CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED and EIGHTY-EIGHT
Thursday morning — 6:30 a.m.
The Royal Ballet
Laughing, Sissy covered her mouth with her wrist. She was sitting next to a girl named, Piper. Born only two days before Sissy, Piper was the best ballerina in their year. And she was funny. They were sitting in the dining hall finishing breakfast.
Sissy had never had a lot of friends, so Piper’s easy humor was delightful. Right now, Piper was imitating herself when she first saw the Instagram account. Even James Kelly, who was sitting next to Sissy, was laughing at Piper’s description. Piper made clear from the first that she’d begged to be assigned to show Sissy around.
“Look at them,” Piper said. She nodded her head toward another table where people were taking sly looks in their direction. “Poor buggers, they’re all dying to get an invitation to the party you’re putting on here.”
“I don’t think we’re putting on a party here,” Sissy said.
“Oh?” Piper looked so disappointed that Sissy’s eyes flicked to James Kelly. He lifted a shoulder in a shrug.
“Why don’t we see what we can do?” her agent, James Schmidt, asked from his spot on the end of the table.
“You mean Ivan would come here?” Sissy’s voice rose with delight.
“I don’t see why not,” James Schmidt said. “I’ll call him while you’re in class this morning.”
Piper gasped. Her hands flew to cover her mouth full of braces.
“Ivan’s coming here?” Piper said in a reverential voice.
Piper leaned back as if she was going to faint. Sissy laughed.
“He is so handsome, don’t you think?” Piper asked.
Sissy grinned at Piper.
“Well, of course you do,” Piper said. She lightly hit her head with the palm of her hand. “Dumb Pip.”
Piper leaned forward and looked at Sissy.
“Did you marry him?” Piper whispered.
“Not yet,” Sissy said with a laugh.
“You’re like ballet royalty,” Piper whispered.
James Kelly cleared his throat and knocked Sissy’s elbow. Sissy looked up toward the front where some people were talking. She shot James in a “What?” look and shrugged. Piper truly gasped at something happening at the front of the room.
“What?” Sissy mouthed.
“Prince of England,” James Kelly said under his breath.
“Who?” Sissy asked.
“Prince of England?” James Kelly asked, in the same low tone. Sissy shrugged and James grinned.
“What do I do?” Sissy asked.
“If he comes over, you address him as ‘Your Royal Highness,’” James Kelly said, in her ear. “You don’t have to curtsy. He doesn’t love to be touched by strangers and he won’t take a selfie with you, even for your Instagram account. If he extends his hand, you can shake it. If he wants a photo taken, he’ll indicate that he’d like to have one taken. Follow his lead. Do not freak out.”
James squinted toward the front of the room.
“He has a photographer with him,” James Kelly said, in the same low tone. “Don’t get your hopes up.”
“Mine are up!” Piper whispered. “Will you marry me, dearest Prince?”
James nodded to acknowledge Piper. Laughing, Sissy lifted the cup to take a drink of tea.
“He’s coming this way,” Piper said in the same reverential whisper.
The prince came up to their table and James Schmidt was on his feet.
“I apologize for disturbing your meal,” the Prince said.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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