To say it was a surprise would be an understatement, though it was the truth. She was delighted when she strolled into the practice room and saw the bouquet of yellow roses and the jar of pickles that set in a elegant display on the piano. She spotted a small envelope sitting beside the vase of flowers. It was addressed to her, and she broke the seal slightly so she didn't rip the paper. It was a pet peeve of hers.
She took out a red piece of paper, smothered in black ink. The words were chicken scratch but nonetheless readable.
I know things have been awkward lately, with us trying to work this relationship/partnership thing out. And you were right when you said it would be better for us to stay friends. But honestly, will you go to the Valentine's Day dance with me? Trish and Dez are going to, as friends of course. And it would be awesome if I had some company …
She put down the letter and sighed. It had only been a couple of weeks since they tried dating. She liked him and he liked her, and they both knew it. So they tried to start dating. It wasn't that it was an awful date or that they no longer shared feelings between them. But with Ally being Austin's song writer, it was hard to maintain a relationship while having a responsible work ethic as well. Plus she knew if they broke up that it would damage their partnership, friendship, and his career. She could never let that happen.
Miami Mall held dances often in a huge ballroom that could easily fit all the passengers of the Titanic in it. They held dances for Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Fourth of July, and pretty much every important holiday you could think of. She only went one of the dances once, and that was when Trish and her decided to go stag for the Halloween dance when they were ten. They dressed up respectively, but ended up being scared out of their wits when a couple of teenage boys thought it would be funny to hide behind the streamers and pop out. That wasn't their best Halloween.
So should she take this chance? Was it worth it? It really was sweet that he bought her flowers and pickles. Forget chocolate, pickles were better. It shouldn't be too bad, they are still best friends after all. She would take this chance. Things couldn't change from this. Right?
She found her self in front of her vanity mirror a week later. She wore the same dress that she wore to Trish's quincenera, because she couldn't afford another dress. Her makeup was done similar, and her carmel-colored tipped hair was curled and pinned to the side. She heard the door open behind her and she panicked for a minute, then relaxed when she remembered that Trish was changing in her bathroom.
Her best friend entered the room in a floor-length, frilly, pink gown. It was flashy for sure, but not to the point where it was ridiculous. It was definitely Trish. Her make-up was done to perfection and her hair was curled and complimented with a glittery headband. She applied a coat of lip gloss and looked over at Ally.
"Dang girl! Austin will be all over you!"
At the statement Ally hesitantly pulled a lock of hair into her mouth, she seriously thought she had gotten over that habit. "I don't want Austin to be all over me, Trish. It'll give him the wrong idea."
Trish narrowed her eyes. "Lighten up, Ally! It's Valentines Day, and you like him and he likes you! It's only for one night …" She walked over and tugged the dampened curl from Ally's mouth.
"Trish you don't understand! It's not that I don't want to be with him, I do more than anything! But I just don't want everything that we have to be ruined. We've come to far for that …" Her face filled with a look of insecurity.
Trish held her hands up in defense. "Okay, okay. But I'm just saying, don't avoid him."
But that's what Ally was afraid of. If she didn't avoid him then she would be all over him.
The doorbell interrupted their thoughts and Trish looked over at Ally. "You better have fun tonight, I'm going out with doofus for you." She than walked downstairs, Ally following close behind.
The first thing Ally heard was her dad preaching to Austin and Dez about playing tambourines. She rolled her eyes to herself. Her dad did this with every guest they had, which is why they don't have very many. She looked down to see Austin in ripped skinny jeans and a long sleeved black dress shirt with a red tie. Dez was head to toe in white, almost like he was playing an angel in the church's Christmas play. Austin nodded as Ally's dad went on and Dez leaned against his elbow, looking bored and tired. Trish walked on down and the boys looked up. Dez whistled as they made their grand entrance, Austin seemed speechless as he looked at Ally with wonder in his eyes. She couldn't bring herself to make eye contact with him and stared down at her black, strappy heels.
"Here Trish!" Dez lunged forward and held out a pink wrist corsage.
She yanked it from his hand. "This is an annual dance not prom!" She put it on her wrist and Dez smirked at her actions.
"Well," Ally squeaked. "We better get going …" She felt Austin's hand on the small of her back, leading her out. She heard her dad holler a, "Bye! Have fun!", but she sort of spaced out after that.
