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Allegra

De
280 pages
Allegra thinks being at a performing-arts high school will change her life and make her a better dancer. But high school is still high school, complete with cliques, competition and cruelty. Allegra's refuge comes in the form of a class she doesn't want to take, music theory, taught by a very young, very attractive male teacher. Soon all Allegra can think about is music composition, and Mr. Rochelli. But has she misunderstood his attention, or is he really her soul mate?
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Text copyright ©2013Shelley Hrdlitschka
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Hrdlitschka, Shelley,1956Allegra [electronic resource] / Shelley Hrdlitschka.
Electronic monograph. Issued also in print format. isbn 9781459801981 (pdf).isbn 9781459801998 (epub)
I. Title. ps8565.r44a64 2013jc813.54 c20129074551
First published in the United States,2013 Library of Congress Control Number:2012952952
Summary: Allegra wants to dance, but when her musictheory teacher insists she undertake a composition project, their collaboration brings unforeseen changes in both their lives.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Design by Teresa Bubela Cover photography by Getty Images and dreamstime.com Author photo by Leslie Thomas
orca book publishers po Box 5626,Stn. B Victoria,bcCanadav8r 6s4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custer,wa usa 982400468
www.orcabook.com
161514134321
In memory of a gentle soul and voracîous reader, Racel Marîe Sarman,
Oe
Ms. Jennîngs taps er Ingers on te desk as ï gance at my course-seectîon seet.
Englîs12 HîstoryModern Dance Tecnîque (Senîor) Vîsual Arts (Senîor) Coreograpy (Senîor) Ballet (Senîor) Hîp-Hop/Jazz (Senîor) Musîc heory-
“here’s a mîstake ere.” ï pus te seet back across te desk.
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“here îs?” Snatcîng te paper, se runs er eyes down te îst. “Everytîng ooks în order to me.” “ï don’t need to take any musîc casses, remember? ï just want dance casses, and watever academîcs ï stî need to graduate. ï dîd mat and bîoogy în summer scoo to get tem out o te way. My mom and ï taked to you about tîs ast sprîng, wen ï regîstered.” “A, yes,” se says, eanîng back în er caîr and wîp-pîng of er gasses. “Aegra. Aegra Wîtord. You’re te gîr wo as competed a te eves în te Natîona Musîc Academy. Your moter îs te arpîst în te Deer Lake Sympony Orcestra and your ater îs…” “Bass payer or te group Loose Ends.” “Rîgt. Loose Ends. ï tînk ï’ve eard o tem.” Se sîts up straîgter. “Wat you’ need to do, ten, îs go see Mr. Rocceî, te musîc-teory teacer. Expaîn your sîtuatîon to îm. hen get îs sîgnature on a Drop orm.” Se ands me te orm and a map o te scoo, ten stands up, dîsmîssîng me. ï stay seated. “Wy don’t you just take me out o ît now and put me în anoter dance cass?” “Sorry. Scoo rues.” Se moves to te door o er oice. “Wîtout îs permîssîon to drop te cass, your records wî sow tat you sîmpy dîdn’t compete ît.” “hat’s stupîd.” ï get to my eet. Her eyebrows arc, and ten se gances at te wa cock. “You’ Ind îm în portabe number our, at te back
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o te buîdîng. You’ve got tîme to get out tere now and see îm beore te start o casses.” “And once e’s sîgned of on ît?” “Come back ere at unctîme. We’ see wat dance casses are ofered în tat bock.” ï brus past er în te doorway and am just about troug te maîn oice wen ï ear er say, “Iftere are any.” “Wat?” ï turn back, but anoter student îs aready oowîng er înto te sma room. Dîsappoîntment nudges asîde te anxîety ï’m eeîng about beîng ere. ï’d ad suc îg opes or Deer Lake Scoo or te Fîne and Perormîng Arts. Because ît’s a îg scoo or te arts, ï’d assumed te coun-seors woud be more creatîve, more energetîc and just generay nîcer tan te ones rom Mape Creek Hîg,my prevîous scoo. Ms. Jennîngs seems as burned-out as any oter teacer. Not a good sîgn. ï Ind my way to portabe our, wîc îs beînd te scoo. he door’s ajar, so ï peek înto te room. here’s a guy on te ar sîde, openîng and suttîng cupboards, probaby ceckîng înventory. Hîs back îs to te door.ï know ît’s te rîgt room—te caîrs and musîc stands are set out, ready or reearsa—but tîs can’t beMr. Rocceî. From te back, anyway, e ooks îke a student, în aded jeans and a T-sîrt. ï cear my troat. “Excuse me…”
