Chapter 1My name is Olivia, or Livie, Larson. I’m fifteen years old, I have a twin brother named Pierce, and I love to dance. I’ve been dancing since the moment I was born. No, seriously. Before she died, my mom would say that when I was little, I would hear music, and I would wiggle around like I was trying to dance. I’m not sure I believe that, but it’s a nice thought. It makes me feel like that was always what I was meant to do. Now, though, I’m not so sure.
You see, something happened, and I think it’s going to change my life forever.
~two weeks earlier~
“Come on, Pierce!” I yelled. “We’re gonna be late!” My annoying twin brother ran down the stairs, two at a time, with a black jacket in his arms and a grey duffel bag hanging from his arm.
“We’re not gonna be late,” he said. “It’s a five minute bus ride.” I shook my head.
“Yes, well you won’t be saying that when you have to wait for ten minutes just to move ten feet,” Brian, me and Pierce’s foster dad, said. “It might actually be faster for you two to walk to the studio.” Pierce laughed dryly.
“Walking five miles right before dancing for an hour and a half?” he asked. “Really bad idea.” I nodded.
“For once,” I said, “I actually agree with Pierce.”
“I could drive you,” we heard. I looked towards the stairs. Down from his locked room came Grady Hall, Brian’s son who was a year older than Pierce and myself. His dark brown hair was slicked back like someone from Hairspray or Grease. He looked at us. “I mean, I know all the backroads, so I could maybe get you there faster than a bus.” I nodded slightly, tucking a strand of my orange-blonde hair behind my ear.
“Liv?” Pierce asked. I looked at him. “You forgetting something?” I shrugged. He smiled. “Glasses, upstairs, now.” I laughed and ran upstairs to grab my glasses. As I walked into my room, I was attacked by two little balls of love. I laughed. It was my baby Samoyed, Tucker, and baby Husky, Dakota.
“Guys, I have to dance!” I exclaimed. “Please don’t kill me!” They ran around the room, chasing each other, before giving up and jumping onto the bed. I picked my glasses up off the side table and blew each of them a kiss. “Bye,! Bye,!” I ran back down the stairs and grabbed my bag.
“Finally ready?” Pierce asked. I nodded. “Thank goodness, and do not start singing!” I shook my head and put on my black +3.0 glasses. The three of us walked out the door and rode through the streets of New York City in Grady’s dark blue 2012 Mustang GT.
“So, what class is this?” Grady asked. “I know you only do two,” he pointed at Pierce, “so is this tap or jazz?”
“Tap,” Pierce replied. “Jazz is on Mondays.” Grady nodded and looked at me in the rear-view mirror.
“What classes do you take, Liv?” he asked. I thought.
“Well, I have Advanced Jazz on Mondays,” I said, “Advanced Musical Theatre on Tuesdays, Intermediate Ballet on Thursdays, Advanced Contemporary on Fridays, and Advanced Tap on Saturdays.” His eyes were wide.
“You take five dance classes?” I nodded.
“And I also have the two beginners’ classes I teach on Wednesdays.” He laughed.
“Jeez, girl, how do you do it?” I shrugged.
“I swear she’s a machine,” Pierce told Grady.
“And I thought I was busy,” he said.
“You’re not that busy,” Pierce said. “What all do you have going on?” He thought for a second.
“I have FCA on Mondays, Yearbook Wednesdays and Fridays, Basketball on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the fall, and Soccer on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the spring.” I nodded.
“I’d say we’re about even,” I said. “Except for the fact that I also have stuff on Saturdays.” He smiled at me in the mirror and shrugged. As we pulled up in front of the dance studio, my best friend, Nikolas Dylan, was pulling up, too. I jumped out of the car and ran over to him.
“I know!” I said. “Seeing each other four times a week is not nearly enough.” He shook his head as we walked in the door.
“So where’s Pierce?” Nik asked. I shrugged.
“Probably still in the car, bro-talking with Grady,” I said. He nodded.
“Grady, as in foster-brother-and-teenage-heartthrob Grady?” he asked. I nodded. “How was that?”
“Not any more awkward than living with him is,” I said, plopping down on the couch. “We mainly talked about what classes me and Pierce took and how busy we all are.” I swung my legs around and sat on the couch, upside-down, Miss Dana, the dance instructor, walked around the corner from the office.
“Ah, hey guys!” she exclaimed. “You two are here early, as always.” She looked at me. “Where’s Pierce?” The door opened, and I pointed at Pierce, who was walking through the door with Grady.
“Hi, Miss Dana!” Pierce said. He pointed at Grady. “This is Grady Hall. We were talking about the classes we took, and he was wondering if he could watch today so he’d know what it was like.” Grady nodded.
“Hearing Liv talk about all the classes and shows she does,” he started, “it made me think that… maybe it would be cool to… maybe take a class or two.” A smile twitched at the corner of my mouth.
“Well, we’re always open to new dancers,” Miss Dana said. “Of course, Grady. You’re welcome to stay and watch the class.” She looked at me and Nik. “Actually… why don’t we take a break from choreographing our recital piece, why don’t we find a new song and choreograph some of that so Grady can have some first-hand experience?” I looked at Nik and shrugged (as much as I could whilst upside down). Grady smiled.
“Well, if you’re sure it won’t be much trouble.”
“Alright, now, shuffle, kick, step-ball-change,” Miss Dana called out as we danced. “Now, Livie spin!” I spun three or four times before stopping and stamping both feet down on the ground. “Alright, good job today, guys! Grady, lovely to have you here today, and you are definitely welcome to come again!” He smiled at her as I walked out into the lobby and untied my black tap shoes.
“You’re a really good dancer, Liv,” I heard. I looked up at the doorway, and there was Grady. I smiled.
“You were pretty good yourself,” I said. “For not ever having taken dance and not having taps.” He chuckled. “So, do you think you wanna take classes?” He thought about it for a minute.
“Yeah,” he said. “I think I do.” I smiled. “I never thought I’d like to dance or anything like that… but doing this, and seeing how much it makes you and Pierce and Nik and them happy… I wanna try it out.” I nodded.
“Hey, Liv!” Nik said, coming into the room. “I’m meeting Crimson and Travis at Starbucks. Wanna come?” Travis and Crimson Long were some of our friends from church. Travis, at age eighteen, treated me more like a little sister than anything else; Crimson and I, however, bot at age fifteen, had been best friends since kindergarten.
“Sure,” I replied. I slipped on my black and blue crocs and grabbed my bag, walking into the studio. “Hey, Pierce!” He looked at me. “I’m going to Starbucks with Nik.” He frowned.
“Just the two of you?” I shook my head.
“No. We’re meeting Crimson and Travis.” He nodded, and Nik and I walked out to his teal green Chevrolet Corvette.
“What do we listen to on the way there?” Nik asked as we got in. I looked at him, and we both said the same thing, at the same time.