Bitter Truth

Pre-Twilight: Alice's Story

Author: Arwens-light

Chapter 1: The Dream

Rating: T (ratings may vary by chapter)

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Stephenie Meyer owns all

NO copyright infringement intended

"… Happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away…" – Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina (1882-1931) who was best known for her role as the Swan, from Swan Lake.

I had a dream.

I was going to be a ballerina.

I just knew it.

I was going to be a ballerina. My family was too poor to afford the ballet school in Biloxi, but the dance instructor seemed to have a soft place in her heart for me. She had promised that if I helped her clean the floors and mirrors after lessons every week, when I was twelve, she would allow me to study under her free of charge.

My heart had sung at that promise. I had danced my way back to my house, skipping over puddles, joy filling my soul. My mother smiled when I told her what Miss Rae had promised me and simply replied, "We'll see when the time comes."

I knew it would happen. I only had two more years to wait, and then I could begin to make my dream a true reality.

I loved going to help Miss Rae. She was such a beautiful and elegant lady. Her movements were always fluid and graceful. Her strawberry blonde hair was always smooth and pinned carefully into a bun on the top of her head. Her face was long, her neck was long, her arms and legs were long. And she had the most beautiful, bright green eyes. I envied her. I wanted to be so beautiful.

The mirrors in the ballet studio gave me a full view of myself. I was small for my age. Short… incredibly short. Most ballerinas were tall, at least 5'8". My skin was tanned and my up-turned nose was covered in freckles. My hair was dark and most times hung in a think braid down my back, but when it was loose it was wild and wavy. And my eyes were a dull grayish-blue. I envied Miss Rae as much as I loved her.

Most days, Miss Rae would polish the wooden bars and mirrors as I scrubbed the floors. It was hard work and my hands that were raw and blistered in the beginning soon were covered in calluses. A cracked window was our only source of cool or fresh air. I often left the studio at night extremely tired, sore, and covered in grim and sweat.

But Miss Rae's stories made the pain worth it.

She would often talk to me about the ballet and beautiful ballerinas from Russia. She told me stories of when she danced in New York and Chicago and how she was even able to go to Paris once as an alternate dancer. I listened in awe to her stories, especially of the ones when she was in Paris. She told me that she had taken a lover in Paris, and the French were by far, the best lovers in the world. I didn't truly understand her meaning, but I assumed she was telling the truth.

And then she would sing. Songs from French, Italian or Russian ballets. They were hauntingly beautiful. The foreign languages were fascinating to me and she would sing them in such a lovely manner that I felt I was in heaven.

Sometimes, at the end of the day, once we were finished cleaning the dance studio, Miss Rae would take me by the hand and dance with me. I would spin and twirl and dip as gracefully as I could while Miss Rae guided me. The ends of those days were always magical.

But not all dreams, no matter how magical or special they are, can always come true.