A Dancing Peony

There she goes again. Little Peony in her soft pink dress, twirling ‘round, arms extended ever so slightly. I watch the layers of the fancy gown that is her favourite price of clothing float around her in soft curtains of silk. She tumbles into the grass, giggling, her rosy cheeks scattered with freckles. It’s hard not to love the little girl, who Radiates with joy from in her every step, who’s smile can turn the worst of days sunny. I watch her now, playing in the field with her sister, Rose, who’s red hair falls in long, wavy blankets down her back. Peony’s mother calls for dinner, and her eyes brighten, like any child’s would if they knew it was their favourite meal tonight. She scoops up the dress in her hand and runs back to her house, the setting sun bouncing off her blond locks as she follows her sister through the back door.

I catch a glimpse of her though the kitchen window, her bedroom blinds not drawn as normal. She’s much older now, fourteen, I guess. Her soft pink dress is replaced by a ballet unitard, though it’s the same colour. I’ve never really seen ballet before, but the way she effortlessly does every move, I can tell she’s well practiced. Her hair is pulled up in a simple bun, not down her back any longer, and her freckles have multiplied over the years. She spots me watching her, and stops so suddenly, it gives the impression I’ve literally shocked her. She stumbles, and falls to her bedroom floor, then quickly getting up. A bright red has risen in her cheeks, as though she’s been caught doing something horribly foolish. She yanks down the blind quickly, blocking herself from view.

I know something about the large billboard announcing the ballet is familiar, but it’s not until I go to see the show that I recognize her. Sure enough, there is Peony, spinning round in a lovely gown as she plays Juliet, a boy who is most obviously Romeo along side her. It’s no wonder she was picked for the role, because everything she does is flawless. The acting, the dancing, the singing, the way she stands poised on her tip toes, as though she could be floating. The auditorium fills with ruptures applause as everyone takes a bow. I can see her joyous smile from the front row, her little curtsy, even the way she nervously seems to be shaking. I clap as loud as I can, knowing she deserves every last bit of praise the people have to give. Then the boy arctic Romeo, who’s name I here to be Harry, scoops Peony up in his arms and she wraps her arms around him as they kiss. Everyone goes wild. I can’t help but beam at her, the little girl who I lived next to, growing into such a beautiful woman, just like the flower she was named after.

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