Chapter Twenty-One – An Electrifying Ending
"Oh, Ivy, I'm going to miss you so much!" Daisy said to me as we hugged right before my last performance at Rendezvous. I couldn't believe this was all over. I had been dancing here for so many years that I just couldn't see a life where I wasn't going to be up on that stage strutting my stuff. Just then I heard the opening line of Miley Cyrus's new song, 'Can't Be Tamed.'
…Like the mafia…
"You have fun up there," Daisy said, a small tear in the corner of her eye.
"I always have fun dancing," I said, getting ready to dance my final dance at the club.
"No, I mean in New York."
"Oh." I couldn't think of anything else to say. But I didn't have to because just then, it was time for me to hop on stage and begin my final dance with Rick.
For those who don't know me
I can get to be crazy
After gettin' my way
Twenty-four hours a day
'Coz I'm hot like that.
I didn't necessarily like Miley, but I definitely liked this song. It almost expressed how I was feeling right now. It was almost like a summary of my life. Almost.
I go through guys like money flyin' out their hands
They try to change me, but they realize they can't
And maybe tomorrow is a day I never planned
If you're gonna be my man, understand…
Rick noticed a difference in my performance. On the outside, I was dancing perfectly. The club was going wild watching me dance and move my body in flexible positions and shake my 'goodies' in a sexy manner. But I just wasn't as into it as I used to be.
"What's wrong?" Rick asked as his placed his hand on the small of my back, and I bent backwards into a back-bend, my scarlet curls brushing against the floor.
"Nothing," I lied when I came back up, making sure to fling my hair in a sexy way—receiving plenty of whistles from drunk males. It seemed like I was doing that a lot: lying.
"Don't lie to me. You know I can always tell—"
"Are you still dating Daisy?" I asked, trying to change the subject.
"Don't break her heart."
"We need to talk."
"About what?" I feigned ignorance. I knew exactly what he was talking about. He was talking about that fervent kiss we had shared only a few months ago.
"Catch me," I whispered unnecessarily as I jumped into his strong arms. I didn't have to remind him to catch me; he was always there for me, making sure no pain came to me while we danced.
"You still didn't tell me what's bothering you," Rick pressed. Damn him.
"A lot of things. Too many to say."
"Fine: first I had this boyfriend, Justin; he turned out to be a total pervert and ended up trying to rape me. Then there was this boy, Hurley, who I never realized how much I liked. I blew it with him saying I wasn't ready after what Justin put me through. Finally I when I thought I was ready, we started dating the night of our school dance. Then Justin and I were crowned king and queen. Justin kissed me roughly, and Hurley and my very protective best friend, Damien, defended me. I was under so much pressure and hadn't had enough sleep, so I ended up getting angry with Justin and Hurley. Then when Hurley tried to talk to me, I let it slip that I was going to New York soon, that I owned this blog, Lexie's Lane, that I knew he was this user, and that he had told me he liked me thinking that he was telling Lexie that he liked me, but I am Lexie. So, when he found that out, he got pissed and we broke up…after one night."
"Jesus, Ivy, Justin tried to rape you?"
"And he probably would have if Damien hadn't been there."
"He was the one that was in the hospital when I came to see you when you broke your ankle?"
"That douchebag. I swear if I had known that he was going to do that to you, I would have broken his nose right then and there."
"Thanks, but then you would have been arrested for assaulting a minor. He's still seventeen."
Rick couldn't say anything else because just then I had to finish a complicated step.
I'm like a puzzle, but all of my pieces are jagged
If you can understand this, we can make some magic
I'm on like that.
I wanna fly,
I wanna drive,
I wanna go,
I wanna be a part of something I don't know
And if you try to hold me back, I might explode
Baby, right now, you should know…
Once we had executed the complicated move, we continued to chat like we normally did. "Do you think I could get away with murder?" Rick asked.
"You're too presumptuous; you'd admit to your murder because you couldn't let someone else take your credit," I said honestly.
