11: Performance

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"Alright guys, 30 minute break."
We're all standing on the stage of the theater for our school and yes, we have separate buildings for the theater and the auditorium. Our theater is used specifically for performances such as choir and dance and the auditorium is used for general school use such as presentations or informational meetings. It's crazy how our school has the budget for all of these buildings and the necessities for these departments. Anytime we have a performance for a department, the entire school gets released early. Our early dismissal for these days are at 12:30, giving us plenty hours for the people in the performance to have a rehearsal and make sure there are no technical difficulties. The dance department usually has 2-3 tech rehearsals, depending on how big the performance will be. For one of these little showcases, we only have two. We had one last night and stayed at the school until 9 P.M which was kind of fun. This afternoon, we're staying until 5 P.M and since our performance begins at 6:30 P.M, everyone decided to stay and go walk around or down the street for food. There's a little Chinese takeout restaurant nearby along with a liquor store and a coffee shop. Whenever we have long rehearsals or multiple shows, most of us run down to the coffee shop to get some energy. I've been to those places so many times that the employees actually know my name and my regular order. I lie down on the cold marley floor of the theater, breathing heavily. I hear footsteps approach and I see Brody, poking her head into my line of sight which she sits right beside me.
"How you doin' Vi?"
"Tired. Excited. I'm worn out Brodes."
"You should probably sit up so you won't feel tired."
I shift myself up, pressing my knees against my chest and wrapping my arms against my legs.
"Your parents gonna come Vi?"
"They called me last night... mom has work and my dad is supposedly in City Hall again for AA."
She grimaces. "How's that goin'?"
"Honestly... not so well. My grandparents can't make it either so it's just gonna be us guys again."
She moves in closer, examining my face. "Good thing that cut scarred over just in time for this. Otherwise you would've had to worn a gauze."
"Eh, I mean... people will think it's a costume ya know?"
"What exactly happened? I know James doesn't own a cat... he's said he's deathly allergic... causes something called anaphylaxis..."
I hesitate and look at the ground, I really don't want to ruin my mood before the show, so I just say a simple, clear, and concise answer. "Dad. Alcohol."
"I, I'm sorry."
I click my tongue. "Nah, don't be... it was a bit sad, but it's fine."
"Anyone else know?"
"Well... most of them know I'm lying, but I guess none of them don't wanna pry into it yet."
Brody pauses for a bit. "How you and Clementine doin'?"
She switches the subject which I don't mind. "Good I suppose."
Brody raises and eyebrow. "Did you invite her?"
I look at her. "No, I didn't... kidding of course I did."
She smiles. "Looks like the whole gang is coming again I suppose, we can hang out after and stuff food down our faces like last time."
"Yeah, it's been a while since our last hang out."
"Quick question Vi..."
"What?"
"Have you and Clem... you know, kissed yet or anything?"
My face flushes red, we haven't kissed, but I mean... I wouldn't protest against it. "I wish."
I cover my mouth after saying that, turning even more red as my stomach begins to drop. Brody laughs. "Make a move dude. I guess the stereotype is true...y'all can't make the first move."
"Hey!" I pause. "Never mind, you're definitely right."
She laughs. "I know I am."
"Okay guys, from the top, break over. Remember what I told you. Look for that mark point you made to remember where your positions are and remember that the red light is center. Okay, positions guys!"
"Come on, let's go die before this performance." I joke
"With you on that one."

