a reluctant dance

Jasmine sat in the back seat of the car with the window down, trying to drown out her parents’ voices. They were talking about her brother – Thomas – and some golf tournament he had won. She lay her head back on the hot material of the seat and let the wind flutter across her face. The day was nice and warm, and her glasses were sliding down her nose. Irritated, she pushed them back up. She had only got them last week and so far she didn’t like them. She had wanted contact lenses but with Thomas needing new clubs and green fees, her mother had said that money wouldn’t stretch.

‘Hello? Jazz?’

‘Sorry, what?’ They were talking to her, but she hadn’t heard anything.

‘We were just talking about the dance next weekend, aren’t you excited?’ Her mother had twisted around in the passenger seat to face her, a familiar worried expression on her face.

It took Jasmine a minute to realize what she was talking about. Then she remembered the school social, for Year 9 and above. It would be her first dance but unlike all the other girls in her class, she was not excited. In fact she was dreading it. It was just another way in which she was unlike all the other girls, much to her mother’s dismay.

‘Oh yeah! Can’t wait!’ She tried to sound excited and it must have worked, because her mother looked a little relieved and turned back to face the front.

‘We’ll have to find you a dress!’ She exclaimed.

Jasmine sighed. She hated shopping. It always exhausted her.

They were driving back from her Uncle Patrick’s house in the city and she couldn’t wait to be home. It was nice at his house, the family had a huge back lawn and a friendly Labrador, but Uncle Patrick had been horrible to Jasmine from the moment they arrived. By the end of the weekend she was so sick of being called ‘four-eyes’ and a ‘big wuss’ that she hid out in the garage with the lawn mower and gardening tools until it was time to leave. She looked out of the window again, watching the fences blur into one line. It was getting dark.

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