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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic

Linda, a natural dancer, fights with her mother for the right to do what she wants. Trained by her mentor Olav, she performs her final dance as she is joined by this apparition from the past... a fellow dancer.

The Dance

To say that Linda had always loved to dance is an understatement. It's like saying that snowflakes are white and the sky is blue. But she felt like she is at the end of her rope after the umpteenth argument with her mother. Tonight has to be the last, then she goes home and starts putting more "substantial" things into her head. Her mother called to tell her that her acceptance letter from Yale came in together with the one from Julliard. Delivered by the same postman as if the universe is playing tricks on her. Their conversation was basically similar to those cliched stories that anyone can find anywhere, how art makes you hungry and science pays the bills. There is really no arguing to her mother, unless she proves to her how good she is at her craft, then perhaps, just perhaps if she get lucky, Julliard may stand a chance. And tonight, heaven smiled upon her as her mother agreed to finally see her perform. She needs to be her best.

Before noon the next day, Olav, her mentor at Dance Camp, called her into his private quarters. He looked confused.

"Lin, can you come over here please, we need to go through your performance last night," Olav beckoned to her.
"I'll be there in a jiffy, Sir Olav," she bellowed.

The video review routine always happens the morning after the night's performance, and this will just be one of those routinary things, Linda thought as she grabbed a waffle from the breakfast table, squeezed some maple syrup on top of it and strolled to Olav's quarters. Olav is her Russian dance instructor who is the demigod of movement. He can float in thin air like he is made of ether when he dances. And he loves to teach his moves and make young Olav's who will hopefully grace the world one day with beauty through their dance. A dreamer really, a beautiful dreamer thought Linda who could not get enough of his pale blue eyes and bronzed skin that he got back as a souviner from his summer vacation in the Philippines. Being a descendant of an exiled duke in the 1800s, the honorific "sir" has pretty much stuck after he mentioned that part of his genealogy. And in Linda's book, that only made him more desirable. All 16-years of her is head over ballerina shoes in love with him. That is when her brains are not on her head. But her girlish ways are pretty much on the backseat today after last night's sparring session with her mother.

"What is it?" she asked him when she stepped into his quarters.
"It's the video from last night. Have you noticed anything different with the performace?" Olav asked him as he brightened the light in his computer.
"Nothing really, except that that air conditioning really needs to be fixed because it's freezing in there," Linda answered.
Olav grunted in acknowledgment and pressed the play button.

The routine started as usual and it bores Linda to tears watching herself do the same thing over and over again, but since Olav is such a prickly perfectionist when it comes to his students, the video routine is basically something that has to be endured. He is always asking what could have gone better, how they can improve and how they can always protect themselves on stage while they are performing their best. An irony if Linda is to be asked since being the best always entails some sort of sacrifice. Her ankle is testament to that after her majestic acrobatics last week that resulted in an even more majestic sprain. That really got her a loadful or verbal spanking. But last night, she danced in pure classical ballet and as far as she can remember, the risks that she took were all worth it, as she felt that it was her best performance ever.

She saw herself on-screen, twirling through the misty lake as her part in the dance began and she floated through the mist. Then another dancer floated behind her, dancing in perfect classical fashion, moving in perfect sync with her. Linda was mesmerized at his technique and form and at the raw beauty and intensity that was brought forth by their duet. Her jaw dropped in awe and was about to comment on the dancer's genius when she realized that her performance last night was a solo act.

She froze and her eyes met Olav's.

Olav broke the silence to answer her questioning stare, "If I'm not mistaken, your partner was Emir. I can't be totally sure as the face is hazy, but the style, the form and the choice of clothes can only be him."

"Was? What do you.." Linda stammered at this new knowledge that she is still trying to wrap her head around.

"I am not really the best person to talk to when it comes to metaphysical things," he looked at her sadly, "especially when we are talking about a dancer that has already been dead for four years."

"Dead?" Linda's croaked. She is not particularly the bravest person when it comes to supernatural things. A mere rustle of a curtain in a closed room could send shivers up her spine.

"If I may be so bold, that duet was brilliant," Olav smiled at her weakly, "it felt like a perfect work of art. If you take all the metaphysical aspects out of it, it may be the finest performance this dance camp has ever seen yet."

"Thanks, but that really doesn't sound reassuring, I am not exactly the type who dances with the dead," she clasped the top of the nearest chair to steady her shivering self. The hairs on her arms are standing on end and she slowly moved towards the front of the chair and sat on it.

"The last show is tonight, do you think he will be there again?" Linda asked the air, Olav and no one in particular. Perhaps Emir if he can hear, she thought. Linda is finding this surreal moment extremely disturbing, but she is looking for a way to convince herself to still dance.
"I don't know love, but if I know Emir, he will be there," Olav answered. Lost in thought and looking affectionately out the window.
"I don't exactly feel comfortable, to say the least, dancing with an apparition. a.. a.. ghost,"Linda cuddled her arms and looked at Olav.
"And you don't have to," he reassured her, "we can cancel the solo act, we can cut it and change it to something else."
"My mother is going to be here. This is the only time she will see me dance, it could make or break my dancing dreams, I guess the show must go on," she smiled weakly in jest, "what happened to this Emir by the way. Why did he die?"

"You're a pretty brave girl, not very different from Emir in some aspects. Emir is a student in one of in my advanced dance camp classes four years ago. He is what you would call a natural-born dancer, very much like yourself if truth be told," Olav smiled and continued. "The moment I first saw you dance, you reminded me of him. No don't give me that frown, it's a compliment, Emir was a prodigy. And well, like most prodigies, with you as the exception of course," Olav winked, "he is also very full of himself. Always challenging himself and gloating about it. It's a wonder that he didn't die from being puffed into a balloon and bursting. We had some Pareto Principle discussions at one point and one of the students in the class commented that Emir talks solely about himself 80% of the time, and the other 20% a derivation of that."