"True. But I still want to kill him." Rick's eyes glazed over with desire.
"I don't know; you seem to be angry with a lot of people at one time," I teased.
Time for my solo. Rick smoothly got off stage.
I'm wired a different way
I'm not a mistake
I'm not a fake
It's set in my DNA
Don't change me…
This was the part where I got to move my hips. And I was supposed to be angry, which I was. So, I was able to let out some of my hatred towards Justin, frustration towards Hurley, and anger towards myself right here while I was doing the thing that I loved most of all: dancing.
When my quick solo was done, Rick was back by my side, and we were dancing in sync together. I had never realized how perfectly our bodies worked together until right now. I guess I should have figured that out since we had always been partners. I guess that's why the manager rarely allowed me to dance with any of the other male dancers. Rick and I were physically perfect for each other. I shuddered at the thought that came into my head at what I had previously thought…if that last thought made any sense. I realized that, these days, most of my thoughts didn't make sense.
Rick cocked an eyebrow at me, "What are you thinking about?"
"Because you have a really sexy expression on your face," Rick smiled at me.
"Honestly, I was thinking about how physically compatible we are," I replied.
Something glowed in Rick's eyes—my best bet: lust.
"And about that kiss…" I trailed off.
"What about it?" Rick whispered in my ear, sending a shiver down my spine.
"It didn't happen."
I felt him stiffen slightly.
"Because you're dating my best friend," I answered.
"Oh, right," he murmured.
Funny, how he seemed to keep forgetting that.
Finally the song ended, and Rick and I bowed for the last time in this club. As soon as the curtains closed, I began bawling. It seemed like my emotions were really getting the best of me these days. Daisy rushed to me, and we hugged tightly. And then she went to Rick, and they kissed passionately. Was that jealousy that I felt stirring in the pit of my stomach? Before I could overanalyze that thought, I was bombarded with quite a few hugs and kisses and farewells and tears. Some of the people who came up to me to say goodbye, I didn't even know the names of.
"Ivy, you've been my role model ever since I arrived here," said a brunette that I had only seen once before and was completely nameless to me.
"You're such an amazing dancer; I know you'll do fabulous in New York," a blonde told me.
"I still can't believe you just turned eighteen," some boy that I didn't know commented.
"I'm going to miss you so much," Shanna told me.
"You've been such an inspiration," Bailey said.
"You're so talented. I'm glad you got the chance to follow your dream," Riley complimented.
After about a hundred more tearful farewells, I was off. Rick and I walked out of the club together with all of our belongings. He walked me to my new car and stopped, looking intently into my eyes.
"Ivy, I have to tell you something—"
"No, Rick, stop. We can't do this. That…that kiss, I liked it, a lot more than I ever wanted to. But it wasn't right. Think of Daisy. Think of Hurley…I mean, never mind that last bit. And if we're going to live together in a completely different state while you have a girlfriend, nothing like that can happen again, okay? I like you; you've always been here for me and you're the best partner anyone could ever have. You're amazing, but please, please, don't break Daisy's heart, for me?" I asked.
Rick searched my eyes, scrutinizing my expression. Finally, he nodded, pulled be against his chest, gave me a tight bear hug that filled my senses with his completely manliness, kissed my cheek, and let me go.
"I'll keep it in check, I promise," Rick said, opening my car door for me.
"Thank you, Rick," I whispered before I entered the driver's seat.
Only one more week until I left for New York, and I needed to go home and pack. When I pulled into my driveway, I looked up at my two-story house and sighed. I was really going to miss this place. It had been my home since I was a child, and now I was leaving it. Everything was changing drastically. I walked up to my room and began packing for another chapter in my life.
