#EdenLit - (08.2012)- Story Start-Barefoot

SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
I am not really sure how I got here. I woke up this morning and realized that my world had begun to revolve around these rituals I felt compelled to perform. I made my coffee, ate a bowl of cereal, greeted the family, and then sat down at my desk and logged in. I can't say that I am unhappy with my life, it's just that it's not what I pictured when I was younger. I wanted my life to mean something, to be too exciting for words! Now, I am just happy if excitement gets bored waiting for me to log off and finds someone else's life to rearrange. Still, in those quiet moments when the world is sleeping I dream.

I scanned through my my e-mail. Everything at the fabric store is 30% off, Mrs. Holland needs pies for the school bake sale, Susan plans on dropping by around 8:30am to have coffee and chat a while. Good, I thought. I could use a chat.

I reached for the toy pirate that one of the kids had left next to the mouse. I rubbed my fingers over it, not really feeling it or looking at it. My mind had already wandered off. The honorable pirate, pillaging the king's ships so that he can support the poor outer settlements, while wooing the governer's daughter! A quick wedding with the local priest and honeymooning on a tropical island with hidden pirate gold and gorgeous waterfalls. She's wearing a white lacey thing...

“About that coffee?”

I turned to see Susan standing a few feet behind my office chair. I replaced the pirate on the desk and slunk to the kitchen, Susan close behind.

“I'll make a new pot,” I muttered over my shoulder. “I see you've been carrying my spare key.”

She shrugged. “You didn't answer the door. You said you heart heart problems in your family. I thought maybe something was wrong. I hope you don't mind.”

“That's why you have it!” I said, trying to sound chipper.

Susan found a place at the kitchen table and babbled about her new office with it's huge window and all the various kinds of tropical plants she was using to decorate.

“Uh-huh,” I said at proper intervals.

“Marshmallows,” she blurted.

“What?”

“I didn't think you were listening,” she said. “Is something wrong?”

“I don't know, I guess I'm kind of bored. I mean, I love my life, but my imagination has been going wild. I feel like I need to do something, but not sure what.”

She hummed and drummed her fingers on the table. “Well, being a housewife and stay-at-home-mom can take it out of you.”

I whirled to face her. “There is nothing wrong with what I do! I chose this life! I wanted it! It was what was best for me and my family at the time. Do you know how hard it is? To dedicate your life to other people? Can you possibly understand the work or the rewards, Little Miss Career Woman?”

“Hey, hey!” Susan said, throwing her hands up in surrender. “I wasn't being sarcastic, Ella. I know what you do is hard. I've never questioned your choice, as you've never questioned mine. Wow, you really are wound up today. What's going on?”

“Oh, I don't know,” I said, sinking down in the adjoining chair. “I feel restless, I guess. Nothing is really wrong, but for some reason I just feel like doing something crazy and different.”

“That doesn't sound like you,” she said. “But for the sake of argument, how crazy are we talking here?”

“I don't know. Something fun and exciting. Maybe tightrope walking lessons.”

Susan laughed and stood up. “I'll get the mugs.” She poured the coffee and brought the cups back to the table. “Tightrope walking, huh? How about something just as fun but more realistic.”

“I'm listening.”

“I take belly dancing on Wednesdays. There's a beginner class on Mondays. I'll go with you.”

“Belly dancing?” I questioned. “Like hip shaking, midriffs and sex? That kind of belly dancing?”

Susan laughed and slapped her hands on the table. “Well, sort of, I guess. Think of it this way. It's dancing. It improves your balance, posture, and grace, not to mention the extra calories you burn.”

“Did you just call me fat?”

“Stay focused. I think you should go. I think it will do you good.”

“I don't know...” I replied. My hands rubbed over my belly and hips. I didn't think I was sexy shakin' material. I thought of my three sisters. Tall, sexy, gorgeous. I could see them belly dancing. But me? I wasn't short, but shorter than them, and definitely rounder. Even my thin hair couldn't compare to their thick curls. What would people think if they saw me doing such a thing? I imagined tripping over my own feet and the other students pointing and whispering about my stomach.

“I'll tell you what. Come for three weeks. I'll go to every class with you. If you don't like it after that, then you never have to do it again. But really I think you'll love it.”

That evening, the kids were bathed and in bed, the dishes were done, and I sat with my husband listening to the storm growing outside.

“I'm taking a class with Susan on Mondays,” I said.

“What kind of class?” he asked.

“A dance class.”

“Oh,” he replied with raised eyebrows.

“What's wrong?”

“Nothing. Really, I have nothing but respect for Susan. I know she's a good friend of yours. It's just that you two are so different. Your hobbies generally don't coincide.”

“She mentioned it to me and it sounds like fun. But you would have to put the kids to bed on Mondays.”

“That's fine with me.”

* * *
08/27/2012
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SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
I immediately wanted to run when I entered the studio. Bright lights, lots of people, and the horror of a huge floor-to-ceiling mirror that promised to show me every single mistake I made.

