wavewriter

United States

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Currently facing some writer’s block (maybe not so much anymore?!?)

Est. August 2020

"It's not use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." -Lewis Carroll

Message from Writer

Hello there and welcome to my writing! I create mainly poetry and short stories, and I hope you enjoy them!

Feedback is always welcome and appreciated, and if you ever need a review, don't hesitate to ask! I love to help fellow writers.

And lastly, have an amazing day (or night!)

The Dance | Part 1

January 24, 2021

FREE WRITING

4
“Get out of the car,” Mom orders.

    I can’t. My feet are stuck the floor, and it would take superhuman strength to move them even an inch. I hear my mom's impatient sigh and an annoyed honk from the car behind us. But there’s no way I can move. My face feels so hot that I’m sure it’s melting the expensive, itchy makeup that was bought from Rite Aid just for tonight. 

    “Eugenie,” my mom says. “You’ll be fine.” 

    That's a blatant lie, and she knows it. I will most certainly not be fine. Avoiding her question, I watch Bella Gonzalez and Olivia Campbell as they sashay like Hollywood celebrities, with their perfect smiles, into the gym, wearing matching dresses adorned with bright sequins that shine brightly even in the dark. They both have glossy straightened hair. Suddenly, my own, curled in ringlets in honor of the special occasion, feels all wrong.

    More honks. Three this time. Honk. Honk. HONNNNNK.

    “Out. Of. The car. Please.”

    There's a tone in her voice that lets me know that she won't let me go home without spending at least a few hours at this tortuous event they call a high school dance. Somehow, my shaky hand opens the door and I climb out of the car. I'm less than two steps away from the vehicle when Mom whizzes away with such speed that she could win the Indy 500. 

    So, I have two options. I can either stand out here like the total outsider I am in the cold parking lot, where it's sure to rain soon, or go inside school gym, where I can see disco lights of all colors flashing and shadows of confident kids grooving and chatting. Suddenly the first option doesn't seem so bad. 

    But I know Mom will want an update on how everything went, who I danced with (no one), and if I knew any songs they played (a slim chance, unless the DJ has a soft spot for Debussy.) So I begin the death march to the gym, feeling like a disgraced pirate walking the plank to certain death in the sea. 

    “Ooh...Eugenie...” says Daniel Moore, who’s standing at the entrance. “Nice outfit. All dressed up for the dance. Got a boyfriend?”

    “Yeah, right,” laughs his twin, Connor, high-fiving Daniel as if that was the greatest insult of all time. The two of them, who I unfortunately know from nearly half my classes, both stand a whole head taller than me. I note they haven’t changed out of their same usual ratty T-shirts for the night. 

    Rolling my eyes, I walk into the gym.

    It's worse than I feared. The racket is much too loud, with the noise of everyone talking at once, plus the pop music that pulsates at full blast. 

    I whip out my phone, which is brand-new. Unlike normal kids, my mom refused to give me one until I started high school. Not that I do anything that normal kids do on their phones. I spend my screen time researching goats, which I've been trying to convince Mom to get me for two years now. 

    My thumbs are ready to launch my search in when I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder. "Excuse me, Eugenie." I glance up. It’s my science teacher, Mrs. Devi.  “I’ll have to take that phone until the night is over. School policy.” 

    "Sorry, I..." I stop. Mrs. Devi is one of those teachers who follows the rules to the letter. There's no way she'd let me keep my phone no matter what excuse I use. I heave a sigh and place my phone in her open palm. 

    Mrs. Devi must see my reluctant expression, because she gives me a sympathetic smile, one that says, I'm on your side. If she was, she wouldn't be confiscating my only hope of survival. “Now go socialize!” 

    I wander away as she tracks down another unsuspecting student, intending to not do so. I keep my socializing to a minimum, interacting with only Mom and my younger cousin, Mikey, on a regular basis. He's four years younger than me, and doesn't find my obsession with goats weird like everyone else does, if they even notice me at all. 

    But I don't mind. Honestly. I've never been one to walk up to a stranger and start chatting like we're old friends. Even if I had an old friend, I doubt I would be the one doing the talking. Humans are social beings, Mrs. Devi told us last week. In that case, I guess I'm not human. That would explain a lot. 

    I observe the little clusters that have formed in the gym, focusing on the group containing most popular girls in my grade- Bella, Olivia, and three girls whose names I don’t know. Even though I can’t hear them, I can see from their body language that they are completely thrilled to be here. Bella, the ringleader of the group, flips her hair in every direction possible as she talks. The rest of them nod, smile, and occasionally reply. 

    I close my eyes for a second, imagining I belong to that group, that I’m wearing the same dress as Bella and Olivia, that I always know the right thing to say around other girls, that they want to listen to what I have to say. 

    My mind is drawing a blank. I can’t picture myself hanging out with anyone. I scrunch up my face and squeeze my eyes shut even tighter. Still, I can’t see myself ever doing anything more than accidentally brushing shoulders with the likes of anyone Bella Gonzalez-like. 

    At long last, defeated, I open my eyes again, and am shocked to see the Bella & Co. themselves standing right in front of me. 

