Good Morning fellow students, this is Violet your President of Student Council here. I am pleased to announce that our S.W.A.K valentine cards are available now at the back tables in the cafeteria. So for all you shy introverts that want to let your crush know they have a secret admirer don't wait another minute to fill one out. I know I'll be sending one out. Chat with you soon everyone!
"And there you have it, another lame school tradition to follow." Dale complained.
"I think it's cute. The guy that sent me a card last year, I ended up dating for a couple of months. He was nice." Corinne added.
"Yeah well I can't guarantee the same luck for the unpopular new girl, now can I?"
"Oh don't worry Bailey, it's no big deal. I will send you one, because you're special to me."
Bailey pinched Dale's arm for teasing her but he swiftly pulled away. The three sophomore friends were on their way to History class when they had heard the announcement.
Meanwhile in the boy's locker room…
"Don't forget to bring you're a game out there…I need you to watch my back with Gonzalez." Everett instructed his team mate.
"Sure thing man, oh and I was thinking about sending Jasmine one of those S.W.A.K cards, do you mind?"
"Why would I care about that? It's been a year since we split; she's free to do what she wants Todd."
"I know I just want to be sure. You know, bros before …" Todd joked around.
"Yeah man, it's cool. What isn't cool is if you start day dreaming about her on the field and cost us the game!"
Everett and Todd were the two star players of the River High School Lacrosse team. It was their final year and they had big plans to get a college scholarship and join the varsity team. Which meant that each game and practice they were being watched like hawks; no time for fooling around. And for Everett that meant no time for dating.
Everett wasn't your regular rich kid; he had hardly any access to his dad's wealth. He worked for his dad part time in the weekends and studied even harder to keep his grades high. Whether by sports or grades he was getting that scholarship; and without depending on his dad's financial aid. His mother was sick, and although she wasn't getting any better or worse, she remained fragile. They had Mother- Son dates as often as possible, including frequent visits to the Ballet Theater; her favorite place.
Everett remembered of an evening where they went to see A Midsummer's Night Dream; and he was so impressed with the female lead dancer. His mother raved of how wonderful she was as well. He wondered but for a few minutes what she might be like in person; little does Everett know that she walks the same school halls as he.
The Valentine's Cards were free, but to send them out cost a dollar; it was funds for the Sweetheart's Dance. Soon people were filling them out while other's kept trying to decide who to send it to. Everett and Todd were on their way towards the lockers with blank cards in hand. Almost reaching the end of the hall, Bailey walked backwards as she waved goodbye to Dale.
In a matter of seconds, Todd had accidentally pushed the tiny girl. Quick to react, Bailey caught her fall with the tip of her other foot and maneuvered her feet gracefully to a sturdy land.
"Woah! I'm sorry…but what was that?" Todd asked bewildered.
"Oh that's ok. I wasn't watching where I was going." Bailey excused herself.
"No you did some kind of cat reflex thing there. I saw it too." Everett included.
"I just have good reflexes." Bailey shrugged and walked off.
Todd and Everett were left in awe, like they had seen a magic trick just happen but didn't understand how.
"Did you see her lift herself off the tip of her toe? Like the very point of her foot?" Everett insisted.
"Yeah man, I saw it. Weird, huh? Wonder if she's a gymnast or a ninja."
Everett shook his head at his friend's silly assumptions.
Todd met with Everett to bum a ride as he usually did after school.
"So guess what…I bumped into that girl again a little while ago. And I asked her if she was a ninja and she laughed but she's not a ninja…she's a dancer."
Everett slowed the car down at the red light and gave his friend a curious look.
"She said she was a dancer?"
"Yeah, her friend was there and they both dance at that ballet theater you go to with your mom."
"Really. Did you get her name?"
"No. Her friend's name is Corrine though, she's kinda cute too."
"Why didn't you get her name?" Everett demanded.
"I didn't think it was that important, sorry."
Next day during lunch period, Everett sat watching the doorway waiting to see her come in. He watched as Bailey strolled to a table with her two friends; she talked and laughed timidly. He only wanted to know one thing.
Later in the hallway Everett caught sight of Bailey's other friend.
"Hey, it's Dale right?" He asked nicely.
"Hey I have a question. You see my mom is a big fan of the Ballet Midsummer's Night Dream right, and I know you're friends with girls that were possibly in it. You wouldn't happen to know who played the female lead would you?"
"Oh yeah, it was my friend Bailey. She was great, you should have seen it!" Dale said proudly.
"I did." Everett mumbled. "Thanks, good talking to you."
Everett went straight to his locker and pulled out his blank S.W.A.K wrote in it right away.
"I'm telling you, I was mortified. I'm so glad I didn't fall on my bum or something even more embarrassing like my face." Bailey sighed.
"Sounds to me like it was quite the scene, sorry I missed it. I'm sure they won't even remember today." Corinne consoled her blushing friend.
"Yeah that's just the thing, in this high school world guys like Everett and Todd have no idea who I am, or care to. And in my world they don't know a thing either. I might as well be the feline freak with great reflexes before either of them say my name."
