It's easier than I expected.
Thu Mar 16, 2017 19:37

Once his feet had made the final slap to the ground in the drilled pattern, he opened his eyes. The first thing he saw was Marissa smiling widely at him. She had liked it? ...She had liked it. Russell hadn’t started the brief dance with the intent of impressing her - mostly because he was constantly comparing himself to the boys whom he’d learned from and considered them to be leagues beyond anything he could do, so nothing he attempted could possibly be thought of as impressive. It was also partially because he just liked doing it. Breakdancing had a lot of little patterns that were all their own challenges to learn, but whether he was repeating patterns or trying to improvise his own thing (rare, but it had happened) it still felt fun and random. It also made him feel, well, not cool, because he wasn’t good enough at it to be cool yet, but like he was somewhere on the road to having the possibility of being cool one day.

This perspective was enabled by the fact that breakdancing was the only vaguely athletic thing that Russell was vaguely skilled at. It was really one of the only athletic things he had ever done, at least up until this year. After Holland had mentioned Quidditch to him, he’d started thinking about it and decided to try out for the Cetus team, where to his great surprise he was given the role of Seeker. That was a huge responsibility and one that he didn’t honestly think he carried out very well. Ironically, he undeniably had the best eyes of any of them, since his sensitivity to light made spotting the Snitch’s gleam an infantile task. But that only worked when it was cloudy. Under midday heat, even with his dark-tinted goggles firmly wrapped around his head, he still got tremendously confused and had definitely cost them one game as a result. So while Quidditch made some people cool, it surely didn’t make him cool and not even on the path to cool. Dance was his only (slim) hope.

He was baffled when Marissa, after only a moment’s consideration, began copying his moves. She copied it really well, actually. Unlike him, the fifth-year opted to end on a spin, which did result in some of her hair brushing past him, and in turn resulted in his own spooked jump at the unexpected contact, but the spin worked for her. He didn’t realize he was smiling, really smiling, until after she turned to him with another smile and he went to return only to realize that one was already fastened to his face. “That was amazing. I mean, how’d you get that so fast?” Watching was a big part of his preferred learning method, but he didn’t often have that much success on the first try, especially with physical things (and also Potions, which most students, including Marissa, probably knew by now, he thought).

Marissa asked him for something else. This was the type of challenge he was familiar with. There was an older group of guys, and even a girl, at the skatepark who often made a circle to demonstrate for each other new moves that they had invented. His group tended to hang back from them, but sometimes they got to join in and watch close or even participate. Russell was often shy about that - he liked to think he could keep up with the simpler stuff, but even though they probably wouldn’t make fun of him, he still didn’t want to get trapped into something hard. This was just Marissa, though. Marissa and a whole room full of other students, but only Marissa here. No circle. “Yeah. Umm.” Head bobbing with the music, Russell thought for a moment, and then shut his eyes again (it was really helping him focus on not-crowds not-light). His footwork started out the same before he began crossing his feet over, adding in a hop and a different kick. “We can mirror it, too,” he suggested as he started to do so, opening his eyes again to look at her (his movements immediately tenser at the rush of crowds-and-light).

  • It's my job to make things easier! - Marissa, Thu Mar 16 13:29
    Even if Marissa didn’t want to plan a party with Armaan again, she’d call this specific event a success just based on all the pleasant surprises she saw around her. Danny and Camilla were dancing... more
    • It's easier than I expected. - Russell, Thu Mar 16 19:37
      • I'm good at what I do. - Marissa, Sun Mar 19 17:35
        Russell’s question almost took her by surprise, and then she remembered this was his first year at Rocky Mountain International. She’d gotten used to him being in classes with her. There were also... more
        • I'm starting to figure that out - Russell, Mon Mar 20 14:21
          Russell had never taken a dance class. Or any type of class outside of his actual academics, really. It was hard to find classes with a physical environment he was comfortable in, and he’d given up... more
          • It's a talent - Marissa, Sat Mar 25 23:21
            Marissa grinned and made her way to the drinks, where she grabbed two cups and two cans of ginger ale. She knew she’d have fun with Russell, because the red head knew how to have fun in pretty much... more
            • A natural gift - Russell, Mon Mar 27 01:00
              Apparently, Marissa didn’t find him a drag after all. On one hand, he could understand that. Dancing together had been really fun. On the other hand, which was proportionately larger, Russell... more
              • Organic! - Marissa, Fri Mar 31 21:37
                It was really sweet how happy Russell was now. Marissa couldn’t think of a time where she’d seen the fourth year smile so genuinely. He was a really nice kid. A little odd, but everyone at Rocky... more
                • Mechanic! - Russell, Fri Mar 31 23:08
                  Marissa didn't just offer to hang out, no - she offered to invite him along when we all hang out. He would've been happy simply with her promise to have him join her to practice dancing. But this,... more
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