Broken - An original short story
He walked the cold streets of New York with nothing more than a tattered map and a roll of quarters. No destination, no idea of where he was heading. He was simply looking, for something he didn’t think was possible.
He ended up finding it.
He saw her through the clear glass windows of a ballet studio. The only thing on his mind was the way she moved. Her limbs seemed to be made of rubber, her bones liquid. As she flowed through the different movements, it all somehow came together as one fluid motion. Her pale blonde hair was bound back tightly, making her features look hard, cold. But as he met her eyes, just for a moment, he could see that there was pain inside. That beautiful smile, frozen on her stormy face, was broken. To anyone else, she looked like a normal young woman. But he knew better. Because when he looked in the mirror, he saw the sadness he knew she felt. She had swum through an ocean of tears to get where she was, he knew as much.
As he caught her eye, she stopped mid-turn. She stared at him for just a moment, pivoted on her light pink slipper and left the room. His heart sank for a moment, wondering if he’d ever get to see something of that beauty again. The frosted door in front of him swung open, and out she walked. Still in her worn black leotard and tights, she stood in front of him, waiting for an answer. Her stick-straight posture was to be expected from a ballerina, but her cold features weren’t. Those pained eyes were hard, meant to scare people away, but he knew they were just screaming for help. So when he spoke, he simply said, “You can tell me.”
As she looked into his eyes, she somehow knew she could. Without another word, she burst into tears and fell into his arms.
Almost seventeen years later, he hasn’t seen another tear. A real smile now sits below her sparkling brown eyes. He hadn’t known back then, but now he sees what he was looking for that day.
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