"Then it all got into his head. He became more intense which can be pretty good. But he also took roles in every complicated dances and even suggested that we don't use nets for extremely dangerous acrobatic performaces. I was very much captivated by his talent so I believed him and let him have his way," Olav looked away, "I forgot the part that he is mortal, because when he dances, he simply transcends this world."

"On his final dance, he did some aerial acrobatics with no net. His idea and my approval. He invented a new routine impromptu as he was performing and just went with it. One of the most complex acrobatics if not the most complex that I've ever seen."

"You never give me the luxury of just being impressed when I improvise you know," Linda teased Olav.

"Yes, because I have learned my lesson. I know better now. He died that night, during the show. He performed his routine and plummeted headfirst to the floor and broke his neck. Right there on that exact location where you performed," Olav looked down and sighed, "he was only eighteen. He could have been so much more had I taught him to temper passion with caution. But my head was on the same cloud as his..."

"Well anyway," Olav stood up and smiled sadly, "You can still choose not to dance tonight. I can talk to your mother. We can show her the videos."

"I will dance. If multiple demons come up in one day to be faced together, then so be it. It only means that I will have no demons come tomorrow," Linda mustered all the courage she didn't know she even had. "Funny though," she added, "in the video, he did not immediately appear, he appeared when I performed my trademark spin," then he was there all the way.
Olav smiled, definitely amused in spite of himself, "Yes, he called that the dizzy. You may have not seen anyone perform that spin, but I have first seen that with Olav. That was also his signature routine. It blew my mind when I first saw you do that, for a moment, it's as if I saw Emir. Great dancers I guess." he smiled. "Well, if you insist on dancing, you better rest and prepare for tonight. I will call for you when the make-up artists are ready."

Linda's mind was racing as she walked out of Olav's quarters. She had a feeling that Emir may not really be dangerous, but why is he here. Does he just want to dance, or does he have a message. Her heart racing horribly and she is already coughing from the strain. She does not think that she can rest but she will have to somehow pacify herself. She went to her room, donned her sweatpants, sneakers and grabbed her ipod to jog the troubles away. A good jog always calms her when confusion comes, perhaps this won't be any different.

That afternoon during the preparations, the seamstress pricked her fingers thrice because Linda was too jittery. The make-up artists were already glowering at her after multiple applications of foundation as her sweat keeps on smudging her face. After the ordeal, she was finally ready and she was ushered on side stage to await her turn. As she emerged onstage, and all her fears, thoughts and concerns vanished. She felt like she just came home. The dance floor is the lifeblood that flows through her veins, this is where she goes to get cured. The dance floor was where she makes something out of nothing, her Sistene chapel. As she glided through the floor when her routine started, she floated through the air like an out of body experience. Then she jumped high and landed with her signature spin and she closed her eyes. Then she heard a whisper. He's here.

It felt stronger tonight, the cold. As if all the vents are open and the winter air is puring in. She felt a hand on her waist, but as she spun around, there was no one there.

"Emir?" she asked. Hoping that nothing would answer.

"We have not really been introduced, although I have been watching you for a while." A voice said.

"I have always wanted a worthy partner," he said with mockery and mirth in his voice, "I'm guessing Olav has already told you about my... er.. personality?"

"Oh yes, in all it's color," Linda couldn't help but smile as she spinned right into Emir's invisible but surprisingly solid arms.

"Yeah, and it's a compliment to actually tell you this coming from me, I overheard you last night, never stop dancing. Not everyone is given this talent. And if you stop doing something that is as crucial as the air you breathe, well, you just die," he said as the song slowly faded.

"Oh and one more thing," Emir's voice is barely a whisper now.

"You have to come closer as I can't harness any more energy when the song is done," he added.

Linda spinned towards Emir as the song ended, straining to hear his last words as he and the song faded away. Then she took a bow and the audience erupted in tumultous ovation. Row upon row or spectators stood up in applause. She could only assume that she performed well, for she totally forgot what she dance she performed.

"Brilliant love, just brilliant!" Olav squeezed her so tight as she exited to the side stage. "Oh the recommendations I would write. And frankly there is really no need for recommendations because a bunch of deans are sitting on the audience. You my love are simply..."

"Can we go to your quarters?" Linda interrupted him.
Olav looked concerned for a moment and then understood, then they slowly walked towards his quarters with their teammates doing congratulatory thumps at Linda's back.

As they arrived in Olav's parlor, Linda closed the door and sat on the nearest chair.

"Emir is indeed an extraordinary dancer," Linda started.
"He was there!?" Olav asked aghast.
"Yes he was, perhaps you can watch the video later, I couldn't see him though.  But anyway, he has a message for you," Linda said with a wink, "he said that the dance was for you."

"Oh.." Olav's eyes turned to water and he looked down.

Linda squeezed shoulder and saif, "He also said that you should forgive yourself and that he loves you."

Olav hung his head low as his tears trickled to the floor. Soft sobs escaped his lips as Linda rubbed his shoulders in an attempt to comfort him.

"And one more thing..."

"What is it?" Olav looked up amidst his tears.

"He said happy anniversary," Linda rubbed his shoulders and walked out of the room, still in euphoria from the dance and ran towards her mother's beaming smile and outstretched arms.

Submitted: April 01, 2012

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Add Your Comments:



Very Beautiful. This was a wonderful piece of writing.

Sun, April 1st, 2012 7:15pm


Thanks jmurch! Glad to know someone likes it. :)

Mon, April 16th, 2012 7:43pm


beautifull inspiring......XD

Thu, May 24th, 2012 1:48am

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