Chapter Two

We've been living with sorrow, been up, down and all around
We've buried our feelings a little too deep in the ground
Stood dazed in the doorway, the king and queen of clowns
We've been flipped like a coin, both of us landing face-down
 

I somehow managed to answer the phone before the machine claimed it.  “Hello?” I asked breathlessly.

“Brenna!” It was my friend Caitlin.

“Hey, Caitlin, what’s going on?” I began to examine the bruise that I was sure would appear on my shin later in the day.

“What are you up to?” I could hear Caitlin rummaging around her room. This was the fourth time Caitlin had invited me to do something with her.

“Not too much, I just got out of the shower” I answered walking around the sty that was my room, picking up clothes and throwing them into a hamper.

“Good, then you’re almost ready so you can go to lunch with me.”

“What time?” I was asking as my mom knocked gently on my door, and opened before I answered. I hate when she does that.

“Hey Caitlin, hold on my mom just walked in.” I put my hand over the mouthpiece.

“What is it?” I asked. She waved my headshots and a copy of my resume around, and placed them on my desk.

“You need to do that, today Brenna. Not tomorrow, not later, today. You won‘t leave his house until you rewrite the resume and set up the appointment with the photographer.” I sighed.

“Mom, that’ll take all day!” I looked at the photographer’s card. He wasn’t even working today.

“This is for your own good. So, when you’ve done the resume, and you can tell me when your appointment is, then you can go out, and you better not even think about leaving without your room being clean.” She looked around my room, shook her head and left, closing the door behind her. Some days she just made me want to scream.

“Caitlin,”

“Ya?”

“I can’t go. I’m sorry.”

“You don’t even have an hour to eat lunch with me? Not even that?” she asked incredulously.

“Cait, my mom just walked in and told me I have to redo my resume, and then I’m going to have to get my headshots redone. Plus, I have to clean my room and trust me, it‘s at it‘s worst ever.”

"Why do I even bother, I don't know why I was even going to ask you to come with us next week" Caitlin began to sound angry.

“What about next week?”

“We were just gonna go for a road trip ...You know, just us girls going out driving along the highway, listening to good tunes.”

“Caitlin, where are you guys really going?” She sighed heavily.

“Well, we’re all going to University of Oklahoma...we’re gonna stay with Kerry’s sister.” I paused. College campus, with me, my friends and Kerry’s sister, ms. Party Animal herself.

“So, you think you can pencil us into your busy schedual?” Caitlin asked.

“When did you say you were going?”

“In like.. a week and a half.” I looked at the audition notices my mom had left on my dresser.

“Shit.” I muttered.

“I know a dorm room isn't the Ritz Carlton, but it'll be fun..."

"I know I really wish I could go,  but I can't. I have auditions..."

“It’s always something Brenna, isn’t it? Auditions, training, you're a real drag Brenna you know that?"

“Caitlin, I’m sorry! I have to go to these auditions. My mom...”

“You can’t hide behind your mom’s tutu forever Brenna.” she spat.

“Caitlin, that’s not fair. You know how important dancing is to...”

“Brenna!” Caitlin whined. “You can’t bail on us! We need you!”

“Gee Brenna, it’s so nice to see that your dancing is more important than your friends. You never do stuff with us anymore, you never really hang with us at all. You’re always off doing dancing or something.”  I was fuming, what right did she have to be angry at me for dancing?

"At least I do something, at least I don't just waste my life away at the food court hoping some stupid boy will talk to me." I said. I heard her snort a bit.

“You know what? I feel sorry for you. You miss out on so much fun because of that, you’re always locked up in that studio dancing. The world keeps on going on around  you ya know. It doesn’t just stop cause Miss. Brenna is dancing.”  I felt the tears well in my eyes, and the heat crawl up my spine and into my cheeks. Who did she think she was? Feeling sorry for me?  Like I was some pity case, like I was some social reject that she had taken under her wing.

“That’s not fair Caitlin.” I said quietly.

“Not fair for whom? God Brenna, fine, don’t come with us, but don’t expect us to go out of our way to invite you with us next time. Why should we bother, you never come anyway.”

“Caitlin..”

“Brenna, really, save your breath. You missed Erin’s birthday party for a competition, we were upset, but we let it slide because it was one of those big things or whatever. You missed going camping with us because you had to go with your dad to the studio that week, and there are so many other times I can’t even count them. Do you even like us Brenna?”

“Of course I like you! You guys are my friends!” tears were racing down my cheeks now.

“You sure have a funny way of showing it. So, are we higher on your list of things to do than wash your hair or just below taping your toes?” I wiped my nose on the end of my towel. It wasn’t my fault I had to miss everything. I didn’t do it on purpose, I had obligations they didn’t understand.

“Caitlin, I can’t talk to you about this now. Can I talk to you later?”  I had to get off the phone before I began to sob.

“I don’t think I need to hear anymore, and I doubt you‘ll even call back.  You always forget, or run out of time. How fitting that we have our final conversation on the phone...  Cause I know my cordless is more reliable than you are." With that she hung up the phone and I was left with a resounding beep of the dial tone.

It was true, what she had said. I did spend most of my time dancing. I hadn’t done things with them in a long time. She had every right to be angry with me, I had bailed on them many a time for dancing, but it wasn’t always my fault. I couldn’t just drop everything to go to the mall or to see a movie. I was in training for competitions. It seemed to them that I was always in training, and never there for them. I let the salty tears stream down my face. I was suddenly very angry. Angry at everything. The fact that the more I thought about it, I had no real life outside of dance, the fact that I now had no friends, and the fact that I hadn’t even really ever been asked what I wanted for myself.  I picked up my dance bag, shoes falling out, and threw it across the room. It slammed into the chair at my desk with a loud thud.

“Brenna!” my father called coming up the stairs. “What was that?!” he asked.

“Nothing dad!” I shouted back, chucking dirty socks and leotards into the hamper. He opened my door as I was tearing through my old box of dance shoes.

“What are you doing?” he asked. I turned around, tears streaming down my face, eyes bloodshot and nose runny.

“I’m just cleaning.” I said wiping my nose again with the back of my hand.

“What happened?” he sat next to me on the floor.

“Dad, you wouldn’t understand Okay?” I said looking away from him.

“Why don’t you give me a chance before you say that?”

“I just...I don’t want to talk about it right now.” He nodded, and slowly left the room.

When I had stopped crying enough that my voice wasn’t raspy and shaky, I picked up the phone and dialed.

“Hello?”

“Uncle Tay? It’s me.”

“Hey again Tiny Dancer! I just talked to you a few hours ago. What’s up?”  Before I could even explain, I felt the anger and sadness fill me again, and I burst into tears once again.