Curses by Traci Harding

Book: Curses by Traci Harding Read Free Book Online
Authors: Traci Harding
    I MET LISA when I was still working in retail. She was employed at a coffee shop close by the record shop where I worked. As I drink copious amounts of tea every day, Lisa got to know me fairly quickly. Within days she was making my tea to taste and that made her a goddess in my eyes.
    I could tell the second I laid eyes on Lisa that she was a ballet dancer. I think it was the long, thick blonde hair, plastered back off her face in an immaculately tidy bun that really gave her away. I had studied jazz and creative dance for ten years or so — pre the arrival of boys in my life — so I could recognise a dancer from a mile off. Lisa had the poise of movement, the turned-out walk and could be seen doing stretching exercises whenever she had a spare second.
    Lisa soon joined the ‘wish to get out of retail and get famous club’ that Claire-Bear, Mandy and myself had secretly formed during our smoke breaks.
    It was Lisa’s desire to make a living out of dancing. She was teaching at a ballet school at that time, but having never performed with a professional company she felt too inexperienced to really earn her keep teaching dance. She had also never experimented with any kind of dance outside of classical ballet and jazz. And with a full-time job keeping her on her feet all day, and teaching ballet classes after work on most weekdays and Saturday, Lisa had little spare time to pursue other aspirations.
    Like Karen, Lisa always made time to come around to my place to listen to me read instalments of my stories. At the end of each reading session, Lisa always insisted on knowing what was going to happen next in the story. As I’d outline my vague idea to her, more of the story would reveal itself, and I was thankful for someone to bounce ideas off.
    When Claire, Mandy and I all left our steady jobs to pursue our own goals, it wasn’t long before Lisa followed suit. But not one to do anything by halves, Lisa got rid of everything that wasn’t working in her life. She quit her job, broke off the relationship she was involved in, moved house and resigned most of her duties at the ballet school. She found a casual job that paid well, and was attending various classes at several dance companies.
    Lisa first began dance lessons after she quit university, which in dance circles made her a very late bloomer. She envied me learning dance as a youngster, and feared her age would prevent her getting the professional experience she craved. Lisa’s dance style and technique improved ‘out of sight’ in the years that followed, as did her choreography for the jazz class she was teaching. Still she was not making any headway toward professional dance experience. It was around this time that Lisa’s mother unexpectedly died, which hit Lisa very hard. She was on the point of giving up on her dream and seeking full-time work again, when, out of the blue, one of her dance friends offered her the opportunity to perform in ‘Bodies’ a major contemporary recital that is held every year in Sydney.
    I went to see the opening night performance, as Lisa was so sure she was going to blunder and disgrace herself. The tears of pride were absolutely rolling down my face as I watched her perform a flawless routine, whilst some of the better known dancers did make very obvious mistakes.
    Afterwards, it was a very changed woman that I spoke with. Lisa had amazed herself, and now that she had lived her greatest dream, she was confident of creating her own reality from then on.
    Through her mother’s death, and her dream being realised, Lisa was supported by a lovely fellow who had been hanging around waiting for Lisa to stop living dance a second and notice that he existed. Soon after the big performance was over, Lisa fell in love with him, and one year later became pregnant with her first child, Chloe, who I am proud to say I aided to bring into the world in early July 2001. Lisa taught at several dance schools during her pregnancy, and is far

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