Who I Am (Sequel to How did I get Here?)

Reed couldn't take Jamestown anymore after she and her dad got into a fight about the boyfriend who hit her. So she went to New York to pursue her life long dream of becoming a dancer. The New York Ballet Academy has taken her under their wing and given her an apartment. She lives alone and spends nearly every waking hour dancing as she tries to drown out the guilt and longing she feels towards her all-time-best-friend-and-possibly-boyfriend Alex. She still has no contact to her father or half-sister and she tries desperately to become a new Reed. But at age seventeen is that poossible?

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2. A lovely Routine

Alex has been gone for quite long now and it's late. I have rehearsals again tomorrow so I should be sleeping but I won't rest until Alex is back. So I settle on the couch with a to watch TV. I feel myself slide further and further down until I am lying on the couch. My eyes slide shut and I fall asleep.

I don't know if I am awake or sleeping but my guess is somewhere in between. I feel a blanket being placed over me and a kiss on my cheek. I smile. I feel my body relax at the thought that Alex is back. 

The next morning I wake up and stretch. My feet hit the end of the couch as it is not very long. The feeling of being watched creeps over me and I remember that I'm not alone. I turn my head. Leaning on the kitchen counter is Alex. He is still in his pajamas which consist of a pair of trackers. And I tell ya... Those abs...

I snap out of it and look back to his face with a smile. "Morning." I croak. He laughs at my morning voice. "Morning. When did you say that your rehearsals were today?" He asks. "At nine why?" "Well then you have exactly half an hour to get to the school." He says in an offhanded voice. I mentally slap myself multiple times for not setting an alarm yesterday. "Shit ok..." I say as I shoot up from the couch. My neck screams at me for sleeping there but I'll worry about that at the school. I run into my room to grab some new clothes. After yanking on a new off-the-shoulder and a leotard and of course the shorts I throw my dancing shoes and all my other gear in my bag and almost run out without saying goodbye. I rush back in to peck Alex on the lips and whisper a quick "Bye." Then I run back out. I sprint to school. At the studio we're using I almost run past but shove my heels in the ground before I go too far. Thankfully Madame is late again and I get my stretching done before she arrives. 

 

After a long day of intense rehearsing for the Christmas show (The nutcracker) I text Alex to come meet me at the school. While I stand outside waiting for him Leo comes over. "Hey. So are you back on your A-game?" He asks. I giggle. "What's funny?" He says and his handsome face frowns. "Well since yesterday someone came to the city to see me." I giggle. "Oh you're killing me! Who is it? David? Your sister? Your dad?" "I can't believe you haven't figured it out yet! It's Alex!" I laugh. Just then I feel two arms sneak around my waist. "Damn straight." Alex whispers in my hair by my ear. I lean into him and he reaches his hand forward from under my arm to greet Leo. They say their hello's and we make a deal to go on a double date with him and Kyle soon. Alex seems a little bit freaked out by the thought of going on a double date with a gay couple but I only notice because I know him so well. We take a walk in the park afterwards. As we walk hand in hand, both silent I begin to think about something he said when he showed up at my apartment. 

"Alex?" "Hmm?" He replies and looks up from the ground. "When you came to my apartment you mentioned Gina... How did she deal with... You know..." He sighs. This only makes me more guilty and I tear up. "I'm not gonna lie to you Reed she is... Not too well." I turn my head away in tears. "Hey hey hey. It's ok. You had to go. She'll understand when she's older." He says as he pulls me into an embrace by my waist. I bend forward and wrap myself around my bent legs sitting on the ground. The thought of how Gina must have taken it... What she and Alex must've had to deal with... It breaks my heart over and over. He sits behind me and tips me backwards so that I'm in his lap. I cry a little more but pull myself together. I'm not the victim here. "I'm sorry." I sniffle. He just hugs me closer before he helps me up. "Would it help if I gave her a call?" I whisper. He doestn't answer. We start walking again and I don't push the issue. After an hour of silent walking we head home to unpack Alex's stuff.

As we walk in the door a thought occurs to me. "Alex?" I ask. "How long are you staying?" He stretches his back as he stands up from rummaging through a small cardboard box. "I don't know. Until my parents bring Gina here. The school in Jamestown isn't for her. The kids have been bullying her. We're moving here since my parents work here so often. As for me I'm getting a job for the next year. Then I'm applying to college." He says. "So you're going to stay with your parents?" I ask and fail to hide the disapointment in my voice. "Yeah. Even now they're still going to be away a lot and I should take care of Gina." I nod. We finish fairly quick as he only brought two small cardboard boxes and three suitcases. His parents will bring over the rest when they come.

We play around in the kitchen cooking my specialty which is the dish I call Whatever-is-in-the-fridge. Today that is scrambled eggs, ham and pineapple. Sounds disgusting i know... but it's what I've got. I make the mistake of turning my back to him to stir the eggs. He slips a piece of pineapple down my back under my shirt. I scream and turn around. Accidentally I slap his cheek with the spatula. After making sure he is alright we crack up. A little piece of egg flew from the spatula to his hair when I turned and it still sits there. This makes me laugh harder and he throws me over his shoulder. I scream and shake with laughter as he runs around the apartment while I kick and scream. Finally he throws me on the bed and runs out before I get the chance to get up. I run after him and nearly collapse in laughter at the sight that meets me. Alex stands with a plastic bowl on his head as a helmet and holds a wooden spoon as a weapon and a potlid as a shield. He laughs too and before he can take it off I take a picture of it. He takes the stuff off and we return to cooking.

After eating we flop on the couch. I leave Alex in the care of the television as I go to make a call.

"Hello?" David says.

"Hey Bro." I say carefully. "Hey Reed! How's the city treating you?" "Good. Alex found me." "Good. So how are things?" "Really good. I got a pretty big part in the christmas ballet. You're invited to the premiere you know." "Yeah sounds good. But that's far out in the future." We talk for a long time but eventually the inevitable question that always ends our conversations comes up. "So... do you want to talk to dad?" He asks. "Does he have anything to say to me?" "I'll go check." He says and the line goes silent for a little while. "He wants to talk to you." "Ok." I sigh. "Reed?" I hear my fathers voice say. I almost cry at the longing in my body. "Yes?" "Please come home." He whispers. "Is that all you have to say to me?" I ask sounding cloder than I meant to. "Reed please..." He starts again but I cut him off. "If that's all then goodbye dad." I say and hang up. I hurl my phone on the bed and go back to Alex. He sees my grave expression and opens his arms. I lie there until I feel my eyes close and hurry to get to my bed before I fall asleep on the couch again.

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