She dances quietly through the long grass. It tickles the fraying edges of her skirt, quietly reminding her to keep her feet on the ground. She ignores it for now, leaping and pirouetting as much as she can, trying to fly. Her fairy wings are bold and bright, but prevent this singular wish. Her make up paints a picture of innocence on her face, her eyes shielded and her expression intense.
You'd never guess that inside, she's dying.
* * * *
He stands alone, separated from the rest by a small boundary of a metre or two. The rest are jostling each other, psyching each other up for the first training session of the season. He stares vacantly into the distance, his mind a million billion trillion miles away, watching the clouds as they float distantly across the horizon. His eyes quietly dance back and forward as he remembers and forgets, until he is knocked to the ground by a team mate. Getting up, he laughs and jokes with the rest looking the very picture of glee.
You'd never guess that inside, he's breaking.
* * * *
She sits in the back of the class, laughing and joking. She is the centre of attention, her short black hair framing her soft pink face gently, awakening her eyes doubly as she chuckles. She leans back casually on her chair closing her eyes in a moment of happiness, before falling forward with a snap. She isn't the loudest, but her jokes seem to leave the biggest impression of those around her, even allowing people outside her circle a small giggle. But then she catches his eye across the room and her smile fades as she holds his gaze for more than a moment. Turning back to her friends, the smile returns and she laughs again, her share of pain felt.
You'd never guess that inside, she's hurting.
* * * *
He darts at the sound of the gun, dashing forward to leap over the wooden frames blocking his path. The roar of the crowd dims to a dull murmur as he hides himself in his race, forgetting everything but the moment. His stride lengthens as he throws himself over the last hurdle and tosses his body towards the line. He lets the sound back in and hears the roar of the crowd and knows he has won. He smiles as he walks back to his friends to celebrate his victory – the fastest hurdler in his year. As he walks through the crowd, his stomach drains as he catches her eye. Neither smile; only stare for a moment…two moments. Then he is pulled away to celebrate and forgets the moment until he can't escape it any longer.
You'd never guess that inside, he still misses her.
* * * *
She sways to unheard music as she walks through the halls in a dream. From the look in her eyes it's easy to see that she's a million miles away, in a place she can escape to. She clutches her wallet tightly, and weaves through the crowds, heading to the table where tickets to the formal are being sold. She holds up a single finger – one ticket please – and parts with her money, smiling absently at the girl who hands her change. She turns to go and finds herself staring into a pair of eyes she's been wishing she didn't have to see ever again. She holds his gaze, challenging him subconsciously to a staring competition and smiles softly. He doesn't return it, but stares right back until suddenly he moves around her and asks for two tickets. She closes her eyes against the tears that threaten to break over her lids, and walks slowly away, the forced smile still painted across her mouth.
You'd never guess that inside, her heart's breaking.
* * * *
He suits up slowly, taking care with each sleeve his arms go through, thinking about every move he makes. He wonders why he's doing this; why he's putting the one who makes his heart race through so much pain. He could see it in the way she walked away today; he didn't even need to see it in her face. His hands shake – from shame? – as he ties his tie, cursing himself with every move his hands make. He ventures down the stairs slowly; on each one pausing for a moment to ask himself the same question – is he making the right choice? The doorbell rings and his date walks in, a relatively pretty girl who lacks the power to make him feel seasick. He takes her outside, and the answer to his question hits him as he takes the last step down the drive. No, he's not making the right choice. His date inquires if he's ok and he smiles, showing his pearly whites in a vain effort to fool his own subconscious.
You'd never guess that inside, he hates himself.
* * * *
She listens to the pulsating beat, trying to lose herself in it's empty rhythm and meaningless lyrics. Her legs itch to dance and move but she can't quite fall into the music – can't quite take a moment to leave behind her mind. So instead she watches, a viewer of the world happening around her. She longs to dance and make him stare; make him watch as her dress flows about her in a way that evokes images of fairies and elves, of magic and fairytales; as she dances, a prima ballerina on the floor. And as the song changes and the soaring guitars take her mind elsewhere she moves to dance and catch his eye. Until she sees him with his arms around another girl, slowly turning on the spot to a beautiful love song. She crumples and stands back, her eyes downcast and her heart breaking.
You'd never guess that inside, she's aching.
* * * *
The slow beat of the music encapsulates him, and if he closes his eyes he can almost imagine that it's her in his arms. As the swooping violins and moving guitars begin reach the climax, and the vocalist sings about hearts that have been stolen, couples around them move in for that single heart wrenching kiss that can make or break a formal. The girl looks up at him but all he can see is another one, standing with disheartened eyes on the other side of the room. His heart jerks towards her, and he knows which one should be in his arms. The song dies, and the moment is passed, the girl in his arms looking vexed and the one on the other side of the room looking dejected. He excuses himself and heads outside, away from the bright lights where he can breathe.
You'd never guess that inside, he's crying.
* * * *
Her eyes hunt through the swelling crowds but she can't see him anywhere. Her heart is panicking, terrified that he has gone off to a secluded corner somewhere with another girl. She is surrounded by couples punch drunk and in love which adds to the confusion mounting inside of her. She's drowning in a sea of cheap perfume and sweaty bodies until she can't take it anymore and runs outside. Here the music is but a distant swell and the beat is less overpowering, almost magical as the small lights in the sky blink calmly. In the near-darkness she dances, letting the feeling take her away as she pirouettes through the overgrown grass. Her face is overflowing with emotions and finally she can breathe.
You'd never guess that inside, she's wishing.
* * * *
He watches her quietly, not wanting to destroy the beauty of what she is creating. She never once drops a beat as she dances quietly through the night, never once pausing to reconsider a feeling. He watches in quiet awe of the dreamlike grace she conveys in each step. She moves with more passion in each step than he wonders if he's ever felt. He longs to ask her where she finds the inspiration but can't bring himself to ruin the majesty. He tries to move closer silently, so he can see through less foliage, but his foot slips loudly on an inconveniently placed rock. He freezes and prays she didn't hear, but she doesn't stop dancing. He moves again, closer and closer, until she suddenly stops, facing him. And he knows, from one look in her eyes where she gets her passion from. He covers the ground between them in two steps, kissing her deeply and pouring intensity into the kiss so she knows he feels it too.
You'd never guess that inside, he's in ecstasy.