Hard to Escape Chapter 26.1

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Candle: Hey guys… I am/will be super busy cause it's the end of the semester and I'm swamped with finals and stuff. Sorry if I can't respond to or keep with with things OTL Once everything's over I'll go back and try to catch up on stuff!

Yin Li had stood calmly on the sidewalk with a large bouquet of roses in his hand, drawing countless pa.s.sersby's attention. I walked straight into my apartment without a single backwards glance. The following two days followed the same pattern. He didn't call to me and didn't bother me. He only stood there with a new, fresh bouquet of roses every day. Meanwhile at home, the aromatic lilies Li Jing had sent me bloomed wantonly with a heavy fragrance.

After another day, he didn't just have roses in his hand anymore. He even had a sign by his feet that said in large letters in French: "Forgive me."

I would have never thought that Yin Li could do something like that. Not knowing how to face him, I escaped through the back door.

Frank helped me contact Madame Taylor, and today was our meeting.

Madame Taylor is a world-renowned dancer. She had gained fame and recognition in her youth. When she retired from the troupe, she then became a ch.o.r.eographer. She had once publicly announced that she would never take a student of her own volition. I was that exception.

Currently, she was running late, and meanwhile, I grew increasingly nervous. My heart was uneasy.

She was my only hope for unraveling all the riddles.

However, once my gaze landed on this famous teacher's esteemed, elegant face, I felt a chill come over my body. She clearly recognized my face, but her reaction wasn't that of a happy reunion. Instead, it was calm to the point of indifference.

"Show me a pirouette on pointe and a backwards kick." Her voice was aloof and she didn't even greet me or hug me. She only dropped that one ice-cold sentence.

"I've lost my memories." I felt slightly ill. "I was in a car accident and forgot everything. I don't remember who I was, and I don't remember you either."

Only with that did Madame Taylor look at me with slight surprise. But it was only that one look. She then continued. "Let me see your leg." With that, she came forward to examine my calf. She crouched in front of me, her face solemn and grave. She pinched me from my toes all the way to my heel to my calf. Afterwards, she asked me to twirl.

"Teacher, are there any problems? We can sit and chat."

At this, her face grew even colder. "I think there's no need for any further discussion. And don't call me teacher. I don't recognize you as Alicia. You don't have the legs of a dancer." She looked up at me and her tone was like a judge delivering a death penalty. "Those without strong legs can never become a magnificent dancer with the ability to stun the audience from the stage. With your legs as they are right now, it's impossible for you to become a professional dancer. In the history of ballet, there has never been a dancer with such flabby, powerless legs."

Her cruel words made me feel resentful and wronged. "But I am Alicia. You know this! I can relearn how to dance! I'm not afraid of pain!"

"Many times, just having the right att.i.tude is not enough. You only have the desire to dance ballet, but not the legs for it. Every dancer, for the sake of dance, is capable of sacrificing a lifetime of blood and sweat. They sacrifice everything, yet in the end, the ones who are able to stand at the peak of the world, look down on all others, and receive the wors.h.i.+p of all, are very few in number."

"It's regrettable. Alicia is a dancer I very much respect. But the reality now is this: an Alicia without ballet is not Alicia. You are not her."

My heart was in complete disarray. I nearly died, and without knowing what for. I lived painfully amidst a giant lie. Once I realized the truth I wanted to reclaim my past, but  discovered that everyone no longer needs me.

Without a dancer's legs, I have nothing.

I held back tears. Unwilling to accept all this, I asked, "Then in the past, why did I never have even one public performance? I had fulfilled all your prerequisites, yet why didn't I even have the opportunity to stand in before world? Why?"

Why couldn't I even be spared a beautiful memory? I never had the opportunity to even find out what I once could have accomplished.

Listening to my choked words, Madame Taylor seemed to be a bit moved. "It was what your mother requested. A dancer's journey is long, from their first appearance on stage to the splendor of their last performance. She didn't want you to develop a grand reputation too early and become too involved with the outside world. She also didn't like those endless galas, and didn't want your energy to be wasted on the young men of the French beau monde. The outside world is too enticing. Many girls more talented than you have lost their gifts to such frivolousness."

"You should dance alone, right up until the moment before you mature. Then when you spread your wings, from that moment forth, no one will ever be able to bind you or shroud your brilliance." She seemed to be reciting something as she spoke. "Indeed, you are the naturally gifted and resilient dancer I have ever met. I've told you this before. Suppose one day you throw us all away, perhaps because of my failure to think things through, and then as my pupil you dazzle the public. The media will start to pursue you. Your mother and I shared the same worries. Gaining early media exposure will only make you scatterbrained."

However, the moment of my maturity never came. In the end, I still withered prematurely in a car accident.

Madame Taylor lowered her gaze. "You were once our secret seed. But now you can no longer sprout."

She spoke that line with total certainty, leaving no room for doubt. It was as if, in her eyes, I was merely a vessel for ballet. I finally couldn't stop my tears from tumbling down. "I want to relearn how to dance. Please Madame, continue to teach me."

But Madame Taylor shook her head. "What do you even remember now, of ballet? I don't accept dancers who won't be leaving any trace of themselves in the history of ballet, let alone someone with no future as a dancer, who I'd have to completely remold. You don't even know a single drop of the basics. I don't want to see a clumsy Alicia. My memory of you will forever be of your precise, fluid movements."

"And perhaps this way, it won't be as cruel. You've never appeared in the public eye and never experienced the world's expectations of you. Furthermore, there won't be as many spectators left heartbroken from your fall from greatness. On the contrary, this won't give you any pressure and is a happy ending for you."

However, is this really not cruel? To the artistic world, my life's work is like a dragonfly skimming the water's surface; a mere, ephemeral pa.s.sing. Time can erase its every trace. In the end, it will be as if it never even happened. If so, what would be left to signify that it has been snuffed out?

"So you're only willing to acknowledge the Alicia that can dance, and in your eyes, I am nothing? Don't you feel like this is unfair to me? How can you call this a good conclusion for me?! Supposing if I had instead gotten my chance to s.h.i.+ne, would it now be preferable for me to have just died, rather than becoming a cripple who can't dance? Don't you think this is selfish?"

"Dance has always been a selfish art. Ballet even more so. If it were the past you, you would understand that from your own experience, even more so than I. Every dancer, for the sake of becoming princ.i.p.al, must be an extremely selfish person. Stealing the gaze of the entire audience, is precisely how ballet is conveyed."

The eyes with which Madame Taylor stared at me seemed to look down on me from high above, pitying me. "You even forgot that. A dancer must be indifferent enough to be able to support the weight of her whole body on the tip of her toe. Indifferent enough to support the weight of the entire audience's scrutiny. Ballet has always been a cruel art. Now, you not only don't have the legs for ballet, you've even lost the mindset necessary for it. You aren't Alicia. You aren't a dancer. I don't acknowledge you."

She one-sidedly ended the conversation like that, and left me still sitting there with tears streaming uncontrollably down my face.

Candle: Man this scene was depressing. Madame Taylor was way more of an a.s.shole than I expected her to be ?

Niang Niang: Madame Taylor? More like Madame Got-stick-up-her-b.u.m ?

Hard to Escape Chapter 26.1

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Hard to Escape Chapter 26.1 summary

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