Welcome to Lexie's Lane
Entry Date: April 24th, 2010
Well, my lovely lovies, it's time. It's time to say goodbye. There is no gossip for today. Today is strictly for telling you how much fun I had writing each and every one of my blogs. I can't believe that four years have gone by so quickly, but now a new chapter will be beginning in my life, and I'm pretty sure that you are experiencing the same kinds of feelings that I am if you are a senior. Don't worry, after four years of secrecy, I will tell you who I am. But for now, I just want to thank each and every one of you for all of the reviews and comments you gave me during this fun and eventful journey. Can you believe that right now, while most of you are still in school, I am writing this to you at an airport, waiting for my plane to fly me to my future? Well, believe it because it's true. I'm going to miss writing to you guys every month and experiencing the thrill of keeping this identity a secret—which will soon be revealed. If you were smart enough to sign up for the mobile updates, then I guess you will be receiving this blog post during class. (Don't let the teachers find out or I'm in deep shit…well, I guess not since I'm officially done with Harring High.) If you are not a senior, then I would love to know if someone plans to take my place as the school's unofficial, unknown gossip giver. And I would be glad to give you some tips as to where to find the gossip (Basketball/Football games, parties, dances, the halls, the classroom, lunchtime, etc.) The worst place to try and find gossip is: the library. So, stay clear from there (The library was where I usually created my blogs and IMed people.) These are just little hints for my unrelated descendent. (So, please feel free to text me when you figure out who it will be) Anyhoo, on to the main event.
The revelation of who has been writing all of these blog posts for the past four years. The girl who has brought you the juiciest juice and admirable advice would be the girl who began her high school career as a nobody and ended it as a somebody…The somebody: Ginger Brown. (or Ivy Green to everyone who found out about my Rendezvous secret). And so, now you all know who has been feeding you Harring High's wildest secrets. And now, I am resigning as the school's Juice Spreader and passing my crown onto whomever wants it next. No, you cannot have my website (this costs money you know: a whole 75 cents per month). So, go out and get your own. And have a fun year, my lovie dovies. Oh, and: CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2010!
I turned my laptop off and shoved it into my carry-on bag.
"What was that about?" Rick asked me.
I began putting my red locks into a ponytail as I said, "Just some unfinished business. But now it's over." My heart ached as I said it. I had grown to love being Lexie; to being able to hide behind her complete sangfroid and composure. And now she was gone forever.
I sighed, hugging my small backpack to my chest with my laptop in it. Lexie was gone. But Ivy was still around. And Ginger was just plain depressed. I looked out the large window of the airport and saw a plane settled there. Soon enough, I would be boarding that plane to leave for New York. I would soon be moving into my dorm room at Julliard. I would soon be dancing; doing what I did best. I would soon be an official student at Julliard. I would soon be away from the mess that was Harring High. I would be leaving behind Denise, Robb, Stacie, Damien, Daisy, Daphne, Holly, my cheerleading squad, my dance friends, Justin…and Hurley. I sighed again as Hurley came into my mind. I know that we really hadn't dated that much—about a day—but I felt like I knew him more than I did Justin, whom I had dated for several months.
After about sixty depressed sighs and fifty minutes later, a male voice spoke through the speakers that were located around the room, "Flight Number 3E is boarding now."
"That's us," Rick said from my side, offering me his hand.
HURLEY CHAMP (1 HOUR BEFORE)
My cell phone vibrated against my jeans pocket as I sat in Calculus class. I slid it out of my pocket and checked it. It was a post from Lexie's Lane. I almost stuffed my phone back into my pocket, but I wanted to know what Ginger—oh, sorry, I mean Lexie—had put up there. As I read the blog post, I got a feeling of nostalgia. I guess because Lexie—oops, I mean Ginger—had been my friend ever since freshman year. I could pretty much tell her anything through IM. And as I read that Ginger—Lexie—was done with being the Gossip Queen and was passing her crown down to the next class, I felt like a friendship was over.
