|Current mood:|| artistic|
|Current music:||"Put Your Back Into It" from Save the Last Dance Soundtrack|
The Torn Dance Shoes
Here is a "chapter" of my stupid novel. God help me if I even plan on finishing this anytime soon. Anyways, here it is:
It seemed like only yesterday when I peered into the huge glass windows of this dance school I am standing in front of right now. I remember that first time I ever stopped here, my little hands and nose pressed on the window. I didn’t care (or know) how dirty that window was but, at that time, I felt I had to be I as close to whatever’s inside. For some strange reason, at that time, at that age, I knew that was the closest I could ever get to whatever’s inside.
I was only about five years old then. My mom, Monica, her mom Angela and I walked by the same route everyday after school. We pass through this establishment everyday but Monica and I never really noticed it until that one specific day.
Our everyday routine was to go to school, get picked up at about noon and have lunch at the deli-restaurant, Ambrosia’s, beside the dance school. Our moms and the owners were friends and although sometimes my mom was not able to pay for everything, they just keep our tab and let my mom pay for everything at the end of the month when my father sent my mother money.
I usually had the rice, meat and veggie meal but that day, I decided to have a hamburger. Monica had the same. While the moms chattered with Mr. Ambrosia, Monica and I, hamburgers on our hands, walked out of the restaurant door and stopped to look at the dance studio. Those times weren’t as constricting to children as it is now. Then, mothers did not have the need to watch over their children every minute.
As we eat (or rather, have our hamburgers cool in our little hands), we admired the dancers as they jumped, danced and twirled around. I think Monica wanted to be like them as much as I do. In my young eyes, they reminded me of fairies, free of any restrictions or worries, only more life-sized. Their movements made it seem like they were as light as air, as if nothing can get in their way. As the group formed two separate lines, one of the ladies, she was about twenty, looked to our direction, then smiled and waved at us before she
I watched that girl the whole time we were standing there. Our burgers were finished by the time they finished their class and we watched as the dancers walked out of the studio. The same girl I had been watching looked at us and walked towards us.
“Hi there girls,” she said in such a sweet voice that reminded me much of my mom’s voice. “Did you like that?”
“Yeah!” Monica and I answered.
“I wanna be just like you,” I blurted out, feeling my cheeks turn red. I remember the girl smiled as she did the same.
“That is so sweet,” she said as she kneeled to look at Monica and I eye to eye. She took each of our hands before saying, “You wanna be ballerinas eh? Well, it’s very hard but if you take lessons and practice really hard, you can be really good when you get older.” She started to look for something in her gym bag. She pulled out some flyers and two pink hair scrunchies, and gave them to us.
“I want you two to have these. These are my good luck charms when I was younger. I want you two to have it.”
“Thank you,” we said graciously as we placed it on our wrists.
“I am going to be teaching girls your age here soon. If you want,” she said as she pointed to the flyers. “You can give that to your moms if you like.”
“Denise, let’s go,” said another woman, pulling in her car by sidewalk right in front of us.
“One second,” Denise said before turning back on us. “Now you girls go back to your moms, alright? I bet they are worried. You’ve been here for a long time now. Bye.”
When she left our sight, Monica and I ran back into the restaurant, shoving the flyers into our mother’s hands.
“We want to be ballerinas!”
My mom tucked me in bed that night, her face somewhat glum. We had been talking about my possibilities about dinner and she said she’d have to think about it while I change for bed. But I knew right there my mom was going to say no. And she did. Mom said we just couldn’t afford it at that time. And I understood why.
My father was in the east coast because of his job as an editor but my mother and I stayed in Staten Island, New York with my grandmother and Uncle Roger. My father was struggling there and he thought that my mom would do better here in Staten Island since she already had a job as a nightshift nurse. And while she worked those hours, my grandmother watched over me and my uncle Roger was a chemistry teacher at a local public high school.
Because of our financial condition and that my mother insisted that I go to a private school, the budget was already tight as it is and the dance lessons would just make everything worse. I didn’t push it because I didn’t want to worry her.
Monica got the dance lessons since her parents could afford it. Her father was a family physician and her mother was his assistant. Everything was easier for her since they had money and I admit that I was somewhat jealous at Monica.
She had the best toys that every girl our age wanted and had the nicest clothes. Her large room was finely decorated with pink and white tones. She had a nice five-poster bed and she had her own toy-room. Their three-floor house seemed like a mansion and it was well-furnished. I, on the other hand, lived in a rented house across the street. My family lived in the first floor separated from the rest of the house while the owner lived on the two upper floors. My bedroom was small and quite cluttered since my grandmother’s things were also there. My mom and grandmother had a room each while my uncle slept on the couch.
At that age, Monica didn’t seem to mind my financial status. We usually played at her house since we had more playing room and she didn’t mind that we played her toys more than we played mine. She was upset that I could not be in ballet class with her but she tried to teach me what she learned. Because of that, I didn’t mind not getting those ballet classes and being financially stable at all. With a wonderful friend like Monica, who could ask for more?
But as much as I did not want these things to change, the fates decided to become unkind soon enough.