A Dark Dance

Francina wants to be a ballerina. Her dream comes true when she is accepted into New York Ballet Academy.

But what will happen when Francina meets strange and mysterious Ty, who is 19? Will her dreams turn to nightmares?


Based on/Inspired by 'Dance of Shadows' by Yelena Black

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10. Changes

A/N: Have 'The Nutcracker: Clara Dances with The Nutcracker' open in YouTube. When The music begins, play the video and read whilst listening.

Francina's POV

I woke up gasping. What the frickin' hell was that? I shook the sleep and tangled blankets off me and jumped out of my sweaty bed. It didn't mean anything. I always used to have nightmares when Gabe went away to school; maybe it was the rapid changes and surprises that brought them back? Anyway, no time to think of that, I had to get some practise in before school. Showering quickly and getting into my dance stuff, I hurriedly wrote a note for mum, then pulled some joggers and a sweatshirt on before running out the door, my bag swinging on my shoulder, water and phone in hand. I raced down the road, getting my heart beating faster, and hoped that the door would be unlocked. If not, I'd have to call the instructor and ask if I could pick the keys up. Which would take even longer. I longed for my mind to be cleared and totally focused on my dancing, at least just for 45 minutes.

 

Luckily, the door was open, and I slipped into the darkened studio to begin. Leaving the lights off and opening the curtains only a little, I slipped on my ballet shoes and pulled the rosin board out of the cupboard. I used the school's rosin mostly, but as it was locked away at night, I used a bit of my own and set my phone in the docker ready to play, and stretched quickly, but thoroughly. Music filled the studio and I was swept away with it. It reminded me of when I first saw a ballet being performed on stage, The Nutcracker, and how I then knew I wanted to be a ballerina. I flicked the song to 'Clara and the Nutcracker', where Clara dances with her new nutcracker toy. I slipped away into the familiar music, muscle memory taking over and thinking of the changes.

 

The music begins.

By the end of January I had tried to forget about what had happened with Gabe. I wouldn't see him until Easter, anyway. Tiny steps at a time. Kicks backward: little slips when I let myself think...

 

During February, I felt as if I was spinning, twisting and turning as my thoughts spiralled and whirled. I could barely keep up with dance, and school work, and... and-- I had to carry on. There was no way around it. Life kept moving around me and I had to keep up...

 

Now it was leading up to Easter, at the end of March. I could myself tensing at the thought more each day. Two weeks... One week... Six days... Five... Four... Three... Two... One... I was going crazy with the anticipation, winding myself up, dizzying myself and others and never settled or rested, waiting, waiting, tension building--

 

But he was ill. A part of me relaxed, which I scolded myself severely for, and he had to stay at school. Now it was back to my old game, forgetting, slipping up, moving on...

 

Throughout the whole of April, I busied myself with everything but him. I would not think of him; I would not torture myself anymore. I could feel that mum was hiding something, and I never seemed to see Gabe's parents anymore. I saw them once, and they seemed slightly shifty...

 

Then they told me. It was settled that I would not see Gabe until the summer, and even then only for a few days. His family would be the only ones to see him at half-term - I would be on camp with my ballet school - and he would be going away for most of the summer, and would be coming back at around the same time that I was going to leave for my audition for NYBA.

 

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