Fiction Friday: [Elsewhere]


“Why is this my life?” Dawn sighed as she hung the last sheet up on the line. “Other people have dryers in their homes. Some even have maids and don’t do laundry at all. They just sit around eating bon bons and drinking martinis.”

Tina rolled her eyes at her little sister who pretended like she hadn’t noticed.

“Look, Dawn, we live in Maine, worse yet, Bremen and neither of us have any discernable talent worth getting us out of this place.”

It was Dawn’s turn to roll her eyes, but she felt guilty about it. She knew that Tina was bitter, angry even, and felt guilty because she had recently found out why. Of everyone in their family, heck, of everyone they knew, Tina was the one that should’ve made it out of this town.

At just five years old Tina started studying under Judith Balmer who had been a principle dancer with the New York City Ballet before retiring to Maine. According to the stories not only was Tina naturally gifted, she truly loved ballet. Her talent was so strong that her future was certain.

Then, when she was fourteen she met That Damn Russ and a year later she was pregnant. Not only did she never dance again, she gave up. Resigned herself to being stuck in Bremen, forever attached to That Damn Russ. Forever dreaming of what could have been.

At sixteen, despite being a very pretty girl, Dawn never had a boyfriend. She wasn’t going to be twenty years old with sadness in her eyes like her sister. She wasn’t going to get stuck with her own That Damn Russ.

When Dawn was eight she started getting an allowance and even at that young age she knew she had to save every penny. Every penny represented another step out of town. Babysitting, yard work, she took any job to reach her goal.

Every time she added her latest earnings to her Muppets lunchbox she fantasized about leaving in the middle of the night. Moving to New York without saying a word. She imagined sending her family postcards from Italy and Spain and Australia.

And she dared to hope that with each postcard sent Tina would find the strength to dance again.