Valeria sat still on her seat, holding the envelope with both of her hands as she examined it; feeling the soft texture and reading the encryption in the middle of the etchings. It read:

I cordially invite you to the ball of the century, a trip from the past with the air of romance and the décor from a beautiful history. Will you join us in this night of eras?

Valeria thought carefully as she finished the last sentence, grabbing a pen from her bag without taking her eyes off the envelope; she struggled at first but eventually found a pen in the smallest pocket of her bag. She laid the envelop flat on her desk as she held the pen with her right hand, ready to write her signature. Yet she hesitated, parties were never really one of her favorite events to go; especially balls; she turned her head slightly to the left where Ava sat beside her, and she saw her hand scribbling her signature on her invitation; her name and a messy line being the obvious indication that it was hers.

She turned her gaze back at her envelope, and knowing Ava was going to the ball, she began to accept the invitation as well; turning all her attention to towards her writing, trying not to make a mess like Ava, but that was not the possibility she needed to think.

”Miss Rose? ”

A voice called her name, but her eyes were glued to her finger swaying the pen on the envelope; up to the last pinch of ink of her signature. She took a quiet breath before putting her pen down on her desk, but it did land so well. For the voice called to her again, and this time, it was closer and louder, ”Ehem! Miss Rose. ”

Hearing the voices familiar tone, she lifter her head up to see who it was, and at her dismay, it was the teacher glaring at her as he stood tall, ”Well… Now that Ive got your precious attention Miss Rose; as far as I can see, you were not listening, may I ask why? ” said the teacher, his eyebrows flaring with his eyes beaming with fire and hidden annoyance as he glared Valeria down.

”U-um, i-I was just- ”

”She was just signing the invitation, Sir! ” a voice suddenly explained from the chairs at the back of the class, another voice familiar to Valeria; and one that she fondly remembered, ”Since the ball is tomorrow, everyone is on edge on whether they will attend or not! ”

After hearing the boys explanation, the teacher looked back down at Valeria; slowly moving his eyes to her desk where her invitation laid opened, ”You couldve done this at your home, Miss Rose, ” said the teacher, wanting to eliminate an excuse.

”I was just given the invitation today; I thought I would sign it quickly so I won forget about it while I help set the decorations for the ball! ” said Valeria, trying not to break eye contact and let out a single drop of sweat.

The teacher laid his eye still on Valerias eyes, hoping to see a sliver of a lie along the brown lines. After what seemed to be a minute, the teacher sighed and turned around, ”Fine, at least your distraction had reason; now please revert your attention to the blackboard! ” the teacher walked back to the blackboard, letting Valeria gave out a sigh of relief as he walked away. She turned her head to face the back, moving her eyes to the one who spoke out for her. And as they landed on the one, she let out a smile with a splash of pink red on her cheeks. It was Damien Woods, looking back at her with his sparkling black eyes.

”Thank you… ” said Valeria without uttering a sound.

Damien gave her a smile, ”Your welcome… ” he also said without a sound, but made Valeria bright red which she quickly hid by facing back to the front.

After her cheeks rested, the teacher began his lessons to the class; surprisingly, it was just about the background of the balls theme, which was all about history from the start of the class towards the end. When an hour passed, the bell finally rang; and all the students packed up their belongings then shoved them inside their bags, ”Good luck with your decorating students; and if you paid attention, you might pull it off with accuracy this time, ” said the teacher before leaving the classroom with his bag.

While Valeria stuffed her invitation inside her bag, Ava walked up beside her seat, ”Well, at least he forgot about your little distraction. ”

”I was only doing that because I saw you signing yours! ” exclaimed Valeria, following the sound of her bags zipper being closed.

”Aww, thank you for trying to follow me hehe; but unlike you, I am the best at hiding my distractions, ” said Ava with her nose up high, ”Besides, it gave Damien a reason to finally notice you again haha! ” laughed Ava.

”Shut up! ” she gave Ava a punch on her shoulder, but her cheeks hinted she was not all that angry, ”That is what friends are for, excusing me for petty things; I know he only sees me as someone like that… ” said Valeria, her voice trailed off into a gloomy memory.

”Yeah right, I know these things too much to know what Is really going on; now, snap out of it before you break your own heart again, ” said Ava confidently, grabbing Valerias bag and placed it on her desk, ”By the way, did you hear about Danielles so called Before Party? If you did, then you finally came up with better names than that already; I mean seriously, I thought a girl like her wouldve came up with something less obvious! ”

Valeria stood up from her desk chair and grabbed her bag, placing it over her shoulder, ”No why? ” she asked, walking towards the classroom door with Ava as they about to go through, ”Everyone is apparently going to be there, and you know what that mea- ”

”It means that you Valeria Rose, aren invited, ” a high voice spoke from the side when they entered the hall, both Valeria and Ava turned their heads to where the lockers are. A locker was opened, and behind it laid a figure standing; seeming to be checking inside the locker; they saw the pale legs under the door, with the short black heels, with silver anklets hanging on them. The locker door slammed shut, and the girl who spoke stood behind, the very face they both loathed — with Avas tongue rolling in disgust.

”…There goes my appetite. ” Ava rolled her eyes as the girl slowly walked towards them.

e still here, meaning that you haven been helping us with the decorations; but then again, I expected less, ” said the girl with her arms crossed; her dark hair laying on over her shoulders with her black eyes looking at both of them, ”And for that, you won be invited to my party; that means more food and drinks for more… important people. ”

”Then you have very poor taste in people, Danielle! ” said Ava, giving her a stare that shouted disgust, ”Scratch that, you really don have any taste; that tongue of yours spits nothing but your bad breath! ”

Valeria gave a silent snicker as she looks at Ava giving Danielle signs, ”You want me to uninvite you too, Ava! Because Im sure no one will miss you at the party! ” said Danielle, trying desperately to get back at Ava.

