My alarm rings booms out for the 4th time and I snoozed it, rolling back to sleep. Everywhere was quiet for a split second.
Then, the realization hit me,
"Fuck." I cursed, jolting awake and off the bed. I'm late! I ran into the bathroom and had the quickest shower in history,
I stormed out, threw on the nearest dress I could find, slid into my flats, and grabbed my bag, making it down the stairs to the kitchen where my flatmate June was sipping a glass of scotch and a cigar.
"It's barely 9 A. M, June! I scolded her with a sigh and grabbed an apple from the fridge.
"Aren't you supposed to be at work, Mother Teresa?" She snarls.
“Someone’s in a mood.” Ugh! I will deal with this later.
"Bye.." I yelled, rushing out of the door.
I slid into the car.
The long traffic made it difficult to drive fast, but I somehow got to work 10 minutes late. I can't believe I'm late on my first day of work. Remind me never to take another night out again.
I drove into the underground parking lot and parked, before dragging my bag and climbing out of the car,
I took in a deep breath, and made it to the elevator on the other side of the parking lot,
I stepped in and the elevator jingled open; I reached out to the pad and pressed the button that led to the main floor, and as the door closed. I turned to the gigantic mirror on the wall and tried to fix myself. I was a mess.
The elevator jingled to the top floor, and I turned myself around and walked out into the main hall. Let's not even get started on how enormous this place, plus the elegance and prestige, it's all making me very nervous and excited.
Trust me it is so much better than it sounds.
I was giving myself a tour around the place when I ran into someone, it's a man in a colorful suit and he's holding a clipboard with names on it.
“You look happy, you can't be from here?” he pointed out,
“The name is Zoe, I just came in today..” I took out my letter, and showed him, “See, I got in... I'm going to be teaching.”
“Oh honey, you too.” He gave me this look, a pity look. Wait, this better not be a scam, have I been scammed?
“It’s not a scam, is it?”
“No, it's real, relax. .. Come with me.” He grabbed me by the arm and pulled me into a classroom. “Um, look, I'm going, to be very honest with you, this place is awful.”
“What, it's Hillview academy.”
“Yeah, I mean the people here are awful, this place is not all candies and flowers like they make you believe, it's a sham.”
“Okay, why are you telling me all this?”
“You're not being hired to teach, they just say that to lure prey like yourself, and then they leave people like me to explain. .. Anyway, You’re being hired as an assistant...” He looks through his clipboard and pauses, “In your unfortunate case, you'll be serving Julia Graham.”
My eyes widened,
“Wait, the Julia Graham! the most iconic dancer in history. I mean I knew she was here, but it never occurred to me that I could run into her, even by mistake. she's amazing, literally.”
“Yeah, they all are, wait till you meet her behind the scenes, she's a charm... I wouldn't be wearing that if I were you, she’s allergic to cotton and anything blue, green, or yellow, which is everything you are.”
I let out a tripled laugh, “Is this your way of scaring me? Because it's working, I'm scared, you win.”
“Hun, I'm not trying to scare you, just be a good sportsman and get you prepared.”
“Thanks, but I'm good... I-I mean, how bad can it be, It's Julia Graham, she's like the sweetest person--”
“Wow, you're not from around here, are you?”
“No, I just moved here from Salt City?”
“Oh bunny, they are gonna chew you up.” He muttered and threw in a cringed smile.
Just then a student walked in,
“Alright, this is Graham's class, get the students ready, good luck, and if you need anything, don't call me.” He says and leaves before I could get a name.
I turned to the student stretching at the corner. She was doing the attitude stretch. She had the basics, but the technique was all wrong.
“You're sinking in your port de bras. You need to sternum up, and drop your hip a little lower.” I injected
“Port de what, bras?” She's confused, it must be her first day.
I reach in and demonstrated,
“Port De bras, that means, raise your arms to the medium length and your hips up to your ears. You need to be over your supporting leg, drop your hip, lift...”
She obeys me,
“That's it.. you got it.”
She stops abruptly,
“I... I knew that.”
“Of course, you do, I was just reminding you... Is this your first day?”
“Me too... I mean, I just started teaching here.” I was so excited, “This used to be my dream school..”
The door opens again and a bunch of students begin to fall in, they are all thin, both boys and girls.
“Gabby, over here!”
“I should go stand with my friends.” The girl quickly leaves.
I took a moment before reaching to address the class, “Alright, everyone, let's get started... Facing the barre in sixth.”
“Wait, who the hell are you?” One of the students exclaimed, “Where’s Mrs. Graham?”
“I’m Zoe Dolson, I'm the new teacher.” I introduced myself,
“Mrs. Graham never mentioned anything about changing teachers, do you even know what you're doing? How many nationals have you trained, I bet none.”
“What’s your name?”
“Okay, Sam, I understand your point. I'm not here to take Mrs. Graham’s place, I wouldn't even dare to take her place. I'm just here to help Mrs. Graham with her class.. ..Now that's out of the way, let's get started, “Barre in sixth, pressing over to three-quarter pointe plié. Right, left. Rolling through the feet, and reverse. Rise, test your balance, open the first. Repeat in second and finish with a four-count side bend, right, left, and a nice, full rond de corps--”
I turned around to turn on some music when I noticed Mrs. Graham watching from outside the glass. .. I froze, and almost screamed at the sight. It's Julia Graham, I have always wanted to meet her, she's incredible and even more beautiful in person...I don't know, what's better watching her or watching her watching me.
She rolled eyes with a sigh and made her way in,
“Mrs. Graham, I'm--”
She waves me off with her hands, “I’ll take it from here, you can wait outside.” She points at the door.
“No, My name is Zoe Dolson, I'm your new class assistant--”
“Your name is of no use to me? You are my assistant, and that's all you are. You dress, act, and disappear when I say the word. Now, go stand outside and wait for my next order, or you can quit, I don't care anymore... You're all the same.” Without another word, she turned around to address the students holding their laughs. “Ladies, Let us begin. ..Pique into fifth, straight from the attitude, no hesitation.”
I straightened up and left, I didn't wait outside, I didn't care what would happen. I just left, the utter humiliation and disappointment I felt were just unimaginable.