Theresa Power; Dancing Shoes

Dancing Shoes

Mummy pretends to be happy but I know she’s not. Her smiles are just a trick. Same as her hugs.

‘Come here and give Mummy a cuddle,’ she says, and then she squeezes me so hard that I can’t move. Her eyes are closed but that doesn’t stop the tears. I want to scream at her to let me go but my mouth won’t work and the words get stuck. Daddy comes into the kitchen but he doesn’t look at us. I wish I was bigger.

‘We better get going,’ he says. Then he tells me to go and get a toy for the car. I gasp for breath when she lets me go and I run as fast as I can to my room.

 

My beautiful ballerina. Just a few twists and she is dancing again, round and round in her shiny pink dress. No one is speaking in the car and Daddy asks me if I want to be a ballerina one day. He doesn’t notice that I don’t answer or that Mummy is crying again. She is sniffling and sighing and every few minutes she lets out a little whimper. She is like a scared puppy and I want to reach out to touch her but I don’t. Daddy turns up the radio.

 

I don’t know where we’re going. I hope we’re going to see Jake. We keep going to visit him at the big garden but he’s never there. There are never any babies there. I whisper to my ballerina that everything is ok. Daddy says to shut that thing up so I stop playing her music in case they send her away too. I promise her that I’ll leave the box open. No more dancing though. She will have to be quiet.

*

Biography

Theresa Power studied English and Sociology at Maynooth University. Her work has previously been published in Spinebind. She lives in Dublin and is currently working on a number of creative projects.

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