SL #46: Closer than you think

They were all looking at us, but I didn't feel any fear. I felt peculiarly calm. I mean, performances before big mass of people made me always panic, but that time I was really calm. I knew I can do that and that we'll succeed.

My eyes caught Analeigh, sitting among the public, and I tried my best not to show he how pleased I was with the situation. That I got Jason and not her. Though, she had found herself a boyfriend and it was stupid of my to be jealous all the time. It won't get you anywhere. Her too intensive "friendliness" was just getting on my nerves.
But it wasn't exactly important, at least then. The dance was the only important thing.

Everything went as planned. All the energetic dance moves, which made muscles pleasantly sore, all the cool combinations we had specially learned for that amazing moment - it was all in its exact place, just like needed, and it all went as it had to, even better.
Only once I felt Jason jerking.

His eyes wandered in the public, but I hadn't any chance to know the reason. Besides, he managed to keep himself under control, so he didn't mess. That's Jason, after all. And I, too, gave the best I could.
And then, suddenly, everyone froze. Only I and Jason kept moving.

What the hell is happening? Had they changed anything? Why don't I know anything about it?!
"Why would they stop?" I murmured to Jason at the suitable moment. It was, when he was pushing my curved leg against his hip and my hand were around his neck, pulling him closer to me.
If you want my opinion, I was okay with that.

"Just keep going. Feel the rhythm," he breathed in my ear and, holding my hand, helped to crook for 45 degrees.
And there came a part I'd managed only to succeed at only half of the times I've tried.


"Caro, you can do it," Michelle ensured me, doing stand-outs at the same time.
"Ugh," I mumbled in response, tucking the hair behind my ear. I believed, too. I could see it in my mind's eye. I felt that. But it didn't want to come off.
"I'll try again. Careful, Jason,"

I turned my side to the loved boy and put my hands in the air, getting ready to  perform a handspring.
When I used to attend the dance courses, I was much worse at doing the handspring than doing the splits. Although, when Michelle gave me a task to do it, I hadn't much choice.
I tried. Tried a lot. But it felt like being fluky, whether my legs were perfectly straight or I landed in Jason's arms just like it was needed. The result was disparate every time, though.

That time I finished by pushing Jason on his back, straddling him.
Oh god why. Try to find more awkward pose .
I looked at team's facial expressions. The guys looked around just in case, the girl rather at us. But all of them had hellish grins on their faces.

Usually I would only shook my head, laughing, but failing time after time had gotten out of hand.
I stood up and extended a hand to help Jason up as well.

"I'm so sorry," I apologized for I-don't-know-what-time. I felt like letting them all down. My disability to get this goddamn handspring done, the right way, could spoil everything.
"I'm sure you'll come through it," I heard Michelle's comforting voice and held myself from opening mouth wide because of surprise.

However, I had to admit, Micha had become more caring and understanding lately. She wouldn't bring you down or criticize as much as she used to.
"Yeah, you can do that," Jason agreed and smiled at me.
With him like this, it was impossible not to smile. Furthermore, he kept on surprising me by saying he can help me after our corporate exercising.

As if by magic, the combination of moves got better and better with every time. Maybe because there wasn't surplus eyes, and even though I wanted to show Jason only my best level, I knew he won't judge me if it goes awry. And maybe it was him, who praised too much. I mean, that the situation was better than it actually was.

But when I stretched myself on the mattress after another hour of practicing, I was sure I'm gonna make it.
Jason's body lapsed next to me and I turned my head to face him. And I don't know what it was that I was driven by - I guess, the heart as my head would never allow such a thing -, but I stretched out my hand towards Jason's face and tucked some strands behind his ear.

I turned on the side and murmured: "Why won't you kiss me already?" After a second, I shut my mouth shut with shock and, with though: "What the hell is going on in your head, Caroline Forbz?!", was ready to face his anger.
Imagine my surprise when it didn't follow. I turned my eyes, in which adoration and wonder had chased away the fear, at Jason, who was looking at me with rather sad eyes.

"Oh, Caro," he said sadly, too.
Does he wish for it? "I'm sorry, I just..." A sudden flow of thoughts vanished as if someone had started playing hide-and-seek with my thoughts and they had all outspread.
"No, you're totally right,"

I felt that my eyes could easily roll out their sockets. Wh-what?!
"The way I act .. it feels it affects you pretty much, huh?" His eyes were observing mines intimately.
I could only nod.

"Or wait, what the hell I'm saying .. like I don't know already, right. You gotta know I want it too, but .. but I can't. I would hurt you if I did,"
"In my opinion, you're hurting me when you're that mysterious all the time," My voice was just whispering.
"I know and I'm sorry. It's just that .. me, my life .. it would become really dangerous if you got involved. Your life would be in danger and I don't want for it to happen. You're a good girl and I don't want to do anything bad to you, I don't want to ruin everything. So I have to keep myself under control,"

His sincerity made me smile. He'd just admitted he cared about me and that I meant something for him!
"But I have a chance, right?"
He nodded. "You have indeed. I wouldn't act like that if you didn't. I'm not that bad, you know,"


His words were still echoing in my mind and I felt the power flowing inside me like he'd just repeated them out loud.
On that moment, there wasn't anyone else for me. I ignored Analeigh. I ignored Jake. There were only I and him.
I bent my knee and threw my head up in a sudden, looking at him challengingly.  His smile assured me he believes in my success. So when I threw myself with an abrupt jerk into the handspring, I was sure in my success.

(A/N: photos)

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