    “What are you doing standing here all alone?” Bella asks. Her eyes are that of a begging puppy, and I’m not sure if it’s real or mock concern. Why would she be concerned? She’s never even spoken to me before. 

    “Yeah, no one wants to be all alone at a dance,” says Olivia, tugging at the bottom of her dress. 

    I shrug, figuring if I keep my mouth shut I won't say anything I'll regret later. 

    “Well, anyway,” Bella continues, “we have something to tell you.” 

    I try to think of anything they would have to say to me, but I can’t. I’m still stuck on the fact that Bella is talking to me because she wants to. Not because she has to. 

    “Do you-” Bella begins. She takes a step closer to me and lowers her voice. “You don’t like anyone, do you?”

    I shake my head. 

    Olivia takes a step closer to me, too. I’m a dead carcass being surrounded by vultures. “Daniel likes you.”

    Wait- what? “Daniel likes me?” I repeat. The words echo in my head, somehow sounding hundreds of decibels louder than the music.

    Bella nods, her expression solemn. “He told us in algebra,” she says, pointing between her and Olivia. 

    "He did," Olivia assures me, but she seems a little uncomfortable saying it, judging by her expression. She looks like she's being squeezed too tight in a hug given by her grandmother. Or a python. 

    “So-o..." Bella's voice is all sing-songy. "Do you like him?"

    I consider the question. Do I like Daniel? Daniel, who has been, along with Connor, making my first two months of high school utterly miserable?

    But could that be because he likes me? 

    I look around for the twins and find them standing by the snack table next to the cheese balls. Only four pieces remain in the bowl. I focus on Daniel, watching his face crinkle with laughter as he punches Connor in the shoulder. Connor is laughing, too, which means one of them probably made some weird joke I’ll never find funny.

    As Daniel looks around, he catches my eye and he waves and smiles. My hand goes up as if it doesn’t belong to me, and my mouth contorts into the most awkward grin imaginable. He and Connor jog over. 

    “Hey, Eugenie.”

    I glance back at Bella, who mouths, Say something. "Hi... Daniel."

    “So, this dance is pretty cool.” He talks as if he hadn’t teased me at the door.
 
    “Yeah, it’s great.” Which is a gigantic exaggeration, but maybe not as big as it was when I first got here. 

    “Cool,” he says again. He clears his throat. “So, they’re going to play a slow song in a few minutes, and I was wondering if maybe you wanted to dance with me?”

    He totally likes you! He totally likes you! As his words register, the thought screams in my brain over and over again, like a smoke alarm. I’m frozen, unable to move.

    “Eugenie?”

    I feel an elbow jab into my side. Bella. 

    "A dance? Sure!" The words come out fast and rushed, but at least they're out there. Never to be taken back. 

    “Great,” he says again. “See you on the floor.” 

    And just like that, it’s over. He walks away, leaving me feeling queasy, like I just went on a roller coaster ride. 

    I turn to Bella. She grins. “What did I tell you?” 

    I stare after him, mouth wide open. “He… really likes me?” But now it’s not a question. He really likes me!

    “He does!” Bella declares. She thrusts her hands out to her sides, knocking Olivia in the face. 

    I tuck a loose curl behind my ear and look at Olivia. She’s smiling, too. They must be serious. “I don’t know how to slow dance,” I confess.

    “It’s easy,” Bella assures me. “You just-” 

    The upbeat song ends, and almost instantaneously, another song begins with three gentle piano chords, and then a guy with a smooth voice, singing about a love they lost.

    Bella squeals a little, shimmying her shoulders. “It’s time! You’ll be great, Eugenie. Just… don’t be weird, okay? I’m going to go dance with Noah.” With that, she dashes off, and so do Olivia and the rest of the girls, going to go find their partners. 

    I guess I have to find Daniel, too. I scan around the gym, the snack table, the group of boys from homeroom, everywhere. Eventually I give up and look for Bella. Maybe she’s found Daniel and is going to tell him where to find me. She’s dancing front and center, but not with Noah. With some boy who, from his giant height, dwarfs her. He wears a light gray T-shirt that is nowhere near as fancy as Bella’s glittering dress. I wonder who she’s dancing with. As they turn around, I can see. 

    It’s Daniel.

    “Daniel!” I yell without thinking.

    He turns. So does Bella.

    They wave. And then go back to staring at each other. 

    I feel like throwing up right on the gym floor. It feels so cliche, but I turn around and dash straight to the bathroom.
To be continued! 

The first version of this piece originally published 9/3/2020. I had abandoned this story, my writing time filled up with other, what I deemed more exciting writing projects. I was scrolling through my drafts recently, when I found this and decided to do a little revising and editing. This made the story significantly longer, so I decided to publish this piece in two parts. The second one will be coming out shortly. Thanks so much for reading! 

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1 Comment
  • Sophiascb

    Bruh I'm so invested now lol. Glad to hear that you're looking at old pieces. That's something I love to do too, it's always interesting to look back on your old self and ideas with new perspective. This is really entertaining, and I like the slightly sarcastic style.


    7 months ago