Chapter 9 The dance

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My sister Linda jumped from the couch when the doorbell rang. "I'll get it!"

"That's for me."

"I know! I can't wait to meet your date!" She rushed down the entrance hall, feet padding loudly against the hardwood floor. I tried to stop her but she beat me to the door and threw it open. "Hello!"

"Hi." There Flora was, looking like a celebrity in a slinky green dress. Not just gorgeous but sophisticated too, like she was going to a movie premiere, while I was immaturely chasing around the house with my kid sister.

Flora's eyes rested on Linda first. She extended a hand. "I'm Flora. You must be Linda."

My sister stood gaping at her, rooted to the spot like she just turned into stone. Flora was the opposite of Medusa, however, with dark hair cascading down past her shoulders deliciously like a chocolate fountain. Her hazel eyes appeared larger than usual, and behind them there seemed to be endless tales of adventure. I couldn't look away either.

"Oh my God you're so pretty," Linda croaked, having finally found her voice.

Flora smiled. "Thank you. You're very pretty too!"

She flicked her gaze and our eyes met. I was sucked right into them, those sparkling ponds of excitement and splendor.

"You look amazing," I said. My initial resolve of not getting involved with her had crumbled like soft cookies when she confronted me at Raymond's party. At first it was just a major boost of ego, and I was a shallow teenage guy after all. Having the most beautiful girl in school stare right at me and declare that she couldn't stop thinking of me was not something I could let slide easily.

It'd be much easier if she was just pretty. She was charmingly straightforward, and a phone call turned into a coffee date into a car ride into a full-blown make out session. Now she was at my house, standing in the foyer and radiating like a chandelier. I couldn't resist her even though my gut instinct told me that she wasn't right for me.

She was too popular, too flirty, out-of-my-league and highly unstable.

"Do you want to sit down for a cup of tea?" Linda offered as if she was eighty. "Or maybe have a tour around the house? I can totally take you!"

"Yes, I'd like that," Flora replied. "But I'm thinking I should say hi to your parents first."

"Of course, of course!" With that Linda dragged her away to the backyard, where my parents were barbecuing hamburgers. Some of my dad's friends were coming over later.

I was relieved that at least my parents were better at hiding their astonishment as Flora introduced herself. My dad glanced up from his grilling and grinned, said his hasty hi and warm welcomes, and turned his eyes back to his precious burgers. He took his task at hand very seriously. My mom conversed with Flora over the living room decor. I couldn't detect any trace of nervousness leaking out of Flora's perfect composure.

"I noticed a piece of artwork hanging over the couch," Flora said as if she had been here lots of times. She dressed like a Hollywood star but she was as chatty and confident as the red carpet show host. "Is that by Murakami Takashi?"

I wasn't sure any of my friends knew who that was, and the said artwork was only a poster of grinning flowers. My mom's eyes widened. "Yes it is. We just got it." She was very proud about this recent purchase.

Flora nodded. "I like his work too. He collaborated with Louis Vuitton and designed some handbags. That's how I know about him."

The two of them talked about handbags happily for a while, until my dad interrupted by asking if anyone wanted a burger.

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