“Go parachuting, get my ears pierced again and well...” she laughed, “Another one that’s going to take forever.”
I didn’t want to let on that I knew what it was, so I continued the conversation.
“Why did you bother with a bucket list anyways?” I asked, “Having a mid-life crisis or something?”
“People are alive one day and then dead the next. I don’t know how or when I’m going to leave this world, but I want to be able to look back and think ‘Wow, that was fun’ or that if I could do it all again, I would.”
I looked at her with skepticism.
“You are really something, Bea. One second you’re dragging me into some ridiculous scheme and the next you go and say something mature like that.”
“I’m older than I look, Kat. And I’m older than I act.”
“Well I already had that figured out!”
She punched me playfully, making me laugh.
“You’re just as rude as your trainer, you know? And being around him so long has only made it worse!”
“Oh, relax, Bea,” I replied, “There’s only four days of practice left! After that I probably won’t ever see him again!”
I should have been elated. I should have been jumping for joy and doing a victory dance, celebrating the fact that yes, I had survived Sutton-the-supreme-jerk’s draconian training regime.
But instead I started wondering what it would feel like not getting up every morning and going to the studio, arguing with him and doing my best to show him up. Not having him point out my every minute flaw and throwing back what I thought were witty replies. Not losing myself in his endless purple-blue eyes and then being dragged harshly back to reality.
It had been maybe three months, and it felt like it had flown by in the blink of an eye.
While I was in the thick of it, it all stretched on like an eternity, and now that I was nearing the end it felt as though it had been cut short.
“Are you pining again?”
Bea’s remark pulled me out of my reverie.
“No! I’m just...thinking.”
“You know, Kat, sometimes you are too stubborn for your own good.”
As I lay in my bed, trying to sleep, I felt those words revisit me. Was I stubborn? And how, exactly?
I was too tired to figure it out, so I shut my eyes tightly and let my worries fly out of my head.
At practice the next day I was shocked to find that Sutton wasn’t criticizing me at his usual rate of 1000 times per minute. In fact, he was rather quiet and almost detached throughout the routine. I told him I was sorry I’d slapped him so hard. Not sorry that I’d slapped him, because he’d deserved it.
He had no reaction.
I then proceeded to tell him that there were flying cows dancing behind him. Still no reaction.
I mentioned offhandedly that Roy and I broke up. His eyes flitted to mine momentarily, but after that there was no reaction.
I told him I was secretly part of the Illuminati. That I was from a future dystopic world filled with drugs and death. I even said I was a guardian of the earth and that I wore a sailor outfit when I defended it.
It was only when I finally said I was going to throw a sandwich at him that a tiny crack of a smile appeared on his face, before disappearing almost instantaneously.
Let me tell you, that small show of emotion was like seeing a tiny sliver of sunlight slice through the clouds before it was swallowed up again in a veil of darkness. Okay, maybe not that dramatic but that was how it felt.
When we finally finished I walked up to him, putting my hands on my hips.
“Okay, sunshine, what happened to you?”
He looked up at me, and then back down to his book.
“Am I getting the silent treatment?” I asked shortly afterwards, “Because I don’t think I need to tell you this, but that would be really uncalled for.”
Sutton pointed at his neck, and wheezed horribly unconvincingly.
“I didn’t hear you cough once!”
“It’s a new strain.”
I walked to my bag, pulled out a sandwich and returned, holding it up threateningly.
“I’ve got ammunition and I’m not afraid to use it. Speak up.”
“I already told you what the problem is.” He replied, and I could tell right then that he wasn’t going to say anything.
I didn’t know why Bea compared me to him; she was probably more like him than I was!
“Be that way.” I said dismissively, turning and getting my things, “But your...bronchitis better not keep me from becoming the prima ballerina.”
When I went to Frisco’s it was no surprise that Roy didn’t show up. Miranda asked me if I wanted some time off but I said no. I was already reserving my sick day for the auditions.