She has a great smile and she uses it a lot. It’s her most appealing trait. That and the sense of humor behind it. That smile draws people to her, many of them hurting, looking for a salve made up of equal parts compassion and smart-ass to sooth their bruised soles. But who brings a poultice for the wounds she hides so well?
Sometimes, a gust of loneliness blows through, riffling her control and the pages of her secret dance book, that place she records each step of longing and pain. The pages flutter and rest open-book, exposing the anguish hidden by the smile for all to see, if they cared enough to look. Few do.
If those close to her were paying attention, they might notice that many of the lines in her dance book are not in her hand. Moments left behind, as empty as the messages left in the pink plastic-covered autograph book she had in elementary school, he inscribed the margins with hopes and dreams that she never recognized as fiction until the ink was dry and it was too late
Charming, he dances a clever paso doble cloaked with temptation, never committing to anything but the dance. Woven from spun sugar, promises of more are sweet on the tongue, then quickly melted and gone. The dance keeps her emotions teetering on the precipice, unable to move forward, unable to pull back.
She is a smart woman, our heroine. She knows all this. But when the loneliness blows in, passing though the arbor as it comes, perhaps, she sees him as she wishes he were, and the dance of longing is renewed. The saddest thing is that, committed to her fantasy dancer, even such a charming one, she is unable to look into reality and see new partner.
Were she to ask, which she won’t, someone close to her, someone with more concern for her than for personal footwork, yes, Someone might offer a suggestion.
Go to a quiet place in your head or your countryside, Someone would say, a place important only to you with no associations to anyone else. Go there, leave your dance book locked away and open your heart instead. Ask then: If I could have anything, what would it be? If all obstacles were removed, and I could have him exactly as he is, no alterations allowed, would I want him? If the answer is yes, Someone would add, the next question is obvious. And does he want you, exactly as you are, no alterations allowed?
If the answer to all these questions is yes, Someone would roll her eyes and ask, “Then what the Hell are you waiting for?
But if any of the answers is no, Someone would need say no more. Our heroine knows that if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. She might wish she were taller, younger, or able to tap dance, but she doesn’t invest her time and emotions longing for the impossible.
She’s a smart woman, our heroine is. And did I mention that she has a great smile?