|I Don't Dance
Author: Andi Pants PM
Julianne Jenkins excells at all things academic, but knows next to nothing about guys and is downright hopeless at all things requiring coordination. So when she unwillingly gets sucked into a National Ballroom Dance Competition with a super hot partner , humour and romance ensue as Julianne struggles to learn how to dance. She's got 3 words for this: "I Don't Dance".Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 29 - Words: 101,375 - Reviews: 39 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 28 - Updated: 04-30-13 - Published: 07-03-12 - id: 3038482
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Julianne! You will never guess what just happened!"
I shoved the remaining books in my locker and slowly turned in the direction of Lilly's voice. My best friend was elbowing her way through the crowded hallway, pushing people aside with incredible force for her petite body. A huge grin sat pasted to her flawless face, and her blue eyes sparkled the way they only do when she managed to pull off a 75% on a Calculus test, or when she'd just met a really cute guy.
I was inclined to think it was the latter.
I sighed as she finally broke free of the swarm of crazy teenagers and slumped against the adjoining locker. I snapped my lock into place and set it to zero. "What happened?" I asked.
She ran a hand through her straight, blond hair and took a moment to regulate her breathing before plunging into her story.
"Okay, so you know the stairs near the science lab? The ones that I take down to get to my locker?"
I nodded. She didn't take those stairs because they got her near her locker. On the contrary, her locker was located halfway around the school from where she ended up. The only reason she took them was because it was the "scenic route" (the "scenery" being Brad Thompson, her crush of 4 years, as well as the most popular guy in school). Typical Lilly.
She grabbed my arm and began leading me toward the cafeteria. "Well, I was really mad because Mr. Peters gave me a 64% on that stupid science test, and he told me that I couldn't rewrite it because I never pay attention in class or do my homework, and blah blah blah. So then-"
"Whoa!" I interrupted. "You told me you studied for that test. "
She ran another hand through her hair and waved me off. "Of course I did! Trust me, it was the first time I looked at that Physics textbook for ten minutes straight!"
I stopped in the middle of the hallway and planted my hands on my hips. "Are you telling me you studied for a UNIT TEST, for TEN MINUTES?"
She rolled her eyes. "Stop sounding like my mother. It's not my fault if protons and ray diagrams don't make any sense to me."
"Photons," I corrected her.
"Protons are the positively charged particles in the nucleus of an atom. That's CHEMISTRY. Photons are the smallest quantity of energy. That's in Physics."
"Oh well," she shrugged. "It's not like I plan on becoming a Physician."
"WHATEVER!" Her cheeks were starting to turn pink and she averted her eyes as she took a deep breath. The hallways were nearly empty by this point, since everyone was out and about for their lunch hour.
To be honest, I couldn't help but feel sorry for poor Lilly. Although she was gorgeous beyond belief, she had never been very good in school. I tried helping her whenever I could, but there was really only so much that I could do. I'd go over to her house after school and tutor her for hours, I'd make study cards and colour code her notes but, truth be told, she never had much interest in learning anyway. After the ninth grade, she had lost all hope in her academics, and had transitioned to putting more effort into her appearance. She had slowly become more popular over the course of our high school career, and I was surprised that even now, near the end of grade twelve, we were still the best friends we'd always been.
Even if I was the nerdy girl with glasses everyone made fun of and who had never had a boyfriend, and she was always flirting up a storm with the cutest guys in school, nothing had ever changed between us.
I stepped closer to her and wrapped her in a big hug. To my surprise, she actually hugged me back.
"We have exams in a little over a month," I reminded her.
"I know," she mumbled.
We pulled away and I locked eyes with her. "If I come and help you study, are you actually going to try?"
Her bottom lip began to tremble ever so slightly, and I was afraid she would start crying. "You know, Jules, I really do try!" she said, meekly. "I just...I just don't get it!"
"You will get it!" I told her, firmly. "I'll make sure you do."
She gave me a small smile. "Thanks Jules." We had reached the cafeteria by this point, and as we walked inside, we were met by a ridiculous line-up that nearly spilled out the door.
"Ugh, it's Pizza Friday," Lilly groaned. "We're gonna be here all lunch. Let's go eat somewhere else."
"We can go to Lombardi's Pizza," I suggested. "If everyone's eating pizza at school, there won't be that many people there."
