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A Dancer's Heavy Heart

Short story By: RACHELnZAC
Young adult

A girl tries her hardest to gain the attention of her father, only to fail miserably.

***written out of inspiration from BimboBunny's work...read it, it's good stuff! ***

Submitted:Mar 23, 2010    Reads: 164    Comments: 7    Likes: 3   

I stand on Pointe, my arms held high in their correct starting position, with my head bowed down. When the first melody of notes flow through the theatre, I know I'm ready to start. I gracefully lift my head and glance at the audience. Though of course the lights blind me and all I can see past them is a black, quiet theatre. Like nobody is seated their at all. But I know each and every seat is full, as the tickets had sold out in less than a week. Everybody wanting to see their kids in their first, real ballet performance.

As the correct note hit the atmosphere, I lowered my arms and twiddled my feat to the music, then began my dance. My arms flowing around my bodice as my feet carried me across the stage. I felt beautiful, I felt like a true swan as I danced the part of Odette. I didn't screw up once. Not once. I was so excited for tonight's performance. After practicing day in and day out for the past 4 months I've finally nailed it and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Before ballet I had done piano, I had practiced and practiced until my fingers bled and the piano grew cold. I had done these things not for myself but for my father. I had always craved his attention, especially as he was never around. My mother was the one who was always there for me, but sometimes, a girl just needed her dad. All the other children just thought I was some rich kid, who got everything she asked for; expensive toys, expensive clothes, an expensive house. But I never asked for that, for any of it. I just wanted a dad like the other kids. A dad who was around to hold me when I cried, to pick me up when I fell and to be proud of what I've done, knowing that if I failed miserably, I would still be seen as good in his eyes as I had tried my very best.

I only ever wanted him to look at me and be proud of me, be proud of what I've done, what I've accomplished. But it would never happen. When he was gone I would spend all my time studying or practicing, so it would look like natural talent when he came home. But that never happened. When he was home, which was rare, he was always busy. He had other important things to do; something puny like a report card or a lousy piano or ballet recital could wait.

But this time is different, this time he had promised me he would come. That he would be seated in the third row, right beside my mother, cheering me on, as I danced the lead role. And that's what made my performance all the more special. All the hard work I had done, would finally pay off. My dad would finally notice me and he would be able to turn to the person next to him and say; "that's my girl up there, my girl." That's all I ever wanted and it's finally coming true.

So I danced my heart out on that stage. I twirled and jumped and landed with all the grace I could muster. I was too happy for words. Despite the fact that my feet were killing me and I felt as though I would faint at any moment, I kept going, I kept pushing myself to the very end. When the lights began to dim and the music grew quiet, the audience stood and shouted their remarks and clapped their hands. I ended on Pointe, the same position as I started, but this time a huge grin was spread on my face. I nailed it.

I stood back and looked up at the audience and my grin only grew wider. Then my eyes searched the third row, where I saw my mother cheering her head off and screaming so loud the other parents had to shield their ears from the piercing sound. My eyes drifted to the reserved seat next to her and my blood went cold as my smile dropped. It was empty.

My father didn't come. He didn't see my performance that was meant for him and only him. He didn't see me as I received my roses and took a bow to the audience. He didn't see any of it.

He never showed and that just made me angry. I was sick of being upset, of waiting for him to notice me, to show me the slightest love. Sick of it. As I stood at the front of the stage, about to take my final bow alone, I couldn't contain my anger. I held onto the edge of my tutu so tightly I was practically shaking. Then it ripped.

I ripped the thing up and off my body and threw it to the ground. Next I began to rip off my tights and kicked off my ballet flats into the audience and then I ripped out my hair and screamed bloody murder. I was beyond furious. Everything I had done was for nothing. I looked back at the audience to see that everyone was staring at me with wide eyes and complete silence. I locked eyes with my mother to see sadness and pity in her eyes. She knew what this meant to me, she knew how much I wanted daddy to see me. To see that I can be someone he could be proud of. But he doesn't give a damn.