I was still mad at Ginger. She had tricked me, not to mention lied to me. All those times we shared together, she could have told me that she was Lexie, but she didn't. And then I had even confessed to Lexie that I had liked Ginger for a while, and she still then didn't even tell me that she was really Ginger. I guess what really was pissing me off was that she had kept a secret from me. I mean, if we were supposed to date—which we did for one day—then she had to trust me and tell me all about herself. She couldn't keep secrets—especially big ones like Lexie—from me, she had to believe that I would trust her. And I guess I kind of ruined that, seeing as I left her at the dance, but I had just been so livid. I mean, it wasn't my fault that I was trying to defend her against Justin. He had kissed her in front of everyone, and Ginger had just expected me to stand back and allow that to happen? I don't think so.
And now Ginger was on her way to New York to go to Julliard—yet another secret she had kept from me until the last moment. I could have functioned if she would have just told me as soon as she had found out, but she had to wait to the last minute to tell me. And that had deprived me of quality time with her. And again, that was sort of my fault, again seeing as I had walked out on her during the dance. I understand that I was wrong at some things, but she was wrong as well. And she hadn't even tried to apologize. Because if she had, I knew that I would have been putty in her hands. I would have forgiven her right then and there. But, maybe, I was at fault too. Maybe I should have tried to apologize as well. I was just so angry with her and with myself. I was ashamed of the way I had acted, I guess.
Just then the bell rang for lunch. The entire class woke up and began filing out of the classroom. As I was walking down the hallway to gather my books and head to lunch, someone stopped me and pulled me aside into an empty classroom. When my eyes adjusted to the dimness of the room, I came face to face with Damien.
"So, you're going to let her go just like that?" he asked me.
"What are you talking about?" I knew exactly what he was talking about, but I just didn't want to think about it right now.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about." Hmm…he was good. "Aren't you going to chase after her?"
"Why should I? I mean, she didn't love me enough to trust me with all of her secrets," I retorted.
"And I wonder why, seeing as she almost got raped only a few weeks beforehand."
"I told her I would wait until she was ready!" We both had raised voices.
"And she knew she didn't have all of the time in the world. And she knew that she wanted you. So, she pushed her feelings to the side for you, dumbass!"
I fell silent, taking all of this in. It was true. And it made sense now that Damien said it. Ginger knew she had to leave soon. She knew that she wanted me just as much as I wanted her. She knew that she was strong, so she had pushed her feelings and emotions to the side because she wanted to spend time with me. And I had to go and screw it up because I thought she didn't trust me enough. Oh, my God, I was such a douchebag. How could I have been this dimwitted? Why hadn't I seen it? I should have been more understanding. What was I thinking when I had walked away from a hurt and helpless girl on Valentine's Day?
"Oh, my God." I sank into the chair of a nearby desk, placing my head in my hands. "What have I done?"
"You've let the girl of your dreams fly away," Damien answered for me.
"Thanks," I said dryly. "That question was supposed to be rhetorical."
"What is it with all of these rhetorical questions? First the principal; now you. Well, I was just being honest. So, are you going to go after her?"
"What do you mean?" I looked up between my fingers.
"Boy, you really are slow. And here I am thinking you're smart. How can I put this to make sense? Go. After. Ginger," Damien said slowly.
"But she's on her way to New York! She said so in her blog post on Lexie's Lane."
"Yes, I know, I already read that. But her plane leaves in…" Damien checked his watch, "fifty minutes. You have time to go if you leave now."
"Ditch school?" I asked, never having done it before. Wow, I really was a goody-goody two-shoes.
"No, shit, Sherlock. Hurry, or you're going to miss her. The airport is about forty minutes away. If you're going to catch her, you have to go now, moron." Damien really was intent on insulting me as much as he possibly could. But, I guess I deserved it. I was an idiot for what I had done.
I shot up from the desk and ran out the door, pushing past slow pokes who got in my way as I headed outside to my car. I reached the driver's seat and quickly stuffed the keys in the ignition before speeding out of the school's parking lot and flying down the street. But, with my damned luck, I caught every red light on the way to the interstate. While I was waiting at a red light, I flipped my phone open, hit speed dial #1, put the phone to my ear, and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. After the fourth ring, the phone went to voicemail.
