“One.. two... three.. fou-'' my dance instructor stopped suddenly. “Becky you better stop fooling around in this class! From the top everyone!”
We started the dance routine again for the fifth time in this class. Dammit, Becky needs to stop chatting with her stupid friends and get on this routine or we won’t be ready for the show next week.
“Everyone, take a ten-minute break, and then we will regroup,” she says and everyone parts to get a drink of water and talk to friends.
“Callista come here please?” I get called over and speed walk to Miss. Sofia.
“I loved what you were doing out there, we need that kind of energy with the other students. I see potential in all of them if they would get their head in the game. I have a group of students from the other class coming in to help this class, and I was wondering if you want to be part of the helping group?”
“Oh my god, OF COURSE! This is a big opportunity for me to show my worth while helping out the other students in the class. THANK YOU!” I exclaim happily.
“Don’t get too excited because I need to make sure it’s alright with Mr. Studinto. I will email him after class. In the meantime make sure you practice whenever you can to be ready for the show next week. I’m counting on you and the whole class to play along with this and get it right.”
“Of course, ma’am. Bye.”
I practically skip out of the small office she has in the studio.
“Cally you got an email!” My best friend tells me and I hurry to my computer. “Read it out loud!!!” he exclaims and I hurry to open the email
“Okay, it says: Dear Callista Peakwood, you have been given the chance to participate in helping others achieve their top ability in your class with the student by the name of Drake Willow, Maverik Brown, Nina Brown, and Rhys Underwood.” I finish the last part happily and smile wildly.
“Good job, Cally! You get to work with the hottest people in the Academy.”
“I know. Like, I mean, damn, I have no words, to be honest.”
“Woah. That’s rare.”
“Oh shut your mouth and get out. I need to practice and I hope to be able to email one of them to ask what is gonna happen for helping you and the other students.”
“Kay. Bye, girl.” he leaves and I spin to look at my computer.
I think about it for a second and then start typing.
Hi, so I was wondering if there was a way to, IDK, meet up and discuss how to whip my classmates into shape for the show next week? I need to know what to expect so I don’t go in all fight mode just to end up humiliating myself as I would most likely do. Reply whenever you get this.
I re-read it all and decide it is good enough so I hit send and wait a little. In the meantime, I make sure Ashley is asleep and take a shower. I hurry to my computer after I change and put my hair in a messy bun to make sure I don’t have a response to my email and am surprised to find someone replied.
Okay, so we can meet up tomorrow and discuss it but it would have to be around lunch because of classes and shit.
I smile at their response and click rapidly on the keyboard again.
Sounds good, if you see me I’ll most likely be carrying a toddler lol.
I hit send and hear Ashley stir.
Hurrying to the crib she sleeps in, I pick her up, change her diaper on the changing table, make her a bottle, and set her back in her crib to fall asleep again.
I see another message on the computer.
I hurry to respond.
Teen mom over here. I gotta get to bed. Night whomever u are.
I close my laptop and crawl into my bed, falling asleep almost immediately.
I wake up at 6 A.M. and hurry to make a bowl of cereal for myself while I wait for Ashley to get up. I remember my conversation last night and hurry to check my email again.
Damn. Sounds rough. Night, Callista.
I get change, brush my teeth, throw my hair in a ponytail and pack my school bag in a rush to get Ashley up and ready.
“Let’s go, Ashley. Mommy’s gotta get to school.” I grab my backpack and pick Ashley up.
I rush to the public school I go to for an hour and a half and plop down in the classroom five minutes early.
“What’s got you in a rush?” I see Rhys in the seat beside me and decide to make small talk
“I thought I was gonna be late because my kid didn’t wake up in time.” I nod towards Ashley, who is asleep in her baby carrier thingy.
“So you’re the one I was talkin’ to last night.” He states and I gape at him for thirty seconds.
“I guess so. I mean, now I know who was talking to me.” I laugh lightly and face towards the whiteboard in the front of the class.
Why the hell is he so fucking hot!?
“So, how come you never talk in this class?” He asks me.
