Moon White: Color Me Enchanted with Bonus Content (6 page)

BOOK: Moon White: Color Me Enchanted with Bonus Content
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As I walk toward the English department, I suddenly remember what my dad said about her dad last night. And I feel sort of irked and I wonder whether I really want to befriend this girl. I mean, isn’t she the enemy? Then I realize that it’s not her fault her dad’s a jerk. Unless she thinks like he does, I should probably at least give her a chance.

Mr. Finney is talking about symbolism in Creative Writing this week. And today’s assignment is to find a graphic symbol and write about its meaning. Okay, it seems a pretty vague assignment, but Mr. Finney isn’t exactly known for his clarity. The poor guy looks older than dirt, but I think he retires this year, which in my opinion is about a year too late. Anyway, I saw some symbols in the book I got from Willow yesterday, and perhaps that’s why I stuck it in my backpack. I pull it out and quickly discover a pentagram. To me it simply looks like a star, a five-sided star like I learned to draw when I was little. But I find that each point of the star has a meaning. The top represents spirit. Going clockwise, the next four points represent water, fire, earth, and air. It seems simple enough. I also learn that the shape of the star is mathematically perfect, although I have to admit these formulas go right over my head (which is mathematically imperfect). But it seems that the pentagram is related to the human form as well, meaning that our head plus two hands and two feet make up five points. And apparently this is all symbolic of energy and balance and some other things. And when you put
a circle around the star, you make the energy infinite — in other words, magical. I attempt to draw a five-pointed star but immediately realize that it’s not perfectly balanced. I try again and again and finally realize I will probably need a ruler and compass to get it right. And then class is over.

I’m still thinking about pentagrams when I spot Elizabeth waiting for me by the commons. She smiles and waves and seems genuinely pleased to see me. It’s funny how it takes so little to make some people happy. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Lucy. I spy her as Elizabeth and I walk into the cafeteria together. And I can tell Lucy is watching us. Her face is a mixture of curiosity and something else. Could it be jealousy? Well, I tell myself I don’t care. It was Lucy’s choice to end our friendship.

I see Kendall and Chelsea already at a table, and I decide to take advantage of the situation by taking Elizabeth over for introductions. Then Elizabeth and I leave our bags with them and go over to pick out some lunch. Now if Lucy wants to join them, she will have to join us as well.

“Is that all you’re having?” asks Elizabeth as I get in line to pay for my food.

I look down at my regular green salad and whole-wheat roll with no butter and just nod.

“You’re not anorexic are you?”

I laugh. “No. I’m vegan.”

“Seriously?”

I glance at her cheeseburger and fries and try not to feel food envy. “Yep.”

“Wow, how do you have enough energy to dance when that’s all you eat?”

I just shrug, then hand the cashier some money.

“I always thought one of the cool things about dancing was that you could eat all you want as long as you dance it off. But I wouldn’t last twenty minutes on what you’re eating, Heather.”

I try not to think about this as I go to sit down. Naomi pointed this same thing out to me not long ago, after I told her about becoming vegan during the summer. She said that dancing required protein for muscle tone and endurance and that I wouldn’t last long as a ballerina on a total veggie diet. I hoped to prove her wrong. Now I’m beginning to wonder.

“Where’s Lucy?” asks Kendall as I lift my fork.

I shrug and take a bite.

“I saw her a few minutes ago,” says Chelsea.

“Oh, there she is,” says Kendall, pointing over my left shoulder.

“Why’s she sitting by herself?” asks Chelsea.

“Who’s Lucy?” asks Elizabeth.

“Haven’t you met her?” asks Kendall.

“No,” I say quickly. “And if you must know, Lucy isn’t talking to me.”

Kendall’s eyebrows shoot up. “Is she still mad at you for being a witch?”

I sort of laugh. “Yeah, something like that.”

“You’re a witch?” asks Elizabeth.

“No.” I let out an exasperated sigh. “I’m just learning about Wicca. And Lucy thinks that’s really evil, and now she won’t have anything to do with me.”

