It was all he had hoped for here and now. As he watched her dance en pointe, his breathing slowed until he heard his own heartbeat; keeping time to Swan Lake, Act Three. The audience shuffled quietly, expectantly.White noise filled his head, a gentle roar that grew in depth. The world held its breath, waiting for his cue.
This was it!It had taken him his whole life to reach this moment, and he savoured every sweet note, every heart thump, every smile, rehearsed or not.
She was beautiful!Tonight, after they danced, he would ask her. A thrill surged through him as the violins shivered in tempo.
This was it!A final deep breath, the roaring in his ears now replaced with the familiar strains of chords and notes, his cue; his moment; his spotlight.
This was it!Arms up – soft – and away; a spring step, lightly, lightly; feet extended, and a springbok leap.
The rest of the ballet passed in a blur; a delightful, happy blur, as he danced like the man possessed he had become. Obsessed with movement and allowing his body to change and reach out, dance had become his whole life, ever since he saw her, at school , gasping with the beauty and delight at the retired ballerina’s graceful performance.If only the U13 rugby kids could see me now, he mused, waiting for his final lift with her. That would silence the critics, his father in particular, and those bullies who waited for him behind corners, around trees, in the boys loos. If they could only see his body now; strong, sinewy, complete muscle definition. A man. A dancing man, yes, but this costume leaves nothing to the imagination. He was perfection. Perfection in lycra and tights.
He stiffened for the final lift, smile bright. Tonight is the night. His night. Music swelling, she leapt towards him, took flight; arms extended.She was so beautiful!
He shivered in anticipation of her answer. Smiling, her perfect body taut with energy, sweat beaded her brow.Now was the time! His career highlight, the audience, her, his spotlight, their triumph.
Reaching out, he carefully placed one hand on her left thigh.The other hand under her waist and ribs, careful not to bruise or hurt her. She was safe in his capable arms, his strong hands, his gentle touch.
Already the audience began to applaud.
Magnificent!His heart thumped in time to the final chorus. Soon they would walk on stage Pas Marche and bow together. He closed his eyes, filled with passion and joy. He dipped her head towards the stage, as they had rehearsed for the past three months. He could do this movement with his eyes closed.
She never saw it coming, the blood leaving a small trickle, as he stood, in the spotlight, frozen.