The Center: A DAMPER Day!
Have you ever wondered the origin stories for students in The Center. Most of them went through a pretty weird and amazing adventure all in the matter of a day or so that might be classified as the most exciting and terrifying time of their young lives. This is one of those stories. The life of Charlie Sherwood as he discovers his new self. This is a short tale based on Claire Evergreen best friend of Rachael from The Center: Tester.
I opened my eyes and then closed them again as the bright sun gleamed through the window blinding me where the light hit my face. Mornings were the worst; I really hated waking up early as I just wanted to sleep in. Today more so then other days though because today was Saturday. One of the few days that students did not have to go to school. When you could sleep in and not have to do anything you did not want to do. My original plans were to sleep in my nice comfy bed and then later get up east some cereal and play videogames for the rest of the day. But no today I had to wake up to take my little half-sister to her dancing class. It was among one of the last things I wanted to do today. Even worse though was the fact that I would have to stay with and help her with her dancing class.
It was the parent and child dancing day at her dancing class and as my dad and step-mom could not attend I got stuck with the burden. It’s not like they did not care, in fact they really wanted to go, but they were both huge in the world of Hollywood Star life. My step-mom was Kate Sherwood the famous actor and model, while my dad was Steven Sherwood the famous movie director and writer. After my mom had died giving birth to me my dad was devastated. It was at that time in his life that he made a few sadder movies to deal with the pain. Surprisingly enough he met my step-mom on the set of one of his movies. They started hanging out and you know the rest of the story. Five years later my little sister Emily was born. I loved my little sister, but sometimes she was the biggest pain in the world. Though since my parents were so busy with their jobs often times the responsibility to look out for Emily fell upon me.
“Charlie get out of bed already, you need to get ready for my dance class!” Yelled a little girls voice; obviously my sister Emily, from somewhere in the mansion. Yeah my family lived a one of those huge mansion type houses. That tended to happen when your parents made millions from their successful careers. Emily was determined to follow in her mother’s footsteps, which is why she was signed up for almost every dancing and acting class available to my horror. All I wanted to do today though was go play the latest games on our giant plasma TV.
I sat up on my bed rubbed my eyes and then swing my feet out from under the covers onto the floor. Then I forced my groggy self to stand up and make my way to my private bathroom. You may think I would act like a spoiled rich kid because of who my parents were but you would be surprised. You see my dad was born to a middle class family and he had to work his way up for his success. He was proud of his accomplishments but he did not want his kids being spoiled. So he has us do community service around the neighborhood to constantly remind us how lucky we truly were.
Walking into the bathroom I took a look at myself in the mirror. I was a relatively attractive young man if I do say so myself. I had dark brown hair and eyes. I was not that muscular probably because I never really got into many sports. I took more after my dad in that regard, I was also into writing and being creative, inventing stories, except I was more into drawing fictional comics and characters. It probably was the corruption of video games that got me involved with comics and drawing. My drawings were fairly good I had even won a 1st place award for a comic book I wrote and submitted to a contest. I looked at myself some more in the mirror and saw I was finally beginning to show signs of a beard. Something I had been trying to achieve for a while now. It is ridiculous that you could be mocked for the inability to grow a bear as a guy at my age. I was sixteen and I had only just begun to start growing a beard. Life was cruel if you asked me. Like today having to take my sister to her dance class and actually dance with her since my parents could not. This was seriously going to put a damper on my day.
I got ready for day. I brushed my teeth, took a shower and got dressed. Then I headed down stairs where I found an annoying little sister waiting. Emily my little sister took a lot after my mom she had brown hair and eyes like the rest of my family. What made her stand out though was her beautiful freckles and her cute little girl smile that seemed to make grownups melt like putty in her hands. She was dressed in a tank top and skirt. She was caring her dance bag and gave me a look of extreme impatience.
“Charlie come on we need to get to my dance lesson soon. Whenever you take me I always get there late! Why don’t you understand how important these dance classes are to me?”
“I do Emily, it’s just that I am a guy and these dance classes of yours are a pain to me!”
“Charlie plenty of guys dance.”
