Dance Academy Series 3 episode 13. This is what could have happened between Tara’s fall and the official opening of the Samuel Lieberman Memorial Studio.
Previously on Dance Academy: That’s it, the biggest dance audition of their student life, the one that will define their options in the professional world, and Tara falls, flat on her back. Christian and all her friends rush to her side, but what on earth can they do to help?
And I keep holding her, my hands over her ears, I am not sure why. Maybe to protect her spine, like I was told at the lifeguard first aid course? But what’s the point? Her spine is the issue. Just not the neck that I pointlessly hold in place. So maybe it’s to help her hold on to sanity. Or to make me hold on to mine.
‘My legs, I can’t feel them!’ she sobs, and I can’t even wipe her tears away, my hands are glued to the sides of her face. A face I want to kiss and soothe. I want to tell her that all will be well. But how could I? What do I know about her back? Falling flat on it like that shouldn’t be so bad. She would be up by now if Saskia hadn’t injured her. But she’s pinned to the floor, she simply can’t move.
I snap my eyes closed and fight the dizziness lurching in my head. I am not going to run. I’m gonna stay here. Dr Wicks tells everyone to back off, for Abigail to call an ambulance, but she doesn’t tell me to move, so maybe I’m doing something right after all. All the noise around, the whispered worries, the barely held back sobbings, Dr Wicks empty reassurances, they all become a blur as I whisper her name again and again, ‘Tara’.
But she only looks at me for a second as tears keep on swelling in her eyes, pooling as if she were drowning in them. I lean forward and kiss her forehead. She closes her eyes, a new flood of tears streaming down the trail carved by their predecessors. And we wait.
The ambulance has just left, and I’m still stuck to my spot. Still on my knees, my hands still Tara’s head width apart. Ollie’s dark fingers tap my shoulder and yet I do not move.
‘Come on, mate, let’s go.’ Ben’s hand is in front of my face. I grab as he pulls me back to standing. But I can’t look at him. I just nod my thanks and run out to the changing room. This is desperate time but I’m not going out there in these stupid white tights. Prince charming? Yeah right, useless plonker more like.
When I get out, everybody else is changed and on the move, apart from Miss Raine who is pinned against the wall by a small crowd of people, Abigail included. She was meant to dance next. She wasn’t going to now, and yet I can muster only a shred of empathy for her.
Kat hooks my elbow and pulls me forward. The silver sparkle of her dress clashes ridiculously with the sallow shade of her face. She of the eternal smile and twinkle in the eye, she has been drained of everything good. I let her drag me out the back door, into a cab, where we all pile up. Ollie shouts our destination. The driver’s eyebrows scrunch up. He takes a breath to tell us to get out, but takes in our collective desperate facial expressions, grumbles for a second, then sets off.