Shine Bright Like a Diamond

by Erinda Ratchford, age 12
Shine Bright Like a Diamond Erinda is an energetic, funny sixth grader with a dry sense of humor. She likes to dance, cook, play sports, etc. She thanks her writing teachers Sarah, Samantha, Mike, Starr, and Abby and her mom and sister. She hopes that you enjoy her story!

“I had the dream dance class… at least that’s what I thought. But, I’m getting way ahead of myself. It all started three months ago when we were in dance class, and Mrs. Allen came in the room to post the cast for The Nutcracker and guess what… I got the lead part: Clara.”

       

Chapter One: Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy

I had the dream dance class… at least that’s what I thought. But, I’m getting way ahead of myself. It all started three months ago when we were in dance class, and Mrs. Allen came in the room to post the cast for The Nutcracker and guess what… I got the lead part: Clara. It said it there in big bold letters. Danielle Rosewood… Clara. I was so excited that I jumped up and down, so I caught most people’s attention.

I said, “I got Clara!”

But, some people weren’t so happy.

My friends Harper and Aubrey got the ensemble, and Evelyn got Uncle Drosselmeyer. They looked as if they envied me. When I saw them looking at me like that, they rolled their eyes and turned away.

I walked over to where they were standing and said, “Why are you guys mad?”

“We just really wanted to get the part,” said Evelyn.

“Don’t worry. I’m gonna make sure that you get the understudy.”

I looked back at the sheet to see who was my understudy. It was my archenemy, Skylar. Perfect.

Skylar and I used to be best friends, but ever since I moved from L.A. to Beverly Hills because of my dad’s job, she made her friends, and I made mine. When I came back to L.A., she was already in a clique. Skylar was very angry because she felt like I betrayed her. She wanted to switch roles with somebody else, but Ms. Allen wouldn’t let her.

“But please, you don’t understand! She’s evil,” Skylar squawked.

“I said no, and that’s the end of this conversation,” said Mrs. Allen.

“Ugh, fine,” said Skylar.

She walked back over to where we were standing and said, “I’m so excited to be your understudy.”

I said, “At least that’s the first few words you said to me all year.”

She crossed her arms and said, “Hmph.”

It’s never a dull day when Skylar’s mad.

 

Chapter Two: Restless, Rehearsals, Revenge

Skylar tried everything she could to get revenge on me. Even before the auditions for the parts for the show, Skylar was practicing for the part of Clara. Now that she was the understudy, she hated my guts. It was the rehearsal, and we still didn’t have the dance memorized. Mrs. Allen was yelling like crazy.

“Girls, you have to straighten your backs. Danielle, please point your toes.”

“Mrs. Allen, I can coach Danielle with her moves,” said Skylar.

“Umm…” I said.

“Wonderful. This is perfect because you two are the prima ballerinas in this class.”

“Ugh,” I exclaimed.

I already knew that Skylar was trying to sabotage me for getting the part.

Later that day…

Skylar came two hours late. She even had the nerve to say that she was doing homework, and her mom wouldn’t let her come until she finished, but I know she never does her homework. Oh, I forgot to tell you, Skylar and I are in the same class in school, unfortunately.

“So you should point your toes more,” Skylar said, while fixing her nails.

“You’re not helping. You know that, right?”

“You’re so ungrateful. Whatever, I’m leaving.”

She “accidentally” knocked over her bag, spilled some makeup, and cleaned it up. Little did I know that she snuck butter under the rug that I would later move to do my dance.

“Hope the door doesn’t hit you on the way out.”

She turned around. I “accidentally” slapped her with my wooden front door.

“Oops.”

Skylar left, storming.

The next day…

Since my mom and Skylar’s mom are really close friends, when Skylar told me that I was driving her to school, I was very annoyed. The whole ride there we were silent while my mom was blasting her favorite song through our car windows. Skylar was just looking out one window the whole time, and I was looking out the other.

As soon as we got to school, Skylar jumped out of the car without even saying thank-you.

My mom asked me, “Hey, what’s up with Skylar?”

I said, “Nothing, nothing. We’re just having a grand old time! Haha… bye!”

She cluelessly said, “Okay!”

During Mathematics 101, Skylar told Brandon, Joey, and Lucia to pass me a note. So, without Mr. Kerry seeing, they started down the line. When it ended up at me, I opened the note, and it had a picture of me with devil horns on my head with the devil staff.

After, when we were on our independent time, I went up to Mr. Kerry with the note in my hand pretending to ask a question.

I asked him, “Can I go to the principal’s office? This has been happening every single day.”

He said, “Okay. Class, class please settle down!”

