play and she hurried out in the most elegant outfit you had ever seen. She was in a more rushed mood than usual, but the elegance and grace was still there. She moved across the stage, captivating everyone in her midst. The world had stopped to stare, and there was a moment where everything was still, just watching in wonder. She spun around, and fell down, down, down into the darkness. There were a few shouts and a scream. She smiled and continued to fall.
How she got to that moment is still a mystery. Everyone was too caught up in the show to notice where it all went wrong. The next time we saw her, she was being pulled away from the theatre on a stretcher, unconscious. All around, the people were whispering to each other, wondering if they should leave or not, when one more unexpected act came out.
A girl ran out on the stage, took her place and…. froze. She did absolutely nothing. She just stood there. People started to whisper a little louder, and she started to move. As Symphony No. 5 Valse started to play, everyone thought it would be a typical performance until she started to pirouette across the stage. She would mutter to herself, working through all of the steps she had gone over so many times, “Echappe, sauté, plié, battement, pas jete..”
She flew across the stage, paying no mind to the awed looks the crowd was giving her. She did her part and played the role perfectly. She went around and around. As she got closer to the end, the movements sped up and continued to speed up until it was like she was flying. She flew from the left to the right, sparkling like millions of little stars on the stage.
She spun and spun, and once the track ended, she crumpled to the floor panting. The audience looked around, in disbelief. They couldn’t seem to comprehend the fact that it was over. I heard laughter, and a tsunami of applause, flowers flying. There was an unbelievable amount of joy that radiated from the crowd.
The girl bowed and ran from the stage, with the same amount of grace as her routine. The crowd looked around, unsure as to where to go or what they should do. They finally left the building slowly, and calmly, as if the dance had given them peace that wasn’t there before.
The girl sat in the dark in the room just outside of the stage, staring down at the ground, as if in a trance. She had nowhere to go after this. She looked around to see if anyone was around, and made her way towards the theatre’s bathroom, moving quietly and stealthily.
The girl grabbed her bag from the dressing room, and entered the huge bathroom. She shut the door, sunk to the floor and sobbed quietly. The marble floors shone with her tears. Her parents had not wanted her. They thought she would never be able to do anything ever since she was a child. They wanted a boy, so they left her. Everything she has done has been to show them that she was not useless, hoping they would happen to show so they would accept her again and they could be a family, but that wouldn’t happen.
She stood up, changed into the only set of clothes she had, and went outside to brave the cold. As she walked outside, she shivered and pulled her hood down farther over her face. There was a thick layer of snow laying over the city, and she had to walk through it at night. She shoved her hands in her pockets and trudged on.
Nightlife in Nashville was fun when she had money. She walked past the people inside sitting with their families, laughing, talking, all the things she had no one for. She saw people walking with linked arms, swinging kids between them, pushing babies in strollers, all so happy.
She sighed, but immediately regretted it as she inhaled the cold. Soon, she reached the street she knew so well, no lights, no people, a playground of concrete and cold. The moon looked down upon the small dancer, lighting her in a mystical glow. It got darker, and colder. The temperatures continued to drop to the point where the snow went off to hide. There were no people anywhere to be seen as she ran into her “home”, leaving the Arctic behind.
It was a small little house that she was staying in, one window, one door, one room. The room was dark, everything covered in a sheet of dust. In the corner was her cot, hung to keep the rats off. The snow had not stopped falling, so she sat in front of the candle hoping for any warmth at all. The roof sagged as it tried to hold up the snow piling up on top of it. She could see her breath in front of her as she huddled underneath the tattered old blanket.
She went to look out the single window and saw a man walking up to her “home.” Every place she’s been, someone would show up, forcing her to move. She panicked and started to collect her things when she saw him knock at the door. She looked around and noticed a loose floorboard, so she ripped it up and crawled out from underneath the house using the crawl space that lied underneath. It wasn’t more than 2 feet high underneath the house, used for storage and plumage, but she managed to army crawl her way out. As soon as she got to her feet, she bolted and didn’t look back, forgetting all of her belongings, including her dance bag. She jumped the fence and took off, trying to get as far from the house as she could.
As she ran and ran, people started to stare, so she pulled away from the sidewalk into and alley and sat down, panting. The world seemed to hate her. A cat shot past her, grabbed a rat, and sat down next to her. She looked down at the feral creature, and brought her knees up to her chest, not wanting take in her reality for one more minute. Within minutes, she was asleep, not realizing the toll that performance could take on her. The world did not silence for her sleep in these few moments that she rested, but she slept undisturbed and undiscovered nonetheless. The snow had stopped during the night, leaving everything drenched as it melted, including her.
The next morning, the girl was awoken by the biting cold that she could feel down into her bones. She was still curled up in the nasty alleyway, surrounded by trash and forgotten items such as herself. There was a dry spot in the place where she had been sitting, the only dry spot in all of Nashville. The girl picked herself up off the ground and started to walk out of the alleyway when she noticed a flyer talking about a dance competition. The flyer stated “ Anyone may enter, provided they are over the age of 13 and have had past dance experience.” So, she smiled, grabbed the flyer, and ran back to her old “home” to see if her dance stuff was still there.
People were walking outside with coffee in hand, wearing jackets and sweaters, and heading off to whatever they spend their time doing. The sun reflected off the water that coated everything as it rose, and the city started to come to life, cars passing by and people jogging past as she pulled herself towards her home, dreariness and all.
When she got to her home, it was completely empty, everything that she had collected gone. She sighed, this not having been the first time. The only thing that was left of her belongings was one photo that someone had taken of her. It showed her flying through the air, in her sparkling costume on the grandest stage you had ever seen with something she reserved for the one good thing in her life. Dance. Her face shone with a smile that showed pure bliss. He hair had been done up perfectly and she had won the competition. She looked around at her surroundings. This was not the way she wanted to live her life. She grabbed the picture and placed it in her jacket pocket. As soon as she walked out the front door, she could feel the tears streaming down her face as she ran.
She ran straight to the hospital the dancer had landed in and asked to see her. She followed the nurse down to the last room and walked inside, seeing the star dancer sitting peacefully eating an apple, looking as content as she could for her current situation. The girl walked up to her and sat down on the edge of her bed. She pulled out the photo of her dancing, whispered something in her ear, which caused them both to break down crying.
The next day, the star dancer was released from the hospital with a concussion and a sprained wrist but nothing more. She and the girl walked to her apartment a few blocks down and made their way up the steps. The girl was the first to walk inside after the door was unlocked. She looked around and grinned. She ran around, smiling, laughing. The star dancer sat down and watched her, smiling to herself. She had found out about the girls current situation a few weeks back and had offered to let her stay with her, having grown close through dance, but not close enough for the girl to trust her, but the dancer had said that she would always have an extra room.
The girl looked around and sighed, realizing she had made the right decision, even if she had not quite trusted the dancer at first. She could not live the way she had been living any longer, and she could not perform without her dance stuff. What she did not know was that the star dancer had recently lost her parents, and was living alone, and off of anything she could get from oddball jobs and dance competitions, which is why she had felt an obligation to help her out. They looked at each other, grabbing their dance bags and racing each other to the dance studio, perfectly content living their life on the edge of despair every day.