Dance to Recover

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Chapter One

"Honey?"

My head jerks up. I'm sprawled out on the couch watching a TV show. My mother stands in the arch of our kitchen doorway. She beckons me over. "Do I have to?" Mom gives me a look. "Ohhh, fine." I drag myself up from my seat, and slouch toward my mom. Mom is slender and tall. She has short, brown hair and twinkling, kind, chocolate brown eyes. I lean gently against the doorframe and raise my eyebrows at her. '' Yes?"

"Get ready for your lesson."

"Dance or voice?" I shift my weight slightly, mirroring her motions. She glances at me in slight irritation. "Dance. Voice is Thursday. Remember, sweetheart?" She smiles, pleased at teasing me about my bad memory. " Yes, Mother. I remember." I turn and head up to my room, to go yank on my stuff. Tattered, pink tights I have yet to replace, and a tight, black leotard. After I squeeze into that getup, I slide my toe shoes, ballet shoes, and my tap shoes into my dance duffel bag. I pull my hair back into a ponytail, take it down and decide to go with a messy bun today. "Kathrine Abbot, we have got to go!" "Alright, I'm coming already!" And I disappear down the stairs.

"Alright!" my dance coach, Grace, yells. "Five minute water break, than pointe dance." I groan inwardly, then slink off to the locker room to collapse on the bench in front of my locker. I slump against the wall of light blue lockers. I sigh and wrap my fingers around the wet, bottle of water sitting next to me.

" Hey." My best friend, Hannah, sat down next to me. Hannah was a dark  haired, dark eyed, Asian-American girl.

"Hey." I smiled weakly. She laughs. " Had a rough practice?" she asks sympathetically.

" How did you know?" I joke. I sigh, then slam my head against the locker to wake myself up. I wince. " That didn't help at all!" I moan.

" Did you really think that would help?" asks Hannah sarcastically.

"Well, I suppose not, but, you know," I shrugged. " What can you do?"

" Not slam your head against the wall, maybe?" suggests Hannah with a sly grin on her face.

I roll my eyes and stick my tongue out at her.

"Girls!" Grace's voice echoes through the locker room.

" Ma'am?" All the girls respond instantly.

" Come on! Dance time!"

" Alright!"

We leap up and head into the studio.

An hour later, both Hannah and I fall down on the bench. We moan in unison and begin untying the ribbons on our pointe shoes. I pull one of my light pink, satin shoes off. My mouth nearly falls open. My toes are bleeding! Oh my gosh, sometimes I really hate pointe. Beside me, Hannah grits her teeth in irritation. I glance at her and see her toes are in the same condition. She gives me a look that says clearly " Uggghhh." I smile at her. " Feet hurt?" I tease.

She glares at me. " Shut up," mutters Hannah. I snort, than look around at the other girls wincing and delicately pulling off the pointe shoes. We all rub our feet in an effort to make them feel normal again. Soon, Grace comes walking into the room. She smiles at us, a small, blond, fair-skinned girl of 25. " Hey, y'all did really well today! I'm super proud of you."

"Really?" I ask sarcastically. "Tell that to our feet." I lean back, waving my foot in the air. She laughs. " You'll be fine," she said smilingly.

" Yeah, yeah." I flap my hand at her with a smile.

" See all of you next week!"

I sigh, and roll my head around to look at Hannah. She smiles. " See you tomorrow."

"When?" I massage my temples.

" Oh, I dunno, maybe at school!"

"Oh, right. School." I pretend shudder.

Hannah shakes her head, grabs her dance bag, and ducks out of the locker room. I began to follow her, then plop right back down on the bench, deciding to laze around a bit longer. All the other girls slowly slip out, until I'm the last one in the locker room. But finally, I pull myself up and grab my stuff. I start out of the locker room, but back up as my mom walks in. " Oh, hey, Mom." I look at her sheepishly, as she taps her foot on the floor. I was coming, really!"

" Of course, you were." She grins at me. " Come on, sweetheart."

"Alright." I follow her to our car."

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