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Hallelujah 3Why had he agreed to go dancing with the cast? He hated dancing! Hated it. He couldn't dance to save his life; that wasn't just his opinion, either. Wendy Jo actually told him so.She, on the other hand, could definitely dance. He didn't know what it took to be a good dancer (other than coordination), but she definitely had it. She was surrounded by pretty girls who could dance (Urleen, the leggy black girl; Rusty, the blonde girl-next-door; Wendy Jo, the other blonde; Vi, her lookalike sister with smaller hair; Ethel, the Italian or Latin girl with straight black hair; and Billie Sue, the redhead), and they all wore the same black dress-red lipstick-and-pearl necklace outfit. And yet, she stood out. She was the prettiest, the most confident, the one having the most fun. True to form, she wore three-inch heels in her trademark leopard print. She looked like a celebrity."Hey, Blondie!" she shouted in her throaty voice, and he knew she was talking to him. She'd always called him Blondie
Hallelujah 2As he ran lines, he tried to remind himself why he cared. Why he wanted this girl so bad. If Urleen was right (and he suspected she
wasn't quite right), then he could have any girl he wanted. Why her? Why the histrionic party girl who wore leopard print exclusively and spent all of her free time texting, probably texting Jake Gyllenhaal lookalikes. They had nothing in common and she was the exact kind of girl he'd spent twenty-eight years avoiding. So why her?And then she waltzed in, the spotlights seemingly aimed right at her. She brushed her bangs back and smiled sweetly at the director and he remembered why he liked her so much. She was so beautiful. Charming. Everybody turned to look at her."All right," Darlene, the director shouted. "Almost Paradise! Time for the big kiss scene." He could have sworn Darlene was looking right at him when she said that.Right. It was time to pick his jaw up off the floor.The two got up on their perch, surrounded by Styrofoam cacti, and sang
Hallelujah 1Nothing he tried worked. He tried to be funny, with pick-up lines fed to him by the guy playing Willard in the town's production of Footloose. Didn't work. He tried flowers. Didn't work. He tried reading "She Walks In Beauty" by Lord Byron. Didn't work. (It did, however, impress three of the girls from the chorus, as well as the matronly director.) He tried chocolates. Didn't work. (Well, she ate them, but continued to ignore him.) This girl sure was hard to impress.He, however, was very impressed with the pretty, animal-print-loving Latin girl. She had a sweet smile and an over-the-top personality. Her eyes were deep brown, her hair the curliest and blackest he'd ever seen. On her thin wrist was a tattoo that read 'BELIEVE 06-04-12.' She was easily the prettiest girl he'd ever seen.He was playing Ren in the play. She was playing Ariel. His love interest. And the closest he could get to talking to her was running lines. How ironic.The casting director called him "a natural Ren." The
Bonafied Lovin 8"You know, Rose, if they ever do a remake of Gone With The Wind, you ought to audition for the part of Scarlett O'Hara," Jasper told Rosa as they walked around campus on the last day of class. "I'm sure you'd get the part.""I can't act," Rosa told him."Neither can half the actors Jack and I met on Broadway," he replied. "And with a face like yours, you could give Vivian Leigh a run for her money. Hell, looking like that, all the casting directors will have to do is look at you, and you'll have the part!"Rosa blushed. "You think?"Jasper nodded. "Absolutely."Rosa grasped his hand and tugged. "Follow me." She pulled him underneath a tree, put her hands on his shoulders, and looked straight into his eyes. "You know I used to cut myself, right?"Jasper nodded. "I saw the scars." Up and down her arms and legs, on her hips, and on her rib cage. He'd even made out the faint remnants of words on her thighs. How she could do that to herself was beyond him."I haven't since I met you," she c