Chapter 9

Hi everyone!  Again, this chapter is extremely, extremely eventful and will leave you hanging (muahahaha).  Let’s get right into this – it’s really good.

Download the chapter as a PDF here.



Warm up class at the National Ballet School

Aria and Diem are sitting in the back corner of the studio, chatting together.  Diem has seemed to forgive Aria for her ignorance the other day – so much that they seem to possess the ability to talk freely together.  Aria assumes that it is due to the fact that they are both now performing Swan Lake, even though Aria is in the lead company role (much to Diem’s unknowing) and Diem is performing the top student parts, much below Aria’s role.

“Ember seemed so steamed this morning,” says Diem, voice sounding concerned.

“That one has a lot on her plate….” drifts off Aria.

“True.  Rumors have it that something happened with her mom.”

Aria’s face contorts.  “Yeah, I’ve heard that too,” she says with uncertainty.

Diem stares at Aria.  “You know something, don’t you,” the girl says.  “You’re in the company, and there’s something you don’t want to tell me,” she says, gritting her teeth.

“Fine.  She’s not performing Odette Odile.”

Diem gasps.  “Wait, they just took her out two days before the show?”

“Yeah,” says Aria, secretly glad that Diem didn’t question her any further.

“I wonder why Cayson did that!  I mean, he loves Uri!”

“I know – it’s quite odd…” responds Aria.

“So…which understudy got the part?” Diem says blankly.

Aria’s heart plummets.  She never wanted this moment to come – she never wanted to tell Diem.  But, how could she avoid it?  It would be obvious when Diem sees Aria dressed as the Swan Queen that night – there’s no discrepancy there.

“Oh, Aria.  Is it your prime nemesis?” asks Diem.

Aria continues to stare into Diem’s eyes.  She wants her to realize, just so she doesn’t have to say the words.  She would never want to say those words to Diem’s face.

Oh,” says Diem, much louder than usual.  “It’s you, isn’t it?!”  Her face is filled with fear, with hatred, like she knew it all along and was just pretending to be nice, but then Aria did something mean to her and she just let it all burst out.  Yet, that was not the situation at all.  It was something completely different – something completely out of Aria’s hands.

Aria scoots backward on the studio floor.  Diem’s nostrils are flared, she seems as if she’s in an evil wrath, and Aria, her former best friend, is her new subject.  She’s now screaming, “First you leave me alone in the dorm!  You make me look stupid.  Then you act like you’re so much better than me and won’t even follow up on your promises.  Now this!  Why do you do this to me?”  Tears are streaming down her face like the river of blood she’s imagining.  “WHY?”

Aria is ashamed.  She did nothing wrong – she never intended to.  Diem was the one who asked her in the first place!  Now Diem just shamed herself – all the pairs of eyes in the studio are staring at her with fear, with annoyance.  Aria stands up and exits the studio.  She looks back at Diem as she exits the door and yells, “Suit yourself!”

As she turns she bumps into something tall and sturdy and she falls backwards onto the floor.  She wipes her eyes to look up, just about to whatever ignorant level 6 is standing in the doorway, in her way.  Then, she sees Cayson.  Her eyes are filled with fear.  Her body is shaking.  “I’m, I’m…sorry, Mr. Cortez.”

“Obviously you’re not too thankful for your role,” his cold voice shoots down on her, straight to her heart.



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