It was hot. Well, it's always hot in LA. The sun shining ever so furiously, its rays making the people walking on the streets sweat profusely. Aeri felt it was shining angrily burning with fieriness, raging with mock furiousness as if to ridicule her current mood.
There was loud chatter surrounding her, people walking, crossing the road and going on with their day. The indistinct chatter and hum of vehicles and loud horns gradually faded away as she neared her destination. The sound of her shoe clad feet faintly clicking against the cobblestone pavement now could be heard. Aeri smoothes out the wrinkles from her shirt, sucks in a shaky breath and walks towards the ballet studio.
She was agitated indeed, her day already an absolute mess from the very beginning. Her mother's taunts in the morning didn't make it any better either. Aeri tried to brush off any invasive thoughts as she twisted the doorknob to the ballet studio. Putting on her perfect, "My life is not a mess, I'm doing great" smile.
The door swings open, the warmth of summer air immediately dissipating in the air-conditioned building. A bell tinkling gently in the breeze alerts the dancers of Aeri's arrival and immediately turns heads leading to a few giggles erupting across the room.
"Oh! Hello, Aeri, I'm so glad you decided to join us today" says Ms Phelps.
Further continuing to address the children "Aeri used to be a student of mine, a very bright one I must say!" While the said young lady looks away sheepish, fiddling with her fingers as a scarlet hue makes way to her cheeks not knowing how to respond she remains silent.
" Well, I'm sure you're delighted to see her but be mindful of your manners and don't trouble her too much". "Go on shoo keep practising" Ms Phelps ushers the children. While Aeri who was quiet the entire time simply stands beside Ms Pheps and stares at the dancers.
The energetic and young ballerinas were certainly adorable all adorned in their pink tutus and ballet shoes, hair tightly made into a neat bun on top. As they attempt to twirl, determination, innocence and joy- all were as bright as day in their sparkly doe eyes.
" Oh, my darling! You finally decided to visit me. You did so well, you looked like an absolute princess on ice", unable to control her excitement she squeezes Aeri in a tight hug. Struggling to breathe, she pats the middle age ballet instructor on the shoulder.
" I-t's it's lovely to see you too and thank you I tried my best."
The elder finally lets go and smiles as brightly as the blazing sun this morning. For nearly three hours Aeri taught the students a few tips and tricks and shared embarrassing anecdotes of corpsing on stage during recitals. Despite her ballet moves being rusty and her social skills being equally musty, the skater still tried her very best.
"Well you fool you're a figure skater, you left ballet years ago!", she repeatedly reminded herself.
After spending a lovely time chatting and sharing laughs with all of them, it was time for Aeri to head home. But not after getting a scolding from Ms Phelps for looking "As if you haven't eaten in days", she apologizes, makes up an excuse, says her goodbyes while remembering to wish the young ones good luck for their upcoming recital, she heads back to her house.
It was a rare occasion that Aeri had a few days off or was able to roam in streets this freely but after winning gold in nationals and managing to persuade her coach to let her rest she was able to. Although her mother wasn't exactly a fan of that and she made sure to let Aeri know that during her morning phone rant.
Aeri felt happy, and most importantly, she felt relaxed. She was sitting near a park, the weather was a lot better, a gentle breeze passed by her making her involuntarily hug herself.
She had come to the park. Looking around she saw people, some holding hands while gazing at each other with adoring gazes, elders and young ones alike. Some were playing running around, cheering and shouting with big smiles on their faces and it was always scenes like this that never failed to make the skater grin.
After a brief moment of recollection, she starts to walk again not wanting to miss the subway as the sun began to end its work shift; the atmosphere started to darken with orangey and yellow shadows blended throughout, this could only mean one thing. The moon had started its job, painting a scene so serene in the gorgeous afternoon sky.
Taking her shoes off, freshening up and feeling as if she ran a marathon the young lady lays on her bed with a thump. Deeply sighing and hoping for tomorrow to be a little better than today, but still smiling whilst remembering her time spent with the fresh, youthful dancers. Watching them made her reminiscent of her childhood, she was seventeen now- still young but the innocence of her earlier years was still present in her mind.
Aeri yawns, covering her mouth with her hand, while shutting the blinds and blocking the light that was previously seeping into her room, which was now completely dark. She liked it that way, quiet, dark. Her bedroom is a very intimate place for her like a sanctuary where she could meditate. A place where she could be left alone, all by herself or at least that's what the skater preferred.
With her eyes droopy it doesn't take very long for them to close slowly like the blinds on the windows while she falls into a deep sleep.
Possibly the only moment when her mind would be quiet, her ears not ringing and her thoughts not having a constant invasion. As sleep lulls her into a sense of security and Aeri drifts off into the land of her dreams.
A land where nothing is impossible.