Two Hearts in Love's Dance
Love is a powerful force, even when you think you know what love is. It can bring you joy and it can bring you pain, but it's always worth it in the end.
Ava and Lily had been best friends - and former ballet stars - since middle school. They had gone through everything together, from ballet classes to problematic men, and always had each other's backs. But lately, things started to feel different. It was their annual Girls' Week Trip and this year, they had decided to splurge and stay at the luxurious En Pointe Resort. Ava and Lily were both successful, independent tech executives who loved the bon vivant life of culture, travel, and fun - and En Pointe was the most luxurious of all resorts. But, regardless of the chaos of adult and executive life, they always found solace in each other's company whenever they could - even if it was just a night of sushi and talk.
The first two days went by without a hitch. They spent the days sunning out on the balcony, sipping cocktails, and reminiscing about old times. But by sunset that third night, the mood between them shifted. Ava and Lily sat in their hotel room, each scrolling through their phones. Ava cleared her throat. "Hey, do you want to go to the pool or something?" Lily glanced up from her phone. "I don't know. I'm feeling pretty tired." "Okay, no worries," Ava said, trying to hide her disappointment. They sat silent for a few minutes until Ava spoke up again. "Is everything okay between us? I feel like we've been distant lately." Lily said. "I don't know. It just feels like we're not connecting like we used to. Like we're on different wavelengths." Ava nodded. "Yeah, I've been feeling that too. It's so complicated." Lily shrugged. "Maybe we're just growing apart. It happens, right?" "I don't want that to happen," Ava said, her voice catching. Lily reached over and took Ava's hand. "Me neither. We'll figure it out, okay?" Ava nodded, feeling grateful for Lily's touch. But she couldn't shake the feeling that their friendship was slipping away.
Ava and Lily entered the hotel ballroom and couldn't help but admire the chandeliers sparkling above and the smooth marble floors under their feet. Ava and Lily were about to grab a drink at the bar when a woman dressed in a stunning white gown approached them. "Good evening, ladies. I couldn't help but notice your admiration for this place," the woman said with a charming smile. Ava and Lily exchanged glances before Lily spoke up. "Yes, it's quite a beautiful resort," she said. Ava and Lily both nodded in agreement. "I'm Odette," she introduced herself. "Ava and Lily," Ava replied. "Ah, ballet enthusiasts, I presume?" Odette said with a hint of amusement. Ava and Lily were taken aback by the woman's remark. "How did you know?" Ava asked. Odette just smiled. "I have a keen eye for those who share a love for dance. It's a passion of mine as well," she said.
As the night went on, Odette continued to charm and intrigue Ava and Lily with her stories of ballet and love. They felt drawn to her as if she had a certain kind of wisdom that only came with experience. Little did they know, Odette had a story of her own. Odette leaned in and began to tell them her story. "I was a ballerina too, you see. And I fell in love with another ballerina, Giselle. Oh, she was a beautiful dancer with such grace and poise. We were inseparable both on and off the stage. I remember those old days like it was yesterday."
In one of Odette's fondest memories from long ago, Giselle and she were rehearsing for their upcoming ballet performance in Romeo & Juliet as members of the feuding Montague and Capulet families. But in secret, Odette and Giselle were pretending they were Romeo and Juliet in a playful fashion. They had been dancing together for years, and they knew each other's movements almost better than their own. Late one night, after practice had ended, they sat down on the stage, exhausted but exhilarated. Giselle looked at Odette and said, "You know, I don't think I've ever felt this way before. When we dance together, I feel like I'm whole. Like I'm not just a ballerina, but a person." Odette smiled, knowing exactly what Giselle meant. "I feel the same way," she said. "When we dance together, it's like nothing else matters. It's just us." They sat in silence for a moment, and then Giselle turned to Odette and said, "Can I ask you something?" "Of course," Odette said. "Do you ever think about us? Like, more than just friends?" Odette's heart skipped a beat. She had thought about it, but she never thought Giselle would feel the same way. "Yes," she said. "I do." Giselle leaned in and kissed Odette softly. It was like fireworks going off in Odette's heart, and she kissed Giselle back with each kiss becoming more passionate as if whatever feelings were suppressed inside each other for so long were now free.
