Time to Dance
Camille. Age 13. PA

A few minutes ago, all the hope inside me died, and all because of the weather report: “So we see the temperature is staying constant, expected to be in the negative tens. No snow, as usual…” My family groaned. Christmas Day and not a hint of snow. I stared out the clear window. I could see the wind shaking the trees. The remaining leaves had tumbled from the trees. I spotted the last, pure red leaf. It escaped the branch to freedom, the freedom of death. It floated slowly down. Crumpled leaves brushed past it, twirling it through the chilled air. Down, down, it went. It danced in the icy wind, ignoring the leaves around itself and focusing on the moves of the dance. Finally, it fluttered onto the grass, ending its final dance.

“Hey! White Christmas!” There was no White Christmas outside, so instead I rushed to the family room, a cozy area where my family relaxes and watches all kinds of shows on the television in the center of the room. The movie White Christmas had just started, and I stared in awe at one of my favorite films. Other people—people who hated the true soul of America—said it was a waste of two hours, twenty three minutes, and seven seconds. I never cared what the haters said. Suddenly, the cold air escaped my bones, and I was left with my family watching Bing Crosby, a famous actor playing one of the main characters in the movie, on the battlefield. Suddenly, my mouth was parched. I stood up and asked my merry mother for dessert. She agreed, and I sprinted to the freezer for ice cream. The chill of the frosty bites did not bother me. Slurping up chocolate peanut butter scoops, I sat at the table and looked back up to the TV. I glanced away for a second to finish off a chunk of frozen peanut butter, when I heard them sing. “Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters.” I looked up to see two blue sisters on the television. Ditching the ice cream, I ran for the nearest pillow. “Time to dance,” I whispered to myself.

I emulated the Haines sisters and their bright blue feather fans. It was as if they had gone into the forest, caught a blue jay, and took its wings off and used them as fans. I repeated the sisters’ steps in my mind: fan up, fan down, left foot forward, back, look left, look right. I could hear the laughs of my family in front of me, but it didn’t upset me. I kept going. I was like the leaf falling in the frigid wind. Fan left, right, up, down. Now for the big finish. SPIN! I twirled, my pillow trailing behind me. I felt my feet underneath me, getting a burn from my rough, grey carpet. Whistling air swirled around me. Swoosh. My smile filled my face. I could hear the playful laugh of my dad, then a click. He had just started videotaping me. I despised him for it, but kept the show on. My closed-off brother, a boy that barely ever laughs, had fallen to the ground gasping for air, clenching his chest and laughing, all the air out of his lungs. Finally, after a final twirl, I collapsed to the ground where my pillow, fortunately, broke my fall. I lifted my head to the television, where Judy and Betty, the Haines sisters, had just sat down with Bob and Phil.

“Get over here,” my dad called me over to the couch. I barely stopped myself from fainting on the wood-brown sofa. I picked at the blood-red stitches, waiting for my father to pull up the video of me dancing. Finally, he had opened it and I watched myself dance my heart out. The twirl amazed me. What had felt like minutes had only taken two seconds. It was astonishing, and I beamed as I had once before. Then the grin faded, as I felt my video being sent into a big blue bubble of humiliation. It taunted me. “What did you do?” I asked. My father had gone against all my wishes. Anger boiled inside me because he had just sent the video of me dancing to my relatives. It was a group chat from my father’s side of the family. I lightened up after reading the precious names. My grandmother, a contact on the group chat, responded, “Best Memory Ever! My new favorite! Did you even leave home?” My dad responded no, and I lay back on the couch, smiling as the movie played on.

Then, I heard it. Another tune filled the air. “Snow. It won’t be long before we’re all there with snow.” I stood up and strode to the front of the room. “Here we go again,” my mom chuckled. “Time to dance,” I whispered to myself.

No snow outside, as usual. No White Christmas, as usual, but the movie was the next best thing to help me regain my hope.

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