By Rosemary Carter
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Extra resources for Another Life
As gently as she could, Sara refused him. The weeks with Clyde had given her an added sensitivity. She had never been one to hurt people when she could avoid it, but such was her own hurt now that she could empathise with the feelings of another. She liked him very much, she told him, and was honoured by his proposal—the words in this instance not a cliché, for such was the personality of Peter Burod that a proposal from the man was indeed an honour—but she did not love him. Peter, who knew of her broken relationship (not the details, for there were none who knew those), did not press her.
It was as if she distrusted the change in her protégée. More than once she asked Sara if something was the matter, stopping just short of mentioning Clyde and the question of whether the girl regretted ending her engagement. No, Sara assured her each time, she had never felt better. Odette-Odile was the part she had been waiting for from the moment she had watched Swan Lake as a child, and had known she herself would one day become a ballerina. Madame Olga was not the only one to register the change in the girl's personality.
She was on stage. Sara Demaine was no longer a girl with problems that concerned only herself. She was Odette, the swan-maiden with a problem easily identifiable by an audience, many of whom had seen Swan Lake before, and who were as caught by this rendering as if they were seeing the dance performed for the first time. Sara knew herself that her dancing was good. It was as if her grief and disappointment had inspired her, so that she rose above her problems and danced as she had never danced before.