Control the Beat

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7 | Fair and Square

“Wake up sometime today May!” I heard a voice call out. It started giggling. “Hey, that rhymed. I’m a poet and I don’t even know it.”

I groaned. “Go away.” I tugged the duvet over my head, and shut my eyes again, trying to shut out the annoying voice.

“Nuh uh.” It sang. “You have to get up and get ready for your classes.”

“I hate maths.” I muttered, not entirely sure of what I was saying.

“Not those classes, stupid. Now get up!”

My duvet was ripped out of my grip and thrown on the floor. “Hey!” I shouted angrily.

“Tada!” The girl cried, “That ladies and gents, is how you wake up a May Riley.”

I glared at Shannon Keys, who was staring down at me, with a wide grin on her face.

“Wake up, rise and shine! The winter’s gone and the weathers f-” She started to sing.

I threw a pillow at her, hitting her straight in the face. “Rise and shine that doll face!” I snapped.

She narrowed her eyes. “It’s your first day. Get your ass up roomie.”

“What time is it?” I grumbled.

“Nine.”

Sighing, I pushed myself out of my comfortable state and crossed the room to my wardrobe.

Shannon sat on her bed, eating a bar of chocolate, waiting on me.

“Isn’t it too early for chocolate?” I mused, as I looked through my clothes which were in the wardrobe I was forced to share.

Luckily it was a big one. As a fashion designer’s daughter, I had a lot of clothes. Shannon who seemed to be in the barbie clique, also had lots of clothes.

“It’s camp. You can do whatever you want, and your parents can never criticize you for it.” She replied, taking another bite.

“Don’t we have a Queen B for that?” I joked.

Shannon laughed at that. “I am not afraid of Jessica Calls.” She replied, “Jessica and I have been friends since we were five. She was always-“

“A bitch?”

“-Influential. Even when she was a kid. I guess it’s in her blood.”

“Why, what are her parents like?”

“Her father’s the mayor of our town.”

I nodded, as I pulled out a pair of jeans and studied them. “You don’t seem like a person who would be friends with her.”

“She isn’t so bad, when you get to know her. Oh you should wear something comfortable, you have dance class today”

I pursed my lips, looking at a few of my tops. I grabbed a black slide shoulder t-shirt with a green Starbucks symbol on it, a pair of strong elastic leggings and my mint runners.

“Do we have to dance?” I asked anxiously.

“Can’t dance?”

“Something like that.”

“You don’t have to dance, as long as you aren’t challenged. So just try and keep quiet.”

I pouted. “Quiet?”

“Yes. I know that may be a foreign concept to you, but just try, okay?” She smirked.

I rolled my eyes, “Just turn around and let me get changed.”

Once I was dressed, I threw my hair up into a ponytail, and washed my teeth. I may have stolen some of Shannon’s toothpaste.

Don’t look at me like that, my toothpaste tasted disgusting, and Shannon’s was that nice, tasty toothpaste. It’s not like I used her toothbrush.

I checked that my guitar was safely in the corner, and swiped away some dust.

I followed Shannon out of our cabin. I was bouncing up and down with excitement. “So what’s first?”

“Food, and then we have dancing class. I can bring you there after, or one of your friends can. I don’t mind.”

“Are you not one of my friends?”

“If you want to be.”

I rolled my eyes at her. “You don’t have to pass a test to become my friend, you know?”

Shannon chuckled, as she tucked her short hair behind her ear. “If you say so…Wait! Did you use my toothpaste!”

“No…”

“I can smell it!” She gasped.

We arrived at the dining area, I bid goodbye to Shannon and went to join the ‘badass’ table.

Lame. I know.

I watched as Shannon went over to her table, and sat down beside a livid Jessica. She glared at me, before turning to Shannon and most likely demanding to know why she entered with the tramp.

I let out a snort of laughter, before turning around to greet my friends.

“S’up!” I grinned.

No one replied. I furrowed my eyebrows, “Okay…”

Max smiled slyly at me. “Hey May…”

I pointed at him. “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?” He asked innocently.

“Smile like that.”

His smile grew wider.

“Oh my god. Just tell me what’s going on. ” I cried out, beginning to get quite irritated.

“Lets just say, you’ve already set quite an example on someone.” He winked.

Josh groaned and buried his face in his hands, blushing fiercely.

I opened my mouth, trying to say something, but I decided against it and helped myself to some bacon and eggs.

Josh has a crush on me? Damn I’m doing good. I thought

No one spoke after that, everyone who was surrounding the table, seemed amused. Shane was chuckling quietly to himself like a freak, while Josh stayed quiet.

“So…” I drawled. “What exactly happens here? You know, with the classes and stuff?”

Josh smiled slightly, pleased with the change of topic. Shane merely looked amused.

