could a series of unsolved murders be the key to finding her true self?
“I see you over there, Pam, get it together!” Pam rolled her eyes.
“Great job Erina! As always, absolutely perfect!”
I smiled politely. I didn’t feel like I was doing great. My recent injury was slowing me down. I wanted to fall to the floor.
Just keep dancing. I thought.
I started to sweat. Don’t do it Erina. Keep it together. I felt like I wanted to pass out.
My ankle was killing me, and I hadn’t had any food or water all day. Got to stay skinny.
I kept doing the dance, as rehearsed.
I needed to practice. We were doing a production of The Nutcracker and I desperately wanted to get Clara. I knew the dance perfectly, but in my world, perfect was not enough.
Pam wanted to get Clara as well, but I doubted that she would get it, she was such a slacker. She never practiced. I wondered how she even got into the school.
“Perfect, ladies. Remember, auditions are tomorrow. Don’t be late.” My dance instructor said. He looked at me, as if he knew that I would get Clara.
Pam rolled her eyes as she walked out.
I always stretched before leaving class. My dance instructor came up behind me.
“Outstanding today, Erina. I am absolutely stunned at how amazing you were today.”
I smiled. “Yes, well, I am always practicing. Practice makes perfect.”
He smiled. “I know you will do great tomorrow. Lets hope that Pam doesn’t try to ruin things for you, like she did at the last audition.”
I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to think about the last audition. It was horrible. I still got the lead, but I felt like I was some sort of beginner dancer or something.
I smiled and grabbed my dance bag. I walked past my dance instructor. I seemed very rude with the way I just walked out, but my mother would be worried and I needed to practice as much as I can at home.
“Goodbye now!” My dance instructor said as I walked out.
I put on my scarf and winter coat, made of real furs.
The streets of London in Winter are not the finest.
I stopped at the nearest Starbucks. Energy boost. I would be mixing red bull with it later, for twice the boost. Sleep has no place in a ballerina’s life.
I walked up the stairs to my apartment, where I lived with my mother. She was very supportive in my dancing, but she was the one who always pushed me to the extreme.
“Hello mother, I am home.” I said, closing the door behind me. She stormed in. Oh no, time for a lecture.
“Where have you been! You are 30 minutes late! I told you that you must be home by 8 pm on the dot!” I sighed.
She crossed her arms and tapped her foot.
“I’m sorry. Look, I was stretching, then I went for coffee. I was in pain today because of my foot. I’m sorry mother.” I said, looking down at the floor.
She scoffed. “I can’t believe you! Injury has no room in the life of a young dancer. You’ve been doing this since you were 2! You should have learned by now that you need to show no pain, no fear, and no emotion!”
I wanted to cry. I hated to disappoint her.
I whispered ‘sorry’ under my breath.
“To bed, now!” She said. I remembered that I needed to stretch and practice. “But mother, tomorrow are auditions. I need to get ready.”
She rolled her eyes. People seemed to be rolling there eyes a lot around me.
“Fine, sleep has no place in a dancers life. Go to your dance room. I’ll get an energy drink ready.” I handed her my coffee and went ahead to my dance room.
I stretched for about 30 minutes before my mother brought me my energy drink. A mix of red bull, coffee, and soda. Yum.
“Stretch for 40 more minutes, than you can start practicing for tomorrow.” My mother said as she walked out of the room.
I didn’t like stretching.
I felt like a rubber band when I was done stretching. I was very sore. But I needed to practice all through the night.
The clock read 4 am.
I sighed.
“Mother, come in here.” I shouted.
She rushed in.
“Yes, darling?” She said.
“I’m finished, may I go to bed now?” I asked.
Her face turned red. She was getting angry.
“I told you now that sleep has no room in a dancers life! You keep practicing now so you can be the very best!”
I just looked at her with a blank face.
Yes, mother. I thought.
She left the room. I didn’t.
In the morning I looked my best and I grabbed my best dance bag with all my best slippers.
I got into the car with my mother.
“I hope you got a lot of practicing in last night.” She said.
“Yes, I sure did. I hope I do get Clara. I fear that Pam will get her.” I said.
“Oh, that Pam is a horrible dancer! And if I think she is getting even close to getting the role, I will slip something in her water!” Mother was especially angry that morning.
“Oh, no, mother. That didn’t turn out too good last time.” It really didn’t. Pam noticed the stuff in her water and started pointing fingers. We could have been arrested.
My mother was known to be a cheater.
We pulled up to the audition theater.
“Good luck. I will find a place to park, than I will come inside and watch you.” My mother said.
I nodded.
I got into a dressing room. I dressed all in my stuff.
I walked out of my room and ran into my dance instructor.
“Oh, hello, Ms. Borden. How are you this morning? I hope you got a lot of practice in this morning?” He said.
“Yes, I did, Mr. Hayes.” He nodded.
I walked off.
I went into the room where there were tons of people waiting to judge me.
Let the games begin. I thought.
There were about 50 girls, all from throughout London. They were all wishing to get the part.
I saw Mr. Hayes sitting in the corner. I didn’t want to disappoint him, he had been my choreographer since forever.
I saw my mother sitting in the front row.
She looked like she was full of anger. She wanted to pick me apart, I could tell.
I lined up. As did all the other girls.
The music started.
I began to twirl and walk around. I noticed Pam staring at me the whole time. She was making sure I didn’t look better than her. I did.
We danced for about 35-40 minutes.
My foot was very sore.
“Amazing ladies and gentlemen. I will have the results posted and sent to your emails shortly.” The man said. His name was Aaron Bui. He was very talented and I had met him several times.
“Oh, Erina, that was amazing! I know you will get Clara, I just know it! That Pam doesn’t stand a chance!” My mother said, squeezing me.
Mr. Hayes came up behind us.
“Hello Erina, and Erina’s mother. You did outstanding. I know you will get Clara. I just see it. May I have a word with your mother? In private?” He asked.
I nodded.
I could hear everything they were saying.
“Well, Mrs. Borden, your daughter is amazing!” He said.
“Oh, well, Mr. Hayes, my daughter has been doing this all her days. She knows more than most girls. She will be the next Misty Copeland. Also, call me Cassie. That is my name. And I am not married. Erina’s father is deceased.” Mother always tried to be flattering.
“Yes, well, Cassie. I just wanted to say that I enjoy having your daughter as a student.” Mr. Hayes said as he walked off.
Me and my mother got home and she began to ramble about how I was the only good one out there on the stage. I knew that I was one of the best, not the only good one.
We had no dinner. My mother wanted to celebrate with cake. Delicious cake. I’m surprised she even let me eat it!
I went to bed from 8 pm-8am because I hadn’t slept in 2 days. Or eaten, as a matter of fact.
The next day I was the first one there. I wanted to see the sheet that said my name on it under Clara.
The sheet was there. Only a few feet away from me. I couldn’t see the words. They were too small. I inched closer.
There, my name stood, under Clara!
“Yes!” I yelled.
Other girls came pouring in. Pam did too and an angry look on her face appeared. She didn’t get Clara. She was an extra.
I pulled out my phone. I called my mother. I knew that she would answer it asap.
She picked up.
“Mother, I got Clara!”
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