“Yeah and I’m not one of them.”
“That’s too bad girls like a guy who can dance. No wonder you still don’t have a girlfriend.”
“You’re really annoying, I can dance just fine, and I just don’t enjoy dancing to your girly music.”
‘Giggle’ “Yeah a big man like you can’t be seen dancing.”
“Fine then I won’t take you to dance class today Emily.”
“What! No fair! I’ll tell mom and dad if you don’t take me!”
“Hahahaha! Relax Emily I was only joking” I smiled.
“You’re so mean sometimes Charlie! Just eat and let’s go already!”
I quickly made myself some cereal and a bagel eat and then gulped down some orange juice.
“Ok let’s go now!”
“Oh! So you’re finally ready Charlie.”
I just frowned at her as we walked out the doors. The dance studio was not far from our house about two blocks down so it was not a tremendous walk. I wish it was, I really wanted to procrastinate as long as possible the journey there. In the end we got there to my abhorrence. Emily and I walked into the brightly colored dance studio with yellow wall paper. The whole room looked really tacky. Then I noticed Ms. Ross the dance instructor approached me and Emily.
“Hello Emily, Charlie it’s so good to have you two here today for the dance lesson.”
“Ms. Ross my brother has no dance clothes can you lend him some?”
“Yes I can. Why don’t you go and change into you leotard while I get your brother some dance clothes.”
“Sure Ms. Ross.”
With that Emily ran toward the changing room. I just sat it dismay as Ms. Ross when across the room to a storage closet and when she exited in her hands there were guys dance shoes, but worse of all TIGHTS! Who on earth decided that even guys needed to wear tights for this kind of dancing. I swear that was the reason less guys danced.
“Here are clothes Charlie.”
“Geez thanks Ms. Ross.” I rolled my eyes.
She just giggled at me. “You’re a good big brother for doing this for Emily.”
“Well she is my little sister. I’ll be back in a second Ms. Ross.”
I then left Ms. Ross and headed for the guys changing room. It was empty par me of course. Emily’s dance class was just girls and the parents that came were all mothers, which meant I was left the embarrassing position of being the only guy.
I sighed as I took off my pants shoes and then slipped on the tights and dance shoes. I hated every second of this. I got up and headed to the dance room. Could this day get any worse?
To my chagrin in did get worse a lot worse. Standing outside in the dance room was Tiffany from school. She was known as one of the socially elite girls who could make or destroy your reputation. She was here with her mother and little sister probably. There she was just sitting on a chair when she caught site of me. I saw her snicker and then she pulled out her phone. ‘Click’
She had just taken a picture of me. Now I was officially doomed at school. Ms. Ross had us me help my sister through her dance steps. I had no idea what the steps were called what she meant when she said adagio. I was just following everyone but apparently I was very good.
“Charlie you really should take up dancing, you have a real talent young man.” Ms. Ross told me when she approached is.
“I’m sorry but it’s not really my thing, it’s too girly.”
“That is a common misconception about dancing. Yes, the dancing world is predominately female. But there are male dancers known worldwide. Dancing is for everyone in teaches movement and balance, just like any form of martial arts would.”
“Yeah, but I am not into it.”
“Ok Charlie but I meant it when I said you have talent.”
“Thanks, I guess.”
I was really glad to finally get out of there when the class ended. Tiffany had been taking pictures of me the whole time. But at this point there really was nothing I could do. I quickly changed back into my more masculine clothes and headed outside with my sister. It was about lunch time now so I figured I might as well take my sister out for lunch.
“Is there any place in particular you want to eat Emily?”
“Yeah let’s go to Tony’s Pizza.” Emily loved Tony’s Pizza and would ask to eat there all the time it was her favorite. I figured she would want to go there.
We walked all the way to Tony’s Pizza, which thankfully wasn’t too far. The food there tasted ok but it wasn’t great. Emily was eating like a mad dog; she was sucking down the pizza like a vacuum. How did she fit all that pizza into her tiny body? I didn’t really feel like eating much. For some reason my stomach was hurting after eating some of the pizza. This had never happened before when eating here. But I guess food poisoning could happen anywhere.
