Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Fish from a Small Pond

Hi everybody! Happy Thursday? This is an extremely late post. But I finished writing the Coffee Shop chapter and I wanted to share it! During my journalism class (often interchanged with newspaper class), people were reminiscing about Halloween and they were playing this song that apparently their elementary music teacher made them perform every week (2 min. skit) when Halloween came around.  So I think that I have to share that with you. :)

It's called Old Woman, all skin and bones. Feel free to share with your friends. I think I'm going to start the Halloween countdown. Expect a song, movie, book, or pop of culture about Halloween every day until the 31st. The 31st is one of my best friend's birthday. I was invited to a Halloween party by some friends but I doubt I'm going. Why go have fun when I can party with my books? haha. But yeah that pretty much sums up my life. What would completely sum up my life is: why go have a social life when I can party with my books and volunteer? Perfect. 

Anyways. Here's what you've probably been waiting for. You can read this and listen to the music! How thoughtful :) Enjoy. xx 

A Fish From A Small Pond
Ryan looked up from his computer screen when he received another text from Noah. A month had gone past but he hadn’t spoken to Claire once since that day on the picnic. Since then, he had broken up with Kiana. He hadn’t thought it was fair to Kiana but she had been way too understanding. He had been getting too many phone calls from Noah though. Noah wanted to meet him, now. Ryan knew an urgent message when he saw one. He shut down his computer and put on his jacket. He couldn’t believe that he was even at a Starbucks because Noah wanted to meet him. Ryan sat down on one of the tables far away from the main doors. The lights were dim and it felt shady, like he was making some sort of shoddy deal. He put his phone away when he saw Noah open the doors. It was a Saturday morning but Noah sounded like this was an emergency. His fingers silently reached for his phone again. Who was he kidding? This couldn’t really be all that serious. Ryan waved a simple hi before unlocking his phone screen. Maybe it was finally the day where he beat his Temple Run high score. 
“Ryan, I just need your mom to sign this,” Noah said sliding a piece of paper towards him. He looked ready to leave. Ryan locked his phone again and scanned the contents of the paper. It seemed familiar from somewhere. At the very bottom, it said that it was a transfer form. It was the same paper that Ryan had used to get Claire in to Le Cordon Bleu. If his mom signed it, any person was a shoe in. 
“Why should I do this for you?” Noah seemed nervous and he wasn’t even being a smart ass today. 
“You want to help the Sunshine Bistro don’t you?” He could lie to anyone, but not Noah. 
“What’s your point?”
“We need this girl.” Ryan stared at the picture that Noah had printed off the internet. She wasn’t much of a looker. Danielle Hastings had dark bushy brown hair with an odd magenta streak here and there. She wore way too much eye liner. She was eight months younger than him, and Noah. 
“How did you go from Vanessa to this?” Ryan examined the photograph again. “Is she from prison, safe question.” 
“She’s just the most extraordinary girl,” Noah started to say. Did Noah even hear what he had just asked? Had he just ignored an opportunity to say something witty? Noah stopped after Ryan gave him the raised eyebrow. Was Noah okay? “She doesn’t look like that in real life.” Ryan just nodded curtly. He had never seen Noah like that before. He never described a girl as “extraordinary”. What happened to him?
“Does she have money to attend this school?” In the end, it really was all about the money. Noah gave him a glance of disbelief. Ryan crossed his arms and waited for some kind of answer. 
“She can do what Claire did,” Noah said confidently. He was drumming his fingers against the coffee table. Ryan looked up at him and Noah immediately stopped. That was new.  Ryan simply nodded.  Noah wanted this more than anything, in the whole world. He took the form and parted ways with Noah. There was nothing else to be said. Noah would not be persuaded out of this, bringing a prison convict to Le Cordon Bleu. He walked past the subway station until he saw Claire. Claire was nicely dressed, even for the new Claire. 