“I’m always busy jotting down notes and making sure Ashley doesn’t have a temper tantrum. Also because I have no friends here. My friends are mostly at the Academy.” I explain to him.
“Oh, cool. Yeah, the same for me. I also try to not make many friends but you seem like a loyal friend. Whatcha say? Wanna be friends?”
“Oh, um, sure!”
“Honestly, what people say about me and my other friends is complete BS. We don’t make many friends but mostly cause we don’t like getting into drama, and we don’t like many students at the Academy besides those that want to help others. That’s how I met my friends.”
The bell rang so we stopped talking and paid attention the whole hour and a half of class.
Once the dismissal bell rang I hurried out of the classroom in an attempt to grab a small snack for Ashley and me when Rhys calls me over to him.
"Hey, want to meet the other guys? They might be at the coffee shop down the street." he smiles at me shyly.
"Sure! I was heading that way to get a cup of coffee anyway," I hurry to my car and grab the small stroller I have in the trunk.
"Want some help?"
"Yeah, thanks. Can you hold Ashley? She is asleep so she won't fuss." I hand Ashley to him and he holds her awkwardly.
I get the stroller set up and grab Ashley from out of his hands.
"Okay, now that I don't have to hold her the whole way there we can head out." I push the stroller slowly and let Rhys chat with me.
"So, what do you do out of school?"
"I work as a bartender at the bar downtown."
"Dude, the bar downtown is shitty as hell. Why do you even work there?"
"Good pay. My mom always worked, then used it for drugs. I only use the money for school, food, and Ashley. I barely buy myself stuff anymore." the memories of my mom flit through my mind, but I push it away.
"Must have been tough for you. How did you cope?"
"I danced, and then sang, and then worked for my stuff. My ex, James, was a prick and decided to steal the money I earned and hid it, then he got me pregnant and dumped me and took the money. I was broke as hell, pregnant, and pretty much disowned. My dad cared about me, but he couldn't deal with my mom's shit. I called him once, and he said he would send me a paycheck for 50,000 dollars for Ashley. I think he was the only person to know I was even pregnant with her."
"Wow," he says and opens the door to the café. "Yo, Nina! Did ya get me my coffee?"
"Duh. Oh, who's this?"
"New recruit. And she is our friend, too."
My phone started ringing holy by Lewis Capaldi, and I answer it.
"Where the hell you at, girl!?" Raymond exclaims, and I roll my eyes.
"I'm at the café," I say, and he rambles on about how I shouldn't be there without him. "Raymond, I'm not hanging out with any guys. It's just me, Ashley, and a few friends." I lie.
"Whatever, just remember to be at the bar around six. A bartender called in sick, so you need to run their shift."
"I'm never late, and okay. Who was it, though?"
I laugh and say, "When is he going to get fired?"
"Until I'm feeling not so generous to let him off with a warning. Tried hitting Andy, holy shit Andy was pissed."
"Oh God, is he okay?"
"Yeah, Andy fucked him up pretty badly, though."
"He deserves it."
"Oh, before you go. Some dude came by asking if you worked here. Messy blonde hair, a snake tattoo on his shoulder?"
Holy shit, I thought. "Yeah, I know him. Did he say he was gonna come back?"
"I told him you worked here and he just smirked and walked out."
"I'll find out at six then. Gotta go," I hang up and look up to find Rhys staring at me.
James? he mouths, and I nod.
"Sorry about my friend. He is just super overprotective. Anywho, I know I just got here, but I should head home."
"I'll walk you to your car." Rhys stands up and says.
We head out, and he immediately jumps into conversation.
"Why is James even back?"
"He probably wants to woo his self back into my life. Then he's just gonna ditch me somewhere."
"Do you want me to come by the bar and just keep an eye out?"
We don't talk the rest of the way to my car.
"I say my farewell." he sweeps a bow and I giggle.
"Thank you, Kind Sir." I say and we both laugh.
"Email me if you need any help, Callista."
"I know. Make sure to be at the bar by six." I get Ashley settled into her carseat and then get into the driver seat and drive back to my mini apartment.