“Susan will be here any minute,” I assured myself. “Be calm.”

I let my eyes wander. In the corner there were a group of 20-year-olds, tall and thin, wearing t-shirts that proclaimed they had once been high school cheerleaders and ballet students. Occasionally they pointed at someone and tittered and mocked. The rest of the students ambled about, chatting happily with each other.

I nervously tried to tie my hip scarf, but couldn't get it right. A blond woman with large hips appeared in front of me and grabbed at the knot.

“Here, like this,” she said, retying it. “Nice to see you! I'm always happy to see new students.” She turned away from me, showing the word “Instructor” written in large blue letters across the back of her shirt. She went to the front of the room and called, “OK, everyone, let's get started!”

Everyone positioned themselves in long rows that spanned the room. I found a place in the second to last row, and breathed a relieved sigh when Susan hurried through the door and took her place beside me.

“We're going to start with practicing our twist. Feet on the floor, shoulders still, hips back and forth. Here we go. Good! That's great! Keep it going! Now we're going to take a few steps with it. Ready? Two steps forward, two steps back. Forward, back. Forward, back. Excellent!”

I tried to shuffle forward, but my feet caught on each other and I stumbled. A petite woman on my other side reached out to steady me.

“No worries,” she whispered. “Everyone does it sometimes.”

The ex-dancers behind me giggled and made a comment that there should be a pre-beginners class for people like me. Susan spun her head around and glared at them, then turned back to me.

“Don't concern yourself. They like to do that. And who cares what they think, anyway?”

“Keep it going!” the instructor called. “Fantastic! Now let's try it to music!”

* * *
08/27/2012
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
After the first week of classes, I found myself humming the music. After two weeks I bought my own hip scarf and snazzed up my outfit. Just a little. Still understated and earthy, like me. At three weeks I often practiced swinging my hips to any music that floated into the house. Weeks four, five, and six found me donning my attire at home, putting on some music and practicing. I felt calmer, more confident, even more sexy. I had no idea my body could move like it did. Graceful had never been a word I used to describe myself, but now I moved through my space with greater ease than I ever thought possible. Then an idea came to me.

I put the kids to bed early that night. My husband sat in his overstuffed chair, reading the news on his laptop. I came to him with pleading eyes and asked, “Can I show you what I've been learning in class?”

He glanced at me and said, “Sure, lay it on me.”

I hurried to pull on my outfit and tied the scarf like the instructor had shown me. I put the music on and looked at my husband. He was still looking at his laptop. I started to sway my hips in the twist, moved into figure eights and around-the-worlds, stepped in my closer to him, then further away.

He watched me half-heartedly for a moment, then closed his laptop, set it aside, and gave me his full attention. His eyes grew wider as his eyes followed me around the room while I shimmied and turned. The fringes on my hip scarf swayed and jumped in time to the music and my movements.

At last the song ended. “Well?” I asked.

“I...I had no idea you could do that.”

“Neither did I.”

“I've never seen you move with such...confidence.”

He pulled me closer to him without getting up and ran his hands down my hips. “How do you feel?”

“Amazing.”

“You were always amazing,” he said. I'm just glad you can see it now, too.”
08/27/2012
Cedarlooman Cedarlooman
Very nice! It flowed well, and I think we have all been in that daydreamy state at the beginning of the story. (And I am really considering saying "Marshmallows" the next time I think the people I am talking to aren't listening.

The people in the story were believable and I think we have all been around the ex-cheerleader girls. It was a good story and a pleasant read. Great first submission to the group!
08/30/2012
Cedarlooman Cedarlooman
Very nice! It flowed well, and I think we have all been in that daydreamy state at the beginning of the story. (And I am really considering saying "Marshmallows" the next time I think the people I am talking to aren't listening.

The people in the story were believable and I think we have all been around the ex-cheerleader girls. It was a good story and a pleasant read. Great first submission to the group!
08/30/2012
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
Quote:
Originally posted by Cedarlooman
Very nice! It flowed well, and I think we have all been in that daydreamy state at the beginning of the story. (And I am really considering saying "Marshmallows" the next time I think the people I am talking to aren't ... More
Thank you. I was very worried about this one because, honestly, it sounded much more interesting in my head.
09/01/2012
interestingstuff interestingstuff
I really enjoyed that. It was realistic and although I don't have kids or a husband, it was very relate-able. You've given me some ideas. Thanks for sharing.
09/02/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by SneakersAndPearls
Thank you. I was very worried about this one because, honestly, it sounded much more interesting in my head.
Well then I think you actually got what you were looking for because it is very interesting on paper as well! Bravo.

I love the way it flows and is totally relevant to everyone even if they don't have kids. I love your interpretation of the start of the story!
09/04/2012
Twisted Angel Twisted Angel
OH as a SAHM I LOVE this.. I am sooo her. Like her I think my husband would fall out if I danced around him like that.. hmmmm wonder if there is a belly dancing class near me. Probably not. Great job hun
09/06/2012
Total posts: 9
Unique posters: 5