Claire usually never came out to the city. He didn’t know why and it had never occurred to him that he should ask. She was listening to music while waiting for the subway. Maybe she had more time since she wasn’t working for her tuition. Someone, a very good looking blonde guy someone, tapped her on the shoulder and she paused to look up. She smiled at the guy and they hugged momentarily before she got up. Ryan left too, to the other subway station. There was no way he could ride the subway there now. He never thought Claire would be able to get over him. Ryan had only seen her face brighten up that way for him. He stared at the new message on his phone. Maybe he would go to that party, who knew. Ryan sat down on the stone bench and contemplated replying. 
“Hey Ryan,” Vanessa said from the subway station. She was frowning at him while drinking a latte. Vanessa sat down next to him and he heard more footsteps and an irritated groan. 
“Nessa, these shoes are killing me! Why did you make me wear them and who are you talking to?” Claire’s voice said in a whiny tone Ryan had never heard before. Claire stopped mid-step when she saw him. 
“Hello, Ryan,” she said awkwardly. That had to be the shortest date in the whole wide world. 
“Hi,” he replied back. “What brings you here?” He would just pretend not to know what he had seen earlier. 
“Nothing,” Claire said stiffly. She was still standing somewhat next to the bench. He could see that she was debating whether to sit down or stand. Vanessa was sitting next to the wall. 
“You have to tell him Claire. If you don’t, I will,” Vanessa said in that pushy tone Ryan didn’t miss. It was between a threat and a demand, which were the same thing for Vanessa. 
“Nessa, don’t,” Claire simply said and looked away. She was still standing. 
“Ryan, Claire here has been forced to date a guy to get funds for the Sunshine CafĂ©. Don’t you care even a little about the restaurant you funded?” 
“She’s an O’Shea and you’re an Atkins. Can’t you get your own parents’ funding?” He rolled his eyes for added effect. 
“You would think so but no,” Vanessa said. He wanted Claire to say anything but she had her mouth clamped shut. “I’ll leave you two to talk. I have a manicure appointment anyway.” 
“You need my help,” Ryan simply stated. He missed Claire. He really, really did. 
“Yes,” she said in his same manner. “Can we stop pretending now?” She let out a sigh. 
“You miss me.” 
“You miss me more. I wish you saw James.” What was that? 
“I wish you saw Kiana, oh wait you did.” She finally sat down on the bench with an awkward inch between them. “What happened?” 
“Your beloved Kiana set us up, that’s what happened.” Claire’s fondness for Kiana had suddenly disappeared. 
“I broke up with her,” he said sheepishly. Claire looked at him with huge moonstone eyes. He smirked, silently, and crossed his arms. “So when are you free?”
“Ryan,” she said. “The subway’s here.” Claire tugged at his shoulder and somehow they had found seats next to each other. 
“I’ll fund the restaurant,” he said fully aware that she hadn’t even asked yet. 
“You would do that?” 
“Sure,” he said. He was tempted to put his arm around her but something stopped him. That easiness between them had somewhat disappeared. Ryan wondered where it had gone. 
“Ryan, if I were to get back together with you, would you promise not to make me jealous?” He ignored the urge to laugh. He had not once purposely tried to make her jealous. 
“I wouldn’t dare,” he said solemnly instead. “You wanna go eat ice cream?” 
“Sure,” Claire said. Her attention had flickered elsewhere and he wondered what else was on her mind. 
Dani was amazed by the glittering city called New York. She had just arrived but already loved every little bit of it. It was a different type of bustling from the San Francisco that she was used to. She lugged her one suitcase off the subway and pulled her phone out from her pocket. The navigation application was already busily whirring, trying to find the location of the hotel address. She didn’t know how Noah had convinced her parents. Before she could even bring it up, Cassandra had handed her a suitcase and a hundred dollars. Her father printed her plane ticket from the internet and her brothers both gave her a little wink. She had refused Noah’s help when he told her he’d book the hotel. 
