Chapter 62

  It was a Friday morning in September, and time for my first performance in Madame Swanson’s ballet class. This was one class in which I wanted to make sure I did my best work. I woke up feeling a bit dizzy, and I’m not sure why. I made sure I ate a balanced breakfast.

By the time I got to school, I was feeling much better. The intensity of the class could be felt by everyone. I didn’t hear or see Sandy come in last night. Keyla mentioned that they all had a great time, and Sandy stayed out for a bit longer than everyone else. She didn’t have classes on Friday so she’d probably stayed at Jack’s.

After much debate over who would dance in what order, it’s decided I will go last. There are ten of us in the two-hour class, and Madam Swanson expected all of us to get through our routines each time. But some of us said we could stay over if needed, and Dean Array gave his permission to extend the class.

One by one, we began our dances. So far, everyone was doing an amazing job. After about an hour, half of us are done. Now the second hour is upon us. I really enjoy the support of the entire class. We all cheered for those who have already danced.

Within each class, we are expected to learn different ballet routines, from beginning to end. We needed to perform well, and standing in position is key. Luckily, I’ve taken ballet since I was five years old. I knew the importance of standing in place.

Madam Swanson was a very dedicated prima ballerina. She performed Swan Lake before and has also directed a ballet ensemble.

Let’s just say, we needed to do our very best for her.

Now it was my turn to dance, and I selected an original classical piano piece. I begin by executing my first pliés in first and second positions. Then I leapt forward into another standing tiptoe and turned.

When I finished, I saw Madam Swanson smiling. “Well done, Mia, and not bad for your first day of class.”

We’re actually finished by the time the two hours were up. It was a nice way to start the new semester. After class, I decided to get a coffee at the local café by Union Station and Times Square. I’m interrupted in going through the next lesson on my class syllabus by a familiar voice.

“Hey, Mia.”

I looked up at the speaker and can’t believe my eyes. “Henry, hey.” I stayed quiet for a bit and looked at him.

“How are you?” he asked.

“I am okay. And you?” I tried not to bite my lip. “I wanted to call you, but I didn’t know what to say. I was just so lost for words.”

“I know. I saw you called.” His face grew serious. “Henry, I—”

He shook his head. “I am sorry, Mia; I get it now.”

“You do?”

“Yes, I think I was moving too fast, and I didn’t realize it. When I shared some of this with my mum, she made me see how unfair I was being to you.”

I stepped closer to him and grabbed his hand.

“Well, Henry, at the time I thought I was ready.”

He nodded. “I understand now, Mia.”

I smiled at him.

“I have missed you.”

I stared down into my coffee. “I missed you, too.”

“You did?” He seemed surprised.

“Yes, I thought I was never going to see you again.”

Just then Henry took a step toward me. “I am sorry I left the way I did.”

“No, you don’t need to be sorry, Henry. I am so happy for all your success.”

“Thanks, but it got to be a bit much for me.” I lifted one of my eye brows. “Really?”

“Yes. I love painting. It feels good to be recognized, but I am not in it to be famous.”

“Well, I saw your billboards and I have to say you looked very handsome.”

He laughed. “Ah, that. Yes, I felt like a punk.”

“Henry, come on. You looked smashing.” He ran a hand through his hair. “It was Trina’s idea.”

“Oh, yes. How is Trina?”

“I actually replaced her. She got a bit too clingy.” “Oh, really?” I tried not to laugh.

“Yes, she did, and my mum got tired of her really fast.” He paused. “Trina wanted me to marry her and began to demand something I

could not give her,” he said, rolling his eyes.

“Wow, that was a bit much!” I exclaimed, trying not to frown.

“Yes, it was.”

Just then I noticed Henry’s smile began to fade. I could sense the talk of Trina was bringing us both down so I decided to change the subject.

“So, you got to see your family.”

He let out a big smile. “That was the best part.” “I am happy for you, Henry.”

“Thanks, Mia. My brother Adam is actually going to be my agent now.”

“Oh, that is great news Henry!”

“Yes, it is, and he is handling everything in England for me.”

“That is wonderful, Henry.”

“So you want to see more of my paintings later?” “Sure.”

As we walked out together, he gazed into my eyes. “May I hold your hand?” he whispered.

“Yes, you may.”

“You think we can start over, Mia?”

I immediately replied,  “I would love that, Henry.”

I was ready to walk hand in hand with Henry. I knew now that both of us are okay with taking things slowly.

He leaned toward me. “I missed you terribly, Mia.”

“Me, too.”

Then he kissed me. And I kissed him back. I never thought I could feel this way again. When Henry kissed me, I felt a sudden breeze hit my face and my heart began to race.

“Mia, are you okay?”

“I am fine, Henry,” I whispered. Then we walked together toward Central Park.

It was just like Dad said: Leo would always be a part of my heart, and would always be a part of me. But Henry was my present, and

I’m just glad I received the clarity I needed to chase after his love for me.

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