I look down at the shimmering silver blade and begin to turn it side to side. My sheath glistens and it’s like it’s dancing in the moonlight. I run the smooth end across my wrist, sending a shiver through my whole body, as the blade is freezing cold. I turn it now so that the teeth are ready to bite into my skin, and bring it so the blade is hovering above my trembling wrist. Is this a good idea? Should i do this? What if it hurts? So many pointless questions running through my mind. No one will care Miles, No one loves you. A tear slips away from my eye and runs down my cheek landing on the knife, sizzling as if the blade were on fire. Just as the knife is about to bite, the worst yet best thing interrupts me.
“Miles, you worthless, disappointing piece of trash get your ass down here, you have dance class. If you aren’t here in 30 seconds you can find your own goddamn way there!”
I grab my bag with a change of clothes in them and practically slip and fall as I run out of my room to get there in enough time. As I reach the door, my mother practically spits in my face saying,
“Twenty-nine seconds you brat. You wanna walk?”
“No mother, I’m very sorry that I was so slow.”
“Don’t let it happen again, or it’s another beating. Understand me?” as she roughly grabs my chin yanking my face upwards.
“Yes mother.” I say through pinched cheeks.
We go step by step to the garage and enter our Ford Escape. Mother inserts the keys into the ignition and the beast awakens from its nightly slumber. She then grabs the gear shifter and puts the car into drive. We quickly roar out of the driveway and zoom onto a side street. I know that she wants to get away from me as quickly as possible, so she has come up with a route that no one else takes so she can get rid of me even faster.
We continue the drive down the pitch black road with one lamp post at the corner of the road about fifty feet from where we were. Mother didn’t even have the lights on, not to mention the car was black, so no one could see us. She just keeps on speeding down the road like a bat out of hell, not caring who or what she could possibly hit. I must have cursed us because right after I thought that a car comes out of nowhere and passes right in front of us. Mother slams on the breaks and I fly forward, but luckily my seatbelt catches me and prevents me from flying out of the windshield. We are at a complete stop now and she is gripping onto the steering wheel so hard that her nails are digging into it. I look to her eyes and I almost see regret and fear in them, but that all goes away in the blink of an eye, literally. She presses down on the gas pedal and our journey continues, now a little bit more cautious.
“Get out brat.” mom says to me as we come to a stop in the parking lot of Young Dance Academy.
I open the door to the car and step out onto the gravel below crunching beneath my feet. I almost shut the door, but turn back to my mom.
“Promise me you’ll drive safely home.”
“I’ll do whatever the f*** I want to do you little asshole.”
“Just don’t die mom, I love you.”
“Shut the door.”
I do as she says and I shut the door, only hoping she heard me. As much as she treats me like I’m nothing and worthless, I love her and it would kill me to see something happen to her. I know she takes her anger out on me because I look like my dad and he left us. She never knew why and I didn’t either, but all she knew was she hated him and I looked like him so she hated me automatically.
I open the door to the studio and head inside, ready to hide in the back corner the entire class. I always get so embarrassed letting people see me dance, I always make the weirdest faces, but I guess that’s also because I don’t like others seeing my vulnerable side and dance definitely makes me very vulnerable.
I walk into the class and I don’t see anyone I know, not even my best friend Lindsay, we must be in different classes. Great, off to the corner I go. The only plus of being in the corner is, ahh, the air conditioner is right above the corner.
“Alright class, today we are starting with improve, I’m going to play a song and you all improve to the song. Get different levels and moves as you dance, listen to the beat.”
Awesome, improve, I hate improve, I hate it so much. I end up doing the same thing over and over again.
“We’re at the end of the line…”
I love this song so much, okay, so maybe improve won’t be that bad. I know the beat to the song, so I let my body lose control and move with the music. I roll to the ground and dance there for a while before I stand back up and finish out the song up there.
After improve is over we begin stretching, and I go to the corner again where I’m seen by the fewest amount of people. We start off with a simple lunge until we go into more complicated stretches. I am very self-conscious with warm-ups because I am not very flexible at all, so every else can go all the way down and their splits and I’m not even halfway down.
“Finish up your splits and then we are going to the dance.”
My teacher Lisa knows that I’m not very flexible, so I just fake it until everyone else is done so I don’t look like an outcast, even though I am. Lisa told us last class to go home and listen to the song we will be using for our dance called “Surprise Yourself” by Jack Garret. I listened to it, and then I just kept listening to it. It was such a good song, and the lyrics really spoke to me. The song is about doing things you never thought you’d be able to do or accomplish. I’ve never been confident enough in myself, so listening to this song really helped me feel better about myself, and that I could do more in my life than be a beating post for my mother.
“Alright, I want you all to think about something while you are doing the dance this week, whether it be a loved one, where you want to go in your life, anything.”
I knew exactly what I was thinking about while dancing this. I’m more than I originally had thought I was, and I can accomplish more than my mind had ever thought before.
“You are all going in groups, four different ones. Group one, you’re up.”
I run out to the floor because I know the dance really well, and I wanted to show the rest of the class how hard I’ve been working. I go front and center ready to conquer my fear of being seen by everyone else. Dance is the place I can forget about all of my problems in my life, and help my depression. I’ve never been good with expressing myself, but dance is a nonverbal way for me to do that, and I’m so thankful that I’m able to be a part of such an amazing experience. The music starts and I let every single beat consume my thoughts.
I walk out of the class knowing what was waiting for me out in the parking lot. I didn’t even care anymore because dance made me happy, and will forever make me happy, no matter what I’m thinking about.
I open the door to the car and sit down in the front seat next to mother.