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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Chapter 1 here:

Two weeks later

“Guess who’s playing tonight?”
“Rachael Yamagata.”
“Oh my Lord! That’s wicked!” Tori threw herself at Kat, squeezing life out of the bartender. “She’s my favourite, did you know that?” She finally pulled away from the hug; her eyes glistened with pure excitement.
“Of course. That’s why I got her to come.” Kat said joyfully, satisfied with the reaction she received.
“Aww… That’s lovely! Thank you!” The dancer voiced her gratitude, and soon, words were no longer enough.
Thank you, Rachael, thought Kat as she smiled into the kiss.

The morning after

“Andie, look at you!”
“Thank you.”
“The boys are ogling, I’m telling you.”
“They always are” Andrea pulled an apathetic face, her feet consciously moved faster in order to avoid Mandy’s forecasted interrogation.
“You know what I’m talking about, Andie.”
Knowing that she was unable to escape Mandy’s persistence and thirst for gossip, Andie turned to face her friend. Play it cool, Andrea.
“You’re dressing up, don’t deny it!” said Mandy, her face demanded an explanation.
“What do you suggest? Going out naked?” Andrea replied, slightly irritated.
Mandy rolled her eyes. Something in her brain had realized that Andie’s decision to keep her mouth shut was final. However, just like her father, the blonde had a mind that was resistant to changes. She wasn’t going to let the redhead get away untouched.
“So… how’s the new girl?”
“Which one?” Andrea mumbled, silently praying that Mandy was the biggest idiot in the world, that she would drop the subject. Since when did the new girl receive that much attention, especially when her background was a big unknown to everybody? Besides, it wasn’t that strenuous a task to detect Andrea’s intolerance of the other girl and interpret it. Or was it?
“Can you stop acting like everyone is wasting your time, Andie?” said Mandy, her voice startlingly unruffled. Andrea swallowed hard; a sudden chill traveled up and down her spine. What was that supposed to mean?
“I care,” Mandy continued “even when you believe that I don’t.” The headmaster’s daughter lifted her gaze, only to find blue eyes staring back at her, a hint of dejection flashed across them almost unnoticed. “I want to be a real friend, Andie, but why won’t you let me?”
With her question hanging in the air, Mandy shook her head and walked into the classroom, not one bit oblivious to the crème de la crème of the dancers stopping dead on the hallway.
“Miss Moss, are you planning to honor us with your participation today?”
He didn’t mean it, Andrea thought to herself, he didn’t mean to say “honor”. Sensing Mr. Geller’s, together with everyone else’s eyes on her, Andrea walked towards a seat next to the window, one that was distant from Mandy’s, and slumped against the chair.
“Sorry.” muttered Andrea, still feeling the sting of Mandy’s word. Suddenly, she wondered if the apology was simply a show of courtesy, or in reality an expression of regret. Unsure of the answer, Andrea sighed. It’s gonna be a long day.

Unlike the stereotype whereby dancers were hardly considered cerebral, Andrea was, in fact, quite a highbrow. She liked to think that the best thing her birth parents, whoever they were, possessed was scholastic ability, which had been passed on to her. Of course, that most precious thing could’ve been her, but obviously they weren’t gifted with enough wisdom to realize that, which gave rise to Andrea’s curiosity: if her parents knew her now, would they regret what they had done?
“Miss Moss, are you considering asking the birds out there to make a piece of music for your new routine?”
If bad humor was a crime, the biggest super villain’s name would be Mike Geller.
“No, Mr. Geller.” said Andrea, but not before rolling her eyes “But now that you mention it, I might consider the option.” She added.
One thing high school had taught Andrea was that people laughed didn’t necessarily mean there was something funny. In this case, the purpose behind the giggles from the rest of the class at her unintended joke was either to embarrass the disliked Math teacher – Mr. Geller, to fawn over “the dancing bomb” – herself, or both. Their ultimate outcome, nonetheless, was to make themselves feel good. Then again, wasn’t it what everyone would do?

