Before long, the meet and greet was upon us. It took place on a Saturday at the New York Dance Academy of Performing Arts Dance Arena. I was nervous wreck all day. I could not figure out which one of my outfits to wear. Everything seems wrong.
“You know, Sandy. I was not sure if anything I have here is going to be good enough for this event today.”
Sandy came up to me and pointed to the bed. “Here. Look through those dresses and see if you like one.”
I went through them, and I have a hard time choosing just one. “Wow, Sandy. These are all lovely.”
“Well, I hope you narrowed it down to the two you like best.”
“That’s the thing. I am not sure. They are all so beautiful.”
“Okay, I will help. How about these three?” She picks three different dresses and hands them each to me.
I stared at them with excitement. They were all amazing. “What would you go with if you were me?”
She stared down at them and placed a finger to her lips. “Personally, I would go with the green.”
“Oh, I was going to say the same!”
“Okay, so that settles it.”
“How about you Sandy?”
“I’ve got mine picked out already. A snazzy red number.”
“Oh, how lovely!” I exclaimed.
The red dress would accentuate her strawberry hair and make her hazel eyes stand out. As a dancer, I know the importance of looking your best. Even though this is not a performance, I know we are representing the school, and I wanted to be at my best. It took us about a half hour to get ready. I had to say I really liked the way Sandy’s green dress looked on me.
She whistled when I come out of the bathroom. “Whoa, Mia. You look amazing!”
I’m sure I’m blushing. “Well, so do you, Sandy.”
“Thank you. Now, let’s get going.”
I extended an arm toward the door. “After you.”
The arena was decorated with millions of bright lights. It’s so beautiful. Outside, students, alumni, and professors all mingled together in front of the building, with some of the benefactors and their family members. A large group of policemen direct traffic into and out of the parking lot, and I notice some of the vehicles are actually limos!
“Welcome to the meet and greet, Mia.” Sandy’s excitement shines all over her face.
“Wow, when you said it was big, I never imagined this.”
The music was blasting out from the student arena, and the large crowd was making a lot of noise. I tried to swallow back my nerves, but it’s no use. My heart raced again.
Sandy must notice. “It’s okay, Mia. Just stick with me.”
I smiled. “Thanks, Sandy.”
As we walked into the meet and greet, I could see everyone watching us from out of the corner of my left eye.
“Sandy, hey,” I heard someone call.
She waved. “ Hello, Madame Antonelli.”
The older lady sighed. “Sandy, I have already told you to call me Angela.”
“Okay, Angela,” said Sandy. “ I want you to meet my roommate, friend, and new student, Mia Gerard.”
Angela gave me a warm greeting. “Hello, Mia. Sandy has told me so much about you.”
I did my best to smile through my anxiety. “ I hope all good things.”
“Yes, she just loves having you as her roommate.”
“Well, I feel the same.”
“Welcome to our school, and I hope to be seeing you next semester.”
I relaxed slightly. “Yes, Madame. I look forward to it.”
“Well, I will catch up with you two later, okay?”
“Yes, Madame Antonelli,” we both answer. I’m feeling a lot better now. It helps that Sandy has spoken so highly of me.
“See, Mia. All good, right?”
I nodded. “Yes.”
“Hey, you want something to drink now?”
I heave a huge sigh. “I sure do.”
“Okay. I will go and grab something for us. Be right back.”
I nodded. “Sure.”
She smiled. “I promise not to take long.”
Less than five minutes after Sandy headed off to find drinks, I heard someone calling out to me. “Mia.”
I was a bit hesitant to turn around since I’m new to the school and don’t know too many people. But curiosity gets the better of me, so I turned. Immediately, I recognize Henry.
“Oh, come Mia. You don’t remember my name?”
I have to admit, I enjoyed hearing him speak. Gotta love that British accent.
“It’s Henry, right?” I said, jokingly
“Yes. Henry Watson.” He said, taking a dramatized bow.
I bit my lip.
Does he even realize how sexy he is? “Good to see you.” I said in a breathless voice. Good Lord, does he know that I am weak in the knees?
“Well, I have to say the same. By the way, you look ravishing.”
Wow. Ravishing? What a word to use.
Is he seriously flirting with me? Okay. Play it cool, Mia.
“Thank you, Henry. You look nice, as well.”
“Thank you. I was hoping for handsome, but nice will do.” He smiles.
My cheeks heated up.
“Why, Mia, you are blushing.”
I looked down at my feet. “Well, I am a bit embarrassed.”
“Why can’t you see that you’re one of the prettiest girls here?”
What’s happening here? Who is this guy?
He doesn’t wait for me to answer. “Well, I have to step away, but I hope to catch up later.”
“Later, lovely lady.”
After he left, a wave of nausea hits me. More guilt. I was actually unwittingly flirting with a stranger. I’m just about to run off and go back to the dorm when I see Sandy coming toward me.
“Hey, Mia. I’m sorry I took so long.”
“Oh, no worries, Sandy.”
“No, nothing new.” I decided to keep the incident with Henry Watson quiet. I’m not ready to open up that part of myself just yet. Besides, I’m determined to be more careful next time.
“Well, here you go. I got you a Shirley Temple.”
“Oh, thank you, Sandy.”
I took the drink from her. It was a refreshing diet pop.
She grinned and held up her drink. “I got the same. I’m sure you’ll approve.”
Later that night, we meet up with Dean Array, Professor Alona Neal, and some of the other professors. I would like to say the party was uneventful, but sadly it was not. Near the end of the night, I had a slight encounter with Miranda Strolls. As usual, she came in with her two sidekicks, and they all roll their eyes as they pass right by me.
“What is her problem?”
“Mia, Miranda is a pain to everyone. Just ignore her.”
I decided then and there to enjoy the rest of the night. Lucky for me, I don’t run into Henry again. Much later, Sandy and I decide to go to Dreams Café and enjoy a late-night snack. We talk and laugh the entire night. Then, we head back to our dorm.
It was an amazing night, and I’m glad I got to meet so many wonderful people at the meet and greet. However, I can’t stop thinking about my encounter with Henry.
Oh, I hope that was the last one.