Finding Elise

Finding Elise - student project

Primary Audience:  I would say YA or New Adult even.  The characters are all college aged.

Blurb

New school? Check.

Strange roommates? Check.

Cute boys? Double check.

     Elise Andersen is starting her freshman year of college. She's in a new state, living with a group of girls she's never met before and experiencing the mundane wonders of college life. When she steps out of her comfort zone, she discovers a new passion and becomes one for someone else. But people are not always who they seem to be and a devastated Elise finds out the hard way that those kept secrets are crushing her. Fixing herself won't be easy, but as Elise learns who she can count on and begins to take new risks, she learns that finding out who you are can be a beautiful journey.

Story:

     “Come on Elise, we are going to be late!”  Tessa cried, pulling on my arm. It was time for another dance class.  I had been working on a paper in the library, headphones in so I missed her texts, then call.  She had come busting into the little study room I was holed up in demanding to know why I was ignoring her.  We had left in a hurry and dashed up to the fine arts building on campus. Tessa had grabbed me a skirt which I threw on over my leggings.  I knew I looked kind of silly but I didn’t have time to change.

     We burst into class just as Maria and Armand started pairing people up.  We had moved on from Merengue, learned Bachata and were now beginning to learn Salsa.  At our last class Armand had explained that Salsa was a more complicated dance, compared to the first two we had learned, so we would be spending more time learning the different styles of Salsa.  Because of this, they wanted to pair us up in a way where the more skilled dancers could help those who struggled a little bit. Guess which group I was in?

     Maria gave Tessa and me a You know I can see you two trying to sneak in right  look.  “Tessa, you’ll be partnered with Ethan.  Elsie you’ll be partnered with Blaine.”  

     I felt my face flush as it seemed like everyone’s eyes turned to stare at us.

     “Elise, your partner is my future husband.”  Tessa hissed. “You’re soooo lucky!”

     I shooed her away and went to where Blaine stood up near the front.  He was at least a foot taller than me and upon closer inspection I could see a little bit of a tattoo on his right upper arm peeking out from under his white tee-shirt.  His lips curved into a smile as he watched me approach him.

     “Hi, I’m Elise Andersen.”  I said, offering him my hand.  He took it, his hand was calloused, like he worked hard with them.

     “Blaine Stailey.  It’s nice to finally meet you?”

     “What do you mean by finally?”  I asked.

     “I danced with your roommate the first day, what was her name?  Tanya?”

     “Tessa.”  I corrected.

     “Right.  Anyway she had been telling me about herself and said that she had dragged her roommate to this class.  Then she pointed you out to me.”

     “And you remembered that?”

     “Yep.  I may be bad with names but I remember faces quite easily and yours stood out to me.”

     “Oh ok.”  I said, trying to sound nonchalant but on the inside I was like Handsome man say what?! 

     He grinned and I’m pretty sure he just increased his sexy factor tenfold.  It was a good thing Armand commanded our attention just then or I probably would have said something stupid.  

     “Alright class, now that you’re partnered up will everyone please assume your frame.”  Armand called out.  

     Blaine and I faced each other.  I placed my left hand on his shoulder and he took my right hand in his.  He then slid his other arm around my waist, pulling me closer. He smiled, as if he could sense my nervousness. I felt that awkward fluttering sensation in my stomach that you get whenever the guy you’re crushing on actually looks your way and I was suddenly very aware of Blaine’s hands on my body.

     “Just wait until we learn the Argentine tango.”  He winked.

     The flirt is strong with this one.

     I honestly couldn’t tell you what went on in class.  Blaine was a very good dancer and I felt like I had actual talent just because he was my partner. I’m not that into science but I was definitely picking up on our chemistry.  

     Haha, I slay myself.

      I was sad when the bell rang, signaling the end of class.  We broke apart as Tessa came bounding up.

     “Hey Blaine.”  She said, giving him a flirty smile.  “I miss dancing with you.”

     Blaine grinned at Tessa as he grabbed his water bottle.  “Me too, but I happen to have it on good authority that your new partner, Ethan, thinks you’re cute.”

     Tessa looked over at Ethan as if seeing him in a new light.  “Really?”

     I stifled a laugh.  I could almost see the wheels turning in Tessa’s mind.  Ethan wouldn’t know what hit him.  

     “See you later.” I said to Blaine as I gathered up my things.  Too bad I had no excuse to see him outside of class. I wouldn’t mind seeing his handsome face more often.

     “Hold up.”  Blaine said.  “My roommates and I are having a swimming party at our apartment complex this Friday night. You guys are welcome to come.”

     “We’d love to!” Tessa said before I could answer.

     “Great.”  Blaine turned his smile to me.  “Elise, could I get your number so I can shoot you directions later?”

     “Uh sure.”  I said, hoping I sounded chill, but my inner self was doing back flips.  I don’t think a cute guy had ever asked for my number before. I love college. 

     I put my number into Blaine’s phone and handed it back.

     “Thanks.”  He said. “I gotta run.  Talk to you later.” He flashed me another killer grin and left.

     “Oh, he is so into you.”  Tessa teased as we made our way to her car.  “I guess you can take my future husband. I’ll just have to find another one.”  She heaved a great dramatic sigh. “We would have had beautiful children.”

     I laughed and shrugged my shoulders.  “I’m sure he was just being nice.” Of course  I had already over analyzed the brief encounter in my head,  It ranged from he was just being polite to OMG he loves me and we’ll get married and live happily ever after! I was trying to err on the side of sanity.

     Tessa smirked.  “Right. I’m sure that was it. Now come on, we better go share the good news with Amber and Jackie."