”Try me bitch! ” yelled Ava as she was about to pounce on Danielle, but Valeria grabbed her arm before she could know what she was about to do. Danielle smirked as they stood, with Ava glaring at her while Valeria held her back, ”Consider your invitation to my party revoked, lets see how confident you are now. ” A bunch of girls suddenly walked into the hallway, with one of them calling Danielle to come with them, ”Hope to see you never ladies, I hope youll survive till the ball hehe. ” She walked away towards the girls, then together they went away from Valeria and Avas sight.

”Hmph, Im going to burn her house down, ” said Ava jokingly calm, but Valeria thought otherwise.

”Stop joking like that, I don want her madder than she already is; don you remember last time? ”

”Yeah, but we were both in it, thats why she also targeted you; but if it is only me, then I don care what that witch says or does. ”

Both of them continued to walk through the hall, heading towards the cafeteria as they turn and walked straight, ”I guess Im not going, even though I just heard that it was happening… ” said Valeria looking down on her moving feet.

”Don be like that, everyone is going there; I doubt the witch would notice us when we
e surrounded by like a hundred people, ” said Ava, then she suddenly smiled at Valeria, ”Heres an idea, lets crash the party! ”

”Like I said, shes going to be mad. ”

”So, you
e not going then? Come on Val! ”

The two were almost at the cafeteria door when they continued to bicker about the party. With Valeria trying to ignore Avas try of persuading her to come; her mind told her to stay put and just sleep for that night, not wanting to anger Danielle. They were about to go through the door, Valeria going firstly to push the door open with her palm; but her eyes attention was distracted by Ava tugging on her arm.

”Come on Val, for me? ” she said with defeated eyes.

”My mind is made up Ava, Im not going to that p- ”

She was interrupted, by a sudden blow on her head after she went through the door, making her fall down on her knees. Her head lowered as she placed her hand on the sight on the blow, gently rubbing it, ”Ouch… ” she grunted, slowly blinking to get rid of the now blurry vision. Then it instantly opened, for a familiar voice spoke in front of her.

”Im so sorry! I shouldve watched where I was going, ” a boys voice said above her, along with the sound of ruffling clothing and shoes. Valeria slowly lifted her head to see who it was, but she already knew. The blurry vision withered, seeing a hand reaching out; it was Damiens, ”Val, are you okay? ” he said softly.

A moment went by, for Valeria stared at Damien; trying not to shake; then she suddenly realized, ”Oh, y-yeah Im fine. ” She grabbed his hand to get up, not noticing how close she stood in front of him; her eyes meeting his, now at a close distance; she saw the very shine his black eyes gave; and her image reflected from it, but then she shrugged it off, lowering her head and taking a step back, ”Thank you… Damien. ”

”O-0h yeah, sure; but… are you really, okay? ” he asked, accidentally staring at Valeria.

”Yeah, Im really okay, its my fault really! Ava and I were talking about something and she was grabbing my arm and I wasn paying attention to where I was going and i- ”

She saw Damien looking at her, smiling as her expense; and she smiled back, slowing down, ”Yeah… Im fine, thank you for asking Damien. ”

”I see you haven changed a bit, ” said Damien, giving a quick chuckle, ”Not that there is nothing wrong with it! Its just… its really nice to know that you
e still you. ”

Valeria chuckled back, almost to a laugh, ”And I see you too haven changed, traveling with the team hasn changed you one bit, ” said Valeria happily.

”Well, sports can be tiring sometimes, but at least theres good food. ”

”I can tell, your body was so much smaller before you went on your little boy band tour! ”

For a minute, they laughed together; and when they stopped, their eyes exchanged looks; and their faces exchanged smiles. Valeria wanted that moment to last forever, just staring deep into his eyes like him with hers; hoping that he would feel the same, but sadly she thought, that there was no hope for that possibility; and that thought spread to her smile, turning into a frown as her eyes moved away.

”I… I should probably g- ”

”Val! Are you alright?! ” exclaimed Ava walking through the door and towards Valeria, ”My bag went flying when the door closed, and I heard a loud bang so i- ”Her eyes saw through Valerias head, seeing Damien standing behind her.

”…So, Im going to find a table for us! Damien why don you go with Val to get some food! ” said Ava, immediately walking away.

Valeria looked at Ava while she moved away from them, and she swore she saw her winked and her hand giving her a thumbs up as she disappeared into the crowd of tables, ”U-um she probably hit her head with the door, Im sorry that she suddenly asked you t- ”

”Its fine, Val, ” said Damien, still smiling at her after she turned her head back to face him again, ”Would you… like to get some food with me? ”

Valerias eyes quickly turned wide, her chest let out a loud bang that made her ears listen to the beat, ”U-um are you sure? I-I mean you don need to ask me if you don want to, Im sure Ava was just joking and you know her, crazy! ” she gave a awkward chuckle, but Damien snickered otherwise.

”Well, I was still going to ask even if she didn tell me to… so, would you like to come with me? ” asked Damien, hoping for an answer.

Her chest banged like drums, she could feel the behinds of her ears slowly warming with every sound of it heard; but she took a silent breath, then ended with a smile; staring at his eyes when she answered.

”Yes… I would… love that very much. ”

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