Ch 1: Strangers 4

    “I don’t think so,” I said, and then nodded toward the girl. “See how her smile is bigger than his? She’s clearly more into him than he is her. I think you’re fine.”

    She smiled in a way that said she knew I had no idea if that was true. “Thanks.” We were quiet after that, Sue continuing to watch him and his partner while I scoped out my new target.

    Then I found him. He led his partner across the floor with movements smooth as silk. When he turned and I saw his face, however, I had to do a double-take. I nudged Sue. “I call dibs on his twin.” She mouthed the words in confusion until I pointed him out and her eyes widened. My twin had slightly longer dark brown hair, his features a little sharper, his eyes a deeper green, but other than that it was impossible to tell them apart.

    He also was wearing a smile. He and his gorgeous partner, who happened to be the instructor, seemed to be carrying on a conversation. Suddenly a thought hit me. “Why are we even looking at them? We’re not even going to see them after this.”

    “Yes we will,” she corrected, “they’re new students too. Someone said they heard the coach and that woman talking about them being here to teach us for prom.”

    “Great.” I sighed again. I’d been against it before, but even more now that I was going to have to do it in front of him. I could feel my humiliation was imminent.

    When their performance was over, they all lined up and bowed, the girls curtsying. Everyone applauded enthusiastically, Coach Bailey standing and clapping before turning to face us and telling us all to come together in the front. Sue and I glanced at each other and then to the dancers, who all left the room in pairs. “Okay everyone, quiet down now and listen.” He finally had to whistle to get our attention and then gave the floor to the instructor.

    “Hello everyone, I’m Mrs. Amelia Peters, and as you just saw, I teach ballroom dancing. Not just Waltz, but Tango, Swing, and Salsa as well.” Her accent wasn’t full-blown Italian, but the thought that her students could also be foreign made my urge to flirt rise a few notches. “You may ask why we are here, and that is because there is a contest. One that not only will be lasting all year, but will, if you qualify, take you across the country and even to Italy where the finals are being held! So, if anyone has any questions you may ask them now.”

    “How much is the prize? Is it money?” someone asked.

    “Is there an entrance fee?” someone else added.

    “Why here?” I asked and several people agreed.

    “Yes there is a $25 fee for entry and yes the prize comes with money, but it also comes with a large trophy, your picture and an article in the newspaper. There are two competitions, but I’m also going to have a test before any of that because we are only allowed a limited number of pairs. To the last question, along with being an instructor, I am also a talent scout. I believe that sometimes the smaller towns and cities hold the best kept secrets. Now,” she took something off the bleachers beside her stereo and then backed up to show us. “This is the application you and your parents need to fill out, and I need it before the end of this month. You can come pick one up now or get one from the office later. Coach?”

    “Thank you Mrs. Peters,” he smiled and nodded as she stepped to the side. “If any of you want to do this, I want you to come and line up so we can get started.”

    “You mean right now?” I blurted without thinking.

    He looked over at me, along with everyone else in the class, and said, “Yes, Kota, now.” He almost chuckled. “Is that okay with you?”

    “Oh, yeah,” I said and everyone laughed. I cracked a half-smirk like I meant to do that. Sue gave me a weird look, but all I could do was shake my head and roll my eyes. She stifled a laugh. So we all lined up. There were quite a few of us, but mostly all us single girls and the guys pulled down there by their girlfriends.

    “C’mon guys, don’t tell me you don’t wanna chance to hold onto one of these pretty ladies,” Coach Bailey said, trying to coax down some more boys. He got a few down, but that was it. “Okay, but don’t come whining to us when you’re the only one who can’t dance like this. Because trust me, everyone will be doing this. Basically it’s the only way you’re making it to prom this year.”

    I knew that was total B.S., but apparently it was convincing enough because he managed to get the rest of the boys down on the line. It was then that Mrs. Peters’ students returned, now dressed in regular clothing, and she introduced them. Ivan Peters, who was the twin Sue liked, had a sweet and pleasant look not unlike Mrs. Peters. Connelly Peters however, was not pleasant looking anymore. He stood there like he was extremely bored and suddenly I didn’t feel as inclined to flirt with him as before. I sighed inwardly. Will I ever find anyone interesting?

    Mira Peters, who sported a black bob with elven-like features, trained her deep blue eyes on the ceiling. She looked as if she’d rather be anywhere else and her partner Alister Montague seemed to agree as he glowered at the floor. Looking between them, it was obvious they were a couple pissed off at something having to do with each other. Lastly, there was Aubrey Montague who looked a lot like her brother, and who just smiled shyly.

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