She’s watching me from behind the glass, jealous, desperate. It’s her turn to watch, alone, unloved. I spent so long, tucked away, hidden, my voice silenced, my dance stopped. Now I’m in in the spotlight. I move to the center of my large, mostly empty room, and continue to work. Plié, arms raised in a graceful curve. Chaînés, turning again and again as I travel across the floor. A slow stretch, raising my leg straight and high. The fouettés, quicker, harder. I push myself until I’m exhausted and I fall into the armchair. My long pale hair is damp with sweat, but I feel exhilarated.
I untie the satin ribbon of my shoes, unwrap them and slip them off. I take the pad off my toes. She had never truly cared about the ballet, had never put her whole heart and soul into it, as I was willing to. I hear her crying out again, a shriek of pain, but I ignore it as she had so often ignored my pleas. She had created me, stronger than her, sexier, tougher. At first, she had been so grateful. I had helped her when she needed me. I was the one who had taken care of her step-brother, I was the reason she stopped fearing the sounds of footsteps in the house at night. Of course, she had been upset when I had dealt with her parents, too, but they couldn’t know our secret, couldn’t send her away to be “fixed,” drugged. But she thought she could keep me locked up, only peeking out when she wanted me to. She just didn’t understand.
I hear the doorbell chime. André is here. I knew he wouldn’t be able to resist my invitation. I glance in the mirror, barely seeing her staring back at me. The low cut of the pink silk dress frames me well. My hair falls in gentle waves to the middle of my back, tousled just enough to seem carefree and unconstrained. My light blue eyes hold a false innocence that makes men want to protect me, take care of me. I smile slightly. After tonight’s private performance, I am quite certain I will be Medora in this season’s production. If not, well, perhaps it is time for a new artistic director.
I don’t actually know anything about ballet, so I hope I didn’t screw it up too much.
Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take.