‘ Let us Dance'
By Alexandra H. Rodrigues

It was a guest performance. Ten days in total. Fully sold out at the Modern Opera House.
The operetta shown – Cloudy Dancing!
Ariana had talked herself into an illusionary love affair. She, the Prima Ballerina, who was desired by many men but unwilling to tie herself to either one of them, experienced for the first time the urge to be held, embraced and conquered by him.
Would today be the day? Today was the last day of Cloudy Dancing on this stage.
Ariana was not at all shy. She would try to meet up with Mr. Strange during the intermission, at which time she would let him have her cell phone number.
The curtain opened. The stage was hers. She once again felt the elation of being the Prima Ballerina of this show. Dance for her was the world. The music, her movements and the intense admiration of the audience was what Ariana lived for. She was born to dance!
Petite, proportioned like a dainty porcelain doll, she had never let anything interfere with the discipline required by her career. She had worked her way up, literally step by step: tap, ballet and modern dance. When friends were out partying, she was practicing, improving her talent, often spending excruciating long hours in yawning, empty training halls. Now, in her mid-twenties she was on top of her art.
In society, she could be seen with suitors. These were men she asked to accompany her to required functions, nothing more. None of these men could ever claim to be her boyfriend. 
Ariana lived for her dance and in the characters she played.
She glanced at the spectators. Again, the theater was full. It was the last performance of Cloudy Dancing. There he was. The good looking young man with those mesmerizing brown eyes that seemed to pierce through her body and set her emotions on fire. She had first noticed him the night of the Premiere in the third row at the orchestra side. His smile intrigued her. Her dance, always exhilarating, took on an etheric swing. The applause was deafening.
He did not let her forget him. He was there again the next evening and every evening during the show. Always in the third row. Always smiling and intently following her every move. Every evening he was accompanied by a slightly older looking gentleman. That man hardly ever smiled, and one got the feeling that the performing arts were not exactly to his special liking.
After a few nights, Ariana had expected to get a note from her obvious admirer or even a visit by him to her dressing room. But nothing! By now the exchange of their looks had taken on a certain intimacy. Who was that man? Why always the male company? Was he gay? In that case, why did he come every day?
It was the first time in her life that Ariana allowed herself romantic expectations and even sexual fantasies. Thoughts about that stranger inhibited much of her free time and crept into her dreams.
By now, this last day of the show, Ariana had talked herself into an illusionary love affair with her anonymous admirer. She had given her very best during the first act, and then came the intermission. He seemed a little sad today. Sad that it was the last time? She even imagined that he threw her a kiss when their eyes met. He was in for a surprise. She smiled to herself.
As she made her way down to meet him she felt her heart beat with excitement and nervousness. Would he be happy? His friend had gone outside during the intermission and Ariana saw that Mr. Strange had remained in his seat.
As she turned into row three, she saw something that made her entire body shake. Next to the stranger rested a folded wheelchair. The man’s upper body was immaculately dressed but it ended just below the thighs. He was an amputee. The companion most likely his aide. Ariana choked. He had noticed her. Too late to turn around. He had paled when he saw her approach. She went to him. “I should not have come today,” he whispered and added “By coming down here you gave me an unforgettable gift.”
Ariana went close to him and pressed a timid kiss on his forehead. She did not leave her phone number. Her entrance was required on the stage again. She was confused. This last dance was for him despite that her legs felt like lead. The final part of the play required her to cry. Today she finished with real tears. 

‘ Let us Dance'
© By Alexandra H. Rodrigues, November 9, 2016 
All Rights Reserved

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