She was dressed in embroidered clothes and long earrings. Her eyes and her lips were coloured. She didn’t look like herself any longer. She was painted and attired to represent an idea of beauty and glamour. She had been nominated for a prestigious award. She was young, a woman, and her origins could be traced to an underdeveloped nation. She was a minority, and she was crossing the chasm—the chasm in history. They celebrated her. She went along.
On the big award night, she sat in anticipation. Expectations had been built. Even as a child, she had lived up to expectations. She kept everyone happy. Disappointing others was not something she could bring herself to do. Guilt made her give endlessly.
There was excitement in the air. Every nominee, held in the clutch of hope (the deceptive face of desire) could feel the churn of doubt and anticipation. The award was a mark of distinction. Many aspired to it, while others dreamed. Few were known who did not care for an award, especially this one: A gold-plated statuette of a knight with a crusader’s sword, standing atop a film reel. Really, a male, a knight, and a crusader’s sword as recognition of creative excellence?
They announced the winner. It wasn’t her. Nor was it three of the other nominees. Only one among the five received the award, while all were deserving. The jury had picked a fit. The mark of distinction was assigned.
Doubt and anticipation ended. That’s it; it all changed in a minute. No one noticed the change. Words of encouragement touched the ears. Solidarity found expression. And what about the doubt and anticipation that had made its churn felt? Did it leave without an imprint?
She could exhale again and continue to dance, even without the glass shoes. She didn’t need glass shoes to dance. She needed her bare feet.