"Why are you making such a big deal about it B, they're just guys. Unless…"
"Oh no, don't even go there! I don't like either of them. They hog too much spotlight." Bailey crossed her arms.
"Oh like you don't, star dancer…"
"It's different Corrine."
"Really? I don't see much difference between being a star ballet dancer and a star lacrosse player."
"I need to go to the rest room." Bailey walked away.
"You know I can follow you in there, it's not like you're escaping."
It was Valentine's Day and the students were anxious to receive their friendship and or love notes accompanied with a rose; if the sender chose to pay more. Minutes before the final bell to the first class, Bailey hurried from her locker to her classroom. Everett saw her walking in his direction and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to finally greet her.
"Hey Bailey." He said while lowering his head as if to bow.
She didn't say anything back, confused why he said hello to her in the first place. She then felt horrible for not having said hello back but what could she do now, the moment was gone.
"Hello Bailey? Do you have a thing for the dancer?"
"Shut up Todd." Everett laughed while punching his buddy.
"No please tell me, cause then we can do a double date; you and Bailey and me and Corrine."
"You really think she's cute huh? What about Jasmine?" Everett pointed out.
"I can change my mind right?"
"Did you still send Jasmine the card?"
"You'll see…" Todd finished.
In Bailey's third period, two girls dressed like cupids came in with a box of envelopes and a bouquet of roses to hand out along with the cards.
As student names were called out, Bailey about froze when she heard hers. She quickly stuck her tongue out at Dale. But he was just as surprised as she was. Corrine began to whisper to Dale telling him that that was nice of him; he whispered back that it wasn't from him. Now a few students got a rose but once it was Bailey's turn, she got a dozen red ones.
Needless to say that the whole classroom gawked at Bailey's delivery, thinking her admirer must really love her to send her so many flowers. She was too embarrassed to open the card there so she asked the teacher to be excused to the bathroom. Running inside a stall she held out the envelope in her hands. It read:
I have admired you from afar and wondered who you were. I wondered what you looked like up close and what your voice must sound like. To think that such a lovely person who moves so gracefully and captivates such an audience has been right in front of me the whole time. You have captivated me Bailey. Although we don't know each other, I'd like to invite you to have dinner with my Mother (another big fan) and I; It would be an honor. All I ask is that you come find me and say a simple "Yes." And perhaps if you find me worthy to be your date for the Sweetheart's Dance I'd be honored as well.
Bailey's jaw dropped. She walked out of the stall and stared at her reflection in the mirror. Was this a joke? How could it be real? But he knew she was a dancer and obviously had seen her. Question was what was she going to say? She was not about to let someone cross over into her world, he belonged where he was. She convinced herself that it would be better to politely decline and continue about the day.
The bell rang and within minutes Corrine burst in the bathroom with Bailey's bag and roses, eager to know who the card was from. Bailey simply collected her things and shoved the card in her friends hand while she exited the bathroom. On a mission to find Everett and demand that he admit this was a cruel joke she found him by the locker, along with a huge group of friends.
Bailey stood a few feet away from him, with the roses hanging down facing the floor. Once he spotted her he excused himself from his friends and walked up to her. Except he was hoping to find her more excited and less annoyed.
"You have some nerve, playing a joke like this." She spoke quietly to not cause a scene.
"It's not a joke Bailey, I meant every word."
"Listen, I know guys like you don't hang out or talk with girls like me…"
"First off says who? And second, whatever kind of girl you are... is why I like you." Everett tried to seem convincing.
"So you mean to tell me that you actually saw me dance?"
"Well I didn't know it was you at the time, but I was a fan of that dancer and then I come to find out you are her."
"So you didn't even know me or want to know me…but now that you know I'm "a somebody", I can now have a moment of your time?" Bailey argued softly.
"Bailey it's not like that at all. Why are you painting me out to be the jerk? I'm not. I just wanted to ask you to dinner to spend time with you so that I could get to know you and you could get to know me."
"I'm sure you are a great guy, but lets' face it our groups don't mesh well together."
"I get it. You are not the slightest bit interested. It was wrong of me to immediately assume that you would accept my invitation."
"I didn't say that. I just have a hard time believing you, that's all." Bailey admitted.
"What can I do to convince…" before Everett could finish his question he already knew what he could do, although bold, it felt right.
Tiny Bailey stood there gripping her flowers and unsure of what to say next, already feeling like a bigger idiot for not having just said yes, like she wanted to. She looked at Everett who was staring at the ceiling while holding his jaw. Bailey kept thinking she blew it and was about to turn away and leave. Having turned just 30 degrees she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Not so fast ballerina…" Everett said smoothly.
He took the steps necessary till he was right in front of her and while holding on to her shoulders he leaned down to kiss her. Bailey's eyes widened and instantly closed as though she was swept away into a heavenly dream.
The crowd of students stared in disbelief, never imagining the sight of these two characters intertwined. But that just goes to show that love has no partiality of roles.