Hey, you've reached Ginger Brown. Sorry, but I'm not in right now. I'm probably hittin' it up at the clubs, so try me in a few hours. Lay-ta! –BEEP–
"Hey, Gin, it's Hurley. I know that I was a total asshole, and I deserve the worst punishment that the devil, himself, can think up, but right now all I want is your forgiveness. I'm so sorry for everything I did to you that hurt you. Please, when you get this, call me back. Thanks." I threw my phone onto the passenger's side of the car and continued to speed illegally down the freeway.
I felt my phone vibrate against my jeans pocket. But I ignored it, thinking that it was probably just an alert on a comment for Lexie's Lane, but I didn't care about that at the moment. I knew that hundreds of students would comment on this blog post because I had finally revealed my third identity. As I began gathering my belongings, I thought that I was going to make sure that Ivy Green was my only identity at Julliard. And who knew? Maybe I'd just dye my hair red, so I didn't always have to wear a wig, but I'd probably just end up bobby pinning the wig to my head everyday because I liked my hair color as it was. But I still didn't want Rick to ever find out that Ginger Brown was Ivy Green, and Ivy Green was Ginger Brown. We had formed a strong trust together over the years as Rick and Ivy, not Rick and Ginger. Plus, I had already mailed my application to Julliard with a photo of me with my wig perfectly intact. So, there was absolutely no way that I was going to walk through those doors with blonde hair instead of red hair.
Rick and I joined the long line leading to the doorway of the hallway which led to the plane. My heart rate sped up as I realized I was only a few hours away from the future that I had been dreaming about ever since I was four years old. I remembered that, as a child, Julliard had always been my dream school, and I was determined to go there, but as I grew older, I realized how hard it would be to get it and that my adoptive parents probably wouldn't be able to afford the high tuition at the school. And soon enough, the dream faded. But then that one glorious day when I had met Mr. Goodman at Rendezvous, and he told me that I could get an all-paid-for scholarship to Julliard and be on a plane headed for my dream school by the middle of April, I practically flipped out right in front of everyone. Granted, Mr. Goodman did warn me that Julliard was a tough school, that I could be kicked out at any given moment, and that I had to work my ass off just to stay in the league that I had been put in. So, I'll admit that I am pretty damn nervous, but wasn't everyone nervous before they went to their dream school? I still had a few months and then the whole summer to get better at what I do before school starts. So, I just knew that I could do it. I would be able to accomplish anything if I just kept my mind on the right track. I just hoped to God that there wouldn't be any drama, which, of course, I knew there would be.
And then an idea struck me. I was already beginning to miss my alter-ego, Lexie, and I had just let go of her only minutes ago. Why not create another one? Why not come up with a completely different secret identity and start a website for Julliard? I knew that the website would probably take up a lot of time, but I could do it. I was a multi-tasker. I would be able to dance my ass off, keep up my grades, keep my identities in check, and keep away from direct drama. I would just have to work as hard as I did senior year at Harring High.
As I remembered senior year, I began to get a feeling on nostalgia again. I was going to miss the students—even Daphne and Holly—and the teachers—somewhat—and the cheerleading, plus Rendezvous. I still couldn't believe that I wasn't going to dance there again.
Rick and I were only two away from getting on the plane. We had our tickets in our hands, our bags thrown over our shoulders, and confidence surfing our blood. And that was when I thought that I heard my name being called. I turned around, looking for the distant source of noise, but didn't see anyone that I recognized. I turned back around as we moved up in line.
"Did you see something?" Rick asked me.
"I thought I heard something."
I heard it again. My name—Ginger, not Ivy—being called from amongst the people in the waiting area. I whipped my head around again, but to no avail. I recognized the voice. The voice I have wanted to hear ever since he left me crying at the dance. The voice that belonged to the face and body of the all-star basketball player, Hurley Champ. The voice that I had only dated for one day. The voice that I needed to comfort me as I left behind my life here in the south and continued it up in the north.
