The partying, laughter and dancing was a good distraction. She almost raised it, what had happened on the highway. The timing, though was never right and because it was such a fantastic story, Brooke knew it was pointless to even begin to speak about it.
Instead, she smiled brightly as the group danced and partied well into the balmy nights, unleashing months of discipline and built-up tension in freeing and unbridled celebrations. Bodies moved and swayed rhythmically with such sweaty intensity, the occasions became wild and highly-charged.
The days were just as playful. They swam and danced on the sand and in the surf and returned to the beach house to eat and sleep in hammocks which swayed in the light breeze. A breeze so gentle, it ruffled loose hair and danced across scantily clad bodies. The Troupe replenished mind and body and any signs of low spirits were quickly dismissed and replaced by laughter, gaiety and flutes of sparkling wine.
Brooke slept fitfully. She saw shadows which weren’t there and ruminated over the figure she was convinced had stepped out in front of her car only days before. Restless she moved and willed the weekend to end so she could return home and as if by some miracle erase the event from her memory.
Brooke joined in on the final night’s celebrations before they’d all pack up and return to their homes. The effects of the flute of sparkling wine someone had handed her freed her and she swayed rhythmically to the music blasting out from the boom box in the corner of the room until it abruptly stopped as another CD whirled to Life. From the first instrumental note, Brooke instantly recognised it and knew it as that track from her own collection, # 18.
She closed her eyes as all the years of training, the year’s success, and the image of the shadowy figure and the sparkling wine all welled up from within her. Brooke yielded to the moment. She danced to the vibrations of the acoustic piece and saw a sea of faces before her. She moved lightly, unaware space had opened up around her and she used it completely.
She danced as she had never danced before and became that Artist she had only ever dreamed she could be, moving as if to interact with the sea of faces and intoxicated by their presence. She was unaware the song had ended and it was only when the group hugged her that she bounced back from the surreal, impromptu moment. She smiled and gaily joined in the celebrations. More dance music blasted out of the corner and the party continued on into the night.
Brooke felt surprisingly good as she awoke the following day. The Troupe were all leaving and heading to their homes. She was dropping Mason and Mia at the half-way point where she’d then continue on her way. The break had been great. She said her farewells and promised to keep in touch. Some she would meet again and others would move away, maybe leave their first love and build new Lives in other careers. Brooke was waiting to hear news of a Lead role herself but other than that, she felt free and it felt good.
The drive up from the beach house had been easy. As she dropped Mason and Mia at the Three Ways she felt a strange twinge as if unsure when she’d see them again. She dismissed it and smiled brightly telling them to keep in touch and to know they’d be bound to bump into one another again.
With that she got back in the car and drove away. She looked back in her rear vision mirror and the pair continued to watch her as she accelerated into the distance. She waved and they responded with a quick flip of their hands and kept watching until they disappeared from her view as she rounded a bend in the road.
As she reached the open highway, Brooke relaxed and smiled. Despite everything, the break had been just what she had needed and she idly switched the dials looking for a song to enjoy on the final leg of her journey. As she turned her full attention back to the highway she was unaware she’d landed on that song, # 18 until it erupted inside the cabin.
As the familiar melody of # 18 came to Life, once again Brooke yielded to her Love of Dance and Music as the beat of the song connected her on three levels and she irresistibly moved to its rhythm.
As it rose and fell in a well-known pattern it took Brooke on a journey of Dreams, Desire and Passion. Once again trees and grassland flashed past on her peripheral vision as the rhythms of the song and her love of Dance and Music transcended her into another reality.
As she approached the familiar line of eucalyptus trees on the side of the highway where she had passed only days earlier, the shadowy figure appeared. It was almost as if it had been waiting for her as it moved onto the road. Brooke once more slowed but this time more expectant as if all along anticipating this second meeting.
As he moved into the path of her car, she stopped. Once again all that pervaded the moment was the chorus in the track and the idling of the engine. They faced one another and silently Brooke got out of her car and walked toward him. She stopped short....and waited.
As his song continued to play from her car's stereo, he extended his hand and Brooke stepped his way and connected hers with his. In an instant her feet gave away and she moved with him through a maze of nothingness tumbling and turning and turning and tumbling in a slipstream of silent confusion.
He moved and fell with her but he was calm and comforting, so she clung to him and together they spun through a timeless landscape and her unease subsided as she leant on him and accepted this new reality until exhaustion overcame her and she drifted into a void of ….nothingness.