Twinkling of the Eye

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A girl who has practised her whole life for this moment realises this is not her dream.

Submitted: September 29, 2017

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Submitted: September 29, 2017



She stood on the vast stage, her feet planted firmly in the first position, clutching the heavy gold trophy so hard her knuckles had faded to pure white. The blinding artificial lights, angled directly on her from somewhere in the void above, burned her retinas and caused the packed audience to sway and swim in their seats. Perhaps to the hundreds of them it would look like a triumphant twinkle had formed in her dark eyes, rather than the swelling tears which had actually settled there, threatening wordlessly to tumble out with one hasty blink.


This has been her dream for so long. To be on this stage, basking in the glory of her achievements. To earn a standing ovation from the judges themselves. To be told she was the best of them all.


Yet it all felt empty now; a pit had torn open in her stomach and her expectations and ambitions had come crashing down, so similar to the endings of the games of Jenga she had played as a young girl with her cousins. A once tall and sturdy tower became pocketed with holes, until ultimately the foundation gave up and the bricks were left in a messy heap. She suddenly couldn’t remember why this had seemed so important before, even thirty minutes prior when she had been waiting in the wings for the last name to be called out.


All of the hours she’d spent practicing in the dance studio flickered like a tacky movie montage in her head, drowning out the din of thudding of hands. Half her childhood and the entirety of her teens was crushed into decades of sheer discipline and balance. She had bruised her feet blue, torn them bloody, and still pulled on her pointe shoes and leotard the next day. Her muscles had strained and ached to the state where she could hardly walk, let alone dance. Dance she did though; it was a sadistic game she had learned to play with herself. Four hours a day after school and eight on each weekend day, no matter rain, shine or injury. Never stopping. She would collapse on the floor in frustration when she fell, drag herself upright, restart the music and begin again.


This was someone else’s dream, her mother’s whom she had wanted to please so badly. Her mom had been accepted into Julliard, just like she had, when her leg broke during a difficult jump. As a sort of self-fulfillment, her mother had groomed her to become a sort of second chance; a redemption for the lost talent and broken dreams. However, this was not what she wanted to do with her life. It had just taken her this long to realize it because she has pursued no other hobbies with her vigorous schedule. This crowd thinks her a prodigy, a girl to praise and be in awe of. They aren’t aware that this trophy is simply melded metal that means nothing without an emotional attachment. Maybe there was a twinkle in her eye after all, one not brought about by crazy spotlights or the pride of her victory. A twinkle of resolve.

© Copyright 2018 Chloe Brown. All rights reserved.

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