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Dancing in the Rain
Skylar sighed as she surveyed the room of dancing couples. It was the night of the Costume Ball at her school, the elite boarding school Coventra Academy, and she was stuck sitting by the sidelines, watching everyone else have a good time.
Skylar had come dressed as a seductive devil, showing a very different side of her personality. She was generally known as a bookworm with a stubborn personality and long curly hair. Caly Palmira, her best friend and cousin, had insisted that she wear the short dress and fishnet tights, along with the taut red cape. Devil horns and high heels completed the effect. Skylar Martine became a sexy, alluring devil- one that she thought showed way too much skin. As strong-willed as Skylar was, Caly was too stubborn to let Skylar wear what she had wanted, a regal ball gown meant for a princess. Skylar was just glad that she had managed to hold on to her pride by refusing to wear a tail.
She hadn’t come alone, of course. Her two-month boyfriend, David Brown, had immediately asked her, and she had immediately accepted. However, after two songs, David had disappeared.
The school gym was draped with ribbons and veils that gave it an air of mystery, which was the intended effect, being a costume ball and all. Students were dancing to music with a strong beat and screaming lyrics. Her mom and dad hated this kind of music, but Skylar, and every other teenager her age believed it to be the best kind of music on earth.
She sighed, checking the time again. David had been gone for at least fifteen minutes, and Skylar decided she wasn’t going to wait any longer for him. She walked toward the dance floor, searching for Caly and her date, a boy named Drew Spartz.
Skylar rolled her eyes when she finally found Caly- dressed as a cat and wearing even less clothing than she. Caly was dancing around her date, who seemed to be find it very hard to not stare at Caly, and to actually dance instead.
“Caly!” she called, weaving her way through the throng of dancers to her cousin.
“Hey, Skylar!” Caly called cheerfully, stopping her dance and moving toward Skylar. “Where’s David?”
“I don’t know, off somewhere. Somewhere he’s been for the last fifteen minutes. I think he’s getting food or something,” replied Skylar.
“Must be a lot of food,” Caly quipped.
Skylar frowned at her friend; she didn’t take it well when people she liked were made fun of.
“Well, come and dance then!” Attempting to avoid a potentially angry Skylar, Caly grabbed her hand and began dancing once more. Skylar simply gaped at her; surely Caly didn’t mean she wanted Skylar to dance like her. Skylar was pretty sure she couldn’t make her body move like that, and just thinking about the number of boys that would be watching made her blush.
“Come on, Skylar!” Caly started to dance around her. “It’s not that hard, see?”
Skylar, feeling very foolish, began to slowly move in time with the music. Copying Caly a bit and adding some moves of her own, Skylar soon found that dancing was not hard at all.
“That’s it!” Caly exclaimed, as Skylar executed a particularly complicated move. Skylar smiled; she was finally getting into the music and party.
But her smile faded away quickly when she saw David pulling Vicky Myers by the hand into the room. Both were disheveled and their lips were reddened by what must have been kissing. Vicky’s hair was mussed, and her make-up was also smudged.
Skylar froze, staring at the laughing couple. Caly also stopped dancing; craning her head to see what Skylar was looking at.
“That idiot!” Caly exclaimed. “That stupid, good-for-nothing, cheater, pig-headed, worthless excuse for a male! He deserves the likes of her, Skylar. I’ll beat him up for you if you want. My specialty.” She said the last few words with an evil grin. Caly had inherited the ability to perform a particularly spectacular round house kick from her mother. Everyone in the family knew not to cross either of them, lest they be attacked by a flying foot.
“It’s fine,” whispered Skylar, holding back tears. “I- I’ll see you later, Caly.”
She dashed out of the Great Hall, bumping into multiple people on the way out. Caly frowned. Skylar was rarely like this, and Caly knew she didn’t want anyone to come after her. Justin Palmira, Caly’s brother and another one of Skylar’s best friends and cousin, dressed as a firefighter appeared beside her suddenly.
“Caly, what’s wrong with Skylar?” he asked anxiously. “I just saw her run out of the Great Hall, and I think she was trying not to cry.”
Caly tapped the shoulder of Drew. “Hey, I’ll be back soon, okay? I have to talk to my brother for a bit.”
“Okay,” he shrugged, and then wandered off to get some food.
Caly led Justin to a nearby table. “Skylar saw David and Vicky together,” she said confidentially.
“So?” Justin asked.
Caly restrained herself from rolling her eyes. Men could be such idiots when it came to relationships.
“They looked like they were kissing.”
“How do you know?” asked Justin. “They might have been doing something else.”
“I just know, and Skylar just knew too. It’s a girl thing, trust me. But right now, the important thing is Skylar,” said Caly.
Justin nodded in agreement. “But what should I do? I’m going after her.” He stood up and managed to walk a total of one and a half steps before Caly pulled him back down.
“No, don’t. Skylar wants to be alone right now.”
“How do you know?” he said stubbornly.
“Like I said before, it’s a girl thing. If I were Skylar I’d want to be alone now too. You can comfort her later,” replied Caly.