“My stomach feel like someone bashed it with a bad.”
“Really we should probably go home soon then” Emily responded.
“Hey look if it isn’t the sissy ballerina” said a familiar obnoxious masculine voice.
It was Todd Rustle the quarterback and captain of the football team. He was such a jerk. Accompanying him was a few of his pig headed jock friends as well as his girlfriend Tiffany. So that’s how the bastard found out. Tiffany sure did work fast. She was already destroying my school life even more. There was this evil atmosphere around them and I just wanted to deck him. But I didn’t one because I was to mature for that and two because he could kick my ass.
“Come on Emily let’s just go.”
“Hey wait is the ballerina going to show us any of her moves.”
Just keeping walking I told myself we had almost made it to the door, when I felt a big hand grab me.
“Hey I said to show us your dance moves bitch.”
“Please let go were in a public place.”
“Well then let’s make this less public. The big jocks just dragged me out of the store.
“Hey somebody help me!” I cried.
“Help my big brother!”
People had obviously heard us but nobody dared to help us. They did not want to get in trouble for messing with the captain of the football team and facing social rejection. So they just ignored us and sat in silence. People could be such cowards sometimes, if they simple stood up things like the holocaust and other genocides would not happen. Tiffany was holding my little sister caring her away so as not to make a scene.
I just sort of took it as they robbed me and beat me up. What else could I do I was no match for a group of football players. My little sister just kept crying, calling for somebody to help. We were right in the middle of the parking lot too. Geez the world was too cruel. I kneeled over in pain as Todd kicked me in the groin.
“You don’t deserve those, you’re no man.”
“Is that the best you have Toddy?”
He kicked me again right in the stomach. “UHHHGGG!”
“Shit this is boring let’s get out of here.”
They stopped beating me and thankfully walked away. Tiffany put my sister down as she also walked away with them. It was reasons like this that I really didn’t want to leave the house today, especially to go to my sisters dance class. I had to admit on the inside I kind of did enjoy the going to her dance classes every now and then because I really was talented at it and it was a little fun. But if it meant me being beat up all the time forget it. I rather spend my time inside.
My little sister Emily ran to me crying and giving me a big hug.
“Charlie I was so scared!”
“Yeah it’s ok now, let’s just get home.
I felt even worse now. It was like my entire body was doing convulsions on the inside and I had the worst headache I had ever had in my life. It took me a few moments to compose myself again. We walked the rest of the way home in silence.
Getting home I just fell down onto the couch. I didn’t really care if it would mess up the couch at this point. Emily got the icepack for me and helped to fix me up as best she could. I was in so much pain today. I had been beaten up before this bad but for some reason today I felt worse than I have ever felt before. She took my temperature and everything. It was times like this that having a little sister was not the most annoying thing in the world.
Emily had called dad and let him know what happened. Apparently there was an accident on set and my dad would be away a few more days with my step-mom. He told her he would cancel my credit card because my wallet was stolen and that I should just take it easy for now. I spent most of the day just surfing the web and watching movies so it was not all bad but I was still feeling like crap. I decided to just go lay in bed. I got up a few times and just puked in the sink. There was something seriously wrong with me.
After watching a couple of x-men movies, I decided I better just go to bed early tonight. Maybe I would feel better in the morning. I spent about an hour withering in pain before I finally fell asleep.
I slowly opened my eyes expecting to feel the pain from the previous day, but I felt find. Better than find even I felt great, better than I had ever felt in my entire life even. It was like I was born anew. But something was off. I felt strange somehow. Getting up I decided it must have been nothing until a long strand of blonde hair fell down my face, and there was an uncomfortable weight on my chest that wasn’t there yesterday and should never had been on me at all.
I quickly got out of bed and ran to the full body mirror in my room.
“WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO ME?” A distinctly feminine voice shrieked.
Author's Note: I meant this to be a solo origin story for Claire but as I began writing it I realized it just had to be a minimum of at least two chapters. So expect chapter two to come out sometime in the future. When I have a lot of time on my hands and feel like writing it. Whenever that will be is a mystery.
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