This is part of a novel I am slowly working on that reflects the theme of ‘honey and vinegar’, and looks at the role of kindness from others in building a life.
Her parents had such a lust for life no one was around to pick her up from dance lessons or give her the money to go out but Bessa could still dance. Her parents thought she was hopeless but they hadn’t seen her on stage. She looked around, the street was in darkness as she left. She couldn’t come back to this ghosttown. Her home would not change but she hoped she would. She had to find a new story to call her life.
Bessa stripped down her bedroom of twenty years and found that everything that was there was childish. Everything had been given to her to keep her in her place. She had always been on the side of the people who lived in her community but now she wanted to support anyone who would stick by her so she could leave this place behind. She liked cartoons as a child and now no one would let out outgrow the childlike characters and her room had become a mausoleum to childhood. Her love for her family had kept her here but it had stopped serving her. No wonder she hadn’t had a boyfriend in a while. There was no space for anyone in her life with all these stuffed toys around her. Today something had shifted in Bessa that made it easy for her to stuff all of the smiling teddy bears in a big black bag and leave them outside the charity shop.
The door to the nearby theatre where she had to return her old dance costumes to had not been locked properly. The stage was empty and the auditorium looked tempting. She wandered inside. Bessa was alone or so she thought in this space. She stole onto the large empty stage. The floor had a plastic feel to it and magically it was easy for her to glide around. She felt supported and dancing was easy. She floated, at least that’s how it felt. Nothing dragged and her legs extended and her back stretched as she filled the whole space. She found the front of the stage and sang the opening number to a musical she hoped to perform in one day. To add weight to this goal she had an audience, in the shape of one warm kind appreciative observer.
Bessa lifted people’s horizons and made their hearts lighter and now she had proof. When the caretaker came to close the gates for the night he almost locked the door from the outside but he heard the joyous singing inside and so he stood in the shadows, and watched from the back. He gave Bessa his best applause. Whilst the world stood waiting for her outside these four walls, this was a solid base to move on from.
Find the full story in the finished novel here
Enjoy a selection of writers presenting the case for kindness here