Chapter 5 Part 1
Click here to read Chapter 4 Part 2
The gym was decorated with Christmas trees and large, wrapped presents. Snowflakes hung from the ceiling along with clear twinkle lights. There was a dusting of fake snow on the ground. A large reindeer with a glowing nose stood in a small grove of evergreens in a corner. A snowman, along with Santa and his sleigh were displayed in another.
Students were heading towards the dance floor. Girls were dressed in elegant floor length dresses in rich colors of velvet, some with long white gloves. The boys sported freshly pressed shirts and pants, with festive holiday ties.
Paivi looked around, taking in the scene before her. It truly was a ‘Winter Wonderland’ as the banner that hung on the DJ booth stated. Someone had come up behind her and put a hand on her arm. She turned to find Jason standing there, a smile on his cheery face. She looked down to see his tie, where a line of elves were doing a Rockette-style kick line under Christmas lights, which were lit up by a small battery pack behind the tie. It was extremely cheesy, but somehow he made it look cool.
“Would you like to dance?” he asked, looking out at the dance floor as the DJ put on a slow song.
He put his arms around her waist, and she put hers around his neck and rested her head on his shoulder. As happy as she should have been, she suddenly felt extremely sad. Her eyes prickled with tears and she closed them tight. A few escaped, rolling silently down her cheek. She hugged him closer and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
She awoke wiping her face, her cheeks wet. She felt so confused. It had become no secret that she liked Jason, but he had a girlfriend. And the Christmas dance was still months away. She was excited to see he was her date, but why would it end in tears? It made no sense. Being with Jason was nothing to be sad about.
A lovely smell wafted underneath her bedroom door. Paivi felt her stomach growl and rolled over. The alarm clock on her nightstand read 10:12.
Ahh, she thought, I LOVE Saturdays!
She kicked off her down comforter and gave a loud yawn and a stretch, pulling herself out of bed.
Down in the kitchen she found Torsten eating a large plate of waffles doused in syrup. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were manning the waffle iron.
“I love waffles!” she exclaimed, pulling her chair up to the kitchen table.
“Me too!” Torsten spoke through a mouthful of waffles.
“How did float building for the Homecoming Parade go last night?” inquired Mr. Anderson, trying to get a waffle off the iron without burning his fingers.
“It was great! You should see our float! The theme is ‘St. Andrew goes to Hollywood.’ We used chicken wire to make the Hollywood hills, that’s why my hands are all scratched up.” She showed her hands that were full of long red marks. “On the hills we are going to put ‘SAHS’ instead of ‘Hollywood.’ And then there is a huge shark, like Jaws, that comes out of the middle of the field and he has a Dundee Warrior in its’ mouth, all covered with fake blood. On the side it says ‘Chomp the Warriors.’ It’s really cool!”
“It sounds kind of dumb,” said Torsten as he dumped half a bottle of syrup on what was left of his waffles.
“Oh shut up!” She threw a crumpled napkin across the table at him and hit him square in the head. “You’re just jealous because you’re still in eighth grade, you baby.”
“More waffles are ready!” Mrs. Anderson brought a steaming plate to the table.
Paivi and Torsten both reached across the table, forks at the ready. Paivi gave Torsten a quick poke in the hand with her fork and then used it to spear two fluffy waffles.
“Owww! Mom! She totally stabbed me with her fork!” He pulled his hand back, rubbing it.
“Well, Tor, quit hogging all of the waffles! Serves you right!” laughed Mr. Anderson, bringing his own plate to the table. “So when is this Homecoming Dance that my little girl is going to?”
“Oooo, do you have a date? Did you find someone tall enough to dance with?” teased Torsten.
“No, dummy, if you don’t have a boyfriend, you just go with your friends. I’m going with Michaela, Crystal and Aimee. Jenn and Paulina both have boyfriends so they are going with them. But I think we all want to go to dinner together at Armando’s before the dance.”
“Sooo...,” Torsten was trying to sound casual, “Aimee doesn’t have a date then?”
“Why? Do you want to go with her? Oh wait, oh that’s right, eighth graders aren’t allowed!”
“Well,” interrupted her mother, “I wouldn’t make too much fun of my baby boy. Next year he’ll be joining you at school. Then he can go everywhere you can, so get used to it!”
Mrs. Anderson patted his head and gave him a big hug. Torsten hugged his mother back and stuck his tongue out at Paivi.
Join me next week for the next part of Chapter 5! I'd be happy to put INTO THE SHADOWS on the blog three days a week, if people are interested! Just leave me a comment and let me know!