Roughly fifteen minutes later, she found herself in the middle of Miami Mall's grand ballroom. It definitely wasn't like the sweaty gimnasium filled with cheesy decorations like she was used to. The ballroom bared resemblance to a giant gazebo with it's dome-like shape and open arch doorways that led to the outside porch and dock. A crystal chandelier hung from the center ceiling and she could see the second floor balcony from where she was standing. It really was a beautiful ballroom.
She looked at the sea of people around her only to realize that she was alone. She figured Trish wanted to test her phone for wifi connection and that Austin and Dez were hitting the buffet table. Ally started to get lightheaded with the crowds of people surrounding her, and she ran out towards the nearest doorway and towards the dock to get some fresh air. She saw that the sun was setting fast and she sat at the edge of the dock and unstrapped her heels, dipping her feet into the chilly waters of the Atlantic. She grabbed her small tote bag beside her and pulled out her songbook. She needed to let these unnecessary feelings go. She reached in to grab the black ink pen beside her.
It's Valentines Day. A day to celebrate family, friendship, and romance. I consider Valentine's Day and Thanksgiving too close, because they both represent appreciating what you have. Things have been rough lately. My friendship with Austin
Is starting to turn awkward because we both know there's more than friendship there. But I just don't understand why we fell this way and why it had to happen like this. I want to be with him, but I'm scared. I'm scared that we will never be the same. And I would never want to tank his career. It's whats most important right now. So I should just ignore these selfish pleads and not admit to myself that I'm in love with
She immediately stopped writing and shoved her book back in her bag. He walked up and sat next to her, trying to ignore these awkward conversations.
She coughed a little, then looked back out to where the sun was barely peeking out from behind the ocean. "It's nice out …"
He ran a hand, messing up his blonde hair. He seemed troubled for a second. His hand suddenly reached in his pocket and pulled out a white satin ribbon with two red roses on it.
She grinned up at him. He smiled back, always loving her smile. "Austin, thank you …" She deemed speechless. He laughed nervously.
"Do you want to dance?" The question was as unexpected as his late gift, but he didn't want to give it to her in front of her dad. It seemed too awkward of a situation. Plus he kind of wanted privacy.
She chuckled. "We're on the dock, Austin."
He raised his eyebrows. "And that's why we go inside."
She blushed a little and he grabbed her hand and helped her up, mummuring a 'let's go" and leading her to the lighted dance floor.
It wasn't crowded like before, and there were only few on the dance floor. Trish and Dez were sitting at a nearby table talking. Yes talking, not arguing. I guess tonight was a night to try something new.
A slow song started and Austin turned to her and mockingly bowed. "May I have this dance?"
Ally felt her smile widening. "Yes, you may."
He led her out to the middle of the dance floor, which was only occupied by a couple of other couples. She had to remind herself that they weren't a couple.
But they were pretty damn close.
They started to dance, but it was different. They were more swaying. Her arms were wrapped tightly around his neck and her face was buried within his chest. She could hear his heart beat quickening. His arms were looped securely around her waist, his chin rested on her head. There was not so much as an inch between them. They merged into one, metaphorically.
The swayed slowly, listening to the music and letting it soothe them. Ally's glad they swayed. She would've just fallen on her face if this was normal slow dancing. Or was the word platonic more appropriate? She couldn't help but think to herself if he ever danced with Kira like this.
Loving you was unexpected, but something I can't forget.
It's like losing half of yourself. Or like letters never sent
Austin pulled back a little and searched her eyes. They were endless and filled with such innocence. His were much the same, but they also sparked in childishness. He couldn't remember how long he was staring, but at one point his eyes shifted from hers to her blood red lips.
And he forgot to breathe completely.
All I know is that I need you. So give us a second chance.
He turned his attention back to her eyes and he blushed a bit. He bit his lip self consciously. He slowly started to lean in.
Ally's breath hitched. She too leaned in, but she was also afraid of getting hurt again. Not to mention her whole argument about ruining his career. "Austin …" She whispered.
"You are way more important than my career. You always were and always will be …" He whispered back and continued leaning in. Their nose were pressed against the others.
Lets forget about the past, and engage in one last dance.
The gap was closed. And Ally knew now that she had nothing to be scared of. February fourteenth is afterall a magical day.
Happy late Valentine's Day:)