The lesson finally resumed and Andrea, for peace’s sake, started to pretend like a goody two-shoes. As much as she hated to admit it, being bookish was what had helped her to become the person that she was. The scholarships only came to the ones who managed to excel in both artistic and academic fields, and Andrea was no doubt one of those people. Andrea couldn’t picture where she would be without the financial aid, but exactly where she wouldn’t be: Victoire.
Mathematics had, outrageously, become Andrea’s favorite class. The reason was simple: Esmée Russell wasn’t there. It was funny, really, now that Andrea thought about it. She went to school six days a week, two of which was for academic lessons, three for dance class and one for her rehearsals with Esmée. Fifty hours per week at school and the British girl was in her sight forty-eight. The question was: when they didn’t see each other, did Esmée think of Andrea like Andrea thought about her? Or did she think about…
Thanks to her strategic location next to the window, Andrea had a perfect view of the street, thus could spy on people’s entrance and exit. That could’ve been an enjoyable thing to do, especially in Math classes, but this time it certainly wasn’t. Down there, right in front the gate of Victoire, was Kat’s Jeep, one that Andrea could always tell apart even if it was placed among ten other Jeeps. It certainly wasn’t mere coincidence that Esmée Russell was standing right next to the indigo-painted car, blowing kisses to the driver. In no time, a thousand questions started exploding in Andrea’s conflicted mind: wasn’t Esmée supposed to be in Arts History class? Why was she late? Why was she with Kat? Did her best friend lie to her when she said they weren’t dating? Why didn’t anyone tell her anything? Were they together last night? What did they do?
“Do you really wanna know, Andie?” echoed a little voice.
No. No, I don’t. Andrea answered soundlessly and closed her eyes, giving her best shot at shutting out the monster that was developing somewhere in the back of her mind.

Andrea went through the next two periods like a ghost: silently and unnoticeably. Well, maybe not the unnoticeable part, because “who are we talking about?!”, but it was true that Andrea couldn’t care less. Also, the fact that Esmée Russell was in the same room with her acting normal didn’t help much in improving the situation. Before the lesson started, Andrea had told herself not to steal a single glance at the British girl, but from time to time she ended up looking her direction, and eventually had to pay for her lack of her willpower…
Andrea stared at Esmée, wavering between looking away and returning the smile that was brightening her divine features. She weighed the options: neglecting Miss Congeniality would make her the antagonist of the whole story, but smiling back would mean the beginning of a more intimate connection with the girl with the purple streak, which wasn’t what Andrea needed. Just when Andrea made up her mind, Esmée turned her attention back to Shakespeare, completely oblivious to a certain redhead twinkling behind her.

“Mandy! Mandy, we need to talk!” Andrea cried out while sprinting through the crowd.
“Sorry, I’m a little busy right now.” Mandy said bitterly, not bothering to turn around to face her friend.
“Amanda Kelsey Wilson!” yelled Andrea impatiently. Though it drew in unwanted attention from practically the entire school, the method did work in making Mandy stop. Giving the audience a threatening glare, Andrea closed in on the young Miss Wilson, before pulling her away from the public’s scrutiny by the wrist. “We need to talk.”

“What?” Mandy yanked her hand away from Andrea’s grasp, annoyance clearly written on her face.
“I want to talk to you about earlier this morning” said Andrea calmly.
“What about it?” Now it was Mandy’s turn to play naïve.
“Look, I do regard you as a friend.” Andrea said sincerely “In fact, you and Kat are probably the greatest things that ever happened to me.”
Seeing that Mandy had already started to take her words into consideration, Andrea decided to press on, making the best of the blonde’s sweet nature.
“I trust you, Mandy, I do. It’s just…” Andrea breathed out heavily. Intimacy was never easy “It’s just… You know I’m not good at these things.”
“You know, Andie,” Mandy started speaking while staring into space, looking for the playback of her memories “when you got into Victoire, my Dad told me that you’d be able to handle everything that’s thrown at you.” The blonde smiled at the thought and raised her head, her eyes searching for Andrea’s “All you need is more training.”
“Really?” Andrea perked up instantly; her eyes glistened with gratification. Did Dr “Pucker” Wilson really say that about her?
“No, not really.” Just like that and Mandy was back to her true self. She rolled her eyes “He said that you were a big idiot.”
“Awww…” Andrea purred, knowing for certain that her friend was sold “You know you love idiots.” Andrea draped an arm around the blonde’s shoulder and kissed her forehead. Mandy, not really in the mood for a squabble, finally gave in and laughed out loud.
“You’re paying for whatever I order at Kat’s today I’m telling ya” the headmaster’s daughter voiced her demand, her arms returning the redhead’s hug.
“As long as you give me a drive, sweetheart.” Replied Andrea happily.
A short distance from there, the girl with the purple streak frowned; her eyes followed the giggly dancers until they moved behind the lockers together in an embrace, and disappeared.

