Chicago - Chapter 4

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“Allie!” I heard banging on my door. “Get up! It’s time to get ready.” It was Madame Saxton. I had to compete today. I rolled out of bed and answered the door. Madame Saxton walked in the room. “Shower! Dress! We need to leave. I’ll put your hair in a bun once we get there. You will change there. Hurry up.” I had been through this competition stuff since I was 13. This was becoming a bit annoying. I nodded and got ready. When I headed down to the lobby carrying my costume for the day and my make up box I saw the fans outside the hotel. I saw Lily give me a glare. She was competing today too. I walked toward Madame Saxton just as lights started flashing around the lobby. I saw One Direction step out of the elevator. A few of the girls from my studio’s mouthes dropped. I already knew they were here. Their management team seemed to be checking on something and I saw Niall head towards me. I had no makeup on yet and my hair was still wet. I was only wearing yoga pants, a cami, and my studio’s jacket.

“Hey beautiful.” Niall said walking over to me. Some people wondered what was happening.

“Hey.” I smiled. He was talking to me again. He wasn’t about to act like we never met. Weird.

“I followed you.” He smiled. “I never got to ask why you were here but I see your jacket. You’re a dancer?” He questioned.

“Ballerina.” I corrected him. “I’m competing this week and I’m heading out to the competition in a few minutes.” I hoped he didn’t notice I was nervous around him. “Where are you going today?” I asked him.

“Interview with the local radio station.” He smiled showing off his braces. “I followed you and DMed you. Did you see it?” He asked me.

“Uh no.” I said nervously searching my jacket pocket for my phone I heard Louis call his name.

“I gotta go. Message me back when you can.” He winked and walked away. Did that just happen?

“When did you meet him?” Lily asked with her friends following close behind her in my direction.

“Last night. I just bumped into him. It’s not a big deal.” I said unlocking my phone.

“Poor Allie. Gets the boy and now is going to choke on her routine.” She cackled and walked away. Witch. We headed to the competition and into our dressing room. Madame Saxton put my hair up into a tight bun. There were many pins involved and a lot of pulling and tugging. It was a painful procedure. Then she applied makeup to my face. Probably too much for someone to walk around on the street with, but just enough for someone who was going on stage as a ballerina. She told me to change into my costume. I never had even seen it finished. I went behind the change curtain and put the costume on. It was beautiful. It was blue and covered in crystals. It made me look like a real ballerina. I stepped from behind the curtain and the girls all looked at me. Lily gave me a look of disgust before turning back to her mirror.

“How do I look?” I asked Madame Saxton.

“Fantastic.” She exclaimed clapping her hands. She led me to the stage and I waited for my turn. I only had to wait two routines to go on. I stepped on the stage and put myself into my starting pose. I knew the judges were watching. The people from Colombia were watching. The audience was watching. I heard the first beat of my music and I began the routine without thinking. My body flowed with the music and every turn my body felt light. I leapt in the air with perfect time landing exactly on spot. I kept my shoulders straight and my toes pointed. I hit the end pose and the audience erupted in applause. I stepped off the stage and could breathe. I had finished competing today.

“Marvelous!” Madame Saxton said embracing me in a hug. If you don’t place first I will never teach again. She said this to me every time I danced. I always placed first. She knew it too. I headed back to the dressing room and I was allowed to change back into my yoga pants, cami and jacket. I waited for the rest of the girls in the whole competition to compete then they began awards.

I knew how awards worked. I sat on the stage with the rest of the girls. We all acted like best friends and then I’d wait for my category. They’d call my name and that’s about it.

“Now in teens ages 15-17.” That was my division that the announcer had just said. He read names starting at tenth place. “Now for our second and first place winners. Only half a point separated them. Second place goes to...” He paused to cause dramatic effect. “Lily Edwards!” Lily stood triumphantly walking to receive her trophy standing right next to the third place winner. She gave me a look saying that I wouldn’t be getting first this time. “Now for first place. Only winning by half a point is...” I felt like he paused forever. “Allie Naccari!” He yelled my name into the mic. I felt a smile go upon my face. He read all the sub categories I had also won and I felt medal after medal be placed around my neck. The room was going crazy and everyone was standing. I was used to this though. I thanked the announcer and everyone for the trophies and then waited for them to finish announcing everyone. When I headed off stage I was holding two bouquets of roses, a trophy bigger than my head with my name engraved in it, and I had about 7 medals lying around my neck. I walked into the dressing room and all the girls clapped for me politely. None of the instructors got back yet.

“Well well, it isn’t a surprise you won.” Lily said standing behind me. She was upset.

“As you said, may the better dancer win.” I said placing all these things into my bag except the flowers which I left on top of my make up box.

“This was fixed. The teachers knew you’d win. With a dance like that and a costume made for you. You didn’t even have to audition. They knew they wouldn’t take you to get anything less than the best.” She was right. It hurt though. Everyone thought I was favored which I was.

“Congratulations Allie!” Madame Saxton said smiling with the other instructors following her. I took pictures with them all then headed back to the hotel. I was told to rest because there would be another day of competing tomorrow. The fifth day of the competition was basically announcing girls in the highest age getting scholarships, people who won the highest rating, and all that stuff.

I laid back on my hotel room bed and decided to finally see the DM from Niall. ‘Hey gorgeous. Meet me on the roof later?’ Was that even possible? I answered him. ‘Will do. What time?’ Only a minute later he answered. He must have been back too. ‘An hour?’ I knew I could be ready by then, even though I’d probably just go up like this. ‘See you then.’ I had to meet with Niall Horan on top of the roof. Weird.

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