"Good point," she said.
As we left the school and walked up the street to Lombardi's Pizza, I remembered that Lilly had never finished her story. "So what happened when you left Mr. Peters' class?"
She suddenly perked up and squinted against the brilliant sun as she turned to face me.
"Okay, so I was looking over my test as I walked down the stairs, and so I wasn't really looking where I was going."
"Let me guess," I said, smirking. "You bumped into Brad?"
"Pfft," she scoffed. "Not even close."
I raised a quizzical eyebrow, motioning for her to continue.
"I bumped into Austin."
I blinked, unsure that I heard her correctly. "Who?"
"Austin," she repeated.
Confusion immediately started swarming around my head. I didn't know an Austin. Was I supposed to know an Austin? I was the type of person who didn't forget people's names very easily, so either I was getting a very early case of Alzheimer's, or Lilly had some explaining to do.
"Who's Austin?" I asked.
A sly smile slithered on her lips. "He's a new guy in my Physics class. He's been homeschooled up until now."
"But, why is he suddenly coming to a school like, one month before the end of the year?"
"I don't know," she shrugged. "Something about wanting to be part of a real graduation ceremony."
"Uh-huh," I mumbled. "And why is it so exciting that you bumped into him on your way down from science class?"
We reached the Lombardi's Pizza building and I opened the door to walk in. A burst of cool air instantly hit me, which was a delightful contrast to the scorching heat outdoors.
"Well, you see, I dropped my test when I bumped into him," Lilly explained, as she followed me inside. "He saw a giant 64% scrawled in red pen and he offered to tutor me."
"That was nice of him," I said as I looked at the menu.
"It was," she agreed. "But I denied his offer. I told him that I already had a tutor."
I turned to meet her smiling face and realized that she was talking about me. I couldn't help but feel a little bit touched. "Good job," I told her. "The last thing you need is a cute guy distracting you while you're supposed to be studying. "
We moved up in the short line-up, meaning we were now next in line.
"I know," Lilly said. "Which is why I suggested you."
"You WHAT?" I sputtered.
"Next please!" An angry lady behind the counter shrieked.
Grinning widely, Lilly grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me toward the counter. She ordered a slice of Pepperoni Pizza with a Pepsi, while I went with Vegetarian (even though I'm not actually vegetarian), and a bottle of water. As soon as we'd paid and moved to the side to wait for our food, I let out the explosion firing up inside me.
"I don't need a tutor!" I said, through gritted teeth.
"I know that," she replied, her eyes twinkling. "But he doesn't."
"So what am I supposed to do? Dumb myself down so he'll think I really need help? Because there is no way I am doing that!"
"I know, I know," she tried to shush me. "I told him that you learn better in public places. You don't like the quiet, so-"
"Yes I do," I interrupted.
"Ugh, just listen. This plan is genius, I tell ya. Genius!"
"It's sounding like a pack of lies as far as I can tell."
"Pepperoni and Vegetarian?" the lady asked, holding the pizza out to us. We grabbed our food, thanked the lady, and seated ourselves down at a table.
"It's not a pack of lies," Lilly insisted, taking a bite of her pizza. "It's just a stretched truth."
"How is it a-"
"You like bowling, don't you?" she mumbled through the pizza in her mouth.
"Yes," I said. "But what does that have to do with-"
"Good. You guys are going bowling tonight."
I gaped at her, unable to formulate any sentence in my mind. Was she trying to set me up with this dude? She didn't even know him! I didn't even know him! There was no way I was going out on this blind date. Nu-uh! I mean, he probably wasn't even going to show up! What kind of person enjoys studying in a bowling arena? He had to see through this ridiculous plan. No one in their right mind would actually think that this plan makes sense.
I took a bite of my own pizza and shrugged. "I'm not going anywhere."
"Yes, you are!" she said, sternly.
"What if I get stood up?"
"How do you know?"
"Because I told him to call you when he gets there."
"YOU GAVE HIM MY CELL PHONE NUMBER?"
She took a deep breath and sipped her Pepsi for the longest time. Finally, she looked me sternly in the eye."Because he seems like a really nice guy! He's totally your type! I just know it!"
"How do you know what my type is?" I fired back. "I've never had a boyfriend!"