By this time, Rick and I were the first in line. Rick handed the steward his ticket. She quickly scanned it and smiled up at Rick, "Have a nice flight, Mr. Romanov." And then she turned her attention to me. I slowly lifted my hand up, handing her the ticket while I listened very carefully to the mass of noise coming from the mouths of waiting guests. I knew that I had heard my name.
And then I heard it crystal clear, "GINGER, WAIT!"
I whisked my head around, my scarlet ponytail whipping me in the face as I saw him. I saw Hurley Champ. I didn't know why he was here, except that he was here for me. I didn't know why he wasn't in school like the rest of the Harring High student body, except that he wasn't there for me. I didn't know what made him come all this way, except that Damien probably had something to do with it. I instantly dropped my bags right there on the spot and sprinted towards him as he sprinted towards me. I heard the low grumble of waiting people behind me as I completely left my spot and rushed to him.
I knew that he probably was still angry with me for keeping so many secrets from him, but as soon as I could, I rammed into him. My arms looped around his neck, my face dug into his shoulder. And he wrapped his arms around my waist, holding me tightly to his body.
"You came," I said breathlessly.
"I'm so sorry. I didn't know how much pressure I was putting on you. I tried to let you take your time, but I didn't realize that you didn't have time, that you—"
I silenced him with a kiss. He mumbled into my mouth for a few seconds tying to finish his apology, but I didn't want to hear it. He was forgiven. He didn't need to say anything else. And then his lips moved against mine. His hands moved up to tangle themselves in my red wig, and my hands came up to entwine themselves in his hair. He lifted me off my feet and swung me in a complete circle. When he finally set me back on my feet, all I did was stare into his sky colored eyes.
"I can't let you go," Hurley mumbled.
"You have to."
"How long is it going to be?"
"I come back to visit in a few months," I stalled.
"Christmas?" Hurley asked, trying not to look too hurt at the amount of time we had to go without seeing each other.
"We'll make it work, won't we?" he asked, looking deeply into my eyes.
"No doubt. We can do it," I promised.
"That's all that I needed to hear."
We kissed again; this one was longer and more passionate. This one was our last kiss for eight months.
"Flight 3E is now boarding," the male voice called out again.
I groaned into Hurley's mouth, and he chuckled into mine.
"I'll miss you," he whispered huskily into my ear.
"I already miss you." With that said, we let go of each other.
I slowly made my way back to my dropped bag, all the while looking at Hurley. The woman gave my ticket back, told me to have a nice flight, and then I started walking back to where Rick was waiting for me in the hallway. I kept my eyes glued to Hurley as—this time—I increased the distance between us. Once I turned the corner of the hallway and couldn't see Hurley's figure anymore, I let out a sigh. But this sigh wasn't like the ones I had let out before. This one was full of gratitude and happiness. Hurley and I weren't fighting anymore. We were together. Mark this day as the second day we've been dating.
Just then Rick interrupted my thoughts, "Why did he call you 'Ginger,' Ivy?"
"Nickname," I lied. "You know, for my hair."
I smiled as I found my seat on the plane next to Rick. I looked out the window and continued to smile like a fool. Hurley and I were together, and I wasn't going to let anything ruin this relationship. I would tell him everything. I wouldn't lie to him. There would be no secrets between us. As I thought this, the plane began take-off.
Well, now it was time to start worrying about yet another chapter of my life: Julliard.
End of Book One
You can see Ginger Brown concisely at the very end of 'So Typical' in the epilogue. She will also return in the sequel 'Get Used to It.' You can find out what happens to Justin Bagwell in the book 'Breaking Giselle.'
Thank you so much to everybody who read this story! It means so much to me :)
Keep a sharp eye out for the sequel: "Get Used to It." It will probably be posted soon after "So Typical"'s sequel is posted.