Episode Five-The Poetry Circle

The room was large with a balcony all around.  It was being filmed by several hand-held and static TV cameras.  Dmitry and everyone else were holding a line of a poem, something that they had written.  He was looking nervous, knowing that it wouldn`t be too long before he had to read it out loud.  The cameras were going from one person to the next.  Everyone was side-by-side, next to each, other facing inwards like a huge joined-up snake that ran round the whole room taking-up two floors. There was also another raised level, as well as a balcony.  If they had all been in one room, everyone joined together, would have made a huge circle.  
     Natascha was on the opposite side of the room on a slightly raised platform looking down.  He could feel her looking at him.  He lifted his eyes to see her.  She couldn`t help but let a smile creep out of the corner of her mouth as she thought how timid he looked in this apprehensive state; quite a departure, she thought, from his normal self-assured stance.  She also felt nervous and seemingly butterflies were enjoying such a spring-time in her stomach.  Suddenly a deep voice roared through what seemed like the ether. 
“And now, it is time to be ready for something explosive!...Something you`ve never heard befoooore!...The one liiiiiiine....per personnnnnnn...a graaaaand, five hundrrrred people poem”!, Dmitry looked back up to Natascha in anticipation and met her eyes again, both of them keyed-up.  “....readddddy, steadddddy.....go.....”!  A short breath into the microphone could be heard before words came tumbling-out from deep within someone; eloquent yet staccato, feeling their first, fresh flush out into the public.  
     At once, the line was over.  Falling through the air, like pure perfume landing gently onto freshly bathed, delicate skin.  A pause, then another breath could momentarily be heard before the next words tumbled out to reach our eager ears.
     Natascha watched and listened as the words fell mysteriously into a pattern and rhythm that no-one could have planned, even if they had tried. Captivated by this tapestry, Natascha almost forgot that her turn to read was fast approaching.  She looked down to her hands to see that her paper had gone.  Where was it? She thought.  She looked to the floor around her feet but it was dark and the amber, blue and red spot lights, were hanging elsewhere leaving her no illumination.  She stepped out of the circle and her energy suddenly seemed to take on the form of a scared and irate giant.  She started shaking the people that had been stood close to her in the poetry circle. 
       “What have you done with it”!?! She exclaimed shaking them at the arms, causing one person to loose grip of their own poetry line, so that it fell helplessly to the floor.  As they bent to pick it up she clamored at them in a loud whisper  “Is that yours”?!  The person who had been stood obediently waiting their turn, quickly nodded back at this suddenly unhinged fiend before them.  Sharply looking behind her, her raged eyes locked with Dmitry`s.  The depth of his aquamarine gaze penetrated into her soul.  She merged with his intensely calm waters and her fiery fury died.  
    Natascha softened the grip on the girl’s arms in front of her and let go.  Poetic words drifted towards her ears and she made her way slowly and silently back to her place in the circle. The people acknowledged her, each side by side making way for her to enter and closed the gap.  Natascha allowed their arms to reconnect through touch and lowered her eyes in humble gratitude giving them a half-smile.  
      The time was close upon her.  Words streamed out of the next person`s lips.  She heard a pause, closed her eyes and gathered energy within herself, allowing the letters to form words as they surfaced towards her lips before toppling out before her into the mass of people in the room  “Our love is our hate, but it is that, what we choose to make”.  Opening her eyes, she saw Dmitry gazing gently back at her, smiling.  She mirrored his smile and lowered her eyes, thinking how foolish to have thought she had lost something that had been, so simply, always there. 
    Moments after the performance had finished there were whoops of joy and laughter at having accomplished something so complete, so together, so at one with each other.  The success of the performance had relied upon everyone`s responsibility, not only to themselves, but also to each other.  
     Natascha walked up to Dmitry who was looking over the balcony down-below at people hugging and dancing with each other in delight.  Uplifting soul music played loudly out of the speakers from where the poetry played.  Dmitry feeling her presence, looked sideways towards her beaming at the euphoria below. As she looked back at him, a twinkle in her eye, he gave a slow, knowing smile.  
Four of Natascha`s friends were crammed into the Renault Clio.  High from the performance, they seemed to be all chatting at once finishing each other`s sentences.  Olivia, passed a rolled-up sleeping bag to Natascha who handed it to Tanya and Amy  as she climbed into the back joining  them.
