Crushed Diaries

A blog for Young Adults

Friday, December 08, 2006

My Old School Friends

Stacey and Beverley were my two best friends at boarding school, but when I left, I didn’t think I would see them again, as they lived in the Midlands and I lived in London. But how wrong could I be? A few months later, I bumped into Beverley in High Street Kensington one afternoon. She still had long blonde hair, which she was swishing all over the place like a big pendulum, but she had changed. She no longer chewed gum, but smoked furiously instead, and had her head on one side, while fluttering her eyelashes at the boys who were passing by. I thought she was behaving like a daft monster, but the boys all smiled at her, so I thought she must be doing something right. After we had finished flinging our arms around each other, she stamped her feet on the pavement a few times.
‘Did you tread on some chewing gum?’ I asked.
‘No. I’m practicising my tap. Do you want to come tap dancing with me?’ she asked.
Naturally, I said yes, even though I didn’t possess any tap shoes.
‘Do you see Stacey at all?’ I asked.
‘Of course. All the time. Her father got her a wonderful job in London in public relations,’ she said.
That’s funny, I thought. Stacey used to be stout and have red hair, and I couldn’t picture her having a glamorous job.
‘She’s going to be at the tap class, so we’ll all have a class reunion,’ Beverley said.
At the Dance Centre, I borrowed a pair of tap shoes which were much too big for me, and stood at the back of the class so I could copy everybody. When the teacher arrived, she stood behind me, which I thought was a bit peculiar.
‘Everyone turn round and face me,’ she announced.
I could have died with embarrassment, for I was now in the front row and had nowhere to hide. Also, I had nobody in front of me to copy. Mind you, there were big mirrors on the walls, and I saw that Beverley was right behind me, so I decided to copy her reflection in the mirror. I just prayed that nobody would realise I was a complete beginner.
‘You! Are you a beginner?’ the teacher shouted, pointing at me.
‘Yes,’ I mumbled, flushing bright red.
And, then I saw a flash of red hair behind me. It was Stacey who was pushing her way to the front row until she was standing next to me. I hardly recognised her. She had lost a lot of weight and looked like a fashion model.
‘Long time no see,’ she sneered, slowly looking me up and down, which was unfortunate as I was wearing a pair of faded jeans. Everyone else in the class was wearing professional looking dance costumes. Stacey's hair was redder than ever, and she had an enormous pair of gold hoop earrings clipped in her ears. She had masses of makeup plastered over her face, and was dressed in a scarlet shiny leotard, with a pair of matching coloured leg-warmers clutching her thighs.
‘You look so different,’ I gasped.
‘I had a nose job for my birthday.’
‘One, two, three!’ boomed the teacher.
I had no idea what I was doing, and tried to copy Stacey out of the corner of my eye. She was a natural, and was such a good tap dancer she could have partnered Fred Astaire. I could also observe Beverley‘s smug reflection in the mirror, and saw that she knew what she was doing, which was more that could be said for me. I was a disaster, and after I had banged into Stacey for the twentieth time (she actually swore at me), the teacher took me aside.
‘You don’t belong here, this is an advanced class. Go to the back,’ she said rudely.
I swore that Stacey smirked, while Beverley looked at me with condescending pity. It was at that moment in time, that I realised my school days were definitely over, for I could see the girls were no longer my best friends, especially after they sneaked out to have a coffee together after the class without asking me.

Copyright: Frances Lynn, 2006


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