“Don’t you dare touch me,” screamed Angelika in Spanish as she barged through the gymnasium door. Her long, silky, blonde hair swirling as she ran down the school entrance steps.
“Then stop running away from me,” said Mateo letting go of her shoulder. “I need to talk to you.”
“I’ll miss my bus.”
“Then catch the next one; this is important.”
Angelika stopped and glared at him, breathing hard, “what do you want?”
“I don’t like the way you treat me.”
“We’re dancing partners, not lovers.”
“So, when you thrust your hips against my thigh, it means nothing to you.”
“We were dancing asshole; we’re supposed to move sensuously.”
“Then I’m sorry, I must have misread your signals.”
“Not for the first time. What else can I do to make you understand? We dance and that’s it.”
“I don’t turn you on at all?”
“For dancing, yes,” she said, her pretty face softening. “But nothing else.”
“Don’t you like boys or something?”
“Typical macho. I’m automatically a lesbian because I don’t fancy you.”
“That’s not what I meant,” said Mateo raising his voice.
“Then say what you want, damn it.”
“Can’t we be more than just dance partners?”
Angelika stood her ground, gazing into the light-brown eyes of the tall, handsome, dark-haired teenager but she refused to be another notch on his bedpost. Half of her was tempted, but all the girls were after him and he was constantly overheard bragging about his conquests to his mates.
She shook her head, stroked his muscular arm and said, “Look, Mateo, I love dancing with you. We’re not bad together and stand a great chance of winning the school talent contest. So, can we please continue as dance partners and just that?”
Mateo grasped her hand with his and gazed into her ice-blue eyes and said, “I want more than that.”
Angelika looked at him thoughtfully and said, “if you stop behaving like a stud and learn some discretion, then maybe, but I’m not promising.” She pecked him on the cheek, adjusted her backpack and skipped out of the school gate in the direction of the Málaga bus stop.
She made her way along the deserted citrus tree-lined pavement in the fading evening breeze. Tiny, delicately-scented white petals fluttered on the slabs in front of her. She glanced over her shoulder, but Mateo had disappeared.
Angelika checked her phone. It was just after eight and there was a message from her Mom.
Fish tonight.Let me know when you’re on your way. I don’t want to put it in the oven too early.
Angelika began to tap in her reply. Her loose skirt billowing upwards revealing long, shapely, and deeply tanned legs. Preoccupied with the message, she failed to register that a plain white van had pulled up beside her, its sliding side door open, and the engine running.
Angelika continued to type; totally focused on the reply to her mother.
A man in black clothing, his face covered by a dark scarf, jumped out of the van with a large red patterned shawl held tightly between his outstretched arms. He threw himself at Angelika, wrapped her head and shoulders in the shawl, jammed his hand over her mouth, and then lifted her up as if she were a feather. Even though her legs were flailing madly, he bundled her easily into the back of the van, shut the door and banged on the partition between him and the driver. The vehicle sped off into the twilight.
Angelika’s phone lay on the pavement, blocking the flight of several petals. The screen had cracked with the impact.