A/N – Wow. My weekend sucks. How about you guys? Have a good 4th of July (That is, if you're American. I do not discriminate against my readers). What better way to make me feel better than by posting another chapter. Enjoy!
It was during a rehearsal with the other dancers that I saw a part of Tyler's life away from MSA.
"Wait, hold up!" an unfamiliar voice yelled from the doors.
"Mac?" Tyler seemed confused. I looked over to the doors. There was a black guy dressed in jeans and normal street clothes. He looked upset.
"Tell me I'm not seeing this, Ty" he yelled. He walked away, shaking his head like he was disappointed, and Tyler chased after him.
I didn't call after him. "Um… come on, let's keep working" I kept rehearsing with the dancers until I saw Andrew walk in… sans crutches and boot. "Uh, that's enough. Go ahead and stretch it out" I called, walking over to him.
"Andrew, what's up?" I asked, feeling a sense of panic.
"Doc says I can dance again" Andre told me with a smile.
"Wow" I blinked rapidly, trying to process the information and think of a way to make everyone happy. "That was quick" if Andrew was recovered, that means he could be my partner again… but what about Tyler. Without him, the routine wouldn't be half as good.
"Hey Tyler" Andrew greeted. My shoulders slumped. Great, I was screwed.
"Hey" Tyler greeted. "What, are you back?"
"Yeah" Andrew said happily. "Feeling a lot better. Thanks for filling in for me" I looked away at Andrew's words. God, could nothing go right?
"Can you give us a sec?' I asked Andrew. I couldn't handle them both at the same time.
"Sure" he agreed, walking away.
I led Tyler a little further away before finally looking at him. "I didn't know he would be back" I told him desperately. "He hasn't been around at all, and I hadn't heard from him, I figured he wasn't coming back. I didn't know. I don't know what to do, Tyler" I said truthfully.
Andrew was my partner. I couldn't just throw him away because of Tyler, no matter how great he was, no matter how much better the routine was because of him. But it was for those very same reasons I couldn't just throw away Tyler now that Andrew was back.
"So he's back. Where does that leave me?" Tyler asked simply. I wanted to laugh, as if anything was ever that simple.
Before I could speak, Tyler shook his head. "You don't have to say anything" he said walking away.
"Hey, wait! What does that mean?" I asked, a little angry he wouldn't let me figure this out or explain.
"I can't believe I bought into this bullshit" Tyler said, throwing my words back at me. "You're really gonna turn your back on me?"
"That's not what I'm doing, Tyler. Andrew's a student here, and he's a senior. He deserved the same chance you gave me. But…"
"You're just like Brett. You use people, and then you dump them" Tyler snapped.
And just like that, the anger was gone. I felt like I couldn't breathe. He thought I was just like Brett? "Tyler, please" I tried to explain, I didn't want him to walk away. But he just shook his head again.
And he walked away.
"Oh god" I gasped, falling to my knees, head in my hands. What was I going to do?
I tried calling him. He wouldn't answer my calls. I couldn't make myself to and see him.
"Tara?" I looked up from my notebook. Nora and Blake were standing in front of me, hand-in-hand. I smiled a bit seeing Blake finally got his girl.
"What's up?" I asked, sitting up.
"Listen… the routine is awesome, but… Blake and I are gonna go back to the old one. Do our own thing, you know" Nora said gently.
I wasn't even sure what I was feeling when she said that, I was too filled with other emotions. I just swallowed hard and nodded. "Yeah" I said hoarsely. "Yeah alright. You guys look great together, anyways."
Nora smile nervously. "Don't worry, Tara. You'll be amazing" she assured me.
"You always are" Blake agree, kissing my cheek.
They walked away, hand in hand, and I couldn't even enjoy the fact that my two friends were finally happy together.
It didn't help that Andrew couldn't get the moves. He was too stiff, the stiff and formal moves of ballet keeping him from really getting the fluidity of the moves, but I couldn't give up on him. I didn't want to give up on Tyler, but I was pretty sure he had given up on me, and Andrew was my last shot.