“Let`s gooooo”! Carolyn said excitedly to Olivia in the driving seat, urging her on.  Olivia started-up and off, cranking up the music.  
  The fve girls started to sing as the car drove into second, . “You`re my last breath you`re a breath of fresh air to me............” then into third, “Your the first thing and the last thing on my mind....in your arms, I feel, sunshine”. and into fourth “...full of promise a daydream yet to come, time is upon us, oh but the night is young, flowers blossom in the winter time....in your arms I feel sunshine”, finally they reached onto the motorway and into fifth, “...give up yourself unto the moment...the time is now”!.....They loose themselves into their moment singing at the tops of their voices as the car roars away.
The square room had wall to wall books reaching right-up to the top of the high ceiling.  Zofia, a young looking, yet mature woman sat with her legs crossed on a wooden chair, smiling contently as Dmitry and his friends enter the dimly lit room, almost stumbling in awe at the amount of books that now surround them.  

     “Welcome” her deep voice fills the room.  Dmitry looks to her and bows his head slightly with respect which makes her confident smile stretch even further from ear to ear.  He staggers as if drunk on the wealth of knowledge suddenly confronting him and let`s his head roll back up to the books shelved up to the celling. 
   “Books decorate a room, no”? her Polish accent can only slightly be heard through a mixture of French, German and English influences.  Dmitry is still scanning the books above him as she walks towards him holding-out a glass filled with a lime green drink, complete with mixer.  “Oh, thanks” he says taking it, realising it`s for him.
   “It`s impressive” he says taking a sip.  “No more impressive than anything else” Zofia shrugs and lowers her eyes.  He looks back up to the array of books around them, still clearly in wonderment and  so she lets a self-assured smile escape from her lips, unbeknown to him.  
    The door flies open and more of Dmitry`s friends enter from the poetry circle performance laughing and joking with each other.  Zofia, glides over to greet them.  Dmitry casually waves back at them and still curious walks to an entrance leading to another room.   The night has only just begun, he thinks to himself as the saxophonic jazz seems to slide from out of the speakers like a snake charmer`s music enticing him further into the depths of the house.  
     Natascha, Liv, Tanya, Amy and Carolyn had been stood outside the door in a alley way for what seemed like ages, adorned in their colorful ski-jackets jumping up and down to keep themselves warm.
      “It`s locked”! Liv looks at Natascha accusingly.  “Well, she did tell me that she would leave it open”! Natascha looks around at her doubting friend`s looks whose warm breath could be  clearly seen in the freezing winter night air.  “She did”! Natascha protests, trying to open the stuck door.  Liv looks down and sighs.  “OK. Let`s try something...Amy, get behind me” Liv moves Natascha aside and starts to put her weight against the door, sideways.  Amy pushes behind Liv, whereas Tanya and Carolyn, realising her plan, follow suit.  Natascha gets in between them and pushes.  “uoouh”!  They stand back a bit and run towards it all together using their strength, ”uoouhh”! Suddenly they all burst into the room, falling on top of each other.  Everyone looks around to see a pile of colourful ski-jackets, legs and hair.  “Oops” Zofia says under her breath as she glides back through the crowd towards Natascha and lets her hand elegantly drop down assisting her up.  Natascha accepts and stands-up a little embarrassed, but smiling slightly to the giggles of her friends also making their way to their feet, assisted by a flock of young men around them.  
     Natascha composes herself and stands in front of Zofia who raises her eyebrow at her colourful puffy jacket amongst a sea of smart black, grey and dark blue evening attire.  Natascha looking down realises and quickly removes the thing, revealing a just-above-the-knee dark green velvet dress with satin straps.  Zofia nods her head in silent approval and spins around slowly on her low heal, turning towards her guests.
    Natascha`s friends, also removing their jackets, are being offered to be taken by the young gentlemen surrounding them.  Alone, Natascha re-gains her balance and walks over to a small oak bar that is almost hidden by the abundance of books.  As she sips on the lime green drink slowly composing herself, she turns to her left and bumps directly into Dmitry with his head in a book.  “Sorry”, they both echo back to each other, looking up, they recognise who they are talking to and say
 “oh! sorry..”
“oh! sorry...”
 they laugh and try again
 “I was just...” 
“It´s just I was..”
laughing they both pause
“Hi” says Natascha shyly blushing
“Hi” Dmitry says smiling