At lunch, Kathy sat down next to me, across from Tae-Hyun, and put a piece of paper on the table.
"So, here are the songs and which people are going to dance to them." She said, "Tae-Hyun, Leo, and Chris are going to do 'Sorry Sorry' by Super Junior."
Chris opened his mouth to speak, but Kathy kept talking, "And Angie, Alice, and I are dancing to Genie by... So..."
"So Nyuh Shi Dae." Tae-Hyun said, "SNSD for short."
"Ah." Kathy said.
"Wait, Angie and I never agreed to this." Alice said.
Kathy looked up from her paper and said, "What do you mean?"
"She means we never said we would dance." I said.
Kathy sighed and said, clearly irritated, "What about Mouse? Would she do it?"
Mouse, who hadn't been paying attention, said suddenly, "What?"
I snorted and Chris, Alice, Leo, and I all said, "No."
Kathy looked disappointed, "Umm.... Okay... Then, who's going to dance with me?"
Leo gritted his teeth nervously and Chris gave him a confused look.
"Michelle?" He suggested.
"You're kidding, right?" Mouse said, "That girl is dumber than you."
Alice laughed, "Oh, come on, Mouse. She's not that bad."
She paused before adding, "No offense, Leo."
"None taken." Leo mumbled.
Kathy pursed her lips and said, "Maybe Michelle's not too bad of an idea."
"No, Kathy..." Mouse said in her occasional gentle tone that always scared me.
Mouse put her hand on Kathy's shoulder and said, "Kath.... I'm not sure how to tell you this, because, being a ditzy cheerleader, you may not know this, but... Michelle, along with pretty much the whole cheerleading squad, is an idiot."
Kathy furrowed her brow and said, "Um... Okay?"
Mouse nodded and moved her hand, "I'm sorry I had to tell you that, but it's the truth."
"What are you talking about?" Chris said.
Mouse leaned over the table and said, "You wouldn't understand, Idiot."
Chris gritted his teeth and Kathy said, "Okay, so not Michelle... Then who do we ask-"
Kathy was interrupted by a loud rupture of laughter.
We all turned around and looked over her shoulder at the cheerleaders' table.
Jenny Alvarez, one of the loudest girls I have ever met, was laughing her head off at God-knows-what... Again.
Jenny is always laughing. It can get really annoying, but I don't hate her. She's nice.
To tell you the truth, Jenny Alvarez is one of the sweetest girls I know. She's on the cheerleading squad, but she still talks to everyone.
Jenny's also on the Volunteering Committee, which is pretty much "unacceptable" in the cheerleader world, but no one really seems to care because she's so nice.
My friends and I studied Jenny at the cheerleaders' table.
Kathy and Chris looked at each other and grinned.
Kathy's eyes fell on Tae-Hyun and he nodded quickly.
"Hey, Jenny." Kathy called.
The other cheerleaders at their table stopped chattering and then turned to Kathy.
"Yeah?" Jenny said, smiling.
Kathy motioned for her to come over to us and she did.
"Hey, what's up, everyone?" Jenny said sweetly, smiling still.
Kathy looked at Tae-Hyun and he said, "Oh, um, my friends and I were wondering if you would want to learn a Korean dance with us. For the talent show."
If Jenny's face could've possibly lit up any more, that was what it did.
"Oh, really? Me?" She said, "I would be honored, I'd love to!"
"Yeah, we need three boys and three girls, but Angela won't do it." Chris said, giving me a look.
A made face at him and Jenny turned her attention to me.
"Oh, don't you want to dance?" She said innocently, "It'll be a lot of fun!"
I shrugged, "Umm... You know, Jenny, it's not really my thing. I think you'll enjoy it a lot more than I would."
Jenny smiled understandingly and said, "Oh, I get it. Not your thing. That makes sense. Well, you definitely shouldn't have to if you don't want to."
I couldn't help smiling. Jenny is such a sweetie.
"We still need a third girl." Kathy said.
No one said anything as we thought.
Then, Kathy, Leo, Chris, Tae-Hyun, Mouse, and I all looked at Alice.
"Come on, Honey." Chris said, nudging his friend's shoulder.
"I can't, Chris." Alice said, smiling nervously, "I-I really don't do good with crowds, you know that..."
"Like I said before," Tae-Hyun said, "I can help you with your stage fright. It is something you can get over."
Alice glanced at Chris, who gave her a sympathetic look.
Alice awkwardly gestured for Tae-Hyun to follow her and they got up.
Alice and Tae-Hyun walked to one side of the lunchroom.
"I really can't do this, Tae-Hyun." She said quietly, "When I say I have a problem, I mean I have a big problem."
Tae-Hyun nodded, listening.
Alice continued, "I... Have Psychoneurosis. I'm always nervous, always. I'm timid and I'm anxious... It's my thing."
Tae-Hyun put his hands on her shoulders and said boldly, "But you don't have to be, Alice. I can help you with that. I have experience."
Alice sighed and said, "Look... Tae-Hyun. I'm sorry, but I really think someone else less shy would be better for the job."
"Shy?" Tae-Hyun laughed, "You're not shy. You were one of the first people to talk to me."
Alice smiled, "Yes, after Angie and Chris."
Tae-Hyun looked uneasy and he said slowly, "Uhh.... Yeaahhh..."
Alice laughed and Tae-Hyun said, "You know, I really think you could learn to like dancing with us."
"With Jenny and Kathy." Alice corrected, "Not with you or Chris or Leo."
"I am going to teach you." Tae-Hyun said, "I will be there to teach you the dance."
Alice studied him hesitantly.
Tae-Hyun smiled and held out his hand, "What do you say, Alice?"
Alice's expression softened and a slow smile spread across her face.
She shook Tae-Hyun's hand and said, "Okay, I'll do it."
Tae-Hyun beamed and maybe even squeaked a little.
"Oh, thank you, Alice!" He said, hugging her.
Alice didn't say anything and Tae-Hyun quickly backed off.
"Oh, um, I'm sorry." He said, blushing, "Getting excited."
Alice laughed and said, still confused, "It's fine, Tae-Hyun..."
He nodded and they walked back to the table.
Tae-Hyun and Alice sat down and I said, "So... What's up?"
"I'm going to learn Genie with Kathy and Jenny." Alice said.
We all stared at her and Chris and I said together, "Really?"
Alice smiled and nodded, "Yeah."
I suddenly wished a little bit that I had joined earlier. If I had known Alice would do it, then I might have wanted to.
As if reading my mind... Er, or my expression, I guess, Tae-Hyun said, "Angela?"
I looked at him and he said, "You know you can dance with us if you want. I said three for the groups because that was the minimum. Technically, four people would be fine... If you want to."
Despite any instincts I was pushing out of my head, I found myself saying, "Sure."
Tae-Hyun beamed at me and said, "Awesome! Now, should we start rehearsals tomorrow? Recess?"
Everyone nodded and Kathy said, "Great, let's do this."