“Well.” he said and grinned.
“What?” I asked.
“It’s interesting the way things are playing out.” his grin shrank, like he was happy and sad at the same time.
“How are things playing out?” I asked, trying to ignore the expression change. I really hoped that look didn’t mean he was regretting dancing with me.
“I’ll have to get back to you on that.” he said and stopped dancing. The music had stopped and people were already getting ready to leave.
“When will you tell me?” I asked. He didn’t answer, but instead took my hand and rubbed it softly before letting go and getting his things. As soon as he let go of me I felt dizzy, like he’d been keeping me upright. I stumbled over to the bleachers and grabbed my purse and backpack.
Sue and I walked out to the parking lot and saw Connelly and Ivan heading towards a shiny red Ferrari that was parked next to my Xterra. I hurried over to my car before he drove off.
“When will you tell me?” I asked again.
“Ladies.” he said, and tipped his hat, smiling temptingly. I stood there, rooted to the spot as I watched him drive swiftly away.
“Did you have fun?” Sue asked when I finally got in the car.
“It was amazing Sue. It was like we were the only ones in the whole room. He’s such a smooth talker and so calm. His voice is so deep and sweet, but with an edge to it. He’s got such a good sense of humor, even though I don’t know what he’s laughing at half the time, but still and he’s so charming.” I let everything out.
“Kota you’re gushing.” said Sue. I looked at her and she seemed just as happy as me. I didn’t understand what I was feeling, but whatever it was I didn’t want it to go away. I felt so energized and pumped and I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t sit down when I got home. So, instead I did the dishes, cleaned my room with my music blaring, cooked dinner, watched a funny movie while I ate, and picked out what I was going to where the next day.
Sue, Kati, and I were going to the mall and all kinds of shops the next day to get Katie stuff for her dorm room. She was leaving on Sunday for “Law school”. And by the time it was dark outside I was bushed from everything that had happened that day, burying my face in my pillow. I fell asleep to the mysterious dancing figure that was my dancer. Connelly.
Seven o’clock rolled around the next morning and I readied myself for the big day ahead. It didn’t take that long to get to Brookstock, but since we had planned to do a lot in one day we wanted an early start so that didn’t give me the chance to get ready at my own pace. But I was done by seven forty-five, not having to go too fast since the mall didn’t open until nine, and was in moms’ vans’ back seat waiting for the others.
They arrived a few minutes later, Kati sliding behind the wheel and taking off after Sue slid in beside me. “Are we ready for today?” Kati asked happily and smiled at us from the rear view mirror. Sue and I nodded and smiled back.
“So, where exactly are we going again?” I asked, looking at her.
“Well, we’ll go to the mall first and then we’ll probably just drive around and go in any store that seems interesting.” Katie replied. I nodded and then it was quiet for a while after that, during which Sue and I looked around the van.
Unlike my Xterra where we had all of our teenager-y stuff, the van had nothing. Ever since I had gotten my car, the van had hardly been used except for my mom’s work. Well, actually ever since I got my license; I wouldn’t be caught dead driving the van so I had used my dad’s Fusion instead.
The van was green on the outside and gray on the inside. I was rummaging under our seats and in the pockets of the seats in front of us. I knew I had some magazines left over from years ago when I still rode in here.
“So, any places you’ve got in mind?” asked Kati, trying to keep conversation going.
“Well, I don’t really have any money. I’m saving up to buy a car.” said Sue.
“Oh, don’t worry. I’ll buy you something.” I said, pulling some magazines out from under my seat. They were ages old, but they would do. I handed one to Sue and we started looking through them. Who said history wasn’t good for you?
“How about you Kota?” asked Kati.
“Oh, I don’t know. I’m sure the mall will hold my interest well enough.” I said, eyeing a picture of a “new” band I’d kept up with ever since their beginning. They were only smooth faced teenagers in this picture, where as in their last album they were all raggedly sexy rock stars.
After that, Kati gave up trying to converse with us and turned on the radio. I didn’t mean to be rude or non-cooperative, but it was just too awkward and we didn’t have anything to talk about.
When we got to the city we pulled straight into the mall, which had decided to open early, so we all hurried inside and ventured into the first store we saw. We knew we could look around for ourselves, but we knew we were allowed to come along only to help Kati with her shopping. So that’s what we did, follow Kati around and hold anything she decided to buy, turning into shopping bags we had to carry while Kati walked ahead freely.
And that’s basically how it was the entire day, Sue and I struggling to stand upright with all the bags we were having to carry and more than once we had to hurry out to the van, throw in all the bags we’d accumulated so far, and then hurry back in before Kati finished shopping in another store. (And I was serious when I said we threw the bags in the van. She was having us carry rugs, bed spread sets, a mini fridge, and a gigantic floor lamp while she carried her purse!)
And once we were inside again it didn’t take Kati long to load us down again like her personal pack mules. “Not to be rude, but I’m never coming shopping with you and your sister again.” Sue whispered as we left another store, both of us carrying so many bags we were dragging them on the floor behind us.
“Neither am I.” I said through gritted teeth, glaring loathingly towards Kati, who was already half way down the hall. I sighed in irritation as I trudged along until I saw something staring at me through a store window that erased all my anger. It was a hat, and I absolutely had to have it. Though I’m ashamed to admit I wanted it so bad because it was a black fedora with pin stripes. It looked like Connelly’s.