“Seriously?” says Chelsea. “She told you that?”

“Well, you heard her yesterday,” I remind them. “And today she pretty much read me the riot act. Like it’s her way or the highway.”

“Lucy can be fairly stubborn,” Kendall explains to Elizabeth.
“She’s really religious and she takes everything in the Bible totally literally.”

“Whereas Kendall here is only mildly religious,” teases Chelsea. “And she doesn’t even read the Bible.”

“I do too, sometimes,” protests Kendall. “I just don’t get as involved with it as Lucy does. She’s one of those people who go to church every time the doors are open, and she prays about everything.”

“Lucy means well,” I say in defense of my old friend. “But she’s just stuck following her parents’ example. Instead of thinking for herself and taking her own spiritual journey, she’s just letting them tell her which way to go.”

“Wow, that’s pretty profound,” says Kendall.

I don’t admit that it was my stepmom who came up with that.

“Lucy looks lonely,” says Chelsea. “Should I go ask her to come join us?”

“It’s up to you,” I say. “I have no problem with her joining us. She’s alienated herself.”

But no one gets up to invite Lucy to come eat with us. And I have to admit that part of me is glad. Maybe Lucy needs to see what it feels like to be excluded, since that seems like what she’s doing to me. Chelsea and Kendall ask Elizabeth about why she moved to Westport and where she’s from and just general things like that, and it’s interesting hearing her answers.

“Well, I might as well get it out into the open,” she says. “My dad is the notorious developer of Yaquina Lake.”

It gets quiet at the table now.

“Really?” says Kendall, leaning forward.

“Yeah, I probably should’ve kept my mouth shut, huh?”

“Maybe,” agrees Chelsea. “I mean, no offense, but my mom
would like to have your dad shot and his head mounted as a hunting trophy.”

“Chelsea’s mom is a real bird freak,” says Kendall. “She wants everything that faintly resembles a wetland preserved forever.”

“She’s president of the local Audubon society,” says Chelsea.

“And while we’re confessing about our parental connections,” I begin, feeling a little sheepish, “my dad’s law firm represents the case against your dad’s development.”

“That’s your dad?” Elizabeth looks at me in astonishment.

“I’m surprised Naomi didn’t mention it,” I say.

“Naomi doesn’t like to mix politics with dance or friendship,” says Elizabeth.

I nod. “Yeah, that sounds about right.”

“And, just for the record, Naomi and my dad do
not
get along at all. And Naomi is totally opposed to the Yaquina Lake development.”

“Wow, that must be hard,” I say. “I mean, since your mom and Naomi are such good friends.”

She nods as she picks up a fry. “Yep. And it makes matters worse that my mom was the one who originally got the idea to develop a resort up here. She thought it would be cool to live in Oregon.”

“So are your mom and Naomi still friends?”

“Like I said, they just don’t discuss certain things.” Elizabeth dips a fry in ketchup. “Although, in all fairness to my mom, she’s not too excited about the development now.”

“Why?” asks Kendall.

“She hadn’t realized all the ecological issues involved. I think she’d back down if my dad hadn’t already invested so much into it.”

“And where do you stand?” asks Kendall, which takes the
pressure off me, since I was wondering the exact same thing myself.

“I wasn’t too sure at first. I mean, I’m used to all the nuts who are opposed to any kind of development. My dad goes through this stuff all the time, and if the extreme environmentalists had their way, I’m sure we’d all be living in tents and eating grass for lunch. But then I saw Yaquina Lake last weekend, and, well, I’m not so sure now. It’s really a pretty spot.”

“Very interesting,” says Kendall with a twinkle in her eye. “I see the making of a TV movie in this.”

“Maybe you can sway your dad to change his mind,” says Chelsea.

Elizabeth just shrugs. “I doubt it. That man is like a bulldog when he sets his mind on something. Besides, like I said, I’m still not totally sure where I stand. I’ve seen the plans for the development, and it’s very thoughtfully laid out. It could really improve the local economy. And from what I’ve seen around here, that might not be a bad thing. I mean, you guys don’t even have a cultural arts center.”