"Precisely," she said. "You've never put yourself out there. Just take a chance! See what happens! That's why I suggested you go bowling. You won't end up studying anyway 'cause you're both super smart, and you'll end up bowling and having the time of your lives!"
She was so enthusiastic about this plan, you'd have thought it actually made sense.
Unfortunately, it didn't.
"Come on, Jules!" she pleaded. "You do not realize what a giant favour I'm making you right now."
"How is this a FAVOUR?" I sputtered. "You're sending me on a blind date with some random dude! He could be an escaped criminal for all we know!"
"You're paranoid," she concluded. "And clueless!"
I flinched. "I'm not clueless," I said. "I can get my own dates, thank you very much."
She arched her eyebrows from behind her pizza. "Really?"
My stomach tightened, and I felt like I'd just been punched. I wasn't that clueless about guys! The idea of having a boyfriend was just never on my list of priorities!
"Yes," I told Lilly, with dignity. "Really." I swivelled around in my seat and spotted a really good-looking guy sitting three tables down from us. He was wearing jeans despite the warm weather, and a cyan polo shirt. His dark hair was neatly cropped, his skin looked as soft as a baby's butt and his blue eyes seemed to pop out from the dark contour around his eyes. I'd never seen a guy look so neat and proper in all of my 17 years!
I pushed my chair back from the table, and smoothed out my pink blouse and denim skirt as I stood up. Lilly gave me a look as if questioning my sanity, but I simply unclipped my strawberry blond curls, letting them drop loose around my shoulders. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I knew I had to prove Lilly wrong.
"Hi," I said, as I reached his table.
He put down his slice of Cheese Pizza and dabbed a napkin at his mouth. "Hello," he said.
Butterflies started fluttering around my stomach and I realized I didn't know what to say next. As I stood there with my mouth hanging half open, he started talking again.
"I like your shirt," he said. "Fuchsia goes really well with your skin tone."
I was taken slightly aback. The average guy would have called my shirt pink...or even purple. I guessed this guy must have been one of the better educated ones.
"Thanks," I smiled. "Your shirt is a really nice shade of blue."
"It's Cyan," he said, matter-of-factly. I could've slapped myself. Of course it was Cyan! I had admired his shirt earlier because of it!
"Right," I chuckled. I glanced up and saw Lilly sitting at our table, desperately gesturing for me to get back. She was even making one of those cut-throat gesticulations. What was up with her? I decided to ignore her. "Anyway," I said to the guy. "Umm...do you go to York High? I think I might have seen you around."
"Yes," he said. "I was in your drama class three years ago."
Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my head. "Of course!" I said. "James, right?"
He smiled. "Yeah."
Now that he'd mentioned it, memories of that class came flooding back. They were not particularly pleasant memories. "Mr. Quigley was quite annoying, wasn't he?"
James shrugged. "I don't know. I rather admired him, actually."
I caught another glimpse of Lilly going crazy at our table, but I averted my eyes once again. As I opened my mouth to say how much I hated Mr. Quigley for giving me a lousy 85% in drama, another guy strode up to the table.
"Sorry," he said, sitting down and putting an arm around James. "They kept getting my order wrong."
Totally oblivious to my existence, he continued his conversation with James. "So how was that Physics test you were freaking out about?"
"Meh," James shrugged. "I failed."
"Oh no!" the other one said. "And you studied so hard!"Before I knew what was going on, he had pulled James into a hug and begun kissing him on the cheek multiple times.
As I said an embarrassed good-bye and turned to leave, I almost walked smack into Lilly, who was furiously stomping in my direction. She yanked my arm and began dragging me out of the building with such force, I was afraid she'd rip my arm out of its socket.
Once we were outside, she began shaking me by the shoulders as if expecting it would knock some sense into my head. "Are you stupid?" she yelled.
"Calm down," I said, trying to steady myself. "How was I supposed to know he was gay?"
She exhaled sharply. "Because no heterosexual man would be wearing eye liner!"
"Now do you believe me?" she asked.
"Yes," I said. "You're right. He's gay."
To my surprise, she started giggling. "No, not about that," she said. "Do you believe me when I say that you are totally clueless when it comes to guys?"
I sighed and rolled my eyes. "It's not that I'm clueless," I replied. "I just have really bad luck!"