As I tied up my ballet slippers, I was so excited. I felt like jumping up and down, except, I was in front of my ballet teacher, so that wouldn’t be much of a good idea.
So, big news here, everybody: We’re having a ballet show! All of Paris is going to be there. I mean, this is great news for me, because, well, I am a famous ballerina from Florida, and you might know me as ‘Lily’. Yeah. That’s me.
Well, it’s great news for me and my best friend Khloe, since I was begging her to come, and she finally did.
I am so excited!! We have practiced so much!
Emily, Kimberly, and Sadie didn’t come because they were ‘too busy’.
Maya and Lisa have been texting me like crazy, and it seems like they really are sorry. But I won’t forgive them. I mean, they have no taste in dancing. They just pretend to. They didn’t even come for the show!
“Alright, everyone get in pairs of two,” Jérôme, our ballet teacher, called over the chattering, and he was non-stop staring at me. Did I do something wrong?
Khloe and I were like magnets, coming together instantly. She looked really pretty. She put her long blond hair in a bun, and she had tons of makeup on.
“You look really… really pretty,” Khloe whispered, wide-eyed. I blushed.
“Thanks. You probably look better,” I whispered back, smiling. She shook her head, laughing.
“No, Lily, I looked in the mirror–you look way better.”
Khloe dragged me to the mirror on the side wall. I gasped quietly under my breath.
I knew I shouldn’t be saying this, but…
If my mom were here, she would be so proud. She’d be in the audience, cheering for me.
I really did look stunning.
I sighed. I knew Khloe knew why I was, because she wrapped me in a hug.
My mom died last year when I was fourteen. She was driving in her car, when all of a sudden, a truck zoomed passed her and knocked her and her car off of the road. It was tragic.
Good news, my dad is coming to the show. Yay! I love my dad. Have you ever read those stories where they say, ‘Oh, my dad was never the same when my mom died’? Such a cliche! Well, my dad is the best. He takes me for dinner at my favorite restaurant every Friday, makes me my favorite meals, and on people’s birthday, we bake large cakes together!
“Khloe and L-Lily,” Jérôme said to us, “It’s time to… um… umm… get ready for the show.”
I know that Jérôme is only seventeen (two years older than me), but he should know not to stammer, you know?
We all went into the auditorium, behind stage. We had two hours until the guests arrived (It was 7:03 p.m.)!
We were doing The Nutcracker dance. I absolutely 💗 that dance. We’ve been practicing for months, and we’re completely top notch, according to Jérôme.
Before the big performance, we had to have another rehearsal. But it was so much more nerve racking with the fact that this was our first and only rehearsal on the actual stage. But, oh my gosh, it worked out so well.
So, the partner thing was because we had to link arms and stuff, so Khloe and I had tons of fun. But that was before the EKS showed up (Emily, Kimberly, & Sadie!).
“Umm, girls, what are you doing here? We’re trying to have a rehearsal,” Jérôme asked them, but he was still looking at me and smiling. I was so confused.
“Uh, we’re here to perform, duh,” Kimberly totally blurted, a hand on her hip, and another twirling her blond hair. “We’ve been practicing.”
“I’m sorry, girls, but we have all spots taken. And it’s the final day.” Jérôme looked frightened as he eyed the EKS worriedly.
Sadie was just looking at Khloe and I’s looped arms. And suddenly, she tore us apart.
“Hey!” I yelled. Sadie looked nervous all of a sudden.
“Sorry,” She whispered and walked towards her group again. Khloe and I looped arms tighter, this time.
“Let’s go. We don’t deserve to be in this ugly dance,” Emily said with her chin in the air. She threw her hair and walked off the stage, Sadie and Kimberly trailing behind her.
The night of the performance was not how you would have thought it would be. Everyone was nervous, not for the dance, but for the EKS. So, we did several rehearsals until we were all ready.
“Everyone ready?” Jérôme asked, inhaling deeply. I felt so bad for him. All he wanted to do was teach.
“Yep,” I called out to him, and I swear his cheeks turned a dark shade of pink. I thought I helped him out, since nobody was responding, but then Khloe kind of made it awkward.
“Um, I think someone has it in for you–” Khloe started, smirking.
“Khloe!” I whispered to her with gritted teeth. If she teases me like that one more time, I am actually gonna lose it.
And anyways, that couldn’t be it. He was a teacher! And yes, I know, he was only two years older than me… why are we still talking about this?
“Okay, umm… any volunteers on helping to pass out props?” Jérôme asked, and my hand shot up even before he finished the sentence and he looked at me the second I did. He smiled and nodded. “Okay, Lily, anybody else?”
Khloe volunteered, and nudged me in the side. “He totally just thought you were perfect for the job.”
“Why would he make me do things, then?” I asked with a sly smile. Khloe couldn’t help but burst out laughing.
“You know, you kind of are like a princess,” Khloe laughed, twirling around. “I mean, look at your life from birds-eye view.”
“Okay, let’s not take it that far,” I whispered, covering my face with my hands as eyes shot to me. I mean, everyone thought that of me back at home. I guess it’s normal?
After all of the props were passed out, Khloe and I got our props, too. Then, a worried Jérôme appeared from backstage.
“Can someone help me with the papers to fill out? I can’t possibly do it alone.”
Khloe and I’s hands shot up in the air like bullets, and right before I was gonna give Khloe the chance, she realized that my hand was up, too, and she held it in place. She dropped hers, and all the girls giggled. And for once, I think it was because of a good reason.
“Umm, since no one else is gonna help, I can help,” I whispered, since it was so quiet in the big room that my voice could echo huge lengths. Jérôme blushed again.
“Okay, come on,” he whispered, and disappeared behind stage. I eyed Khloe suspiciously as she tried to hide a smile. Wait–was she hiding something from me?!
“So, umm, these files are for all the kids,” Jérôme explained. He rubbed the back of his neck. “We need… to… um, have everyone’s names written on each paper. I have some… other work.”
I felt my cheeks burn and I rubbed it quickly.
When I was about half-way done filling out the papers, I saw a note on the side of the desk. ‘To you, Lily, I wish I could explain. Happy Birthday, Jérôme.’
I was shocked when I read the note. And the date written in the corner was: ‘12/16/2011’!
That. Was. Today.
I squealed in surprise. How could I have forgotten? It was my birthday!
I ran out of the room to find everyone, including Jérôme, blowing balloons. As soon as I set foot on stage, everybody gasped.
And what I saw in front of me, it amazed me.
All of Paris.
Seating in each chair was a cheerful person.
And that’s when I saw–Dad!
“How long have I been working?” I whispered to Khloe as she came to hug me.
“I am so sorry I made you do all that, bestie,” she whispered in my ear. I squeezed her tighter. “About an hour or so.”
“Whatever,” I said, pulling away. “First explain all of… this.”
I gestured to the stage, which was crowded with balloons. Paris burst out laughing.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” Khloe laughed as she led me in the center. “Hit it, Jérôme.”
Jérôme played The Nutcracker music, and every girl that was sitting down got up. Jérôme led me to the center of the stage. Now I knew why he made me the center of attention!
The dance was epic. Everything was perfect. The jumps, the scales, the twirls… actually, only I had the jumps (Of course I had the hardest part), but it was worth it.
I had just accomplished my life’s biggest dream.