“Fine,” Justin consented grumpily and crossed his arms after taking a drink from one of the house elves roaming the room.
Riley Calabria, Justin and Caly’s cousin came wandering over.
“Hey, what’s up with Skylar? I saw her run out of the Great Hall.”
“She saw David with Vicky Myers,” said Justin before Caly could say anything.
“So?” asked Riley.
“They looked like they were kissing, apparently,” said Justin, glancing at Caly, who was scowling at him.
“How do you know they were kissing?”
“Apparently, it’s a ‘girl thing’,” said Justin, adding air quotes, who was evidently enjoying himself.
“Well, then, why don’t we go after her to comfort her?”
“Ahhh!” Caly exploded, storming off from the boys. “Men,” she grumbled under her breath.
Skylar, on the front steps of her school, caught her breath. She couldn’t believe she had ever trusted David’s pretty words and kisses. The rumors had been true about him- he was a player.
She felt truly sorry for herself- Skylar wasn’t normally the kind of girl who would go out with just any guy who asked her out. She had been manipulated into thinking that David genuinely cared for her.
Skylar stood and shivered slightly. Dusk was falling, and it was staring to get cold. Skylar didn’t mind the cold, though. It soothed her, telling her she wasn’t alone. A walk was just what she needed, Skylar decided. Skylar walked along the school grounds whenever she felt lonely or just needed to de-stress. And tonight she needed to seriously get rid of some stress and have a good cry.
Skylar ambled slowly along the well-worn path around the school. On her walks she always ended up at the same spot- a hidden garden located on the edge of the lake behind the school’s greenhouses.
Once she made her way to her favorite bench, Skylar had herself a good cry. She cried for herself, for her mistake. She cried because she had been twisted and lied to. She cried because she hadn’t yet found the one, the boy who would love her unconditionally and protect her and be her best friend.
A drop of rain splashed onto Skylar’s head, making her look up. She hadn’t noticed, but the sky was a menacing dark cloud, threatening to spill over and start to downpour. Skylar cursed herself for not having a coat or umbrella, and then started to make her way up the now dark path as well as she could. Thankfully, the rain was only just starting.
Skylar’s feet were bruised and blistered after only a few minutes of quick walking in the high heels. She sighed with relief when she finally saw the glimmer of lights that were hung over the front doors.
Hiking up her cape around her, she wearily walked up the steps, only to find the door was locked.
“Now what will I do?” she muttered to herself. The front steps had no awning, so she was completely unprotected from the onslaught of rain that was sure to come.
Skylar sat down on the front steps, shielding herself with her cape as best as she could. The rain came pouring down, soaking her cape quickly.
“Hello.” Skylar heard a low, lilting voice with an unrecognizable accent. A boy dressed as the Phantom of the Opera had appeared from around the corner. He was carrying an umbrella and smiling.
Skylar tossed back her soaked hair and tried to maintain her dignity. “Hello to you. Um, who are you?”
The boy smiled; to some it may have seemed he was mocking her, but Skylar had a feeling it was simply the way he smiled.
“My name is Benjamin, I moved here recently. This is only my second week. I’m still adjusting to things.” He looked at the door. “I suppose one of the things I’m adjusting to still is the curfew. Is the door locked?”
Skylar nodded mutely.
“So… how long have you been here?”
After finding her voice, Skylar was able to answer all of his questions, finding that they got along very well. They talked easily, and she discovered that he loved the Phantom of the Opera as much as she did, along with some of her favorite books. They had so much in common Skylar could hardly believe it. They played the same sport, soccer, and both loved Shakespeare as well. The fact that it was pouring didn’t matter at all.
“Wow, look at the time!” Benjamin had pulled out a watch from his suit. “It’s almost midnight!”
“Really?” Skylar asked. She had never felt so comfortable talking to a boy, except for the ones in her family. “Wow, I guess time flies when you’re having fun.”
He smiled. “It does, doesn’t it?”
The rain had begun to slow. Instead of the angry drops tumbling furiously from the sky, the rain was now simply sprinkling the ground.
Skylar could now hear the music from the gym.
“Last dance tonight, folks!” the DJ called. “Now go out there and grab that special someone and get a great ending to this wonderful night!”
Benjamin must have heard it too, because he stood and offered Skylar his hand. “May I have this dance?”
Skylar hesitated for a second, and then stood as well, taking his hand in her own. “I’d be honored.”
Cautiously, she placed her hands around his neck, and then felt his arms encircle her waist.
The tender music seemed to radiate all around them. Skylar felt like she was made to be held here, in this moment, forever- to be held by Benjamin. She had forgotten all about the horrible previous events that night. All she could think about now was Benjamin. Sighing with happiness, Skylar rested her head on his chest, overlooking the fact that she had met him only a few hours before.
As the music came to an end, Skylar and Benjamin continued to sway, holding each other. Lifting her chin up with his hand, Benjamin slowly brushed his lips against her own. Skylar smiled. She knew this was only the start of what would be a wonderful relationship.
The lightly falling rain over them seemed to complete the perfect picture- a boy and a girl, both without a care in the world- dancing in the rain.