Deceiving Dancer

October 13, 20175 min read

I’m a compulsive liar. My name isn’t Wren, but I’ve been telling people that it is ever since I moved to this city. I have huge piles of The New Yorker magazines collecting dust in the corner of my room, but I tell people that I worship those writers and hope to contribute articles one day too. I’m living here because my parents kicked me out last year, but I tell people I’m a full-time student working my way up to being an actress on Broadway. When I meet cute guys in the various coffee shops around the city, I either say I’m a singer or a dancer — depending on my mood that day. I’ve been doing this for almost a year and would’ve never guessed that it would lead me to a situation like the one I had yesterday morning.

There I was, in the corner of The Bean on that cold December morning when a man approached me and asked to buy my next coffee. After politely nodding and offering an inviting smile, I got ready to share the impressive talents about myself.

“I’m Edison, and you’re sitting in my spot.” The man now had a name and lightly laughed as he sat down in front of me and placed two steaming drinks on the dirty round table in between us.

“Sorry to hear. I’m Wren.” I picked up my drink as I responded, waiting for the usual questions that follow meeting someone new.

“So what do you do Wren?”

I looked out the window at the sheets of snow falling down and was reminded of the Sugar Plum Fairy dance in “The Nutcracker.”

“Oh you know — I’m here and there. You can usually find me prancing around in my ballet shoes. Julliard demands a lot from me.”

The usual face of curiosity swept across Edison’s face, and more questions followed. What type of dance do you practice? Is it a competitive environment? How are your instructors? How many classes do you have a day? How long are your classes? How badly do you want to succeed? Before I knew it, Edison and I were an hour deep into a false conversation, and the strange part was how believable my story seemed — even to me. I was having quite the thrilling conversation with a genuinely kind guy. As we were laughing over a joke I made, he interjected with this one statement that wiped my smile off my face in an instant.

“You know, I’m really not supposed to do this type of thing, but I’ve decided you deserve it. You seem extremely devoted. My best friend is one of the hiring choreographers for the Rockettes. I could get you an audition next week in front of the whole board if you’re up for it.”

Oh shit.

“Wow… I mean, I couldn’t possibly — that’s a terrible imposition…” My sentence trailed as I stared out the window, imagining myself as one of those Sugar Plum Fairies. Instead of dancing with gracefulness, I saw myself clumsily turning on pointe and falling flat on my face, while an entire board of hiring choreographers and professional dancers idly watched.

“Nonsense. I’ll give him a call on my way to the train station.” He then grabbed my phone as he readied himself to leave the coffee shop, and called himself from it so we’d be able to stay in touch. “You’ll be hearing from me soon.” He stated hopefully and walked towards the exit. I looked out the window once more and watched as Edison crossed the snowy street.

What did I just get myself into?

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Natalie Santos

Dreamer from Miami