As soon as I went into the principal’s office, I showed him the notes. He called Skylar into his office, and she gave me an evil glance, and I stuck my tongue out at her. Then again, this was my revenge for her trying to get revenge on me. After today, I will have victory and justice, and she’ll never get the lead part. I got it fair and square, and she cannot be mad. After today, she got suspended and because her mom was so mad at her, she wouldn’t let her go to dance. And I faked sick because there was nobody to be my understudy since Skylar was gone.

I chose Evelyn to be my understudy, and Skylar would have to be Uncle Drosselmeyer. This was all part of my plan.

Three days later…

Skylar walked into the dance studio saying, “Let’s rehearse this thing since I’m the understudy, and I say what has to be done.”

Mrs. Allen came into the dance studio and said, “Actually, since you weren’t here the day that Danielle was sick, we changed your position to Uncle Drosselmeyer, and Evelyn became the new understudy.”

“That’s just my way of getting revenge,” I whispered in her ear.

She growled.

 

Chapter Three: Practice, Practice Makes Perfect

Okay, so I gave you a flashback of my last three months which were a living heck, but Skylar got a perfect part to express her anger … just kidding. He is a good person in The Nutcracker. Now, every day since that moment, Skylar has tried to get her part back. Anyway, back to dancing. I have one week to make sure that I know the dance (even though I practiced one million times).

At home…

“Step, turn, step, chasse. Man, I need to work harder. Especially if I want to be better than Skylar.” I kept dancing until I rolled my ankle. Ouch. I was so mad. Hold up, why is the floor so slippery? I moved the rug to find a small yet noticeable packet of butter and a strand of hair that was an ombre of black to gray. My mind immediately went straight to the black-ombre devil herself.

Bad conscience: Come on, let her have it!

Good conscience: No, that’s only going to make matters worse.

You know what? I’m just going to leave it alone because I don’t feel like getting into any more messes.

Bad conscience and good conscience in sync: What are you going to do about Mrs. Allen? For sure you’re going to be kicked off the dance team.

Okay, I’ll just not perform in the dance, so Evelyn can have a turn. I’m happy that she’s getting a chance. I’ll call her now.

Ringing…

“Hey, Evelyn. Are you going to the dress rehearsal tomorrow?”

“No, I can’t. My cousins are coming over from Paris, so I am leaving from school early and not going to dance.”

“Okay. Thanks.”

Mrs. Allen would kill me if I wasn’t at practice since I am the lead role, and the show is in less than a week. I just hope that nobody sees my foot.

The next day…

I strolled into dance like nothing happened the day before. It’s going to be hard to pull it off because I have a limp now. If anyone finds out about my foot, I could be kicked out of the dance. Man … these are going to be a long few days. What am I going to do?

We all went to the auditorium (it was freezing), and Mrs. Allen was waiting for us. We start dancing. My moves are a little sloppy because of my ankle. At least Mrs. Allen didn’t see me. I didn’t know that someone was watching me.

After dance class, Mrs. Allen stopped me in the hallway to tell me that Skylar told her that I was limping during practice. Unfortunately, I had no socks or shoes on, so she was able to see that I had a giant bruise on my foot.

“IF YOUR FOOT CAN’T BE HEALED BY THE OPENING NIGHT, YOU WILL BE KICKED OFF THE SHOW!!!”

She shoved me with her shoulder as she walked past. (She literally gave me the cold shoulder). As soon as I went home, I slammed the front door, stomped up to my room (which really hurt), slammed my bedroom door as hard as I could, and cried into Mr. Fluffernutter, my fluffy, usually emotionless cat.

“Why did I have to fall. I have such bad luck.” I sighed. “I know what to do!”

I grabbed my makeup case and ran into the bathroom. When I came out, it looked like the day before yesterday never happened.

 

Chapter Four: Opening Night

I strolled into the auditorium looking like a “non-injured” queen.

I went right up to Mrs. Allen and said, “I’m here and ready to dance.”

“Great. Go change into your costume.”

In my dressing room…

“First, let’s do my costume, makeup, and then my hair.”

An hour later…

“Finally, I’m done.”

I’m going to find Harper and Aubrey, so we can practice our solo. We got so lost in dancing that we did not even hear the five minute call.

“Places in five… four… three… two… ”

“WE HAVE TO GO ON STAGE.”

“Run before the curtains open,” said Harper.

We got on just in the nick of time. Mrs. Allen was not very happy. The dance was going so well. I always get so wrapped up in the music. I didn’t even realize that the dance was ending, and it was time for my solo. Step, turn, step, chasse, grand jet… “OWW!”

“Someone call the ambulance!!” said Harper.

I was in so much pain that I couldn’t move or speak. This has got to be the worst week ever.

 

Chapter Five: The Hospital

“Where am I? What happened?”