“Hey Dani,” someone said appearing right next to her. Noah. Dani just rolled her eyes. Was she that easy to find? “I’m so glad you made it.’ 
“Yeah me too,” she said awkwardly. She felt the butterflies in her stomach again. She tried to shrug it off but they weren’t going anywhere. Dani felt super self conscious in her long cargo pants and platform boots. It wasn’t like she had any cash to buy new city clothes. Noah could have any girl in the world, but why was it her? Maybe he was using her because it was time for her to face reality. It wasn’t possible for her to be Cinderella for more than one day. 
“You didn’t think I’d actually let you sleep in some cockroach infested place right? You can live with this very nice girl named Claire,” Noah continued to say. It was weird being in New York and talking to him. He didn’t seem like the ordinary boy she had to talked to San Francisco. Maybe he wasn’t. They took a bus to the school campus where she would be studying. It was straight from some sort of television show and she couldn’t believe the manicured lawns and pristine buildings. 
“You live here?”
“Yeah, you get used to it, I promise.” Dani just nodded her head and felt so out of place. Everyone was staring her as she walked across the lawn with her messenger bag and cheap suitcase. It seemed even stranger to be escorted by someone like Noah because Noah was perfect. 
“I’ll see you later, I have to take care of some stuff for the restaurant you’re going to be working at.” Dani stared down at her feet. She didn’t like this attention that she was getting just by standing next to him. She rang the doorbell to the most magnificent building in this whole entire television ready campus. Was she on a reality TV show? 
“Hi Dani,” a super peppy girl said answering the door. She looked like the beach, with freckles and warm sandy blonde hair. “I’m Claire.” Claire had the prettiest of smiles and faces. Dani felt self conscience once again. She hated this place, maybe more than being with her family. Maybe her father had known that. 
“Dani,” another girl said. She was beautiful and flawless like Claire. Dani grabbed the streak of magenta in her hair. She wished she hadn’t done such heinous things to her hair. She set down her things in a spare bedroom and wished she didn’t have to talk anymore. 
“We’re so glad that you came to help us with the restaurant,” Claire said with a happy smile. Obviously Claire was better at welcoming people than the other girl. “She’s Vanessa by the way.” Claire seemed to catch the dubious glances that Dani shot in Vanessa’s direction. Dani nodded and went into her own room. She wasn’t ready to be social in this school yet, She changed into a pair of jeans and wondered if she had any suitable clothes for this environment. Dani pulled out her phone to check if anyone had called her, one missed message from Noah. She threw her phone into the bed and wondered if she made the right decision in coming here. 
She woke up the next morning from a long slumber to find Claire flipping waffles. It seemed that Vanessa actually didn’t stop by much even though they lived in the same building. 
“I’m really happy that you came,” Claire said in a cheery voice. Dani nodded sitting down at the table. She was already dressed even though there was still an hour before her first class, economics. She was wearing jeans, platform boots, and a nice tee. It seemed like the only thing she had that was semi appropriate. 
“Mmm,” Dani nodded. She stared down at the table. 
“Do you want a tour maybe?”
“Sure, I’d really appreciate that.”
“You know I was also here working before I found my family,” Claire said beaming. It might have seemed sisterly and caring but to Dani it felt awkward. 
“I need to call my mom, I’ll be back in a sec,” Dani said excusing herself from the table. It was only then that Claire realized Dani hadn’t eaten anything or how skinny Dani was.
Dani hadn’t told her mom about her move. She wondered if her mom would be okay and dialed the home phone. Her mom didn’t pick up and Dani left a three minute long message detailing her address and why she moved. She couldn’t stand being with her father but now she couldn’t stand not being in Sacramento. Wasn’t there anywhere she belonged? She left the huge mansion house early and went to the nearest coffee shop. Claire could give her a tour later. 
