F is for Fortuitous (and Fancy) – A to Z Challenge

Fortuitous (and Fancy)a-to-z-letters-f

When Fancy and I were coming up together back home the Overdorf kids used to tease that I’d marry him some day. But my pa told me to keep my fine behind away from that boy.

I didn’t see that my behind was any finer than Fancy’s, but everything else I had was. He was the last of thirteen born to his Ma, Imogene, and even though four died, she and Henry had hell trying to raise ‘em all up. By the time Fancy got anything it was all bones or patches. But he had more spunk than the other eight put together. And he was always sayin’, ‘I’m gonna make sumthin’ of myself someday.’ And I didn’t know it then, but he often added, ‘And I’m gonna take that Imogene Miller with me too.’ He didn’t mean his ma, of course. He meant me. Though everyone but Fancy called me Genie.

He and the other boys from Homer used to take turns pressing up to the window trying to see through the sheer curtains when Mrs. Creighton taught me to dance. She came to town all the way from Walton and the Mayor’s wife let us use her parlor and full length oval mirror so the floor would be even and I could see my position for the arabesque.

I remember the fateful day the envelope came. Ma and Pa assembled me and my three sisters around the table in the middle of the afternoon, right after Pa came back from town. We’d been out by the creek in the sun, and I could feel the sweat trickling down my back while waiting to see if I would stay or go.

Pa read out, ‘Miss Imogene Clara Miller, has been awarded this year’s Kensington Dance Scholarship for Borden’s School of the Arts.’ I didn’t hear the rest. I’m not sure I heard anything for the whole month until I left Homer on the train. My mind was already gone, imagining pirouettes across the shining halls in Kensington and my life far away from home.

I made prima ballerina by the time I left Borden’s, and I travelled with a troupe that represented Kensington. Next it was the whole state, and then I moved up to the National Ballet. When I left Homer, I dreamed of the city, but now the whole world was before me, and I didn’t look back.

I soon found that America or Europe, one city was like another, the inside of a studio full of pain and practice with the only light in the shining glory of the stage.

In Paris, my feet beyond broken, I stole away from the studio for a taste of the famous streets. We were not to leave the company without word of our plans, but I rebelled.  I bought a café au lait and a buttery croissant—everything forbidden. And in the midst of a sidewalk café, where I’d hoped to experience exotic life, I thought of Ma and the girls. Of Pa and home.

‘Imogene?’  I’ll never forget how his voice broke through my tears. It was Fancy, looking finer than any man at the Paris Premiere. He had made something of himself alright. And he didn’t take me away from Homer. But he took me back again.


About sherijkennedyriverside

Left brain, right brain, I can't decide. After many years of successful visual arts pursuits, I'm working on my other creative inclinations. For the past 8 years, writing has been my second full time job, and it's worth every sleepless night. Sheri J. Kennedy grew up mostly a city-girl coasthopping from Seattle to rural Pennsylvania, Miami and back to Seattle. She currently resides on the banks of the Snoqualmie River in the scenic Cascade Mountains. Her heart has found its home.
This entry was posted in A to Z Challenge, Fiction, Inspirational and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to F is for Fortuitous (and Fancy) – A to Z Challenge

  1. winneyb says:

    This is delightful! I loved it!


  2. chloeaevm says:

    I love the voice, I love the timing, I love the simple yet endearing plot… love love love.


  3. tommiaw says:

    A very surprising ending indeed!!


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