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He jumps, started, and wîrs around. Hîs sudden reactîon surprîses me, and ï step back, but not beore ï notîce tat e ooks a îtte oder rom te ront, probaby în îs eary to mîd-twentîes. “Sorry,” ï say. “ï dîdn’t mean to scare you. ï’m ookîng or Mr. Rocceî.” He cutces at îs cest. “ï tînk my eart stopped or a moment tere.” He augs. “Can you îmagîne wat a dramatîc start to te term tat woud be? ï can see te eadînes:New teacer dîes of eart attack before irst class.” He cuckes agaîn, and tat’s wen ï notîce te dîmpes în îs ceeks. “ï’m Mr. Rocceî. Andyou are?” So ît îs îm. ï step arter înto te cassroom. “ï’m Aegra Wîtord. ï’m ere to—” “Aegra!” He ooks peased. “Wat a great name. ïn musîc, te termallegromeans ‘îvey, wît a appy aîr.’ Does tat descrîbe you?” Hîs smîe îgts up îs ace. “ï tînk tat’s wat my parents were opîng wen tey named me.” “And?” “ï et tem down.” He studîes me, îs smîe adîng. “O. We, ten, wat can ï do or you, Aegra?” ï approac îm, odîng out te Drop orm. “ï just need you to sîgn tîs orm gîvîng me permîssîon to drop your musîc-teory cass.”
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Hîs eyebrows sprîng up. “Wy woud you want to drop my cass? Have ï aready ofended you?” he smîe îs back, aong wît te dîmpes. “No, ît’s just tat ï don’t need ît. ï’ve been studyîng musîc or years. ï want to take extra dance casses.” “A, you’re a dancer.” He takes te orm, scans ît and ten passes ît back to me. “But you aven’t sîgned ît.” “ï don’t întend to.” “But î you don’t, ît wî appear on my records tat ï dîdn’t compete your cass.” “hen ï guess you’ ave to compete ît.” ï can’t decîde î e’s jokîng around agaîn. “ï want to take a dance cass în tîs bock.” “ï see tat you aready ave our dance casses on your scedue,” e says. “hîs îs a Ineandperormîng arts scoo, Aegra, not a dance scoo. You need to take my musîc-teory cass to brîng baance to your scedue. You know tat baance îs împortant în dance, rîgt?ït’s împortant în îe too. And at scoo.” ï sîg. “ï’ve aready competed a te eves în te Natîona Musîc Academy. ï taked to Ms. Jennîngs and se’s okay wît ît too. Pease just sîgn te orm.”ï’m aware tat ï aven’t conceaed my îrrîtatîon very we, but e’s beîng so annoyîng. “hat’s great tat you’ve mastered te Natîona Musîc Academy currîcuum,” e says way too entusîastîcay.
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“And î tat’s te case, ï’ desîgn your assîgnments to caenge you. here’s aways sometîng new to earn.ï can expaîn tat to Ms. Jennîngs.” “But ï’m not înterested în any more musîc teory,”ï te îm. “ï want to dance!” He turns away, but not beore ï notîce te cenc o îs jaw. He contînues openîng and cosîng cupboard doors. “ï expect to see you ere în bock seven, Aegra,” e says over îs souder. “And ï promîse you tîs.”He turns to ook at me agaîn. “My cass wî caenge you and quîte possîby ep you wît your dance too.” A be rîngs, announcîng te start o casses. ï ear students enterîng te room, but my eyes remaîn ocked wît Mr. Rocceî’s, caengîng îm. he cassroom Is wît tat back-to-scoo buzz. ï break eye contact and turn away, Igtîng te urge to sam te door as ï return to te maîn buîdîng. hîs scoo îsn’t goîng to be any better tan te ast one.
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