“Hey Dani,” Noah said smiling towards her. Was there only one coffee shop on campus?The butterflies came back. He opened the door to the coffee shop for her and she felt more people staring at them. She saw the way the girls working the coffee shop narrowed their eyes at her. 
“I’ll have a mocha,” she said trying to avoid eye contact. 
“Name please,” the girl with the long fingernails said to her. Her fingernails were painted a bright red. There weren’t any other people here except her and Noah. She didn’t understand the need for that girl to take her name. 
“Dani,” she said after a long hesitation. The girl looked at her like she was a freak. She wanted to scream back in retaliation that it wasn’t weird to have a magenta streak of hair. It wasn’t supposed to be expected that she be as pretty as Claire or Vanessa. Dani sighed and sat down in one of the tables, sighing and crossing her arms. It was obvious that she was in a bad mood. Noah sat down next to her.
“Just ignore them,” he said trying to be uplifting. Great, so she wasn’t the only person who noticed their killer stares. If only looks could kill... “So, how’s life so far?”
“Noah, I’m going to be honest. My life is so much worse here than it was in Sacramento. I don’t fit in here. I’m not like Vanessa or Claire or even those girls at the counter. They expect me to be a pretty, perfect girl and I’m neither.” 
“You’re something a lot better. Don’t say you aren’t pretty,” he said and the butterflies swarmed back. Dani felt her cheeks reddening and let out a laugh, or at least attempted to. 
“Thanks, Noah,” she said. “My first class is economics and I don’t know where it is.” That was probably the worst way to switch the subject. 
“I’ll walk you there. Mr. Hunter is just the best.” Dani reached her economics class right as the bell rang. There were more girls with angry stares. 
“We have a new student,” Mr. Hunter said clapping his hands a couple times. “Everybody, this is Danielle Hastings.” She wanted to disappear as people started to whisper. News traveled fast and she heard someone whisper Noah. Dani rushed to the seat in the back of the classroom. A note was waiting for her as she sat down. She unfolded it carefully and read it: Are you dating Noah? She shook her head and crumpled the note. They were just friends. Why was that so hard to believe? 
The rest of the day wasn’t much better. She had received a couple threatening notes about her supposed relationship with Noah. Her locker had even been vandalized and this was just the first day. How long would she be able to endure this?
Dani walked back to Vanessa’s dormitory. Neither Claire nor Vanessa were home and she called her old best friend, Peggy. Peggy and Dani had been friends since fourth grade and had always told each other everything. Peggy had been upset that Dani was moving away, to New York, but had promised to keep in touch. 
“Hello?” Peggy answered. 
“Hi,” Dani said immediately. “I miss you so much. I hate New York. I hate it so much.” 
“Dan, calm down. What is so bad?”
“You know that guy I told you about, Noah?” 
“By Noah, do you mean the extremely attractive guy who brought you to New York? Does he have any single friends?” 
“Pegs! Focus! Yes, that Noah. Well it turns out all the girls here like him. He’s nice to me so I have a black eye because some girl didn’t like the way he opened the door for me.”
“You’ve got to be kidding. He likes you, huh,” Peggy said unable to control the inflections in her voice. “Why do you always get the fairytales? You’re family breaks up and your father remarries an evil witch. You meet this guy somehow with the help of a cat and now you go to school with him in the city.” 
“You make my life sound so dramatic and so easy. He’s not into girls like me.” Peggy was the one who had convinced Dani to dye that streak of hair magenta. She had piercings all over and started the platform boot trend. 
“Dan, he asked you to come to New York with him. He’s in love with you. You better be careful.” 
“Pegs, I mean it. You should see the girls here. They’re all from magazines and super rich families. I can’t compete with them.” 
“Just give them a chance. Give Noah a chance. Dan, I have to go. I’ll see you, I mean talk, to you later.” The phone hung up abruptly and Dani started to cry. She missed Peggy and she missed Sacramento, even her dysfunctional family. 
