Rolling over, I turn off my alarm. It’s been three weeks since my parents died. They died on my birthday. My birthday! I turned seventeen and they died. They were supposed to meet me at my favorite restaurant, but it was raining so hard that they hydroplaned and wrecked. They both died on impact with a cement barrier.
Picking up my phone, I glance at the time. 9:01. I have an interview at a dance studio at 10:15. I love dancing. If I didn’t have dancing, I don’t know how I would make it through life. I hope to be a professional dancer one day. My favorite dancing is ballet, but I can dance hip hop and jazz.
As I roll out of bed, I stretch my body. If I can get into this dance studio, I can teach dance which would look well on my job applications and college applications. I’m hoping to try and get into a good dance school after high school. I’m about to start my senior year, so working at a dance studio would be a good job to have after school and on the weekends.
Walking over to my bathroom, I step up to the sink and grab my toothbrush. I took a shower last night, so I don’t need one this morning. I brush my teeth and when I’m done, I run my hands through my long black hair. My brown eyes stare back at me.
Sighing, I walk out of the bathroom and over to my closet. I dig around until I find a pair of my dancing shorts and a tank top. I pull the shorts on and throw on a pair of sweat pants to go over the shorts because they’re really short. Quickly, I twist my hair up into a bun, but I don’t bother to put makeup on.
Looking over my outfit, I nod. I grab my purse and my keys, walking out of my room. As I pass through the living room, I glance at the clock to see that it’s 9:48. I grab an apple from the kitchen and head out to my car. Before I leave, I make sure to lock the door.
I hop in my car, crank it, and pull out of my driveway. The dance studio is about ten minutes away, but I don’t want to be late. I drive through the last green light and turn left into the parking lot. The lot is empty, other than one SUV- it must belong to the woman I’m meeting.
Parking, I turn off my car and climb out. I sling my purse over my shoulder and lock my car while walking up to the building’s doors. Pulling the door open, I slowly step inside. “Hello?” I call out. I walk further into the building and call out again, “I’m here for the dance audition!”
“Oh, you’re early,” a woman says, making me turn around. I come face to face with a tall, beautiful Hispanic woman. She has dark brown hair and brown eyes. She smiles and walks towards me, “My name is Valentina Cruz; you may call me Madame Valentina. Are you ready to dance?” She asks. I nod and she motions for me to follow her. She leads me into a room full of mirrors and dance equipment. A ballet bar is on the far wall, and there is a pole in the far left hand corner.
“My name is Isla Dawson,” I tell her.
“Okay, I want to see what you can do,” she says, sitting in the only chair in the room. Nodding, I pull off my shoes and slip my sweats off. Slowly, I move to the middle of the floor. I set my phone on the floor and press play to my dancing playlist.
I start by swaying my hips, moving to the beat of the song. I spin around, going on pointe. I glance at the ballet bar and move over to it, holding on and spinning, grabbing onto the bar as I spin.
Madame Valentina watches and folds her hands in her lap. I go down into a split before lifting myself up with my arms, flipping upside down, and falling into a cartwheel. I do a few jumps and more spins before posing at the end of the song. Madame Valentina claps and I take a few deep breaths.
“Can you use the pole?” Madame Valentina questions, pointing to the dancing pole. I shrug, walking over to it, “I’ve never danced on a pole before. I mainly do ballet, hip hop, and jazz,” I tell her. She nods and stands from her seat. I grip the pole with both hands and slowly spin around it.
“Well, I think you have exactly what I need,” she says, smiling brightly. I move back over to where Madame Valentina stands and shake her hand, “Thank you so much! You don’t know how much this means to me. My parents died three weeks ago and I’m all on my own, so having a job is going to help so much,” I tell her.
Her brown eyes widen, “Oh my, I’m sorry about your parents.” Nodding, I blink back tears.
“Would you like me to walk you to your car?” Madame Valentina asks. I gather my clothes, my bag, and my clothes. Madame Valentina waits until I get my things to start walking towards the door.
When we get outside, she locks the doors. “Oh, I have something my SUV for you to sign before you start working,” she tells me, walking towards the vehicle. I follow her and she pulls the back door open.
A man jumps at me, causing me to scream. “Don’t hurt her!” Madame Valentina shouts as my body slams into the ground. I groan in pain as the man picks me up off the ground. I wiggle in his hold and scream again. A hand covers my mouth, muffling my scream.
“Get her in the back and tie her hands behind her back,” Madame Valentina orders, pointing to the back of the SUV. I kick my legs and try to pull my arms from his grip, but he’s bigger and stronger than me. The man climbs into the back of the SUV, pulling me in with him. I jerk my body, but the man tightens his hold.
“You are perfect,” Madame Valentina says, making me look up at her. “You’re an amazing dancer, you have no family, and you’re the perfect type to run away,” she says. I feel something on my wrists and I try to pull them away.
Ropes bite at my skin, causing me to whimper in pain. I try to plead with them to let me go, but it comes out muffled.
“Duct tape,” Madame Valentina says, closing the back door. The man pushes me away and reaches into the front of the car.
“Help!” I scream, trying to crawl to the door. “Someone help me!”
“Shut her up!” Madame Valentina yells as the car rumbles to a start. The man grabs my ankle, pulling me closer to him and slapping the tape over my mouth. “No one can hear you now,” the man says, pushing me to the corner and shoving a bag over my head.