“Oh my God!” Kat exclaimed loudly “Mandy! I haven’t seen you in forever.”
“I’ve missed you too baby!” Mandy matched Kat’s enthusiastic greeting, before giving the bartender a kiss on the chin, their own scandalous way of saying not only “hi”, but also “We’ll hook up in another life”.
“Hey lovebirds!” Andrea gave her friends a once-over and smirked “I feel so left out. I could’ve considered a threesome, you know.”
“Hello to you too!” said Kat gleefully.
Too merry for comfort, Andrea thought, see what that English brat’s done to you.
“Where’s your smoky assistant?” asked Mandy.
“Taking a day off. I told her she needed to rest.”
Yeah right, like anyone cares. You probably kept her up all night yesterday, the little monster inside Andrea continued ranting.
“What’re you talking about, Andie?” Kat furrowed her brows.
Did I just say it out loud? Andrea jumped; Kat’s question somehow threw her into a tizzy. She swallowed.
“Well, I saw you driving her to school this morning, so I assumed that you two um… kept each other company last night.”
“I knew it!” stated Mandy triumphantly “Jason said that he saw you all over Tori on the dance floor last night.” She added with excitement “You and her will totally make a hot couple, Kat!”
Andrea stood completely still, stupefied. A sick feeling gradually formed in her stomach, then traveled up her throat where it blocked words from coming out, words that she knew would hurt both Kat and their friendship. She studied her friend; the bartender looked like she was run over by rage for one moment, and perfectly tranquil the next.
“I do agree with you, M, that Tori and I will definitely make a good couple. I actually like her a lot,” Kat eyed Andrea carefully “but you guys got it all wrong. Last night she had a few drinks, and ended up toppling all over the place. That’s why I took her back to my place, that’s all.”
Andrea stared into Kat’s eyes, trying to track down one trace of deception.
“Nothing happened between us.” Kat emphasized, while challenging Andrea’s gaze.
“Well, I hope you keep it that way.” Andrea muttered under her breath and casted down her eyes, suddenly disgusted by herself and what she just said.

“Hey beautiful, miss me?”
“Kat.” Tori said gently; some people just knew how to make her smile “As a matter of fact, yes. How was your day?”
A momentary pause on the other side, before Kat picked up her reassuring tone “It’s fine.” Another pause. “Tori, I’ve to talk to you about something.”
“Sure. I have something to ask you, too.”
“You go first.”
“Alright…” Tori hesitated; it felt so wrong, asking Kat about this “I just wanted to know if Andrea and Dr Wilson’s daughter are together.”
“No!” Kat laughed “Mandy’s as straight as an arrow. Besides, she already promised to marry me in our next life. But don’t worry, I’m all yours now.”
“That’s interesting” Tori breathed out, relieved. At times like this, she liked to believe that it was the musicality and warmth in Kat’s voice that put her at ease. “What did you want to tell me anyway?”
“Oh… That.” Inhaling deeply, the bartender continued “Andie saw me dropping you off this morning; Mandy’s friend saw us dancing yesterday, so she thought that um… she thought that we hooked up.”
“And what did you say?”
“That you were drunk and I brought you back to my place and nothing happened.”
Tori closed her eyes, an image of the redhead questioning her best friend clear in her head. “What about the truth?”
“That is the truth, Tori.” Replied Kat, her confusion audible.
“I mean” the English girl rubbed her eyes “did you tell her we’re dating?” she asked, afraid of whatever answer she might get.
“Look, I’d love to tell everybody that; you’re a wonderful person.” Kat explained slowly, imagining a smile on her assistant’s face “But Andie, you know how difficult she can get.”
“Yeah, I know” Tori spoke softly; feeling the throb of her heart. She hates you.
“Just give me some time, okay? I’ll prove to her just how lovely you are. She’ll love you, I promise.”
“Okay.” You don’t want that to happen.
“Hey, I gotta go. It’s crazy over here.” Said Kat apologetically.
“Sure. And Kat?”
“I can’t wait to see you.” I can’t wait to forget all of this.
“Neither can I.” Kat smiled “Goodnight, Tori.”
“Goodnight, Kat.” Tori whispered, hoping that Kat wouldn’t hear the qualms in the voice. As the other line went dead, she exhaled into the cold night air. Why couldn’t I see you earlier, Kat?