She woke up the next morning and left for the coffee shop before Claire woke up. Claire look almost dead in her bed and Dani left quietly. She didn’t know why she was back at this coffee shop but she did need the caffeine. 
“Dani, right?” One of the girls asked, she was the one of the gossipy girls from yesterday. There was a different girl standing at the cash box. She looked more like Peggy with her lip piercing and bluish high lights. 
“Yeah,” Dani said quietly. She didn’t want to cause a fight. Her eye was still healing from the fight with Kiana. 
“So what do you want?” The girl asked in her annoyed tone. The girl with the lip piercing shoved her to the side and took the order. 
“Um a latte,” she said taking out a five dollar bill. 
“I’m Bree,” the girl with the lip piercing said. “Just a question.”
“Sure,” Dani said with a smile. She was probably the third girl who hadn’t glared at her or called her a bitch. 
“Are you dating Noah?” This again? Dani groaned audibly. 
“No,” Dani answered with a sigh. 
“Have you slept with him yet?” Dani stepped back. She hadn’t expected that question. 
“Of course not. I haven’t kissed him either. We’re just friends.” 
“Ah,” Bree said with a smile. “That’s why he’s friends with you then. Watch out for him.” Dani grabbed her latte from the counter and left. There was no way that was true. Or was it? She didn’t know what to think anymore. She pulled out her phone and sent a message to Peggy. She sat down in economics and wanted to cry. 
Dani checked her phone during the break between classes. Noah had sent her a message. She still smiled whenever his name popped up anywhere. He asked her to meet him by the fountain near the gym. It was on her way to second period anyways. She walked fast and saw him standing there, eating an apple. He looked like a Greek god. Dani snapped herself out of her trans and waved at him, as friends would. She couldn’t ruin his image by standing next to him. 
“Hey Dani,” he said casually. She had two minutes before the bell rang. Two minutes was way too short to ask anything serious. How could she even trust Bree? 
“Hi, I have to go to class. Don’t you?” Her voice wavered. 
Noah wondered what to say to her at the fountain. She had come after all. Well, actually her next class, English, was this way but still. She had stopped and waved to him. He felt nervous and tried to remember what he had rehearsed. 
“Hi, I have to go to class. Don’t you?” 
“Yeah, my class is this way,” he said with a smile. Smiles were good, right? 
“Oh, me too,” she said quietly. “Noah, can I talk to you later? Maybe, later today?” 
“Sure, that sounds good,” he quickly stuttered before she left. He breathed in and wondered what Dani would think of him. He took out his phone and remembered that Ryan had wanted to see him. He still had a minute before the bell rang. 
“Hello?” Ryan sounded annoyed. 
“Ryan, I can’t make it today.” 
“You could’ve texted me, Noah. It’s a party at NYU, dude. You don’t blow off this party.” Noah shrugged. Since when did Ryan start going to parties again.
“Claire would probably freak if she knew.”
“It’s not a dorm party, Noah. Claire’s going too. It’s one of those pesky cotillions.” 
“What time is it?” 
“Around seven.”
“Maybe I can be there.” 
“Maybe? You better not leave me hanging. I don’t understand what’s more important than this. I have to go.” Noah nodded and hung up the phone. This was a family obligation. He had heard his sister saying something about the cotillion, her very first one. He hated dancing of all forms but knew that this party wasn’t optional. He sent a message to Dani asking what time she wanted to meet. 
He brought ice cream and they went to the local park on the outskirts of the campus. It was five in the afternoon. It had a playground and no one else was here. He set the grocery bag containing the ice cream down on the wood chips beside the sings. She was smiling and that was a good sign. 
“I haven’t been to a playground in such a long time,” she said sitting on the swings. 
“Yeah, I come here when I want to think. You had something on your mind right?” It was never good when someone wanted to talk to you. 
“Uh, yeah,” she said reddening. “Noah, why’d you bring me from Sacramento to New York? How’d you convince my parents?” He swallowed his nervousness. 