“Hi, Danielle. I’m Dr. Taylor. You are in the hospital.”

“What happened?”

“You were in a dance show and fell, sprained your ankle, got a slight case of amnesia, and sustained a severe head injury.”

“Will I get my memory back?”

“With enough rest, your memory should come back in the next 48 hours!”

“Thank you. Can you get my mom and dad, please.”

“Of course.”

My mom and dad, Lilianna and Derick, walked in the room.

“Hey, Mom and Dad.”

“Hi, sweetheart,” my mom said.

“What is going to happen when I go back to dance?”

“We don’t know. All we have to do is wait,” said Dad.

Two days later…

Cough. “Mrs. Allen… ”

“Please pack your things, and leave my studio”

“What? Why?”

“Because you lied to me, and you know I hate liars.”

A few hours later…

“She kicked me out,” I said to Harper, Aubrey, and Evelyn.

“It’s okay. Maybe you can find a new studio nearby,” said Evelyn.

“You don’t understand. I’m not going to see you guys anymore,” I said.

“We’ll be here with you every step of the way,” Harper said.

The next day after school…

On the bus ride back from school, it was already filled up, so Skylar had to sit next to me. She sat down looking like she had read the funniest text ever. Today is not the day for this.

“How is it having so much free time on your hands?” Skylar smirked.

“What’s your problem? You got what you wanted,” I said.

“My problem is you’re still in this town. Why can’t you just pack your things and move?”

Why can’t she just leave me alone? The bus dropped me off at my house.

Skylar yelled, “See you never, loser!”

That was when I got a brilliant idea. I walked in the front door to my mom sitting on a stool in the kitchen, typing up a storm. She was too busy to notice me.

“Ma, can we get out of this town? It’s so boring, it’s so annoying, and I’m tired of seeing Skylar’s and Mrs. Allen’s faces.”

“What? Why? I thought you liked Skylar. I thought you guys were best friends.” She closed her computer and turned around.

“She stopped talking to me after we moved back. Can we leave? She just keeps making fun of me and bullying me at school. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want it to get out of hand.”

“Sure. I’ll tell your father. We can arrange to move back into our old house,” she said calmly.

I was very happy about the decision.

A week later, we said our goodbyes and were on the road.

 

Chapter Six: A New Beginning

I just moved to my new house. It feels so empty… I feel so empty. I lay on the floor with my arms spread out just thinking about how things would’ve gone if I hadn’t rolled my ankle last month. I went to the bathroom to wash my face, and I looked up in the mirror and saw that my mascara was smudging because I was crying so much. I washed my face and put my hair back in a perfect bun. I was so happy but also so sad. I wish I was never kicked out of the dance studio, even though my new studio is so much better. I miss dancing with my friends. I went up the stairs to my nonexistent bedroom, and I lay on my nonexistent bed. I saw my moving boxes perched against the bright white wall. I went into my box labeled “decorations” and took out the photo of me and my friends dancing in our first performance and laid it on my nonexistent table.

I guess I should start unpacking.

A few hours later…

“And that’s the last of it! Finally,” I said.

I lay on my now existent bed. I felt more at home. I had my corkboard with all of my pictures on it in front of my desk, which was on the right side of my bed. On the left side of my bed was my nightstand with my picture and lamp on it. On the other side of the room was my walk-in closet. And I couldn’t forget my faux fur beanbag. I only felt like one thing was missing… my friends.

If I called them, would they be mad at me? If I didn’t call them, would they get more mad? I’ll call them now.

Phone ringing.

“Hello?” I said.

“O-M-G, hey!” said Evelyn.

“I can’t believe I’m really talking to you,” Harper said enthusiastically.

“How’s your new home?” Aubrey exclaimed.

“It’s great. I miss you guys so much.”

“Open your front door,” Evelyn stated.

“Okay?”

I went downstairs and opened the door. I saw Aubrey, Evelyn, and Harper reaching out for a group hug. I saw Evelyn’s mom’s car in the driveway.

“Oh my gosh. It’s really you!” I gave them the tightest hug ever.

“So, who are you dancing for now?” Evelyn asked.

“Don’t get mad at me, but I’m dancing for Energii now.”

“What? Why? You know they’re our rivals!” Harper yelled.

“They were the only ones who would accept me.”

“I respect your decision.” Evelyn smiled.

“I love you guys so much!”

They all said, “We love you, too!”

THE END

 

1 Comment

  • Lorraine Ratchford says:

    This story is amazing! Erinda went from not liking writing at all as a first grader to a published writer. I’m impressed with your growth Erinda. Next stop…a published book. May God continue to bless you with a creative mind and the WILL to WRITE! Love, Mom

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