She climbed the steps up to the bar. She was proud of herself for allowing the sun time to go down before strapping on her drinking shoes. She entered the bar with a simple “Hey, Clara.” from the bouncer.

She nodded, “Phil.”

The bar tender, with a swift look over at her, immediately started pouring rum into a glass.

“Thanks, Sheila.”

She sat down at the bar and draped her coat behind her. Without a single word she elegantly began drinking.

“And who do we have here?” a man asked, sitting down right next to her with a hopeful face.

She nodded at him cordially.

He sat down.

“I wouldn’t bother her,” Sheila said from across the bar, wiping glasses clean.

“Oh, does she bite?” he asked, laughing. He fixed his gaze on Clara who was more interested in reading the bottles of alcohol lining the walls.



“No. She’s here on business.”

“Oh yeah? I mean business too.” he said. He examined her with a hunger.

Sheila shrugged and turned to put clean glasses back on the shelves.

“Well, do you actually talk?” he asked her.

She turned her head to him casually.

“You’ve got beautiful eyes. Looks like you’re out of  a drink, let me get you another one, hey, bartender! She’ll have another.”

Sheila brought over another and placed it down beside Calra.

“Thank you,” Clara said.

“She speaks!” the man exclaimed.

Clara drank the rum with ease and stood up. She entered the bathroom without another glance at the man. She splashed water on her face coolly and looked up into the mirror, taking a step back at the sight of a simple picture behind her with a ballerina standing en pointe. It took her years to master her technique. One simple injury, and she was of no use to anyone. All of the steps and positions just clouded her head. She missed the silk of her ballet shoes. She missed the elegance of the studio. She missed the simplicity of silence. It seems when you really love something, you never really do forget it.

With ballet, it was all about footing and balance. The first steps were always the hardest.

She was ready again for first steps.

She exited the bathroom briskly and grabbed her coat from the back of her bar chair.

“Thanks Sheila.”

“Yeah Clara, see you tomorrow.”

She was finally ready to admit it now.


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