"Okay," Nick clapped his hands again. "I'd say Starstrukk get to know the remaining dancers of us and Jus, Grace and I pull us back a little to brainstorm!"
Everyone nodded pleased, but I swallowed.
My heart ached, but I wanted to say anything to me. So I put on a smile and followed Nick and Jus in a separate room, in which just a table and chairs were standing.
After we sat down Nick said "Okay Grace, tell us something about you."
I smiled at him and said "Well, I'm Grace. I just turned nineteen and I live in the Downtown neighborhood in Atlanta. Originally I come from Stratford, Canada."
Justin smiled broadly "Cool. Do you go there often?"
"Sure, my grandparents live there and I love this city."
"Yeah, I know that feeling," he said and winked at me, which has always released butterflies in my stomach.
I smiled back and Nick cleared his throat. "Okay, but now back to the reason why we are here. What was your first thought when you heard the song, Grace?"
The memories came back and this time it almost break all of my heart.
I said "A party, lots of dancing people, pool, beach, great fun."
"Very good," said Nick. "That was our Idea. Only we turn all this into a water park and it looks as if Justin records the clip."
"Wow," I said. "This is awesome!"
"Thanks," Jus said and grinned widely at me. "Was my idea."
I smiled and tried to hold myself back, so I wouldn't jump over the table and scratched his face.
"Well, then let's begin," Nick said, standing up.
Three hours later we had made a rough plan and already selected the water park. We've even had thought about a few steps and were quite satisfied with our work.
"I have an insane hunger. You agree?," Justin asked, after we had presented our concept of the rest of the crew.
They all nodded and I felt even a different feeling than the heartache.
Half an hour later, ten family-sized pizzas were delivered and everyone pounced on it. I sat with Sasha and she told me about the exciting day and that she couldn't believe that we had made it. I agreed with her uninvolved and tried to concentrate on the piece of pizza that lay in front of me on my paper plate.
After that, we continued to work and in the evening I was finally able to go home. Justin said goodbye to everyone and hugged me half-heartedly. We exchanged numbers and my fake smile began to ache.
When I finally got home, my Mom opened with a smile the front door.
"Well, how was it?," she asked with her cheerful art.
"Great," I growled, stormed past her, ran up the stairs and cracked my door. I locked the door and turned my music so loud that I didn't hear the knocking on my door.
Exhausted, I balled me up on my bed and finally let my emotions run wild: I cried until I couldn't anymore and was completely dehydrated.
Eventually I fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning when my cell phone rang.
"Hello?," I answered it, totally overslept.
"Hey Grace, where are you?," asked me a boy's voice.
"Who is it?," I asked confused and noticed a throbbing in my head.
"It's Justin," said the person on the other line.
"Oh, uhm, hi," I said, suddenly wide awake.
"Hi," he said and cleared his throat. "I know that we are sympathetic and all, but it's not really professional, if you already aren’t on time on the second day. Scooter makes pressure. He wants to record the clip as soon as possible, but that isn’t possible without another choreographer..."
"What time is it?," I asked completely confused.
"It's half past twelve," he replied dryly.
My eyes widened and I said "Oh my God! I am so sorry. Yesterday I was totally exhausted and actually I had set myself an alarm clock, but I must have been asleep too tight! I am so sorry!"
"It's okay, I can understand. I just wanted to remember you that we three choreographers only meet today. So we must first put the choreography together. That’s why we don’t meet in the hall, we meet at my house," he said and gave me his address.
I jumped out of bed and wrote it on a piece of paper. Then I repeated everything and he said, "Exactly. Can you be here in half an hour?"
"Yeah, no problem," I said, wondering frantically what I should wear.
"Cool, see you soon," he said, and even added "I'm really looking forward to."
He hung up before I could say anything.
I grabbed a pair of jeans, a top and unlocked my door. I raced to the bathroom, changed my clothes and tied my hair in a braid together. I've never been a big fan of make-up, so I saved a lot of time. Nevertheless, I quickly washed my face, creamed myself and went back to my room.
In a bag I stuffed leggings, a cardigan and my phone before I went down to the kitchen. Mom wasn’t there, only Jeremy sat at the table eating cereal.
"Morning," I said quickly and grabbed an apple, into which I already bit the same pure.
"Morning," replied my seventeen year old brother and then he asked "Did he recognize you yesterday?"
"After hockey practice Jer brings his friends for dinner today," said my Mom casually, as she prepared the food. I was just about to despair of my math homework and looked up.
"Do I know them?"
"Maybe," said Mom, shrugging her shoulders.
"Then I should probably start clearing the table, right?" I said, digging my school stuff together. My mother made a face and I chuckled softly.
I set the table and Mom was just finishing making food, as it already rang. Mom put the food on the table and walked to the door.
Our hallway was immediately flooded with boys voices and I quickly went to the cellar to fetch enough drinking. When I came up again, the guys were standing in the kitchen and Jeremy jostled for fun a boy with surfer hairstyle.
I only knew Ryan and Jer, those were only two of four.
"Hey," I greeted everyone and hugged Ryan.
He smiled at me and said "Hi."
I smiled back and then looked at Jeremy.
"Grace, that's Chris..." a smaller boy waved at me briefly, I smiled at him. "... and that's Justin.”
The boy with the surfer hairstyle looked at me with warm brown eyes and smiled.
"Hey," he said and my smile got a little wider.
"Hi," I said, feeling how heat spread through my heart.
"No," I answered, and he shook his head.
"Oh man," he said and then, a bit more quietly, he added "Asshole."