During one of the moves, Andrew fell. "Andrew! Are you alright?' I asked, helping him stand.
"I don't know"
"Um… try walking on it" I suggested. I released him, but Andrew just looked at me. "I can't do this, Tara" he sighed.
"What?" I panicked.
"You and I both know I can't pull this routine off. I'm a little surprised Blake can" he said bluntly.
I went home in tears.
Dad was out, for once, but Mom was still awake, watching TV. She muted it when she saw me. "Oh, baby doll, what's wrong?" she asked.
At that moment, I was just a little girl that wanted her mommy, so I sat down and explained everything.
"It's all a giant mess. And Tyler won't talk to me…" I cried.
"Tyler?" Mom asked, sitting up a bit.
"I think I love him, Mom" I admitted quietly.
"Oh, baby doll" Mom sighed, wrapping her arms around me, pulling me into her embrace.
"I don't know how I'm going to do this, Mom" I told her hopelessly.
"You've been doing this by yourself your whole life. Love him or not, you don't need anyone else" Mom told me.
"Thanks mom" I gave her a watery smiled.
"Oh, baby girl" Mom suddenly sounded tired. And sick.
"Mom?" I asked worried, sitting up when I felt her hand fall. I heard the door open and shut. Dad was home. Mom's eyes shut. "Mom! Dad, something's wrong!"
Dad came running it, and I found a phone to call 911 as he pleaded with her to open her eyes. I couldn't breathe. I knew it was too late.
My mother was gone.
"Yo, yo, here's the man!" Tyler cheered when he spotted Miles.
"What's up, T?" Miles grinned. "What's going on, man?"
"Nada" Tyler smiled. "You?"
"I'm good. So, this your man's spot right here?" Miles asked, looking around.
"It's tight" Miles like it well enough.
"Yeah, right?" Tyler's smile dropped. "So, uh, I don't know, what's been going on?" Tyler asked, hoping Miles would fill him in on Tara. He missed her like crazy.
"Everything's cool. Tara's good" Miles said, knowing what Tyler wanted to hear.
"Andrew quit, though" Miles added.
"What do you mean, Andrew quit?" Tyler asked, worried and a little mad.
"Yeah, he got hurt. He can't dance with her anymore" Miles explained. Tyler looked upset at the news. "and Nora and Blake pulled out."
"Wait, what?" Tyler did a double-take.
"Yeah. They're going back to their old routine. I'm digging up one of my old tracks. They want to stick with the old-school stuff" Miles explained, shrugging.
"Damn" Tyler cursed. He didn't want everything to fall apart for Tara, he still cared about her. "I don't know, man. Whatever."
"Yeah, whatever" Miles laughed. "Why don't you stop the bullshit with me? I bet you been mopin' around as much as she has."
"She been moping?" Tyler asked, a little worried. Tara wasn't meant to be sad, and he would beat the crap out of anyone that…
"I ain't saying nothing, man" Miles shook his head.
"Did you see a tear?" Tyler asked, getting in Miles' face.
"Man, you can't see Tara without finding her crying anymore, man" Miles admitted sadly.
"What do you mean?"
"Man, her mom died. A couple days ago. She dropped her classes at the Center to organize the funeral and all that, plus the showcase… She ain't in a good place, man" Miles said.
"Damn" Tyler cursed again.
"Man, I don't know. She won't talk to nobody. Probably a lot like you" Miles joked, trying to lighten the mood. Tyler laughed, although he was still thinking about Tara.
"Shut up. Come on, let me introduce you to somebody" Tyler pulled Miles towards hi friends, and they started partying.
Director Gordon let me use the rehearsal space at night to come up with a new routine. I remembered my words to her that day I asked for Tyler to be my partner. I couldn't come up with a decent solo routine in that amount of time.
Now, I had even less time. But, I had a more open mind, and more dancers. I could do this.
I started thinking about my mom. She won't be able to see me dance.
I was lost in thought, so deeply it took me a while to notice I was dancing. It was rough, but I let my heartbreak and pain move me.
After all, I had nothing left to lose.
And I was moving. It was violent. It was harsh. It was perfect.