The Song of Freedom
She sat waiting for the show to start. Phoebe sat, and sat, and sat. Then the music started to play. The wonderful music. The melodic tune filled her senses and left her in wonder as the slim dancer entered the stage. The dancer was beautiful. She was graceful amid the leaps, bounds, and twirls she did on stage. The show was over before Phoebe knew it. But as soon as the show finished Phoebe begged, and begged, and begged her parents for ballet lessons. Though her mother and father knew they couldn’t afford it, they agreed. They started working double shifts and multiple jobs to support their daughter’s dream. They made sure she had all three meals even though they didn’t.
However, this was before Phoebe’s mother died from childbirth. Then Phoebe’s lessons had to be stopped periodically for she had to take care of her little brother, as well to clean up after her father. He was never the same after Phoebe’s mother had passed. He had resorted to drinking. Phoebe had to stop him from beating her brother, whom her father had blamed for Mother’s death. Soon Phoebe was old enough to get a job. She started to make enough money to go to ballet again. Though the scars weren’t few enough to heal, she knew she had to dance once more.
On her own, Phoebe practiced for hours each day. That was, however, in between changing diapers and washing dishes. But Phoebe practiced, nonetheless. She made sure her plies were low enough, and that her splits went well past what it needed to be. She made sure it was like she never left the studio. And soon, Phoebe was to go back for the first time.
As she entered the dance studio, she could smell the chalk and fresh pointe shoes of the dancers. She felt a light tap on her shoulder. Her instructor, Mr. Renard, had walked up to her, and she didn’t notice. How embarrassing was that? Phoebe slowly turned around, expecting to be scolded for leaving the dance company so abruptly. However, as soon as she turned around, her teacher hugged her. Phoebe froze. She hadn’t had any physical contact for a while now and had forgotten what it was like to be touched by someone. Phoebe Lively had forgotten how much she liked hugs. She used to be such a warm person before all of this, but now she had turned cold.
Phoebe took a deep breath. Then she let that breath out. She opened her eyes and pulled away. The door opened. A group of girls walked in with their ballet bags in hand, laughing and chatting away. They made their way over to the ballet bar and started warming up. We waited until the rest of the students arrived, to warm up as a group. We practiced our arabesques, plies, and assembles. Then we discussed the choreography of our next concert. The class was then over. As I was just about to grab my bag and rush home, someone tapped me on the shoulder to stop me. It was one of the girls who had come earlier. She had taken my scarf by accident and just realized. She introduced herself as Emily Reynolds and with that, she was gone.
As soon as Emily had fled down the cobblestone stairs, and sprinted down the narrow path, Phoebe heard her teacher calling her name. “Phoebe!” he yelled, “Phoebe!”. Ever so slowly, she turned to face Mr. Renard. He called her back towards the studio and ushered her inside. He then sat her down on a chair and began to converse with her.
As they were talking, her instructor proceeded to ask her why she left, and she told him what exactly happened during the past few months. He shifted closer to her. Then his hand started to wander, reaching the bottom of her shirt. His hand reached up to skim her chestnut, colored skin. In that moment, Phoebe froze. She couldn’t believe what was happening… her own teacher too. Then she moved. She grabbed her belongings and ran. She ran down the cobblestone steps, and down the narrow pathway. Phoebe didn’t stop until she got home.
This continued to happen for the next couple of months, but Phoebe always froze. She tried and she tried to move, but it just wouldn’t happen.
A couple months go by, and Phoebe continued to get better. Her splits were even farther, and her grace was eternal. But her mind was in knots. She was not able to smile for the longest time. However, the one thing she kept saying to herself, was to keep going. And so she did. She persevered until it was her final performance. She was to be performing before many scouts that could give her countless opportunities to leave this horrid place and take her brother with her.
So she danced. She danced until she couldn’t feel her feet, and until she couldn’t hear the rest of the music playing. It was almost as if it were second nature to her. She danced until the music finally came to a halt. She had finished. Phoebe walked off the stage.
A week goes by, and Phoebe receives a letter in the mail. Phoebe prepared herself. She took in a deep breath before slowly opening the seal of the beige envelope. When Phoebe skimmed through the letter, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She had gotten accepted into a dance school. Then she thought of her brother. Phoebe knew that she couldn’t leave him alone to her father’s wrath. Immediately she started packing her bags to leave and packing her brother’s things too. They left within the hour.
By: Alexia Negrut
Thank you for reading !!!!