I apply eyeliner and eyeshadow, along with mascara and lipstick. Whenever we have performances, we have to wear makeup so our face is seen from the audience under the light. I'm not the best, but I'm certainly not the worst. I know the basics, but I have Brody refine my makeup afterwards. The only thing I really know how to apply well is mascara and lipstick... everything else is a 50/50 shot. I finish applying my makeup and walk over to Brody.
"Wow, you actually did good this time Violet."
I roll my eyes. "Wow rude. But really, I did?"
"Yeah, you'll be fine. Now, help me zip the back of this."
Our costumes were these bright blue fleece shirts that had a zipper in the back along with fitted black leggings that had little slits on the sides of them. The shoes were lyrical soles; they're these half-sole shoes that only cover half the foot and to put it on, there are these straps that you put under your foot and on the heel. It comes in leather and canvas, canvas is the fabric kind. Majority of us use the leather types, but canvas is also fine. I slip the shoes on and the theater suddenly erupts tremendously with noise, the ushers let the audience in. Ms. Carley calls us over to the middle of the stage and we do our regular pre-performance routine. We all stick our hands in the middle and whisper "shhhhh," signaling for  the show to start. 
"You guys have put so much work since the first of August. Enjoy this show alright? Okay, 3, 2, 1!"
"Shhhhhhh."
We all walk off to the sides of the wings as Ms. Carley walks to the front of the curtain. The audience is silent, then immediately erupts with cheers meaning that she's seen on stage. The speakers feedback from the microphone and she starts to speak.
"Good evening everyone! Friends, family, and peers, the dance department has put on a special performance for you all! We've been working hard since the start of August and it is truly remarkable how far they have improved in their skills since last school term. Now, reminder that please do not do any sort of flash photography... looking at you Mr. Sulieman."
Laughter erupts as Louis yells, "That was one time!"
Long story short, he took a picture and blinded me, causing myself to fall backwards and crashing into another peer.
"Anyways, please enjoy the show and be respectful to your dancers. Let's get this started!"
I move back further in the wings, allowing the first dancers to walk on stage. Each level did two routines, one after one another except for Level 4 who only does one since we have a big showcase at the end of the semester for our level specifically. Level 1 went first, then Level 2, back to Level 1, and so forth. It's amazing to see what the other dance periods do since Ms. Carley isn't their mentor and I absolutely love the routines that they do. Routine after routine, it was finally our turn. The lights turn off, having us walk on stage in the dark. I set myself in center, standing confidently, hands by my side like a soldier and head down. The lights dim on, and the music starts. I lift my head up and begin a canon (when same movement is started in different parts, so that the movements overlap) of my body simply just swaying side to side lyrically with my arms flowing around and going through different heights of relevé (re-la-vay). After not even two seconds, I hear Clementine go:
"Whoooo Vi and Brody! Let's go!"
I smile slightly and move into the other formation, the only thing going through my mind are the counts and music.

Brody and I walk out of the theater, making our way through the crowded halls that are full of families handing bouquets of flowers and taking pictures of their child and their friends. We walk out, holding our costume bag in hand. We changed into regular clothes, I put on a white-grey tie dye shirt tied at the bottom and a pair of black jeans; not the most stylish person. Brody and I walk over to where our friends are, only to be immediately be surrounded in a hug.
"First off, what the hell was that move where you like freakin jumped and turned with both legs off the ground mid-air!" Mitch yells in amazement
I chuckle at that, first time Mitch has shown any sort of excitement. "It's called an axel turn and Lou I swear to god if you attempt it, we cannot take our traditional ER trip."
Lou pretends to pout. "There goes my plans for tonight."
Everyone continues to showers us in compliments and praises and we all walk down to that Chinese restaurant nearby. The group starts to walk in front of us, Clementine pulls me to the back of the huddle with her, going behind a small building structure.
"Hey, I- you were hella amazing."
I smile and hold her hand. "Thank you Clem."
"Like, woah. You gotta teach me some of those moves some time." She laughs
"Maybe I will."
Clementine tugs me in closer to her, I look at her. I'm an inch taller, so I have to crane my neck down a bit which I don't mind. She slowly stands on her tippy-toes and leans in which I immediately do as well. I could feel her warm breath on my lips, I slowly close my eyes.
"Lovebirds! Let's go before the tables get full!" Marlon yells
'Damnit I was so close.' "Coming idiot." I yell back
I look over at Clementine who's blushing immensely, hiding her face with her oversized sweater sleeves. I look around quickly and place a kiss on her cheek to which she immediately blushes even more.
"Close enough for now." I smile
"Definitely."
We intertwine fingers and run after the group.


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