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Obelia Chowdhury
2 articles

Competition Day!

Writer: Obelia Chowdhury Category: ছোট গল্প (Short Story) Edition: Dhaboman - Eid 2017

I stared into the rows of people all wide-eyed, all murmuring. I froze. My eye starts to water, and soon enough I felt warm tears skid down my sweltering face. I skim the crowd for my teacher, knowing that it wouldn’t make me feel any better. When I found him, the look the disappointment and anger took over his face. Will I ever be able to overcome this?
“Hurry up sweetie! You have dance in an hour! WAKE UP!”. My mother scrams for the 10th time. I awoke at once, yet my eyes were still half closed. I bustled out of bed and got ready for dance. 3 days until my dance competition. I was so excited I practiced my routine so many times; I could do it in my sleep. I arrived at around 7:50 am, still not completely awake. I once again enter what seems like my second home.
“And a 5, 6, 7, 8 - kick, stronger, step, stronger, point your toes Obelia, plié, STRONGER, pirouette, - OBELIA! That’s it I’m fed up with your nonsense! I TOLD you to practise! I'm changing the whole routine and if you continue this poor dancing technique, I will send you back to basics! Now WATCH and LEARN!” Oh boy, I thought to myself, back to basics? No way! It took me what seems like forever to be on a competitive level. I just have to work harder, I told myself, work harder.
Three hours later, I barge into my house with tears run-ning down my face. This wasn't fair, it just wasn't. My new dance was so much harder than my original one, and I only have three days to practice. On top of all that, if I fail to win, I have to go back to basics. There was no way I could possi-bly memorize my whole dance in just 3 days. And so I did as I was instructed by my teacher, I practiced until my whole body was aching. I couldn’t feel my feet, it was hurting that bad. I noticed one of my toes bleeding.
Next morning I wake with a halt. This time sweating. I re-member why. Last night I had a terrifying nightmare that I forgot my dance. But I knew that wasn’t EVER going to hap-pen to me because today I was going to practice until all my toes bled. And so I did. Of course, not all my toes, but most were bleeding. My sister comes down to the basement to find out where all the noise and music was coming from. She was just who I needed. I went running to my sister crying. She started saying “Sis, you don’t need to dance at the competi-tion. You’re putting too much pressure on yourself.” she was right, however, I didn’t want to go back to basics. So the rest of the day I rested and relaxed.
It was finally the day, the day I have been waiting for, it was competition day. Everything was perfect, my hair, my makeup, and my costume. I was prepared and confident, I could DO IT. “Ready honey?” my mom asked with joy. “Readier than ever mum!”, I responded with excitement. I felt exhilarated. It was a looonng drive. At last, we met our desti-nation. I enter through the gold double doors, and my eyes wander around the marvellous decor. Gold and purple interi-or designing, appetizers everywhere, people chatting, and the smell of hairspray prickled my nose.
I search for the changing room; suddenly I noticed a shadow of three tall girls behind me. Oh boy, I knew exactly who they were. Alisa, Kieara, and Mary. The three of them huddled around me as if I were a fireplace. “Hey LOSERRR!” scram Kieara, ending with a smirk. “Don’t think you read the sign before you entered. NO ANIMALS are allowed in here!”, Mary continued. “Well rules ARE rules, I gues”-”Kieara!, Mary!, Alisa! You're up in 10!”, Alisa was interrupted by one the backstage helpers. “UGHHHH”, they all whined and left. My stomach starting hurting, maybe I WAS a loser, maybe I DON’T actually deserve to be here. I sobbed silently until I reached my change room. I told my sister what had happened. She was furious. She made me feel a lot better.
I still had 30 minutes before I go on. I was back to my origi-nal self, confident and ready! Soon that 30 minutes turned into 5. And the same backstage man that had interrupted Ali-sa, came to deport me to backstage. My adrenaline was pump-ing like crazy!
The last performance had just ended and it was time for me to give it my all! “Now we have act number 64! Give it up for Obelia Choudhury with The Woods!!!!” the woman on the speaker shouted. I entered the stage. Thousands upon thou-sands of faces facing me. Right before my music started, Alisa shouted “Poor little girl, she’ll probably forget her solo.”. The music started and I didn't even notice. I was off to a terrible start. Then slowly the music faded and I saw Alisa, Kieara, and Mary, standing in front of me, calling me names and laughing at me. Then they too fade away and I find myself staring into the audience. I forgot where I was in the dance, I forgot the WHOLE dance. I stared into the rows of people all wide-eyed, all murmuring. I froze. My eye starts to water, and soon enough I felt warm tears skid down my sweltering face. My throat was dry and lumpy. I skim the crowd for my teacher, knowing that it wouldn’t make me feel any better when I found him I could hardly recognize him the look the disappointment and anger took over his face. It happened, it really happened. Will I be able to overcome this? Then I look to my left, Alisa, Kiara, and Mary were laughing so hard they fell to the ground. That is it, it is over, I am going back to ba-sics on Friday. I run off stage quickly. Crying the hardest I have ever in my life.
It is now Friday, I entered my dance studio. And started cry-ing, and apologizing at the same time. Then he told me to stop, afraid of the consequences, I did. He said “don’t wor-ry I am not sending you back to basics, everyone makes mistakes, it is also partly my fault. I shouldn’t have put so much pressure on you.” he signaled for a hug, I rushed into his arms. Happiness took over my mood and face. I will never forget that competition day. And I will never forget the lesson I learned. As important as it is to push yourself, it is also important to know your limits.