I am held still behind the dark curtain. Beyond the curtain, people begin to rustle impatiently. My body is stiff with anticipation, and I make no effort to move. I know what is coming and I have no desire to be part of it. I pray for the rustling of people to continue until I am no longer obligated to this suffocating form. My wish doesn't come. It never does, and I have given up hoping that it ever will. The murmur of people softens until there is only a vast silence of expectation. The burgundy curtain rises. The audience's eyes focus on me. Under the glare of the stage light I feel the stirrings of nervousness. I am completely alone on stage.

The gentle tones of a piano fill the room with a slow, mesmerizing melody. Still, I remain frozen. The sharp resonance of a violin joins the piano. The audience is already captivated waiting for me to move. Still, I will not budge. The notes of the song start of soft and even, as if attempting to coax me from a slumber. Without my consent, my arm raises above my head in a graceful sweep. The soft, beige fabric of my sleeve falls, revealing the smooth expanse of my arm. My body is perfectly shaped. Every curve is sensuous, but not provocative. My strong legs are sturdy, but not thick. My eyes are wide with wonder, but dark with untold passion. My brunette hair is restrained in a tight bun. Only one tiny wisp manages to escape and frame my heart shaped face. This form is prefect in every sense for I am unspeakably beautiful. Yet for all this, I am found wanting.

The rhythm pluses around me again as the notes gain speed and strength. My wooden body is jerked into action. Against my will, I bend to the music as my feet began to prance underneath me with an intensity I never knew to be within my soul. I flit about the stage as fickle as a falling leaf. My feet never allowed to touch the ground for more than a heartbeat. My cursed form was created for dance, despite whatever betrayal is in my heart. Note by note, my resistance to the beautiful sway of the music is worn down. I don't have the strength to fight, so I let my limbs be carried where they will. I fear he will not notice me either way.

The joyful tempo of the song takes on a darker tone. I am allowed a brief respite, but before long I am moving once more. I throw myself into the music. I dance until I case to be a dancer and become another part of the melody itself. My dancing gives the audience a short glimpse into heaven. The lights brighten until I am forced to look away. The audience gasps as I fall in and out with the rhythm. They love me, but it is not the love I long for. So, with every step, every sweep of my arm, I attempt to convey even a drop of my despair. My anguish will fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. For I am unable to speak, and he unable see.

I lose myself in the ballad until I forget who I am. I feel alive. I imagine the rush of my heartbeat as I breathlessly leap across the stage. I pretend there is a sting in the tip of my toes as I reach up once again in a silent prayer. My feet lift as I reach as high as I can, only to fall back to the hard floor of the stage. Other dancers join me. Their chiffon dresses twirl about in a sea of pink. Each one of their movements is perfectly synchronized, now to the curved smile of their lips. I ignore them because, in this moment I am alive. I am not attached to strings of expectations and unrealistic feats. I am a dancer at the mercy of the music. It is the closest to freedom I have ever been. I can taste my liberation, but his strings pull me back down. I find the courage to fight my master once again. He is the savior that gives me music, but also the captor that holds me back. I battle against my restraints. He directs me up, instead I bow. He beckons for a plie, instead I pirouette.

The orchestra and I reach our crescendo together in a breathless whirl of sound and beauty. The roar of applause vibrates through me as the crowd cheers it joy. I fall still under his careful hand when the music ends. The light blinds me as I stare up at the spotlight. The people are only indistinct dots the whistle their encouragement.

The curtains don't fall just yet. The crowd is begging for more. But can I handle more? I don't have a choice. The entire ensemble beckons for my dancing, for my story. But how could I hope to tell it? I have no words. I only have this hollow frame.

I am pulled at once more and I know I can no longer refuse his pleas. I must submit because that is what I am made for. I am just a delicate toy made for beauty and art, nothing more. It is not life that animates me, but loneliness. If the same loneliness fills him, I will never know. I can only hope that it doesn't. He doesn't deserve a torture such as that.

The next ballad is soft and slow. I recognize it as one he wrote. I remember the hours I spent propped up on his desk as I watched him labor into the night. His dexterous fingers would stroke the most beautiful melodies out of the piano. I lost track of the weeks he spent perfecting his work. Now it was finally finished. He poured his heart out in that song, so I pour my heart out now as I dance. A part of me wishes, hopes, that he wrote it for me. I need him. Without his touch I am motionless, and its only a matter of time before he abandons me. I will forgive him. I always do. It is the only thing I can do.

The other dancers join me again. We twirl together, our movements perfectly synchronized. I fall into line with them until I fade into their conformity. I risk glances at their faces. They all smile with the smile he painted on them. None of them show the despair that I fear is etched on my expression. Why would they be anything but happy? They aren't broken, I am.

The music stops and we all still. The crowd shouts their joy once more as the curtain falls and we are hidden behind its darkened safety. The others collapse into an immobile pile around me. They will be content to rest until their performances are demanded once more. I, however, stay poised. My arms are flung out to my sides in a show of abandonment. He saves me for last like he always does. I am not sure whether this action is out of affection or cruelty.

He lifts me into the air and away from the stage. His warm breath washes over me. His sapphire blue eyes stare at me with a childlike wonder that I never tire of. His lips twitch into a hidden smile that most people fail to notice. His hair was full and dark as a ravens in his youth, now his wavy locks are speckled with white. Lines trace the corners of his eyes and mouths as the years begin to take their toll. Despite this, he only grows more handsome every time I see him.

"Another astounding performance my sweet," he whispers to me. His voice is gravely from lack of use.

I wish I could answer, but my lips are painted into a smile as false as the rest of me. I will never be able to answer him back. I will never be able to speak the volumes of words built up inside me. I can only be what he made me to be.

I know he will abandon the others to where ever they fell. Only I have a special position on the corner of his desk. His fingers wrap around me and I collapse into his gentle hold. He places me as gently as he can on his desk. A smooth thumb traces over my cheek. Perhaps it is my imagination, but I believe his touch lingers for a second too long. For just a moment, I allow myself the fantasy that he would stay here with me.

"Until tomorrow," he murmurs.

The words both break me and give me hope. I will be tortured with another night alone, just like I have spent every other night alone. Yet, in exchange for this torment I am given the hope of seeing him tomorrow. The pain of him leaving is outweighed only by the threat of total abandonment. I willingly spend my nights in solitude if it guarantees me another day with him.

His footsteps fade as he walks away. The lights flicker off one by one until I am left in the shadows with only my thoughts. I am not sure where he goes. I hope wherever it is someone there loves him. I try to find refuge in the knowledge that he will return for me tomorrow, but the fact remains he will never love me. I am his puppet, and he is my master. He created me to be only his puppet, and in doing so insured my heart was his alone. I will find contentment like so many of his other creations. No, this agony is mine alone. So, I wait for him to return. It is all I can do.