CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOUR
“So … what is it really?” Sandy asked.
“I’ve always lived this life, you know,” Sissy said in a flood of speech. “This thing leads to that thing. First it was finishing school so I could get away from mom or maybe if mom went to rehab she’d be a real mom or at the very least she would say she was sorry to you and Charlie! And dance. I’d dance and dance and dance and then go be an apprentice and then …”
“Get hired at a ballet company,” Sandy said when Sissy took a breath.
“I remember,” Sandy said. “What’s changed?”
“Now …” Sissy shrugged.
“What’s …” Sandy imitated Sissy’s shrug, “ …mean?”
“I don’t know if I want to be an apprentice anymore,” Sissy said. “Or live here in New York. It seems like my whole life is in Denver. And Ivan … I don’t know where Ivan fits into anything.”
“He certainly wasn’t in the original plan,” Sandy said.
Sissy nodded. Sissy leaned forward.
“I don’t want to be away from him,” Sissy said.
“Why would you have to be away from him?” Sandy asked.
“If I’m a ballerina, I …” Sissy nodded. She fell silent while her head moved up and down. “Actually, I don’t know why I’d be away from him. I guess, I don’t know any married ballerinas. Well, there’s that one …”
Sandy smiled and took Sissy’s hands.
“We’re all just making it up as we go,” Sandy said. “You can come to Denver for Wanda’s surgery and be back here on the weekend. Hell, if you travel by fairy, you can do it in a few seconds.”
Sissy laughed. For a moment, everything seemed really good and happy. Just for a moment. Then, the weight of Sissy’s worry returned.
“Will you help me?” Sissy whispered.
“Always,” Sandy said.
“Even if I don’t live a straight line life anymore?” Sissy asked.
“I won’t judge you even if you live a wild and untamed life,” Sandy said with a nod.
Sissy wrinkled her nose at Sandy repeating their mother’s words.
“She’d be so mad,” Sissy said about their mother.
“Oh, who cares?” Sandy asked. “Did you know she said I was like a cow because I was breastfeeding Rachel?”
“No!” Sissy said. Shaking her head, she added, “Such a bitch.”
Sandy laughed and Sissy smiled.
“You heard that Nash and Noelle’s mother, Nuala, is here in New York?” Sandy asked.
“Aden’s meeting with her right now,” Sandy said.
“Better him than us!” Sissy said with a sneer.
“Exactly,” Sandy said.
“Do you think …?” Sissy started to ask and then stopped.
Sandy watched her sister for a long while before Sissy took a breath and started to speak.
“Everyone says you need time alone, you know, to find yourself,” Sissy said. “I always thought I’d do all of this alone and then maybe meet someone later when I was a famous ballerina and …”
“We’ve talked about this before,” Sandy said.
“Is it okay to talk about it again?” Sissy asked.
“You’re worried that you won’t …” Sandy started and then shrugged. “I don’t think we’re sure what you won’t be able to do now that you’re with Ivan. Is he limiting you in anyway?”
“Not that I can tell.” Sissy shook her head. “I haven’t felt like ‘Oh, I want to do that but Ivan won’t let me’ or ‘If I wasn’t with Ivan, I’d do this thing or that thing.’ Like I said, he’s very much like …” Imitating Ivan again, she added, “‘We aren’t in gulag. We do what we decide with our life.’”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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