In hindsight, visiting that shop when dance class was in 30 minutes probably not the best of ideas. Although Annette had been drawn in by the shop keep's sales pitch and the mysterious glowing that the belly ring had emanated, the price tag had been enough to bring her back to reality. This woman had to be insane if she thought she could get away for selling that thing for $70, and doubly so for trying to justify the price by insisting a matching belly ring needed to be included! If she only had more sense, Annette would have simply turned around and walked out of the shop right then and there. Instead, she remained and haggled and argued, and argued and haggled with the shop keep until 30 minutes became 20, and 20 minutes 15. Panicking, Annette finally agreed to buy the solo bellying for a reduced cost of $50 and found herself dashing out the door without a second though, running full tilt down the block until-
"Ooof- hey watch it!"
Annette was broken out of her reminiscing when she bumped into one of the other women in the class. They'd been practicing part of a routine when Annette let her mind wander and as a result she missed the instructor telling them to stop. As a result she'd turned to the left and wound up smacking the girl next to her in the back with an outstretched arm.
"Oh... uh, s... sorry..." Annette replied sheepishly. "I'll pay more attention from now on."
Although she managed to avoid bumping into anyone else, Annette couldn't help but keep replaying the events earlier that evening in her mind. And the more times she ran through them, the greater her sense of buyer's remorse grew. How could she allow herself to be taken in by some sparkling gems like that? There hadn't been anything mystical about it at all. The shop keep probably had a small light hidden in her hand that she used to make the belly ring glow, that's all. Stupid stupid stupid!
Finally, the hour was up and class ended. Still fuming with regret and self loathing, Annette didn't bother to chat with any of the other dancers as she retrieved her gym bag from her locker. She just wanted to get home and drown her sorrows in some root beer, ice cream and whatever movie she could find on demand.
"Hey there Little Annie!" a voice called to her. Annette's shoulders tensed and her jaw clenched as she heard it. Her body slowly turned to face whoever had called to her, but it was merely a reflex. She knew without looking it belonged to the enemy.
"Shannon," Annette practically spat the name. "What do you want?"
"Oh nothing!" the other girl stated nonchalantly. "Just wanted to see how you were doing is all. After all you were bumping and tripping over the others all class today. Feeling distracted maybe? Having any performance anxiety?"
"Hah, you wish!" Annette replied. "I am more than ready to kick your butt at that dance competition this weekend."
"Oh Annie, you don't have to be embarrassed. It's only natural to be nervous. After all, by the time the contest is over I'll have danced so many circles around you it'll have created a nice little shame hole for you to hide in."
"Gosh, it must be wonderful to live in your own little fantasy world Shannon, but it's time you woke up and faced reality. I am going to CRUSH you!"
"Crush me? Well, I can certainly see that happening. All you'd have to do is trip up like a klutz again are and fall on me!"
"Oh it'd be easy, all I'd have to do is sneeze and you'd be blown off into the wind, never to be seen again!"
By this point, both girls stood with their faces mere inches from one another, fuming. After a few moments of staring one another down, Shannon finally broke away and marched off.
"Forget it, this is pointless! We can settle things at the contest this weekend."
"Oh you bet we'll settle it! Settle it by kicking your butt from here all the way to Pizza Hut and back!"
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