An Ill-fated Goodbye
Anastasia Rothe; December 21, 2007
She'd never... really been one for the whole director-chair thing, but Anastasia had to admit that it was nice to see her name air-brushed on the canvas of the folding-chair at the auditions for Swan Lake. Coming to the audition was a formality; she'd already been offered the part of the lead role Odette, but felt somewhat obligated to show up, if only to see the potential supporting cast.
The director of the ballet, the extremely self-inflated Frederic von Steilen, was adamant about staying true to the decades-old Stuorgsky choreograpy. Anastasia, who had arrived not in any sort of dancing attire but, instead, in nice jeans tucked into heeled boots and a black turtleneck (looking very much the superior artist was a useful tactic at auditions where one didn't actually have to audition) smiled as she watched the young hopeful dancers stretch their muscles and practice the choreography in corners or small groups. She sat back in her director's chair and accepted the cup of gourmet, fair-trade coffee that was offered to her by someone... probably one of the producers. This audition was going to be at least... somewhat interesting.
The auditions take place early on evening of the 21st. Frederic offers to treat you to drinks before hand and picks you up.
When you get there you recognize Melanie and Quentin from Coppelia among the hopefuls.
Things generally go off without a hitch, saving one incident. You find yourself nearly dropping your organic fair trade beverage (which tastes like ash in your mouth) when a very young girl, likely new to the profession, faints during her piece. You simultaneously snicker at the lack of professionalism and worry a bit over the girl's health. The poor thing looks to be taller than you and must weigh less than eighty pounds.
When all is done, you are a bit surprised to find that Quentin gets the role of Siegfried. You are less surprised that Melanie gets consigned to the chorus again and figure you'll be getting an earful over this for quite some time. You don't recognize the girl assigned the role of Odile. She's apparently originally from Sweden and has recently (like you) relocated to New York. Her name is Henrike Ronja and Melanie tells you cattily she's a little "over friendly" with Frederic.
In any event, you are generally happy with Frederic's picks (You certainly don't have to worry about Quentin flirting with you as the lead), and you make certain to tell him so. He basks in the much-expected praise and tells you that both the production, and you, should be wonderful.
You find it odd, however, as you leave to go, that Maria isn't waiting to pick you up as usual. Frustrated, you are forced to wait about a half hour outside the studio, occasionally making calls that go to voice mail, before you decide to take the subway back home.
It's crowded and unpleasant, and you immediately wonder what possessed you not to flag a cab instead. For twenty minutes you endure this song on loop at a decibel volume FAR louder than you or your undying eardrums are willing to endure. The noise helps to sharpen your understandable irritation at Maria, and it doesn't help that the gentleman with the boombox (some weirdo wearing a bow-tie and sweater-vest and carrying a goddamn chihuahua) refuses to turn it down at your request. It takes a rather imposing one-eyed gentleman making the same complaint a bit more emphatically before he turns it down a notch.
When you finally get off the train and make it home, you have a lecture on the tip of your tongue. However, you find quickly that Maria is nowhere to be found, and neither are any of her belongings. On her pillow, however, you find a single envelope with your name on it and the Tiffany's fish necklace you bought her for her birthday.
Opening the envelope, you find a letter. It reads thus.
My dear Anastasia,
As you read these words, I am on my way out of your life, traveling across the country to find myself a new future. I doubt that you saw this coming - frankly, I still can't believe that it's really happening. You should know, though, that my departure has been in the works for over a month. I chose to leave, rather than to continue suffering as I have been.
Anastasia, as my Sire, you know me better than anyone, and yet there are some things about me that you will never understand. I have loved you as any childe ought to, and in some ways even more so. My feelings, though, have been in flux for a long time. I suppose it's rather greedy of me, leaving like this... My motivations are greedy, at least. I wanted more than you would, or perhaps could, give me. I wanted a friend who wasn't also a mother or a lover. I wanted to be able to function as an individual without fear of some kind of repercussions for being myself. I wanted to be able to try new things without their being cast in a negative light and thus shown to the entire world. I wanted independence. I wanted to be able to keep secrets.
Do you remember what secrets are, Anastasia? Rather, do you remember what other people's secrets are? They are theirs to keep. My story has always been mine to tell - I'm a greedy little childe, and I know this well, but that doesn't change the fact that it is mine. My secrets were mine to tell to you. They were never yours to spill to others, even facts as seemingly trivial as my age. You do like talking about me, I've noticed. I wish you could see how intriguing and entertaining a person you are - you don't need someone to boast about in order to have a conversation. I know that I like you for you, and I'm absolutely sure the rest of the world will too, if you just give people a chance to get to know you. I'm honored by the attention you pay me when I'm not exactly present, but really, enough is enough. You are your own person, and you are an amazing person, and you should learn to recognize this. Toot your own horn once in a while. People talk to you because they want to talk to /you/.
Congratulations on hypothetically getting Primogen - I'm sorry I won't be there to see you lead clan Toreador to fame and glory. I must caution you, though, that the kind of immaturity you exhibited last Court probably won't go over very well if repeated. Keep your head on straight and you should be fine. Be careful if you go up against Marco - we may disagree regarding his attempts to manipulate the clan, but I am certain that he knows what he is doing, in any case.
You should know that this is the third draft I've written of this letter. The other two were crumpled up and tossed away almost immediately. This is my last try, and I hope I've managed to get everything in.
I am honestly sorry to leave you like this, but I can see no other way. Don't bother trying to find me. I've left my cell phone in the apartment, and even if you figure out where I am, I'll still be elsewhere. I've learned how to hide. I might even be a different person, a few months from now. My composition is going in a new direction that I couldn't tell you about because I knew you would never approve. I have befriended people you would never want me to associate with. I'm armed in more ways than you can imagine, and I refuse to keep letting the world walk all over me. I'm changing, Anastasia, and next time you see me you won't even know who I am.
I hope that you will be able to move on as I will, and I wish you all the best. I will always remember you as my little ballerina girl.
Keep practicing, and take care of Chaplin for me.
Chaplin, in fact, mews piteously to be fed as he bats at a pigeon fluttering outside the window. He seems a little lonely.
Notes: Lússha is the chihuahua and the pigeon. She's Aura Perceived Anastasia, by some bizarre coincidence, and thus begins the circumstances of Anstasia's write-out.
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