Chapter Three

Deep inside my soul fights a war
I can't explain, I can't cross over any more
All I see are dirty faces
Rain and wire, and common sense in pieces
But I try to see through Irish eyes

In between sobs I managed to tell Taylor the whole story.

“I have no friends Uncle Taylor!” I cried into the phone.

“Well, Brenna, think of it this way.” he paused, “and I know this isn’t easy, trust me, you dad knows too, you should talk to him also.” he paused again.  “Do you love to dance?”

“I love the way I feel when I’m dancing, when I don’t have to think about anything but the music, and the floor and where I’m going, not where I am.”  I was wiping tears off my face which was now blotchy.

“Then that’s all that matters, because no matter what, you’ll always have your dancing, and I should hope you know that your family will always be here for you.”

“I know, but I hate the way I feel when I realize I have no friends because of dance. I hate that just because I’m a Hanson I’m expected to be some little circus freak. I hate that every time I turn around it’s something else that I can’t do because I’m dancing, or dad wants me to sing, or mom wants me to audition for something. I’m so tired of not having a life!  It’s not fair! No one ever asked me what I wanted!” I said, once again on the verge of tears. I couldn’t believe how emotional I was being.

“Sometimes,” Taylor began, “Life doesn’t ask us what we want. It just comes to us, and we either learn to accept it, or we stumble through it, which only makes it more difficult in the long run.”

I started to interrupt, but Taylor stopped me. “Hey, just listen for a bit, I’m having a philosophical moment here.” I giggled.

“Anyway, Life isn’t fair okay? That’s just how it is, you get dealt a lot of things, but you really never get anymore than you can handle, so trust yourself. Think about it some more, really think. Don’t just think about your friends and how they feel, think about yourself. How do you feel?  Why  do you feel that way? Then, and this is my little secret, so you better not be going around giving it away,”  I promised I wouldn’t. “make two lists. One with all the things you love about dance, and how it’s good for you. Then, make another list, what would your life be without dance?”  I sighed. I always felt so much better after talking to Uncle Taylor. Before we hung up, he told me I should talk to my dad, that he’d have some great stories about friends and the lack thereof to share with me. I really needed to give him a chance, things are rough on him too. I told him I would, I’d talk to my dad, I’d talk to my mom, I’d sort
things out.

“Thank you.” I said.

“Hey, for you? Anything Tiny Dancer.”

I went back into the bathroom, and splashed my face with cool water to fade the blotchiness the crying had caused. My eyes were still a bit bloodshot, but other than that, I looked normal again. I took a few deep breaths, and walked over to my desk and sat, staring at my headshots and resume.  I began to add recent competitions and shows to the long list already on the resume.  I sighed deeply, this was tedious. Trying to remember all these things, so I pushed the paper to the side. I stared into space for a while, lost in thought.

Lists eh? Sounded like an interesting idea to me.

I took out a few sheets of black paper and a sparkly pen. I was going to make these lists in style. On one sheet I wrote at the top in large letters: “The love of dance,” and on the other side I wrote “The pain of dance.” I began to fill in the blank sheet of paper with words, and phrases I associated with the love and pain of dancing, and when I was finished, I folded the paper into a small square and shoved it into my back pocket. I intended to keep this list with me at all times.  I really didn’t want to finish the resume, but I pulled the paper closer to me once again and looked at it. So, this was my life on paper. Thirteen years of dancing and singing all in a neat, formatted page. I was going to have to type this up again too, I thought dimly. A gentle knock on the door broke my dismal thoughts. My father peeked his head around the door.

“Hey kiddo, can I come in?” he asked pushing the door open a bit more.

“Sure,” I shrugged. I guess now was as good a time as any to talk to him.

He looked around, “You’ve been cleaning,” I nodded.

“I, I uh, wanted to talk to you about something Dad.” I turned the chair at my desk around to face him. He was sitting on the end of my bed, looking at me curiously.

“What did you want to talk about?” he folded his hands loosely in his lap. I swallowed, why was this difficult? Why could I talk to my father’s brother but not to my own father?

“Well,” I sighed, how could I start this? “I was talking to Uncle Taylor a little bit ago, unhappy I am.”

“Unhappy? about what?” My father looked very concerned.

“I...I have no friends Daddy.” tears began to form at the corners of my eyes, but I willed them back. I was not going to cry in front of my father, not after I had cried on the phone twice already today.

“Of course you have friends!” he insisted, his brow furrowed in thought.  “There’s  Caitlin, she’s been your friend since you guys were tiny little things, and Kerry and Erin and Megan, and of course all the people at dance..”

“Daddy, I had a fight with Caitlin today.”

“Well you two will make up. Of course you will, a friendship that’s been through as much as yours? You girls always have silly fights, this one will fix itself in time.” He nodded, obviously pleased with himself.

“It’s not just one of those silly fights this time.” I sniffed a bit, my nose was starting to run.

“What kind of fight was it then?” he was humoring me now. I hate that, I looked over at him, he actually looked concerned, okay, maybe he wasn’t just humoring me.

“Well, basically because I’m always dancing, or singing, or doing something, I’m never with my friends and quite frankly they resent that, and I can’t say that I blame them. I’m never around, I don’t do things with them, I couldn’t even go to lunch with Caitlin today. My social life dad, is pretty much non existent, and you know how that makes me feel?”

“Pretty damn shitty, is my guess.” I smiled, my father, Zac Hanson.

“Yeah, I’d say that’s about exactly how I feel.” I sighed.

“So, how do you suppose we’re to remedy this problem?” he asked putting an arm around me.

“I don’t know, it’s too late now.” I sniffed.

“Nah, it’s never too late to fix things, this I have learned having as many siblings as I have.” he smiled at me.

"But dad...  my friends are sick of making exceptions for me, sick of waiting for me..."

“How do you know?"

"Because, Caitlin told me that they were going out of town and that they weren't even going to invite me, cause they're sick of me always saying no..."

"Where are they going?"

"To visit Kerry’s sister...."

Well, why don't you go?"

"Because it's the same weekend as the audition mom's been on my butt about for the last month...."

"Aww, Brenna, you can miss one audition. You’ll have others!”  He chuckled a bit.

"You tell mom that." I crossed my arms over my chest.

"Okay...  I'm not afraid of your mother...  much...." he shrugged.  “When are they going?”

"Next weekend, on Friday, when they get out of school...."

“Maybe when you go over to Grandma's for school, you could just take some clothes and have them pick you up there...  I'll tell your mother after you're gone."

“You'd do that for me?” I felt like I was in a Hallmark commercial.

“Brenna, I'd do anything for you.” I don’t think I’ve ever hugged my father so tightly before.

"Brenna, your mother loves you so much, she only wants the best for you.  Sometimes, she just loses sight of things..."

"Dad, why didn't you ever ask me if I wanted to be a singer or dancer...."

“Well...You know, I wish I had some profound answer for you, but I suppose I got caught up in your talent. It never really occurred to me that you wouldn’t want to be as involved in something you were so good at.”  He sighed, “I guess I should have thought a bit more about it huh Tiny Dancer?”

“I guess...” I didn’t know what to say. Now that I’d spent all this time thinking about it, all these years wondering. Now that I had the chance to say something I was at a loss for words.

“Now, I believe we have some Oreos downstairs, and of course a gallon of milk, why don’t we go dunk a few before your mom gets home?”

“Sounds good.” We headed downstairs arm in arm.