What they said was a lie.
They said I would fall in love with her the way you fall asleep- slowly, then all at once.
That was a lie.
I remember it hurting. Looking at her hurt. I only saw her three times but each time I always felt the same. I always felt pain. This pain never lessened or grew. It always hurt
The first time I saw her was an accident. She was writing in a teal leatherbound notebook that rested on her lap. The notebook was held by two pale hands. That’s what I saw first. Gazing past the bones protruding from her wrists and arms and torso covered by a sheer dress I came across her face. Two perfectly formed lips parted, just a little, to reveal a crooked set of caffeine stained teeth – imperfection within perfection. That’s when our eyes met. Two glazed oceans hiding what lay beneath her fragile exterior. That was the first, and last, time I got lost in her eyes.
She was a dancer. You could tell by the way she stood – back slightly arched – and walked with balletic movements, almost too fluid to be natural. Forced to dance by her mother the breaking point shown in the form of twig legs and a gaunt body the dress hung from.
The second time I saw her was no accident; she was trapped behind barres. I stood behind the studio window watching, studying her every movement: the arm that needed to be extended, the leg that needed to be turned out, the ankle too weak to support even a childlike frame like hers.
It was strange, she wasn’t like the other dancers in the room. She wouldn’t look at herself in the mirror and if she did, it was a look I couldn’t quite understand. Like she was surprised, or didn’t recognise the face staring back. Like it was a machine of her mother’s creation. Made only to receive a contract from the prestigious ballet company.
It’s strange. In the three hours I stood there, she never turned around. Not once.
The last time I saw her I was invited. She wouldn’t look at me. Her bloodshot eyes fixed to one spot in the ceiling – a crack. I knew what she was thinking: she was the crack, one individual default in a world surrounded by normality and perfection. The hospital smock hung limply from what little remained of her sullen body. Her skin, with a sort of greyish pallor, was covered in bruises that would never heal.
At that moment I realised, throughout the mere 6 months I knew her she was never getting better. She was always hiding disappointment.
I only saw her three times in her life: writing, dancing and taking her final breath. Each time I looked at her beautifully broken body I remember that it hurt.
Looking at her hurt.