"We spent the night talking and laughing and holding each other close", Odette said with fondness. "Giselle and I knew our love was complicated, but we didn't care. We were in love, and that was all that mattered. Our love was almost a middle finger to the prudish patriarchy at that time. But apparently, our love was not meant to be. Giselle's family frowned on our relationship, forcing us to hide our love." Ava and Lily listened intently, captivated by the story of the forbidden love between Odette and Giselle. "We kept our love a secret for as long as we could, but eventually, we were found out," Odette continued. "Giselle's family forbade us from seeing each other again, and we were both heartbroken. I never saw her again nor got to say how much I loved her. Not long after, Giselle mysteriously died of a broken heart. When Giselle died, our special ballet world died with her too. I did not want to go on without her. My nightly tears and heartache became more intense in the months after Giselle's passing that I cried myself and my heart to peaceful, eternal sleep. As you can see, I've spent all these years as a ghost, haunting this ballroom where we used to dance together." Odette's eyes grew misty as she recounted more memories of her and Giselle.
As Odette spoke, Ava and Lily could feel the pain and longing in her voice. Odette's story was not just a love story but a struggle to be true to oneself in the face of societal pressures and expectations. After a moment of silence, Lily spoke up. "Odette, your story is beautiful and tragic. But why are you telling us this?" Odette smiled softly. "Because I see a bit of myself and Giselle in the two of you. Your friendship is special, but it's also fragile. You're at a crossroads, and the path you choose will determine the future of your relationship."
Ava and Lily exchanged a look, realizing that Odette was right. They had been growing distant lately, caught up in their busy lives and the problems associated with adulthood. "Remember, my dears. Love is a powerful force, even when you think you know what love is. It can bring you joy and it can bring you pain, but it's always worth it in the end. Don't be afraid to love, no matter what anyone else might say." And with that, she vanished, leaving Ava and Lily alone in the ballroom, deep in thought. "It's so sad what happened to Odette. She never got to be with her true love", said Ava. "Yeah, it is. But we're here to have fun and enjoy ourselves. Free from mansplaining tech "bros" and meetings. What a liberating feeling." Lily said. "Right, of course. I'm just glad we could come here together," Ava said to Lily with a look of shy admiration. "I just wish we could find our spark again," Ava said. "Ava, we're not kids anymore. We can still have fun but let's not get too sappy." Lily said in not a dismissive tone but just a way for Lily to pivot the conversation. "Agreed. Let's make the most of our trip."
That night, Ava tossed and turned in bed, still thinking about Odette's heartbreaking story. Ava sat up in bed, rubbing her eyes as she glanced around the dark hotel room. Just as she was about to grab her phone, Ava noticed Lily's bed was empty. "Strange." Ava wondered, "I wonder where Lily went." Then, she heard a sound. The faint, familiar strains of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty Waltz. "What on earth?" thought Ava. Curiosity was piqued, and Ava slipped out of bed and walked towards the door. As she opened it, the sound grew louder, leading her down the hall, down the elevator to the first floor and the ballroom. The ballroom door was strangely ajar. Ava hesitated at first but then gently pushed the door open. The room was dark, save for the moonlight streaming through the windows and casting shadows on the polished wood floors. Then, Ava saw her. Lily was standing in the center of the ballroom, her arms raised in graceful arcs as she danced to the music. She was wearing a simple white nightgown that flowed around her as she moved, and the sight of her was mesmerizing to Ava. As the music ended, Lily turned to face Ava, a small smile playing at the corners of her lips. Ava could see the emotions in her friend's eyes - the pain of their estrangement, the joy of being reunited, and something more profound.
Without a word, Ava and Lily stepped toward each other and embraced. Tears flowed freely down their faces as they held each other, and Ava could feel the weight of years of hurt and longing melting away. "Love truly is a powerful force," Lily whispered. Ava nodded, feeling her heart swell with emotion. At that moment, everything felt right. These were two women dancing in the ballroom under the moonlight, with only echoes of their love and friendship guiding them. Ava and Lily finished their first dance, smiling at each other with newfound affection and understanding. "I missed you," Lily said, still catching her breath. "I missed you too," Ava replied, pulling Lily into a hug. They held each other closely, then Ava pulled away and grinned. "You know what this feels like?" "What?" Lily asked, still smiling. "Sleeping Beauty waking up from her long slumber," Ava said, and Lily chuckled with tears streaming down her face. "I guess we did have some enchantment to break," she said, and Ava nodded. "But now we can dance together again," Ava said, pulling Lily back onto the dance floor. They twirled and spun, their movements now in perfect harmony. While dancing, Ava and Lily felt their hearts swell with love at their friendship renewal.
When the music ended, Ava and Lily held each other close, feeling the warmth of their embrace. They knew they would always be there for each other, through thick and thin. The ghostly figure of Odette - along with Giselle next to her - watched them from a distance, her ethereal form glowing in the light of the moon. She smiled at the two friends reuniting, knowing that her love for Giselle had brought them back together. At that moment, she felt at peace and disappeared into the night, her work done. Love truly conquered, and that was a true happily ever after for this story.