Everything Dina had ever known was just enough.
Her childhood was happy enough, she supposed— not much to look back on, but no glaring traumas.
Her parents’ marriage was happy enough. They always loved each other, but never really showed it outwardly.
She always did well enough in school. She never went to university, but she started working right out of high school.
There was always enough food in her fridge. Never any excess, but she never went hungry.
In Dina’s entire life, there were exactly two things that she couldn’t get enough of: dancing and Katzir.
She was put into ballet at four (as a way to get her into something and out of the house) and she excelled. She practically floated every time she stepped into the studio. She danced until she was eighteen, at which point her parents fell ill and she had to get a job and take care of them.
She shoved her pointe shoes into a box in the back of her closet and did her best to hide the sadness.
They died when she was twenty-two. By then, it was too late to start dancing again.
Katzir swept her off her feet, much like dancing had. Dina had never known anyone who was as open with physical affection— her parents certainly weren’t (with her or each other). There were warning signs that she ignored, though. With arms wrapped around her waist came fundamental differences. With kisses to her temple came vastly different expectations of their relationship.
They got engaged when she was twenty four, and married a year later. Their marriage was okay. It just didn’t work out.
Dina filed for divorce after four years, three months, and thirteen days of marriage. It was not long and messy. They did not own much: just a one-bedroom apartment and a cat. Dina was awarded the apartment and willingly gave up the cat. In the end, they were married for four years, nine months, and seventeen days when the divorce was finalized.
She put the ring in the box with her pointe shoes and didn’t touch it again.
Papi made things a little better. Sweet, small Papi. He was born when she was twenty-two, and is the only male who never let her down. She babysat him until he was too old for that, but they still remained close.
When she was thirty-five, the man who owned the cafè died. In his will, the cafè was left to “the assistant manager at my time of death,” which was Dina. Owning the cafè gave her the small apartment above it, so she moved up there.
Six years passed and nothing happened except for Papi getting taller and the lines in her forehead deepening.
Well, there was one thing. Sammy. But she tried to push it out of her mind because it wasn’t worth her thoughts.
And then one day, when she was forty-one, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra came and stayed the night.
Those men in blue suits carried away her indifference in their instrument cases, and suddenly this life was no longer enough.
She opened up her closet, and took out the box.
She pulled out her pointe shoes.
She laced them up.
And for the first time in years, Dina began to dance.