And the man you will marry?
The home you will share?
To be honest, I really don't care...
You've never been to Niagara Falls?
I have seen water, its water, that's all...
The Eiffel Tower, the Empire State?
My pulse was as high on my very first date!
Your grandson's hand as he plays with your hair?
To be honest, I really don't care...
I've seen it all, Bjork. OST from Dancer in the Dark.
Dancing in the dark.
Francoise always danced her way through life. Even if she was walking, with her smile and natural grace, it was almost as if she kept on practicing always. Natalie always envied that of her friend; the way she had to apparently glide her way through life. She promised herself that she was going to practice very hard, so she could also have that quality in her steps.
Her house her mother used to beg her to not dance in their apartment because there was not enough space for doing that. Three months after she had quitted ballet, the woman constantly asked her if she didn't want to do it again, if even a little bit, for her sake.
She just can't.
Not when she remembers that Francoise has been missing for four months already. She and Jean Paul have searched everywhere for her, to no avail.
After reaching the small building in which the aviator lived she sighed once and then pretended a smile. It was all she could do for her best friend: take care of her brother and be optimistic, or at least pretend that she was.
Taking the key under the rug, just like Francoise had said once ago, she opened the door as she had been doing everyday for the last few weeks.
- Good morning, Jean Paul! My mother made croissants and I brought some for you! Do you want coffee or chocolate?
No answer. Jean Paul always insisted that there should be someone on the house in case news of the ballerina arrived, so if he had to work she stayed there, taking care of the house chores her friend used to. Still it scared her when she didn't receive an answer. Francoise had been… was the most important person for Jean Paul. And, while she felt the same, sometimes her true nature came out and she kept on wondering if while she was sleeping at home, maybe Jean Paul's desperation would take the best of him and end everything.
Francoise had always called her a pessimist.
Fortunately, she was mistaken again. Asleep on the table, his arms crossed serving like a pillow to his head, the blond man was sleeping, apparently exhausted.
Again, Natalie couldn't blame him. After going to the kitchen, leaving the bag with the croissants there she started to warm the water for some coffee. When it was ready she went back towards the small living room, placing the tray in the table. Softly she put her hand on the young aviator's shoulder, shaking him gently.
- Jean Paul, it's already morning… wake up, Jean Paul.
His verdant eyes opened a little bit, still clouded by dreams. With one of his hands, he covered her small one with care.
- Francoise, you're back… I was so worried…
Natalie's heart sunk. With a small and bitter smile she took her hand back.
- I'm Natalie, Jean Paul. – she whispered softly, hating how that soft look in his eyes and the tenderness in his voice disappeared.
- Oh, Natalie. I thought you were…
He didn't finish but she understood perfectly. When the silence grew even more uncomfortable she tried a little smile.
- I've brought breakfast.
They ate in heavy silence. Natalie thought that it was very probable that Jean Paul was forcing the food in his throat the same way she did.
- I'm sure she's fine. Francoise's a strong girl now, Jean…
Francoise's brother raised his head. He smiled her a little bit, turning back again towards the table. Keeping a sigh, the ex ballerina raised from the table, starting to clean it. She heard Jean Paul turn on the radio.
The silence was always a sad one. She remembered so much of that little department, always full of life that now it seemed different: practicing with Francoise and laughing with her, stargazing, being teased by her friend about Jean Paul (because she never knew the truth), listening to the radio and sharing dreams of a brilliant future of the two of them becoming world famous ballerinas.
Those dreams that now had crumbled. Maybe they'd raise again if… no, not if. When Francoise came back again.
That was the gift her best friend had given her. Her hopes. So now, she just had to wait and from now. From now, she'd have to content herself with having Francoise's memories dancing in the dark in front of her eyes.