Stephenie Meyer owns all TWILIGHT characters. The names "American Ballet Theatre" and "ABT" are registered trademarks of Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
The chapters to this story will tend to gravitate toward the shorter length. I've done as much research as possible regarding the ballet world but please know that I have also taken some liberties for the purpose of entertainment.
"Try to be fearless, because fear can inhibit you and keep you from a life."
~ Miranda Weese ~
Date: November 12, 2004
Name: Isabella Marie Swan
Social Security Number: 187-10-5279
Date of Birth: 9-13-87
Address: 775 K St.
Zip Code: 98331
Telephone: (360) 374-2871
. . .
Bella put the black pen down and ran her hands through her hair. She hated this part of any application, knew that whoever read it on the other side could easily make a judgment based on the number she wrote. The blank line taunted her but she rolled her eyes and wrote down the correct number, hoping it wouldn't be the reason her application was discarded.
The rest of the form was easy. Charlie was her emergency contact now even though Renee's home address would be closer. Her schedule was already clear for the audition weekend in March so she chose that date over the one in February. She scrawled her name at the bottom and let out a deep breath.
"Bells?" Charlie's voice floated up from the first floor of the house.
"Jake's here with the pizza!"
"I'll be down in a second!" she yelled back.
The television came to life downstairs; all Bella heard was the muffled hum of it and she turned back to her desk. Taking another deep breath, she took her dance resume and headshot and placed it behind the application. After slipping a paperclip at the top left corner of all three pages, she slid the sheets into a large envelope.
A DVD stared up at her from her desk. In plain black writing, it stated "Isabella Swan – ABT II Preliminary Audition DVD." Shaking fingers picked it up and dropped it into the envelope before she lost her courage again. She sealed the envelope, making a face when she licked the stripe across its back, and flipped it over. The address for the American Ballet Theatre was already there.
Without a second thought, Bella ran out of her room and down the stairs. "Jake!" she yelled out her best friend's name just as she slid on socked feet into the living room. Both Jake and her father looked up in surprise. "Take it," Bella said, thrusting the envelope toward Jake. He set his slice of pizza down quickly and tried not to get grease on the envelope. "Take it. Mail it. Just... Don't show it to me again."
"Is this what I think it is?" Jake looked down at the address and a smile spread across his face. "You're doing it, then? You're really doing it?"
Bella felt sick and she hadn't even done anything yet, not really, but her future potentially existed in the contents of the envelope. At 17, she was in her last year of high school and wanted to do more than attend a community college and continue her dance classes. Charlie had been the one to bring up ABT II after he had seen a flier in the program of one of Bella's performances in Seattle.
That was four months ago. Everyone that mattered – Charlie, Jake, her instructors in Port Angeles and Seattle, even Renee – told her to try, to "go for it," but she wasn't sure if she could handle a rejection if it came down to it.
"I'm proud of you, kid," Charlie spoke up, cutting into Bella's thoughts. He had a small smile on his face that made Bella flush with pride. "Maybe this is it," he continued.
"Maybe what's it?" she asked.
He shrugged and set his can of beer on the coffee table. "Maybe this is your ticket out of here."
"Dad," she said in a slightly reprimanding tone. "That's... That's stupid. I don't need a ticket out of here." Bella shrugged. "I'm happy."
"I know you are, kid," Charlie said with a smile. "But you're too big for this town."
Bella couldn't help but walk over to him and give him a hug. They were rarely physical with each other but, for some reason, Charlie's support for her dreams made Bella emotional. She leaned back a bit and gave him a smile. "I'm not leaving yet, you know."
Jake cleared his throat. "Seriously, Bells?" He lifted the envelope. "I'm pretty sure this means we need to start planning your good-bye party."
Bella shook her head and let go of Charlie to sit on the couch next to Jake. "Maybe," she said quietly. She reached over, snagged Jake's slice of pizza, and shook off her nerves. There would be enough time for that in the coming months.
Thank you to oOza for her beta work, and fanglang & artisticwonder for pre-reading.