“It’s a bit like school to be honest. There’s three groups of classes. I have your timetable here actually.” He hands over a sheet of paper. “So from Monday to Thursday you have three classes a day. Friday is bonding day, Saturday is concert day, and Sunday is your time to relax.”

I smiled slightly. My stomach performed little somersaults of excitement. I knew it was going to be a great summer.

“Come on May.” Shane announced. “We’ve dancing.”

I mentally groaned, as I hopped out of my seat, and bounded after Shane. “So like, is dancing compulsory?”

“Well no. But if you’re challenged, and you turn it down. You’ll look like a scared-y cat.” Shane replied, with a shrug.

I pursed my lips. “Great.”

We walked down a winding path until we reached a wide square shaped clearing. The place was covered in a soft kind of mat. Which was surrounded by long wooden benches and trees.

People began to file into the clearing until there was at least fifteen of us altogether. Everyone was chattering loudly.

“Okay. Okay!” A woman called out. “Calm down everyone, I know you all excited but seriously!”

A sudden hush fell over the crowd. “For you who don’t know. My name is Mary. I am your dance teacher.”

I leaned against Shane, silently wishing for the class to be over already.

“Any questions?”

Wait, what? I thought. I had totally blanked out. What did she say? God… I really need to learn to pay attention.

“What did she say?” I whispered to Shane. Shane chuckled, and tutted mockingly at me. I flipped him off and decided to take Shannon’s advice.

Quiet.

Quiet.

“I really don’t understand why I am even doing this class.” I heard Jessica’s obnoxious voice call out. “They told me to do it again, even though I am obviously the best.”

Quiet May.

Stay quiet.

“Like, seriously? I am so out of your leagues. Like no offence.”

Staying quiet.

“Mary, do I have to like stay at their level? Or do I just dance on ahead, because seriously. Compared to me? They stink.”

Fuck being quiet.

“Bow down to her, peasants.” I muttered, louder than I had been planning.

Shane let out a snort of laughter, which was followed by chuckles throughout the crowd of people. Josh had his hand over his mouth, stopping himself from laughing, Shannon giggled, while even Mary was biting her lip to stop herself from chuckling.

Jessica flushed a deep red.

“What did you say?” She snarled.

I sighed. “Round two, ding ding ding.”

Josh began spluttering with laughter. Not able to contain it.

I turned to him, with a raised eyebrow. “Well that was attractive.”

“Oh, so you think you’re funny?” Jessica practically growled.

I pointed to the people around me. “They do, I think. Except him, but he’s like your minion, so he doesn’t count.”

The random angry dude beside Jessica, scowled at me.

Jessica smiled. “Fine then. Mary? I’d like to start the first dance battle. I challenge her to be in it.”

Shane stiffened beside me.

“Em… A what now?” I asked.

Mary sighed. “A dance battle. An even group of people dance against each other. It can be one on one. Two on two. Or five people against each other. Something like that. The first one to run out of moves lose. The first person to fall behind lose. If one person dances without interruption for longer than a minute, they win.”

Jessica grinned.

“Who else is in?” Mary called out.

I stepped forward, my heart was pumping. “May, wait.” Shane pulled me back. “I was only messing about the pussy thing, you don’t have to dance.”

I glanced over at the smug Jessica.

“Yes I do.” I replied. “I ain’t going to let Queen W win every time.”

“Queen W?”

“Well.. I decided to change it. Because I like bee’s, they make honey and stuff. So I decided to change bitch to witch, and bee to wasp.”

Shane shakes his head in amusement. “Go kick her ass.”

I bowed mockingly, before turning to Jessica.

I bit my lip. I hadn’t danced in so long.

Music began playing, and I recognized it from fast and furious. Everyone formed a circle around Jessica, as she began to dance. She was wearing a tight skirt, that showed a little too much whenever she did a drop. But she was good. I admitted that.

The guys were hooting and laughing.

Shannon jumped in, taking over from Jessica. I laughed and cheered along with the crowd, as Shannon danced. She wasn’t as erotic as Jessica, yet she made her dance completely amazing.

The music changed into a faster beat, as two girls entered the ring. One tried to twerk, which I mentally face palmed. She couldn’t have been serious?

I watched as the girls danced together, laughing. Jessica entered once again, causing cheers.

She winked mockingly at me, as she spun around in a circle.

The music changed again and I took my chance.

I stepped into the ring. I could hear the cheers around me as I breathed in. I kept my eyes on my mint green shoes, and began to dance to the rhythm. I shuffled my feet, and performed different moves I had learn’t when I was fourteen. They may have been out of date, but they were all I had.

I looked up to see Jessica enter again. She was pale, and angry as usual.

She began dancing faster. Coaxing me. She ended her dance with the splits.

I winced. That had to hurt. I hated doing splits.

