Chapter 11- Ballerina Girls
Man, winter’s just around the corner, and yet it already feels
like the middle of June.
That thought was pretty much the only thing running through Kat’s
mind as she walked up to the double doors of the dance school, hoping it was air-conditioned enough to counter the heat of
the sun as it beat down on the ground mercilessly. Luckily though, the A/C system was on full blast so Kat quickly felt cooled
down the minute she closed the doors. No sooner did she close them did she hear “Angel” from Lionel Richie playing
from somewhere in the building.
As she stepped further into the building she saw Linda Dawson in a leotard
doing what looked like a Pilates technique and she seemed to be doing it in tune with the song, which was coming from a small
boom box in the corner of the giant room.
It looked like Linda was finished, for she then relaxed herself and picked
up her bottle of water to take a sip. As she did she turned around and saw Kat standing there.
“Oh, hi Kat!” Linda said cheerfully.
“Hi, Ms. Dawson.” Kat replied.
Linda laughed. “Please, call me Linda. Mostly everyone does.”
She then looked at her watch. “It’s 2:00, you’re a little early, don’t you think?”
“I know, but I just like to be a little early than late.” Kat
replied. “Oh yeah, where is everyone?”
“Two of my other teachers just arrived right before you did. They’re
in the locker room changing now, so they should be out shortly.” Linda said as she walked over to the boom box to stop
the music. As she walked back then looked at her watch again. “And speaking of which, we should have some of our students
“All right then. In that case I’ll just head into the locker
room and get changed, and then I guess I’ll…get myself situated.” Kat said.
“Okay, then. I’ll see if I-oh, here they come.”
Kat then turned around and saw two women walking towards them from the
locker room. One was a woman about as tall as Kat, with jet-black hair and emerald green eyes. The other was a petite Hispanic
girl with light brown hair and eyes that looked so amber-like, they looked like honey. Both were dressed in one-piece leotards
and looked very self-assured, but Kat could somehow see that they were both different. During all those years at the Royal
Academy, Kat had learned to pick up a few things about people personality-wise, and she could somehow see that the Hispanic
woman appeared very much reserved and passive, while the tall brunette looked a little more cocky and straightforward.
“Hello, Linda.” Said the petite girl.
“Oh, hi, Jessica. Hi Victoria.” Linda replied respectively.
“Who’s the new girl?” Victoria asked.
“Oh, yes. I’d like to introduce you to our newest teacher,
Katherine Hillard. Katherine, this is Victoria St. John and Jessica Velasco.”
“Nice to meet you.” Kat said as she extended her hand and Jessica
shook it warmly. Victoria on the other hand gave a half smirk, but she still eagerly shook Kat’s hand. “Likewise.”
The main double doors then opened and girls who looked like they were in
their teens began to enter the building.
“Well, it looks like they’re starting to show up already.”
“Right. Well, I’ll go get changed, and come back out.”
“All right, I‘m gonna have you help Victoria’s class
“Okay.” Kat said as she headed in to the locker room.
As Kat came out of the locker room she saw that the girls who had come
in had already gotten themselves settled and were busy stretching out. Plus there were also more girls coming in as well.
Among one of them was a girl Kat recognized somewhat, for she had met her only the other day.
As the girl set her gym bag down on the floor, she then raised her head
and saw Kat. “Hey!”
“Hello.” Kat replied. “Krista, right?”
“Mm-hmm.” Krista said. “So…I take it you got the
“More or less.”
“Well, congratulations.” Krista said sincerely.
“Okay everyone, split off into your respective groups and teachers.”
Linda spoke out.
Kat saw Victoria standing in one corner of the ballet room and was already
ushering her group over to her. Kat then walked over and as she stood next to Victoria she noticed Krista standing amongst
Victoria’s group. Krista noticed Kat and smiled warmly.
“Okay, so, is everyone here?” Victoria asked as she looked
at some of the girls in her group. After some nods she then nodded herself. “Alright, then-oh, yeah before I forget,
allow me to introduce you to our newest teacher, Katherine Hillard.”
“Hello.” Kat said.
“She’s going to be assisting me today and I’m gonna ask
all of you to give Miss Hillard the same respect that you give me, Miss Velasco, and Miss Dawson. Is that understood?”
The girls nodded.
“Alright then. Well, in that case, let’s get started.”
An hour and a half later, Victoria dismissed the class and Kat walked over
to the water fountain to get a drink. As she headed back to the center of the room she found Linda talking to one of the students,
then the latter thanked Linda and left. Linda then turned around, saw Kat and smiled.
“So, how was your first day today?”
“Oh, it was great, no problem.”
“So what do you think of this place so far?”
“Honestly, I think it’s really great what with the way you
have it all set up.” Kat then paused and took in the whole interior again. “Y’ know, I really think I’m
gonna like it here.”
“Glad to hear you say that.” Linda said.
“You’re welcome.” Kat answered. “By the way, is
this the only class we’re having today?”
“Today, yeah.” Linda replied. “Seeing as how Thanksgiving
Day is today, I felt it was best that we have a short day so everyone can go home tonight and spend time with their families,
“Mmm.” Kat nodded.
Linda then took another look at her watch. “Oh, damn!”
“What is it?” Kat asked.
“I have to get home soon. I forgot I promised my brother I’d
help him out with stuffing the turkey.”
“Oh.” Kat said. “Well, I’ll just go and change
quickly and I’ll get out of your way.”
“It’s okay, take your time. I have to put some things away
before I lock up anyway, so…”
“Ok.” Kat then walked over and picked up her gym bag that she
had tucked by a corner of the wall and headed off to the locker room to change. When she came out she saw Linda locking the
door to her office.
“Ah, just in the nick of time.” Linda said as she picked up
her backpack and walked with Kat to the double doors.
“So Kat, do you have any plans for Thanksgiving?”
“Wish I did.” Kat replied. “Sadly my family’s all
mostly back in Australia and my parents moved back to it from Angel Grove a few years ago.”
“So, were you born here or…”
“Oh, no. I was born there in Sydney. It was after a couple of years
that my father received a job transfer in Angel Grove and me and my mum moved with him.”
“So it’s not your first time being here in the U.S., or California,
for that matter?” Linda asked.
“Oh, no.” Kat answered nostalgically.
“Well, don’t you know anyone who lives in the neighborhood
that you can stay with for Thanksgiving?”
“Here in Reefside? No.” Kat answered. “Plus I had already
blown most of my savings money buying a ticket to get here.” Surprisingly enough Kat had been so focused on getting
the job here in the U.S. that she hadn’t really thought about going to go see friends and family for Thanksgiving, even
though she had the chance to go see her parents a few times before they moved back to Australia.
“Well, you gotta have someplace and/or someone special to have Thanksgiving
at, or…with.” Linda said.
A semi-sad smile then unconsciously began to spread across Kat’s
mouth. “Believe me Linda, I wish I did.”
As Linda locked both doors from the outside, an idea popped into her head.
“Y’ know what? I think you may have.”
Kat raised her eyebrows in confusion.
“There’s a place just outside downtown. It’s more of
a teen hangout, but even adults say they like that place, namely Jessica and Victoria, to name a few. It’s got a techno,
80’s style/comic book shop theme, but it’s a very cool hangout spot. Plus they’re having some kind of Thanksgiving
party today until closing time, so…”
“Hmm. What’s the name of the place?”
“It’s something…something cyberspace…oh yeah! Hayley’s
“Hayley’s Cyberspace, eh?”
“Yeah, so if anything, you should go check it out.”