I was still screaming my heart out when my ballet teacher ushered me off the stage and the curtains drew closed. I was still screaming as I was led outside, but soon tears began to fall and I was left sobbing into the teachers arms. She held me for a moment and then stepped back and looked at me with stern look on her delicate face.

"Never in my fifty years of teaching would I think I'd ever live to see one of my own students destroy the show. You practiced so hard for the role of Odette, what happened?! You better give me a good explanation or I will never let you back on that stage ever again!"

I looked up at her and knew I had disappointed her. But I didn't care so much, my dad had disappointed me.

"It doesn't even matter. I'm never dancing again," I said with complete and utter emptiness in my voice.

And with that, I did an abrupt turn and began walking through the parking lot. I waited by the car and cried my eyes out as I waited for my mother. When she came she said nothing, simply unlocked the car and started the engine. I got into the passenger side of the vehicle and sat quietly as we drove home. Never had I felt like such a disappointment as I did tonight. Not only did my dad not care enough for me to show up, but my mother and my teacher were disappointed that I ended the show so badly and im sure all the other parents were thinking bad things of me.

This realization just made me cry more. But I had barely any tears left and my throat was aching. So I just sat back quietly and watched the street as we passed by. The lights from the city eliminating the raindrops, making small rainbows as they fall. It's like the sky is crying too. When we had reached home I got out of the car as silently and as fast as I could. I stomped up to the house and went straight to my bedroom to cry my eyes out.

But when I got their I couldn't cry. I had used up all my tears. And so, I walked around the room and looked at the medals and the trophies I had received for varies achievements; like piano, ballet, choir, soccer. I kicked them all to the ground and watched as some fell so hard they broke into tiny pieces. Next I walked over to the picture frame beside my bed. It was a picture of me and my father eating ice-cream and some park. I took the frame off the bed and threw it to the floor and watched as the glass broke into hundreds of tiny pieces. Then I threw the pillows and the sheets and the blanket off my bed and just sat there, rocking myself slowly.

I must have fallen asleep as it was dark when I sat up from my position on the bed. I noticed I was still in my torn Odette outfit and stood to go take a shower. As I stood I forgot about the picture frame I had smashed earlier, a glass shard injected itself into the bottom of my heel and I cried out and sat back down, inspecting my foot.

There was a little blood. It didn't hurt so much after a few seconds. I watched for a moment as the blood dripped from my foot onto the lush, white carpet, turning it a bright, sickly red. An idea popped into my head at that precise moment as I watched the blood gush onto the floor. I ripped the glass out of my foot and stood, careful not to step onto the glass again. I took the piece of glass and made my way to the bathroom, leaving bloody footsteps behind as I walked across the room.

My bathroom was attached to my bedroom and I suddenly was really glad of that fact. I walked in and turned on the shower, stripping down and stepping into it. I let the heat of the water wake me up a bit, so I was thinking clearly when I did what I was about to do. I didn't want to make this decision on a whim, so I took a few moments to think it through. After I was positive I was doing the right thing, for everyone. I brought the glass down to my left wrist and sharply pulled it across.

For a moment it hurt like hell, much worse than the cut to my foot. But I knew this would be a painful experience. But it was most definitely not as painful as the emotion's circling my body were. And so I cut again. And again. And again, until I couldn't stand. I fell to the bathroom floor and watched as the blood oozed down my wrist and mixed with the water, soon swallowed by the drain.

My eyesight soon became fuzzy and blurred. I closed my eyes to rid myself of the sickly, dizzy feeling. This was not happening fast enough. But yet as I tried to lift the glass and make another cut, to speed up this painful process, I couldn't. My hand felt like it weighed a hundred kilos. So I laid back and just waited for whatever was happening to happen. It was like going to bed with an injury, the need is welcoming yet getting to fall asleep was so hard as the injury was hurting so bad.

But soon I faltered, and I could barely retain my consciences. The last thing I heard before I completely passed out was my mothers screams and my fathers footsteps.



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