The door opens slowly. It’s dark, so nothing can be seen, only heard.
They cross the room.
Light, but purposefully heavy.
The sound of a curtain being pulled back rolls across the hardwood. The sun seeps through, overflowing the room, every crack and corner. A cracked window lets in a cool breeze.
And there, in the middle of this empty room, my dancer stands.
It’s quiet, but my dancer begins to move.
Sounds suddenly echo soft music from the corner speakers, accompanying the light in the room sprawled across every inch of space.
Each movement my dancer makes is controlled and determined, but expressive of a freedom I can only imagine. Hard and soft at the same time. Light as a feather with balance sturdy as a rock. This. Is poetry in motion, and I am but a witness to the process.
I am the epitome of a wall flower, watching my dancer move, glide, sashay. Watching eyes, they glance at me, look past me. Grasping hands, stretch out, as if to touch me. Fearful, I reach out hesitantly, only to be just out of arms reach. They pull back, returning to their sides, and my dancer stands back in the center of the room while I watch from a distance. I can hear the sound of a beating heart, thumping to the sound of the beat in the background as the song fades… only to repeat.
This is how it is. This is how it always is. My dancer is beautiful, strong, graceful. I am not, and I will never get to dance alongside.
Before the song starts again, the door opens. Another joins the room, wraps arms around my dancer, and they move in synchronicity to the music. The connection is real, the chemistry undeniable, the emotions, full of life.
Hope dwindles as I watch dejected. Anger begins to fill my body, urging me to move in a way that mimics my dancer in a sarcastic hatred. They finish the routine. The one I had watched performed solo, filled with mistakes, and corrected. Growth in someone I truly believed great, revealing a finished product, one that I thought I was part of building, in some small sense at least.
They are happy, the two of them, in their completeness.
Heavy breathing. Smiling.
I am emotionless.
This moment, as if frozen in time, or trapped in a photograph, lasts forever in my mind. It is the moment of sudden nirvana.
And suddenly, clarity is thrust upon me as if shot through the open window, the wind breathing life into me. My eyes widen their vision, and pull away from the two lone figures in the room. I spent all this time so focused on my pain and jealousy, I failed to see the happiness, the true happiness in my dancer’s eyes. Something I would not be able to give, for the partner was able to give what was truly deserved. And I had been selfish this whole time. In turn, I realized, this whole time, I had also been as foolish as I had been selfish.
For when I had danced in anger, I thought I was alone.
But I too had a partner.
The dancer looks at the partner, and in a beautiful silence, dance the piece in the room.
Two figures in a room, while two shadows dance in the sunlight.