Black Swan is probably one of my favorite movies period. It's so twisted and weird, but I love it so much. (Natalie Portman = PERFECTION) Anyway, I wrote this a while back; I was hoping to turn it into a story, but my muse has long since died out for it, so here are the fragments that work the best together.
"I'm so glad you could make it," Erica says. "Nina and I have been a bit lonesome lately."
The Smith-Sayerses find themselves in a cramped apartment in New York City. It belongs to Erica Sayers and her daughter Nina.
Erica, her sister Rachel, and Rachel's husband Thomas, are gathered in the dining area. Quinn, their ten-year-old son, is visibly bored; he occupies himself with his GameBoy. Rose and Sonia, the four-year-old twins, are occupied by the little television set and their toys.
Quinn's twin sister, Piper, is down the hallway with sixteen-year-old Nina. Nina is showing her younger cousin her room.
Piper looks around. Pink hits her hard in the stomach. Ballerina wallpaper lines the walls; stuffed animals dressed in tutus and ballet slippers sit on various surfaces. The bedspread looks like something Rose and Sonia might have if they were a few years older.
"This looks exactly the same as when you were twelve," Piper finds herself blurting out. "Haven't you asked Aunt Erica to change it?"
Nina shrugs, looking a bit uncomfortable. "Mom says this room embodies the aura of a ballerina. She doesn't want to mess it up in any way. Besides…I've always liked rabbits in tutus."
Piper sees the uncertainty in Nina's face, but doesn't say anything.
Out in the dining room, Erica continues talking of her favorite subject.
"Nina just auditioned to be in one of THE MOST prestigious ballet companies in the city," she brags. "We should be hearing from them within a few days."
Rachel's eyebrows knit together. "Nina's not even out of high school."
"It's okay. I've already hired a tutor—"
"And you don't even know if she's gotten into the company?"
Erica draws herself up to seem fiercer, prouder. "I want to be prepared."
Rachel cannot believe what she is hearing. She shakes her head and glances down at her coffee mug.
In Nina's room, the girls are discussing the same thing.
"A real ballet company?" Piper asks. "With professionals and EVERYTHING?"
Nina nods. "They should send me a letter in a couple of days. I'm really nervous. Mom is pretty much banking on the fact that I'll get in, but I'm not so sure. Ballet was always her thing…I guess she wants me to love it, too."
"Are you afraid to…disappoint her?"
"Yeah, I guess. I mean, this—" she waves around the room "—is her life. It's not mine."
"Then tell her that."
Nina shakes her head vehemently. "No. I could never do that. It would tear her to pieces to hear that I want to…" she stops and hangs her head.
"What?" Piper leans closer.
"I like to draw." Nina claps her hand over her mouth as soon as she's said it.
Piper arches her eyebrow. "Is that it?" She glances around the room at a few of Nina's drawings. "You shouldn't let Aunt Erica tell you what to do. Nina, you're really good at drawing. It would blow if you didn't pursue it."
My aunt's voice is barely above a whisper as it brings me out of my thoughts. I stand shakily, knowing that it's not an aftershock from the cold air outside.
"She wants you," Aunt Erica says to the ugly linoleum floor. "She's asking for you."
She meets my eyes, and I almost lose it. How is it that my Aunt Erica, possibly the craziest bitch imaginable, is so weak? What the hell has happened over the years that has led her to act so feeble, so lost?
I make my way to Nina's room down the hallway, wincing with every click of my heels. I pull them off halfway to the room, carrying them with me, loving the angry slap my feet make.
I freeze in the doorway. I want to run back and hug my mom, I want her to hold me and tell me it's okay, it's all a bad dream. I want to be home in my own room, far away from any of this.
Nina is staring at the ceiling, too many IVs to count running from her arms. Her heartbeat is being monitored, and I hate the noise it makes: beep…beep…beep.
I try to speak, but my voice won't work. It's clinging to my throat, refusing to say anything.
This voice sounds even more paper-thin than Aunt Erica's. I can hardly believe it belongs to my cousin, my beautiful cousin, who's lying in a hospital bed.
"It's me," I find myself saying, walking in and sitting in a chair next to her. "I'm here, Nina."
"Piper…" She slowly turns her head to face me. Her eyes are vacant.
"I'm right here," I say, fighting off tears that are threatening to start pouring down my face. "I'm right here, Nina."
"I was perfect," I think I hear her say.
"Did you see me?" The ghost of a smile flits across her lips. "I was perfect."
"I felt it…the Black Swan…it was perfect…"
If she wasn't in a hospital bed, I would strangle her. Why is she bringing this up now? Why would she choose to talk about the ballet?
"Nina, let's not…"
"You saw me, Piper…I was perfect."
I'm at a loss for words. After what Aunt Erica and Nina's director, Mr. Leroy, have told us about Nina, I have a pretty good idea about why she's so out of it right now. That, and she's probably high on medication. Apparently, she's been obsessing for months and months about perfecting her dancing, and it's brought out her…conditions.
I don't want to call her crazy, because I know she's not. But…what do you call someone who stabbed themself with a shard of glass?
"Tell me I was perfect."
I look down at her, looking at me, smiling proudly. "Tell me, Piper. I was perfect."
"You were perfect, Nina." This brings on the tears I've kept in so long. "You were absolutely perfect."
"Don't cry, Piper," Nina croaks out. "It's okay."
"No, it's not okay!" I glare at her through my tears. "You're in a hospital, Nina! You're going to go to the Nut House! You have schizophrenia and depression! You can't just tell me things are going to be okay!"
Nina just stares blankly at me as I continue to cry. I know she doesn't understand, but all the same, I'm angry at her. I want her to know the pain she's caused me.
I turn around, and I see the blurry outline of Quinn in the doorway. I fling myself at him, burying my face in his shoulder as I sob.
"Shh…Piper, don't cry…" He rubs my back. "Come on, Mom will take you back to the hotel, okay?"
I nod, and we begin to head out.
I turn around and see Nina glancing curiously at the doorway. Quinn frowns, but I shrug.
She smiles. "Thank you."
I know it doesn't mean much, but I walk over and kiss her forehead, all the same.