Forever and a Moment

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A Dancer in the Sky

I hadn’t finished my design by the time I dozed off. Well, I must have, as I didn’t remember putting the book down, and I didn’t remember falling asleep either. I was having a dream: I was in the drawing with my friends, river gushing, springs bubbling and colossal shadows cowering at our feet, tuskan sunlight spilling onto our backs. It was beautiful. The sky was filled with fluffy, soft clouds, all perfect antique white, and beyond that a dazzling blue sky. We were standing upon meadows of gorgeous flowers, all lit with colour: purples, azures, golds, yellows and pinks. I could only imagine this to be my heaven…

Buz…

It came again.

Buz…

At first I thought it might be some sort of bee or wasp, coming to pester me. But no, it was my phone. I was completely awake now. In my bed, not the dream. Someone was calling me. It was an unknown number. Probably a prank caller, I thought. But then I realised that it was still the dead of night; stars hung up in the sky like candles on a cake against a velvet cloth. Though the air outside was misty, and the houses in the street were a blur, I still couldn’t resist the beauty of those stars.

I turned back to my phone, still ringing away, until it turned over to voicemail. I was curious, but also disturbed and terrified in equal measures. I clicked on the dial buttons, trembling fingers all quaking in turn. The voice message began to play.

“Look outside. I am here.”

At first, I almost screamed. I thought it would be like one of those scary movies where there’s a person outside of your window, nose pressed against the glass. But that couldn’t be right, because my curtain was open and there was no one there. That calmed my nerves a little. But now, I could just about make out a faint glow in the dark sky. It was faint at a glance, but as I stepped closer, I saw a spinning disc, taking all shapes and sizes you could think of. At one point you could have mistaken it for a star. At another, it would have seemed like a bird. I gazed longingly at it’s beauty and grace, hands clutching the windowsill, and blonde, unruly hair flowing out of the window in the cooling night air. My eyes reflected what little light

there was from the street lamps as I gazed out at the mysterious dancer. Surely no one would believe me if I told them about this - especially Miley, who already thought I was losing the plot after the whispering incident - and that this would have to remain a secret.

Now, I am not good at keeping secrets.

I always have a sudden urge to spill things by mistake: like Phoebe knowing what Miley was getting her for Christamas three months early, or saying to the teacher by accident that Phoebe stole my notes in class when she was late. So generally, people don’t trust me to keep their secrets. I arrived at school, curious to see how the new uniform looked on me. Miley had always said before but blue really was my colour. When I looked in the mirror, I saw eyes like the colour of the blue orchids my mum was holding in her wedding photo, but that was a long time before I was even born. Miley smiled as I ran over to greet her. Phoebe and Caleb were with her too, but deeply involved in what must have been a hilarious conversation, hence Phoebe’s girly giggle.

I twirled around as I neared Miley, surveying the new, blue uniform from all angles,

“Cool new uniform, isn’t it?” I grinned, approvingly. The outfit consisted of a thin, navy blue skirt which came down just above the knees, lined with silver thread nearest the bottom of it. The socks were lengthy; paper-white with two teal stripes running down the back, and the black-buttoned shirt was hinted with the very slightest light blue pigment running over it. To complete the look, the school had supplied some half-inch heeled boots in black that came up a few centimetres above the ankle. Miley winked, and looked over her shoulder at Phoebe and Caleb, shadows streaming behind them against the sallow morning sun.

“They connect really well, don’t they? They’re like soulmates,” Miley laughed.

“Yeh. The amount of giggling Phoebe’s done around him could last her a month!” I replied. Miley looked confused for a moment.

“Anyway…” she trailed off.

We stood there in silence for a second, and then I called to Phoebe, “So what’s our first lesson today?”

Phoebe turned reluctantly, trying to bury her disappointment with a smile. She was obviously irritated, as her cheeks were red and her eyes were blaring. “Oh, umm…” she fumbled through her backpack to find her timetable.

“Really? We’re doing that again? Following each other for lessons?” Miley stamped her foot. She was undoubtedly afraid of getting told off by a teacher, as all solid A+ students are.

“Don’t worry! I thought you liked hanging out with us! Would you rather spend time with us or go to some boring lessons?” I requested. This was a tough question, even for me. Some would call it unfair. Miley thought long and hard about this. For an instant I thought she might actually choose lessons over us, until finally she let out some words.

“Hanging out with you but we have to be careful! I’m not doing this again.” she said, stamping her other foot to add emphasis. I cheered.

“Got it!” Phoebe cried triumphantly, straightening out her muddied up skirt, “Today, it’s...Gymnastics!”

“Oh no! I completely forgot to practise!” Miley trembled, “How am I supposed to make the team?”

For this I had no helpful tips of advice. I felt bad for Miley: this had been her dream since pre-school.

Together in icy silence, we walked down the blue corridor towards the heavy, oak door. Since Caleb’s arrival, many of the vending machines had been either repaired or replaced by the new head teacher, and some of the walls were in the process of being repainted so everything wasn’t pink. In time, we found the door, and stepped inside. I felt pretty confident in making the team, because I had done some practise at break and lunch when we had a bit of free time. I had found it was easiest to land the flip on my heels, and the rest just came with practice. Instead of having several mats out for everyone to perform on, there was simply only one large mat placed in the very centre of the great hall, which made it extremely important looking.

The coach was not a particularly bright one. When he did anything to do with teams, competitions or rehearsals, it all had to be done in a weird way. He will call your name, you will perform, and then he will decide whether you are or aren’t on the team. If they fill up the spaces, and you have a surname that begins with a letter further back in the alphabet, your chances are blown. You do not have to understand all this: all you need to know is that if the spaces are filled, and you’re not already on the team, you do not get to be on it. There are only five people who get to be on the team. Unfortunately for Miley, her surname is Wenlit.

The coach began calling out names from the list of pupils. If me and Miley both wanted to be on the team, all the people at the beginning of the auditions had to be unqualified. Luck wasn’t on our side. We already had three people on the team, and Angelica was next so she was sure to make four. 1 space left. Only one of us could get on the team. It was me next. Should I make a sacrifice for the slim chance of Miley’s victory? Or smash my move to crush Angelica? I didn’t want to betray Miley, but-

“Well done! You’re on the team! There will be no more auditions.” shouted the coach. An eruption of cheers broke out around me. I did it! I pulled off the stunt! I looked at Angelica and almost cried with laughter. She was staring wide-eyed, mouth swung open at me as if she’d just seen a squid playing ping pong. Suddenly, she smiled. Not sneering but as if she was up to something yet trying to hide it. Then she walked over to me calmly and slung her arm over my shoulder as if we’d been BFFs for years.

“Here she is! My best friend! She bellowed, still smiling that smile. Best friend? Was this a joke? Or was she really accepting me? I looked over at Phoebe and Miley, but they were both stunned - especially Miley who was teary-eyed. I felt really guilty now. I had just stolen Miley’s place on the team, and I had just realised I was smiling as Angelica treated me like an equal.
Miley turned away from me with her face in her hands. I ran over, but she just sprinted away from me as if I were a deadly virus. I felt horrible.
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