The air around me crackled briefly and then burst into the many layers of a haunting melody, the sounds reanimating my aching limbs instantly.
I stepped, leapt and twirled through the air, matching every movement of the music with my own. My mind was clear, my concentration so intense that I was invested purely in every passing moment. The steady beating of my heart kept the tempo of the world I was creating and it grew more and more vivid as I danced on.
My feet were no longer tiptoeing across a freshly-waxed wooden floor but a clearing in the forest. Moonlight, not the glare of ceiling lamps, was caressing my skin. With every pirouette I was a swan, rising higher and higher into the air-
Even though I was not the one being addressed my vision was shattered and I crumpled with little grace to the floor, wincing as my foot met the ground at a painful angle.
It was the secretary, talking completely to my coach with no regard for her interruption whatsoever.
"The new instructor's here-"
"An hour early? Tell him to come on time!"
I genuinely appreciated Talgus' blunt attitude sometimes.
"Oh, no sir," the secretary started again, fiddling with the pen tucked behind her ear, "He demands that he see his client now. Something about how he has no time besides now and had sent word earlier."
Talgus looked confused but sighed soon afterwards.
"I think someone from his office did leave a message at my house. I keep forgetting things these days."
The secretary patted his arm reassuringly.
"That's why Nina's going to take you back to Florida, sir. I hear the oranges are great this time of year."
My stomach sank again at the realization that Talgus (or 'Gus' as I called him most of the time) was retiring. He had been the first person to notice me, to take me away from the world of being a nobody and helping me get somewhere, namely the Chicago Ballet Troupe.
Gus never took it easy on me and I had to thank him for that. I had evolved rapidly over the few years he had been training me and becoming a part of the Ballet's biggest production actually seemed a possibility.
Swan Lake. A story of love, magic and deception.
My big break, I was sure of it.
So far I had only been in a few small shows. I wanted a chance to prove myself to the world.
I wanted to be the leading lady.
"Could we all please get a move on?"