Because of all her studies, homework and taking care
of Angel, it wasn’t until a week or so later that she had a chance to ask one of her teachers. As it turned out every year some of the teachers escorted students who wanted to buy a suit or dress to a close town. Alaya quickly ran up to her dorm to tell Mairi and ran into Mistletoe along the way so she told her too.
“Oh my gosh!”, Mairi squealed delightedly, “when are we going? Are the dresses really expensive? Oh man, I am so psyched to go.” Alaya replied that they were to leave first thing tomorrow (which was Saturday) and the prices varied for the dresses.
Finally it was Saturday morning. Mairi, Alaya and Mistletoe met down in the common room and then proceeded down to the dinning hall. The teachers counted how many were going and then everyone piled onto the boo buses. Eventually the town rolled into view and everyone gasped at how large it was. The buses stopped in front of a gigantic mall, almost the size of their school.
“Now children,” the head teacher began to instruct them, “ you all have two and a half hours to do as you please. Remember to meet back here in two and a half hours!” the teacher called after the students who had started to wander away. The three girls started to wander around looking for a map to show all the stores so they could choose one to look in. Eventually they found one and they decided to go and look in Mariposa, which was on the third floor. When they finally reached it they were exhausted.
“Man I am so tired, oh, look at this pretty dress! ,” Alaya exclaimed, “and it is totally my size and colour too. Oh, and look, two other matching dresses for you two.” The three of them ran to the fitting rooms and tried them on. The dress fit so perfectly it felt like it was made for her. She stared at herself in the mirror and thought, something is missing. She went searching around the store and finally found what she was looking for. Three silver sparkling tiaras, the perfect size and shape.
Oh how it made her feel like, like, a princess going to a royal ball. Many hearts will be broken next week, she thought happily to herself. Maybe, just maybe I can get enough courage built up so I can ask Justin to the dance. She took a quick glance at her watch and told the other two that they had better hurry up and pay because they had very little time left to get back to the bus stop. Alaya quickly paid for her stuff and started to leave but then quickly peeked at her bill. $240.95!, she thought astonished, man I am going to be in so much trouble for spending that much. I just hope the dance will be worth it.
They made it to the meeting place with seconds to spare. Finally they reached the school. Alaya dragged herself up to her room gently hung up her dress and tiara, and flopped onto the bed in a dark and dreamless sleep. She woke up the next morning to Mairi’s smiling face.
“Guess what?,” Mairi asked, “ last night I went over to Justin and asked to go to the dance with me! And he said yes! Isn’t that great?” As Alaya heard those awful words something inside of her snapped and she flipped over onto her stomach and burst into silent tears.
Justin lay on his bed on his back bouncing a ball against the ceiling mulling over what had transpired last night. Running Mairi’s words over and over through his mind.
“Hey Justin, um, do you, um, maybe, do you want to go to the dance with me this week? I’m sure we’ll have tonnes of fun. And I picked out the perfect dress and accessories just for you. So will you? Please?”
“Um well,” he replies as he unwillingly stares into her pleading eyes “um, sure I guess. So I guess I’ll pick you up at your dorm about seven then?” Mairi happily nodded a yes as she turned and happily skipped down the hall.
Why the heck did I agree to go with her? I don’t even like her. I like Alaya. Oh man, this will totally ruin my chances with her. But on the other hand, maybe, through Mairi, I can get closer to Alaya.
“Hey bro, whaz up?,” Alex asked, playfully punching Justin in the shoulder, “you have any idea who you’re going to ask to the dance?”
“Yeah,” Justin replied, “in fact I’ve already been asked.”
“Really?” Artemis asked disbelieving, “she actually asked you? I didn’t think that she would for awhile. Way to go bro!”
“Wait, you guys knew she liked me?” Justin questioned, “How long have you known? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Yup,” Alex replied, “from the moment she saw you and because she begged us not to.” Well maybe that’s why Alaya’s not hanging out with me, Justin thought, because Mairi likes me and they’re best friends so Mairi didn’t want to hang around me because she’s shy. That makes sense.
The next four days went by in a miserable blur for Alaya. All she could think of was that the guy of her dreams had gone and said he’d go to the dance with her best friend. She decided that maybe she would ask some other somewhat hot guy, but at the last second she decided not to and that she would just go alone.
Finally it was night time. Alaya decided to leave early so she wouldn’t run into Justin. The dinning hall was gorgeous with all the Christmas trees and decorations. People were flitting around from friend to friend exclaiming how awesome each others dresses were. Eventually Professor Booberry called for everyone’s attention, hoped everyone was having a great year, wished everyone an excellent Christmas and let’s get this party started.
Alaya just wandered around, occasionally accepting dances with guys, hoping, praying that one of the guys she ran into would be Justin. He would tell her the thing with Mairi was just a big misunderstanding and then he would sweep her into the middle of the dance floor and they would dance late into the night, far later than anyone else and then, finally, as the bell tolled midnight, he would kiss her and ask her to be his girl.
Unfortunately her dream did not come true. She left the dance early her eyes brimming with tears. When she reached her dorm she immediately started packing. After she was finished, she went downstairs to wonder the halls until it was time for bed. Along the way, she ran into her brother Alex.
“Hey,” she said quietly, “you left early too?” Alex nodded. “Well then you had better head up to your dorm and start packing cause we have a looong day ahead of us tomorrow on those buses.” she finished.
“No we don’t,” Alex replied plainly, “ didn’t Artemis tell you?” Alaya shook her head no. “Well,” Alex continued, “a couple of days ago we got a letter from our aunt and uncle saying that we would be staying here over winter break because they were going on another one of their, you know, ‘cruises’.” Alaya moaned. She had been looking forward to going home and just laying back and relaxing. As Alaya stormed back to her dorm, she ran into Artemis.
“Why the heck didn’t you tell me about the letter!” she screamed at him angrily, “ now I have to go and unpack every single thing because YOU didn’t tell me about the letter!”
“ I tried to,” he replied quietly, “but you were never listening. Your mind was always somewhere else. I’ll help you unpack if you want.” Alaya immediately felt guilty for yelling at him because he was the shy and quiet one of the family. And it was true, she had been thinking a lot about Justin and ignoring everything else.
“Thanks for helping me unpack,” Alaya said quietly to Artemis as they started pulling clothes out of her suitcases, “ and I’m really, really sorry for yelling at you. I’ve just been preoccupied with a bunch of different things.”
“It’s okay,” Artemis replied, “so, what are you planning on doing during our three weeks of Christmas break?” Alaya just stared thoughtfully into space.
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