Return to Kellerman's

Written By: Seuss Fan

(Note: I do not own this movie or any of its characters. Please do not sue me. Dedicated to Patrick Swayze. May his memory live on forever. It's been one year and we still miss you. We always will.)

Chapter 6: Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner…

Johnny came back to his cabin after a long dance rehearsal. On his way over he had the intention of questioning his daughter about her suspicious behavior but he was too tired to even formulate a proper sentence.

"You okay, Dad?" Rhonda asked as her father collapsed on his bed.

"I'm getting too old for his shit."

"Want me to break out the heating pad?"

"Angel, real men do not use heating pads."

"Let me know if you change your mind."

Before Johnny could respond he had drifted off into a peaceful sleep. With her father comatose Rhonda silently slipped on her dance gear and went to meet Tom for a late night dance session.

"You turned wrong."

"No, I didn't."

"I've been at rehearsals more than you have. I'm pretty sure it's a left turn."

"Yes, but see that would mean the turn would be a cross-body lead. My dad hates those kinds of turns. It's just not a part of his style. So, the turn is the right."

"Fine. It's a right turn, whatever."

"Someone's cranky."

"I think it was a mistake to meet so late. I need sleep."

"You sound like my dad."

"Did he pass out?"

"Big time. Almost didn't make it to the bed."

"He was working overtime and he's not even in the number."

"That's Johnny Castle for you. He's the hardest working dancer the world has ever seen."

"Your mom was great too."

"You saw her here? I thought you were new?"

"What, I couldn't have come as a guest?"

"I just wasn't thinking about that."

"Actually, I snuck in."

"What?"

"Like most guys I got made fun of for enjoying dancing. So, I came here to enjoy myself. One night Neil caught hanging out backstage mimicking the dance moves and offered me a job."

"I thought my dad got you your job."

"He got me the job in the department. Neil just wanted me to do something constructive other than steal his money."

"Oh, Neil."

"Anyway, you inherited talent from both of your parents. You really got a gift."

"I guess."

"What do you wanna do with your life anyway?"

"I don't know. I was gonna apply somewhere undeclared and see what happens."

"I think you should go to Julliard and major in dance."

"I think my dad would have a stroke if I went into the family business."

"Why? You're doing something he likes."

"Yeah, but it's risky. My dad always wanted me to be involved in dance. He and my mom started giving me lessons when I was four. But I think he rather have me take the safe route. We barely had anything when I was growing up. My parents' would do dance missionary work and come here in the summer but that was about it. I think my dad would want me to pick a job in which I'd be more financially secure."

"Were your parents happy?"

"What?"

"Even though they were broke, were they happy?"

"Yeah, they were."

"There's your answer. You're doing dance."
"I think I have some time to think about my future but I appreciate your support."

"It's nice to know you support your boyfriend's opinion."

"Can we just get back to the routine please?"

"You're so your father's daughter."

"Shut up."

The two continued to dance and talk well into the early morning hours.

Rhonda snuck back into her cabin just before six 'clock. Unfortunately for her, her pool duties started a seven. She arrived at work half asleep but happier than ever. The previous night Tom had planted an idea in her head. Becoming a dancer. She had thought about it but she had always pushed it aside. Her father would freak and with her mother gone he would be the one paying the tuition. But, like her mother, it was her true passion. Once she got the hang of a new step it became her passion. By the end of her shift her mind was made up. She was going to pursue a career in dance; there were no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Rhonda returned from her shift to take a much needed nap. After all, the show was that night.

"Don't you wanna go to lunch?"

"I'll just have a big dinner."

"Are you feeling okay?"

"Yeah, just had trouble sleeping last night."

"Penny for your thoughts?"

"I just don't wanna go home. You know back to school and all. And I definitely don't wanna leave Tom behind."

"I know it'll be hard but you guys will find a way to stay in touch. And school won't be so bad. You'll have the memories of this place to keep you going."

"Easy for you to say you've done this multiple times before."

"Trust me; you'll get through the separation. You sure you don't want any lunch?"

"I'm sure. I'll see you later Dad."

"See you later Rhonda."

