"No!" Louis yelled, on the verge of hysteria. "Elias is not changing the music to fit your tempo! Do you not understand how ballet works?"
"Yes, but I suppose you know nothing about creativity! Ballet is supposed to be an expression of the director's artistic style along with the original layout!" Holly screamed back.
"Yeah, well you. Aren't. The. Director!" Louis shrieked. The room fell silent. Louis could see the hurt on Holly's face, but he didn't care.
This is what she deserved for coming into his company thinking she was the boss. Holly's eyes started to tear up, and she ran out of the room. No one seemed to know what to do.
"Alright, back to work," Alexandre, the choreographer sighed.
"How are we supposed to dance when our lead just ran out!" one of the wilis, the spirit maidens in Giselle, pointed out.
"Do you want to go get her?" Alexandre barked. The poor girl shrunk back into the group.
For the rest of the rehearsal, everyone seemed to be on edge. There were two weeks until dress rehearsal and no one knew what they were doing, thanks to Holly.
She had been dancing to a different tempo, messing up everyone's dances but especially Louis' since he danced with her the most.
When Elias, the musical director, stepped in to remind her of the tempo, she suggested that he change the tempo for the rest of the performance.
She also insisted on making her costume, which Babs was not happy about, considering she had just managed to get a hold of the original costume that Carlota Grisi wore when she danced as Giselle in the original performance.
The moment rehearsal was over, Louis stormed down the hall to Studio C, where he knew Holly would be.
He was right, Holly was in the studio but instead of dancing like she normally was when he confronted her, she was sitting in the corner looking at something in her hands.
Louis opened the door quietly.
Holly didn't look up, but as he stepped inside the studio she said, "I'm sorry I messed up your routine."
Louis' heart broke hearing her say those words. At the time, he had said it to hurt her but now that he was sitting here on the floor with her, his arm pressed against hers, he felt guilty.
Sure, she was being a little bit of a control freak, but Louis knew he could be too. Now that he was sitting next to her, Louis could see that Holly was holding a picture.
In the picture, two kids grinned up at Louis. One of them was dressed up in a tall red hat, grinning madly with his arm slung over the shoulders of the other.
She was dressed in a nightgown holding a pair of pointe shoes, her face also smiling but instead of looking at the camera, she was looking at the boy.
"I remember that day," Louis said, smiling at the memory.
"It was our first performance," Holly replied. The Nutcracker was always a big deal at RBS, and Louis had finally landed the role of the Nutcracker, with Holly playing Clara.
"We look happy," Louis whispered. Holly didn't respond right away, and Louis wondered if she had even heard him.
Finally, she turned to face Louis, her face streaked with dried tears and her green eyes searching his. "We were happy, Louis," she said mournfully.
The pair sat in silence for a while until Louis sighed and Holly rested her head on his shoulder. "What happened to us?" Louis finally asked.
Ever since Holly returned, he had asked himself this question over and over again.
When she left they were still two kids in love, but they were living two very separate, very individual lives, and their relationship slowly faded.
When he had first heard that Holly was returning to the Royal Ballet, he was ecstatic. But the girl- no, the woman- who returned to him was no longer his Holly.
This stranger was cold and selfish and focused on nothing other than her dancing.
Louis knew that his best friend, his first love, was still somewhere deep down, but this was the first time she ever showed any signs of her old self.
Louis was too busy reminiscing that he didn't notice Holly's soft sobs.
"What? What's wrong," he asked, tilting her chin so he could see her face.
"I can't dance, Louis," she cried, her expression breaking.
"What do you mean? You're the best dancer we have," Louis said, not understanding why Holly would say that.
She danced lead roles with some of the best companies in the world, and people all over admired her talent.
"No, I mean I can't physically dance. I tore my labral last year, and-" Holly let out a loud sob. "I can't dance anymore!"
Louis couldn't believe what she had just said.
Holly was only 26! She had a huge, successful career ahead of her and now she would never be able to dance again? "Why did you come here then? If you knew you couldn't dance?
" Louis asked her, still struggling to understand.
Holly just gave him a sad smile and all the pieces came together.
"This is your last dance, isn't it?"
"You came back to dance it with me?"
She nodded again.
"You were my first dance partner, and now I want you to be my last," Holly said.
Now Louis understood. All the demands and crazy control freak behaviors were all because she wanted her last dance to be just perfect.
A tear rolled down Louis' cheek. The two sat there on the floor, holding each other and crying.
The night of the performance finally arrived. The crowd seemed larger than usual, and Louis could feel the excitement.
Holly and Elias had finally agreed on the musical composition, and Louis had to admit it was beautiful. Holly's Giselle costume was also beautiful.
She danced like an angel, her movements light and effortless, and her face conveyed so much emotion Louis felt himself tearing up just watching her.
At last, their final dance arrived. Louis stepped out onto the stage and at once he was transformed.
He and Holly began to dance, but it wasn't really them dancing, it was Giselle and Albrecht dancing together through the night.
Albrecht held Giselle, not wanting to let her go, not wanting morning to come when Giselle would disappear, and Louis held Holly not wanting this last dance to be over.
But all too soon, it was over, and the crowd was cheering and whooping and clapping, but Louis didn't feel like celebrating.
How could he, when he knew this was the last time he would get to dance with his Giselle ever again?