A lone figure stood on the empty dance floor, her captivating blue eyes focusing nowhere.
Noticing that she was zoning out, Svetlana sighed and went back to her work. She started the music again and got into her ready position. Her skirt was ripped and torn. Her hair was open, flowing but not tangled, with a grace that she had no hope of embodying.
She liked to think that she was naturally talented, but her ballet teacher and everyone around her begged to disagree. So she ended up here, her feet weak and bruised, spending far more hours than everyone else, every day, every month, practicing and practicing.
Prancing around, Svetlana spun and spun, her moves getting more rigid and restricted by the second. Finally, she flew into her ending pose as soon as the music stopped, putting on a fake smile that would’ve fooled not even the dumbest infant. She collapsed, fatigued, her mind blank with torpor.
Nevertheless, she smiled, this time a genuine one, and started to lose consciousness. All lucidity faded away.
Her eyelashes fluttered open as she gasped, her eyes accommodating for the harsh spotlight shining on her. Everyone, including her ballet teacher, her classmates, her family and some other people she didn’t recognise were watching her with focused eyes. “Are you alright? That was a whopper of a performance there, man!” Svetlana furrowed her eyebrows in confusion.
“Hey missy! Could you teach my niece, please? She loves ballet but hasn’t found the right tutor yet…” “That was so amazing! I’m so sorry for usually treating you badly!”
Voices like these echoed through the hallway, making the blonde-haired dancer more mystified by the second. All her senses blended into one another, creating a brilliant spectrum of sound and vibrancy. Seeing her bewildered expression, her dance teacher stepped up and gently explained everything to her:
“In the case that your memory has gone wild and left you, I will now describe simply what has happened to you, you lucky girl.” She then proceeded to narrate, in detail, how Svetlana had been chosen to perform, how she fell sick the night before but stubbornly refused to give up, how she begged and begged until she reached her goal, and how straight after her performance she had fainted on the stage.
Everyone was looking at her worriedly, and for the first time she felt special.
She felt wanted. Respected. She felt she had a purpose, an anchor among the volatility.
The body of Svetlana Zhuvosky was buried in the family graveyard 4 days after they found her, her family weeping endlessly at the funeral. They could not understand how their precious daughter, the sunshine of their lives, had passed away without any notice, leaving nothing but a content, melancholy smile.