Dancing Near You

“I… I’ve always been… a little self-conscious about my dancing. Only the people closest to me have seen me dance. The ones I work with. I don’t know… I’m not sure…”

She sweated and stuttered a lot whenever I asked her when I could watch her dance. She blushed.

“But you are going to have a premiere soon, right?” I asked her putting my arms around her. “Please, I love you. I want to see you. Let me be there.”

She eventually conceded with a smile, a nod, and a kiss and I waited patiently. I noticed the change in her demeanor almost instantly. She talked about her dancing, her practice, her techniques, how nervous she felt every other day. She told me what to expect and I could feel myself filling with pride. I felt so peaceful hearing her reveal herself to me because I felt I had constructed a solid bridge between us that would be forever sturdy. Communication, trust, love, these are key for any healthy relationship.

The opening night finally came and I sat in the second row. The place was full, people chattered and felt excited, they were browsing through the program and waiting impatiently. I was so filled with expectation and joy that I was unable to talk to anyone or even explain what was about this performance that made me so anxious. My love, my true love showing me her passion in the barest manner possible; pure, truth, and flame. I could not be happier and when the curtain went up, something inside my chest and my stomach fluttered. I grinned like a total idiot.

What followed was one of the most horrifying and disappointing things in my entire life. She danced lousily, awfully, a rotten mess; she moved around the stage as if a giant stick had been inserted in her spine; as if her legs were the most fragile objects in the universe, and she was afraid of breaking them by doing the slightest effort. Her mouth stayed open the entire time and her eyes looked dazed and unfocused. She moved like a statue and breathed so heavily I could hear her from my seat. Her rhythm was brittle, her movements opposed flowing. There was no grace in her, no single worthwhile thing in her entire performance, no passion, no power, and no enchantment like the one I imagined.

I had never felt so embarrassed in my entire life and I left the theatre before anyone else, before I could see anyone’s horrid reaction on their faces. I stayed outside for the remainder of the program thinking, thinking, laughing aloud, raising my voice in frustration and wondering what I was going to do now. Not only did I have to pretend I watched the whole show through but that I enjoyed it. A strange revulsion began in my stomach.

We had agreed to meet in the car because she did not want to bother too much with everyone else. I stayed there and waited for her and even when I heard her coming, I still had no idea what I was going to say.

“I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it! Feel me. I’m still shaking!” she said and I nodded but said nothing. She was vibrant. “I’ve never been so nervous in my entire life! But I think it went so well. Damn it! I’m so embarrassed! What did you think? Did you see how crowded it was?”

“It certainly was crowded,” I said thinking of nothing else to say and smiling doing my best to pretend honesty.

“And everyone! Everyone just came and came after the show ended! I mean, you sure saw that! They were all so excited too! They wanted to meet me and my assistants!”

“They liked it?” I asked perhaps way too incredulously. She sighed with a smile.

“Yeah, it was very encouraging. I thought that I was only going to do it once a week but after this reception, I think I’m… I’m going to have to do it more. They were hugging me! They were like at my feet. They were all so… I mean… they said I was awesome! I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be so boastful. But I’m just so excited!”

“I can’t believe it!” I said.

“Me neither. Damn… let’s go. I want to go home,” she said and I turned on the car, feeling more and more nervous by the second. I was perplexed and shocked. I could not construct a single coherent thought. “Thank you so much for encouraging me, sweetie! I’ll never forget it. Thank you, thank you. Now you can go and see me whenever you want to and… and I may even do you a private dance.”

“Ah… mmm… wow,” I said and I felt like crying but I said nothing else. She kissed my cheek and started rambling on about her show. She went on and on and on and all I could picture in my mind was her revolting moves and her disgraceful disrespect for the art of dance. In the middle of her speech, I turned only once to see her quickly and then back at the road. Her smile was perfect but there was a glimpse in her eyes, so discrepant. It made me think that perhaps she had planned this all along and that I had fallen right into a trap.

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I like to write for some reason so I’m doing it here. I’ll try write something every day, and hopefully, get better at it.

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Eric S. V. B.

I like to write for some reason so I’m doing it here. I’ll try write something every day, and hopefully, get better at it.