As I watched her cross the room with the greatest of ease, my eyes were locked on her perfect form. The way her feet slid smoothly across the floor and how her legs arched seamlessly towards the rest of her body. Her arms swinging from her body to the opposite ends of the room as she spun on her feet exemplified the smile on her face. But the smile was only there for show.
In reality she was drowning in pain. The expectations from her friends and family to succeed weighing down on her. Her constant hard work was exhausting her body right before my eyes and yet only I knew. Everyone else paid their money to see a wonderful performance but I was simply there to get her through it. She knew I did not understand what she did or why she did it but she knew I loved her.
As I looked around the room I saw the scowl on her mothers face a few rows back and to the left. Never happy with her decisions, the rift between them was severe and their entire relationship a facade. Her mother viewed her as a way to prove to herself that she was a good mother. The success that she had achieved through dance was how her mother justified her decisions to her self.
She was dancing to one of my favorite songs. As the piano softly roared the tune through the gallery she looked directly at me during a pause and I smiled. When she smiled back I knew she was alright. In that split second I knew that every responsibility and expectation she had was gone. But just as she came out of the pause. she fell to the ground.
They said that the years of stress on her body had worn her down and that she would have to stop dancing in order to recover fully. She hasn’t been the same since. She hasn’t spoken to her family in months or even gotten out of the house. She looks at me differently too. The love that used to be there just seems further away. Like it's deeper in her soul, crushed by every other thing on her mind. She may not remember or know that I love her but I do and when she is ready and able to return from wherever it is that her mind has taken her I will be right there for her. No matter where life takes either of us or who tries to come between us I will always be there to watch her dance.