“Well I saw talent when I ate that pasta dish of yours at my grandma’s house. You belong in a place like this.”
“Not because you want to sleep with me right?” Dani was hugging her knees and Noah had never felt so embarrassed. 
“Where in the world did you get that idea?” 
“Oh, some girl in the coffee shop. I don’t know why I even listened to her,” Dani said stumbling. 
“Do you know her name?”
“It’s Bree,” Dani said quickly. “She has a lip piercing.” Noah froze. Bree Williams. He stared down at his watch, five fifty. “What’s wrong?” 
“She’s just a name I don’t like remembering.” 
“What happened?” He shrugged. 
“It doesn’t matter. You wanted to say something right? Or was that it?”
“I just wanted to tell you that you don’t have to be around me. This isn’t some Disney movie where the popular, handsome guy has to talk to the new, loser girl who has purple highlights. I’m not a charity case and I can stand on my own two feet. You don’t have to open doors for me to walk me to my classes. I just want you to let me go.” Noah froze at her words. They were sharper than any knife. She rejected him before he could even confess that he liked her. Was this the time to tell her?
“I like you though Dani. Why do you think I brought you here?”
“Because I have talent and I would thrive here,” Dani said repeating his words. 
“And also because I couldn’t get you out of my brain,” Noah tried again. “I like you.” He said it louder and she looked like she was about to cry. 
“Noah, you aren’t my type. I didn’t want to tell you like this. I’m so grateful for your help but you need to let me go. I’ll still work at the restaurant, as I promised I would.” He shot her a look of hurt. This hurt more than being swatted away from Vanessa.  
“I have to go, Dani. I have a cotillion I have to attend.” He stood up emotionless and left. She nodded and watched him leave.  
He reached the dance ten minutes before and changed into a suit that his mother had brought. Ryan was in the bathroom too and seemed to notice Noah’s sunken spirits. 
“Dude, what happened?” 
“She rejected me before I even told her I liked her.” Ryan crinkled his eyebrows. 
“She rejected you? Aren’t you the one that’s supposed to be rejecting her? You should be glad and get over her. She wasn’t worth anything anyway.” 
“Would it kill you to be nice to her? You haven’t even met her yet.” Ryan stepped away. They left the bathroom and Kiana ran towards him. He rolled his eyes in disgust. 
“Noah, I don’t have a date and I don’t see your date anywhere. Could you please just dance with me this one time?”
“It’s in the rules that you have to have a partner,” Ryan said after snidely staring at Kiana. 
“Fine,” Noah mumbled. She locked her arm into his and dragged him towards the dancing hall. Claire was standing with Vanessa and he avoided eye contact. 
Vanessa was exhausted by the end of the night. Dancing really wasn’t her thing even if this was her millionth cotillion. She stood by the water fountain after the dance had ended. She didn’t know why her parents had signed her up for that kind of thing. 
“Mom, I don’t like Kiana,” she heard Noah saying. She pressed her back against the wall and leaned back. 
“You two danced so well together,” his mother snapped at him. “She’s a lovely girl and you’d be fortunate to have her.” 
“I like another girl,” he shouted back. Vanessa couldn’t help smiling to herself. Dani would be so happy hearing about this. They were just meant to be. 
“Is she as qualified as Kiana?” 
“You would just have to meet her.”
“Fine, bring her to A La Fontaine next weekend and I’ll see.” She heard him breathing, loudly. 
“Nessa,” he said startled to see her. She waved her hand and took another drink from the fountain. “You have to help me.”
“With what?” 
“I just want Dani to like me. She says I’m not her type.” Vanessa looked at him strangely. It was too obvious that Dani was in love with him. 
“Sure, I’ll help you,” she said after seeing how broken hearted he looked. They must have fought about something. Vanessa returned home with Claire. Claire went straight to the library saying that her grades couldn’t dive down even by one percent.  