After her Dad left their cabin Rhonda drifted off into some much needed sleep.

Rhonda awoke hours later to find herself being shaken back and forth.

"Angel, we're gonna be late!"

"Late for what?" Rhonda responded completely delirious.

"The show! It just started a few minutes ago. We gotta get you backstage and ready to go before it's too late."

"Shit! I totally forgot to set my alarm! Where's my dress? I'm so not prepared for this."

"Just calm down. There are twenty acts before the finale. I think we'll make it."

"You're the one who came in here like a bat out of hell."

"Sorry. I just panicked when I didn't see you waiting in your spot. You're always so prompt."

"Well, sometimes people screw up."

"You okay?"

"Tom, I don't think now is a good time to have a heart to heart."

"I just wanna make sure your okay."

"I'm just bummed about going home."

"That's all?"

"That's all."

"Babe, I know it's gonna suck but you gave me your number. I'll talk to you every day."

"I know. I just liked this set-up. I can come and go as I please. Once I get back home I'll be back on Dad watch."

"Angel…"

"Can you call me by my real name, please?"

"Rhonda, your dad has made great strides in letting you grow up this summer. Things are going to continue to get better. Your dad's always going to have trouble letting go. After all, your all he's got left. But he's seen his summer how mature you've really become. And I think he's ready to start loosening the reigns."

"Thanks, Tom. Did you ever consider becoming a motivational speaker?"

"It's crossed my mind once or twice. C'mon get dressed. We gotta go kick some dancer ass!"

Rhonda smiled as she pulled her dress out of the closet and began to get ready for her Kellerman's final show debut.

Rhonda took her secret hiding place backstage just in time. There were five acts waiting to go. She was nervous, especially about what her father would think, but at the same time she couldn't be happier. Like both of her parents, Rhonda had fallen hard for dance. Just being offered to co-teach a class with Tom this summer had made her dreams come true. But getting to perform in a space bigger than her living room was a hell of a lot better.

Finally, it was time for the final performance. Rhonda had been instructed by Tom to wait until everyone was in their places before sneaking onstage. Everyone was shocked to see a pool cleaner joining their dance group. But look from Tom signified that if they spoke he would make sure those jerks never danced again

"Ladies and gentleman before we sing the Kellerman's anthem our end of year performance will be performed by members of our dance staff. Let's give them a round of applause!"

The curtains opened and the dance began. As soon as Rhonda looked out into the audience her eyes locked with her father's. She knew he was pissed. She lied to him. After she promised she wouldn't lie again. But as the dance carried on she decided she didn't care Rhonda had grown his summer. She had gone from being a pissed off teen to being a girl on her way to becoming a woman. She got her first steady boyfriend. She had had sex. And know she was publicly expressing her passion for dance. There was nothing or no one that could stop her now.

"Weren't they amazing? Before we gather all of our staff and performers onstage to sing the anthem we're going to take a five minute break." announced Neil. "Just be sure not to leave or you'll miss the best part."

Before Rhonda could find Tom her father found her.

"That was some dancing you did out there kid."

"Are you here to berate me for going against your orders or are you really being sincere?"

"Well, I first saw you up there I was planning on ripping you a new one but I've suddenly had a change of heart. Rhonda, my dear, you've really grown up these past few months. Your whole life I tried to protect you from that. Your mother's death only made that worse. But this summer you've taught me one important thing: If I want my little girl to be happy I've got to let her go."

"You've really gotten good at sappy moments." Rhonda replied as she felt her eyes begin to fill up with tears.

"I do my best."

Before father and daughter could embrace Tom interrupted the moment.

"Neil's lining everybody up for the anthem. You guys better get out there."

"Let's walk together." Johnny said as he put his arms around his daughter and her beau.

"Thanks, Mr. Castle."

"Since you're in my girl's life you can call me Johnny from now on."

As Johnny, Rhonda, and Tom took their places the curtains pulled themselves apart. Every staff member and performer belted the anthem they all knew by heart. In Rhonda's mind she had never heard lyrics so true. Kellerman's was truly the place where people developed friendships. And in her case especially, she had come to find herself.

The End

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