I began to dance again, and Shannon came in and joined me, grinning.

The crowd started singing.

“Shots! Shots! Shots, Shots, shots! Shots, shots, shots, Everybody! Shots, shot, shots-“

I laughed and danced with the beat of their voices.

Jessica joined in, looking flustered, as she tried to keep up with the beat.

I danced up closer to her, smirking. She was so easy to tease. I clapped my hands, as I danced, and the crowd joined in.

It had to be longer than a minute.

I took a deep breath, and jumped into the air, tucking my legs in closer to my stomach. Finishing my performance with a somersault.

I looked up from my crouched position, to see Jessica staring at me with utter surprise. The crowd surrounding us was going wild. I winked at her and began to laugh.

“Damn girl!” I heard Cassie cry out.

Josh enveloped me in a hug. “You freaking killed her!”

I just smiled.

“Shannon said you couldn’t dance.” Jessica cried. I looked up at her. She looked a mess. Her usually neat hair, was sticking up everywhere, and her face was red and flustered.

“I said she didn’t want to dance.” Shannon corrected.

“It’s okay Jessica.” I cooed, “It was only one dance. I’m sure we can all be peasants again next time.”

Laughter rang through the dance square.

“I had an off day, Riley.” Jessica hissed. “I can dance circles around you any day.”

“That’s okay. I prefer to dance in squares anyway.” I replied lightly.

“Enough.” Mary interrupted. “We have our winner. May Riley. I don’t want any more arguments, you hear Jessica? She won fair and square.”

I let out a laugh, and Mary frowned, realizing the joke. “Pun not intended. Okay, that’s it for today. Clear off.”

I ran over to Shane, who wrapped his arm around my shoulder. “I was actually worried.”

I gasped dramatically. “You underestimated me? Dude, you have to stop doing that.”

He rolled his eyes, “I’ll try.”

We walked back to the dining area, hoping to get a drink of water. Max comes bounding over to us.

“Dude! Guess what!” He cried at me.

“What?” I drawled lazily.

“They picked out your code name!”

“Code name?”

“Yeah, like mines TA.”

“What is it?” Shane pressed.

“Rebel.”

I stared at him blankly. “Rebel?”

“Yeah, like you’re rebelling against the leadership.”

“Oh…” I contemplated my new name. “I like it.”

“Good. Because I’ve been dying to do this.”

“Do what?”

Max jumped onto a table, his eyes wide with excitement.

“Is he drunk?” I asked Shane.

“Possibly.” Shane shrugged, with a smirk.

Max waved his arms around like some kind of possessed bird, trying to get everyone’s attention.

“Guys! Guys!” He shouted.

Shane sighs, and put his fingers to his mouth, and whistled.

Loudly.

“Eh, ow!” I snapped at him, rubbing my ear. “You could at least give a girl a warning.”

“Okay! So, I would like you all welcome our new member to the camp, and to our table. Guys. Give it up for May Riley, Camp Step Up The Beat’s very own…” He paused dramatically.

“Rebel!”

People began cheering, and wolf whistling. I saw Jessica approaching the dining area, looking as if she had just ate a turnip.

“How long have you been practicing the speech?” I asked Max, with a smirk.

“A while…”

I chuckled, and hugged him. “You’re such a weirdo, worse than me, which is like, on the same level as rainbow colored dogs eating unicorn poop.”

Max raised his eyebrow for a second. “Cool!” He gushed.

Josh walked over, shaking his head at Shane in bewilderment. “I don’t even want to know.” He sighed.

I laughed, and took a gulp out of Shane’s water.

“Oh yeah, help yourself.” Shane said, sarcastically.

“I don’t need to be told twice.” I replied, downing the rest of the water, and putting the cup back into his hand. “Thanks pet.”

Shane muttered a few curses under his breath, but I ignored him and ruffled his hair. “Oh it’s okay Shaney!”

Josh laughed, “Come on. Singing class. You should go fetch your guitar.”

I looked around at the crowd of people, anxiously. “It’s just an accident waiting to happen!” I whined.

“Oh go get it!” Josh ordered.

“Fine! But if something happens to him, I will hold you responsible. Oh and you will regret it. You will regret it big time buddy buddy!”

“Are you gone yet?” He replied, blankly.

I flicked him my bird, before walking off to my cabin grumbling to myself.

People patted me on the back, and congratulated me.

Like… “Good Job rebel!”

“You go May!”

“Rebel for the win.”

Yes, things as odd as that were said to me. I had never been congratulated before.

I had to get used to being popular. All those people knowing my name?

Well… Knowing my name and liking me.

Most of the time people knew my name and hated me.

I shrugged happily to myself. as I remembered what had happened earlier on. I skipped off to my cabin, singing to myself.

Queen W had just made my day.


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