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Her slow, even breathing
fills the room
as he listens,
almost afraid to interrupt
her beautiful song.

Her eyes open suddenly
and she stares into
last night's bad dream
and tears
and crying
before realizing what day it really is.

A finger first,
a hand,
an elbow she finds,
a strange face
she recognizes slowly--
and then the night
comes back to her.

"I danced with you,"
she says,
afraid to touch him
because he might be a dream
or maybe he's there to kill her
or maybe he just wants to hold her hand.

"You were a good dancer--"

"Let's dance now."

He pulls her up--
away from her dream
into the reality
her dream has become,
and she smiles.

They dance,
now quickly,
now slowly,
to a music only they can hear--

When the song is over
he holds her,
holds her as if he never
wants to let go--

She is warm in his embrace,
but she says,
she must say--
"I do not love you.
I only wanted someone,
to hold me--
someone to dance with.
I do not love you.
I can never love anyone."

He stands back, startled,
he asks.
"No one said anything about love."

"I used you!"
she cries--
"Hate me now,
like you're supposed to do!
Get mad and leave me!"

He sees a single tear
run down her cheek.
"Don't you see?"
he comforts her
as best he can,
knowing his words are no comfort.

"We used each other."

She looks up at him,
eyes swelled with innocence.
"It's not supposed to be this way,"
she whispers--
"I'm not supposed to be
the one crying--
There's not supposed to be any crying!"
she screams.

"I told myself
I could do anything--
I was free--
I could have fun,
and dance,
and be the heartless one
who left someone else to cry.

"Or I could have fun,
and dance,
and we'd know there was nothing,
and no one would cry.

"But I'm not supposed to be crying!"
she screams again,
and he is almost afraid of her.

Her anger is gone now.
She cries,
sobbing in his arms,
resolved to stay there
as long as he will let her.

Eternity passes--
once, twice--

at some time,
endless thoughts later,
he looks down to her
tearstained face.

She does not move,
does not notice.
He almost thinks she is asleep.

"Maybe there is not nothing,"
he says, tentatively.
"Maybe there is something."

She almost does not look up.

Slowly she answers,
choosing words carefully--
"All my life I have waited
for something,
for anything that is not
I am tired of nothing."
She looks into eyes that never wanted her,
eyes she knows reflect her own.
"Is it really this easy?"

He looks at her again,
determined to find something,
anything that is not

"No," he answers,
drawing away.
"I don't think it is."

She goes back to sleep.
Her slow, even breathing
fills the room
as he listens,
almost wishing he had never interrupted
her beautiful song.

Amber R. Day


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