Well, there’s no arguing that this town could use a little boost to its economy, but even so! I am sincerely glad when it’s time to go to class. To be honest, this is a conversation that I’d just as soon not participate in. I’m afraid I might get overly emotional when it comes to defending Yaquina Lake. It gets me thinking of how much my mom loved it and how we used to canoe there, not to mention its natural peace and beauty. Well, I’d hate to see it all ruined for the sake of the almighty dollar.

six

“S
EE YOU AT DANCE CLASS
,”
CALLS
E
LIZABETH ON
T
HURSDAY AFTERNOON
. We’re both getting into our cars in the school parking lot. Hers is a fairly new silver Acura, which I’m guessing wasn’t cheap and looks like a million bucks next to my old Volvo. Not that I care. My car has charm and class and is my last remaining connection to my mom. Still, there’s an undeniable contrast.

Liz (as she’s asked me to call her) and I have been hanging together for two days now, and I think she actually considers me a good friend. Not to suggest I don’t see her as a good friend as well, but I suppose I’m holding her at arm’s distance. I’m not even sure why. Maybe I’m just being cautious. For one thing, there’s her dad’s development plan, which made the newspaper again today, combined with the fact that my dad will be opposing him in court next month. Besides that, she’s my competition in ballet. Put those two issues aside and I think our friendship might work out.

Not that I should be too picky right now, since Lucy is still giving me a serious cold shoulder along with the silent treatment. And today she beat me to the cafeteria and planted herself with Chelsea and Kendall, somehow getting a couple of our other “lesser” friends to fill in the other seats so that there wasn’t room for Liz and me to join them. But Liz and I were like “whatever” and went off and sat
by ourselves. The funny thing is that as soon as we did this, a couple of guys came over to our table and began talking to us. In fact, they were a couple of very cool guys.

I tried not to act too surprised when Hudson Schwartz and Porter Brannigan came over and started to chat. I introduced them to Liz, and they sat with us for a while. We didn’t really talk about anything specific, mostly just joked about the crummy food and how we wished it was still summer. Then they said, “See ya,” and left. I wanted to peek over to see if Lucy was watching. She and I have both had a crush on Hudson for years, although I’ve always laid special claim to him since he and I have the same initials as well as the exact same number of letters in our last names. This fact doesn’t escape me now. Nor does it escape me that Hudson is cuter than ever with his dark curly hair and big brown eyes.

As I drive toward home, I’m suddenly reminded of Augustine’s reminder, just this morning, telling me to be sure and invite some of my friends to the equinox party. I’m not sure I’d have the nerve to invite Hudson, although I wish I did. But maybe Liz would. As I pull up to my house, I decide that I’ll mention the party to her today at ballet. I’ll ask her if she wants to come and maybe even hint that we could invite Hudson and Porter. Just for fun.

I’ve been doing “centering” exercises every day after school. It’s a ritual that involves music, candles, incense, balance, and motion. It’s kind of like dance, but more from the center of your being. It’s a way to energize your spirit and empower you. And it gets me in the mood to practice ballet, which I’ve committed myself to do for at least two hours a day. I do my centering down in the basement, which is basically my own private space to practice ballet. My mom and I cleaned it out when I was about ten, installing a six-foot practice barre along with three full-length mirrors and some overhead
lights. It smells a little musty down there, but if I light scented candles and incense, it’s not too bad.

Since today is a dance-class day, I realize I’ll only have time to do my centering exercises, but I’m hoping this will help me to dance better. I’m hoping that Tuesday was a fluke. Maybe Liz was just having an exceptional day or trying to show off because she’s new. And maybe I was having an off day and allowing her to intimidate me. Now that I know her better, I think the intimidation factor has pretty much worn off.

“Ballet?” asks Augustine as I emerge from the basement with my shoe bag.

BOOK: Moon White: Color Me Enchanted with Bonus Content
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