Vanessa had wondered what was going on with Dani. She had heard all sorts of rumors. She hadn’t seen Dani for almost a week. The remodeling of the restaurant was happening during the week and all that responsibility fell to her. Stephen had come by a couple times but neither of them had any words. There were no words to explain what he had done to her heart. It was about eleven when she returned home and found the lobby light turned on. Was Claire studying down here instead? Claire had sprinted off about five minutes earlier than her. She often did and always surprised Vanessa. It was Dani. Dani was sporting a black eye and a cut near her lip. It was only the first week and Vanessa wondered what had happened. A suitcase had been packed and was right next to the couch. It seemed like Dani was contemplating something. Vanessa felt her heart sink as she stared at the baseball cap pressed over Dani’s hair. Dani was really pretty in her own way and she had an aura of coolness that she knew so many girls were jealous over. It wasn’t easy coming to this school already friends, and slightly romantic, with Noah. Noah never gave a damn about any of the girls here and suddenly he liked this one who had dyed a streak of her hair magenta and wore combat boots. 
“What are you doing here?” Vanessa sat down next to her. They hadn’t had a real conversation yet. Vanessa knew how judgmental she looked whenever she met new people. 
“I just don’t think this place is right for me,” Dani said with a sigh. “It’s for people like you, not me.” What in the world was that supposed to mean?  
“You can’t just give up like that, even for Noah’s sake.” Dani’s face turned a bright shade of red, very quickly. She hung her head low and sighed. Vanessa tried to smile. “What happened to your eye?” 
“Some girl wanted to know whether I was dating Noah or not. I didn’t want to answer her  and she started it by scratching my arm. I pulled her hair next and then she called her boyfriend or some guy obsessed with her, who did all this to me. Noah and I aren’t dating, Nessa. He can’t like me like that. I don’t wanna ruin his whole reputation. I’m just here to work at that restaurant. I pretty much ruined anything that could happen anyways.”
“He isn’t that fond with a lot of girls in the way he is for you. He never opens the door for anybody first of all. Have you guys kissed?” Dani’s face went pale. Vanessa laughed. That must have meant no. Noah was crazy about her then, if he didn’t feel confident enough to kiss her. “What did you do that was so bad?” 
“I told you we’re not dating or even in any sort of romantic relationship! I can’t be with him anyway. He is so perfect, Ness. Even the way he eats apples is so . . . heroic? He’s funny, good natured, and attractive. He never judges my mistakes or shortcomings and just remembers the good side of people. He makes you feel better just by smiling. Girls already think lower of him because of me. I can’t ruin everything for him. He needs someone like you Vanessa. I told him that and it’s too late to fix that.” Vanessa’s mouth curved up into a smile. Dani obviously liked Noah no matter what she said and a girl like Dani was exactly what Noah needed. It was odd seeing that Noah hadn’t demanded a date out of her or that his humor wasn’t rude towards her. 
“Dani, what about you? Don’t you like him? I heard him at the cotillion today saying that he still likes you and wanted his mom to give you a chance.”
“That’s another thing he needs, fancy girls to go to cotillions and all that stuff. I can’t do it Vanessa.”
“If you don’t do this for him, he’s going to end up dating Kiana York, the biggest-,” Vanessa started to say.
“Kiana, yeah I know Kiana. She did this to me,” Dani said pointing to her face. 
“His family wants to meet you by next Saturday at this fancy restaurant.”  
“I’m not like the status quo. I don’t know why I’d even bother going to something like this and have people tell me that Kiana York is better than me.” She did have a good point there. Noah’s parents, as well as anyone’s parents here, wanted a girl who was rich, smart, and beautiful. Dani was smart and beautiful but not in an elegant and refined way. 
“His grandmother liked that feisty spirit in you. We could try. You know I could help you with you fashion sense and mannerisms. You like Noah and he likes you and I don’t get why you guys can’t be together.” Dani nodded out of exhaustion.
“Fine,” she said with a little smile. 

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