I can text in complete sentences. Oh, yeah, it’s a skill.” He smiled, proud of his accomplishments. “And, thanks to my mom being a competitive dancer as a teen, I know how to do the Lindy hop and the jitterbug.”I sat bolt upright, and Akinli rolled his eyes.“I swear, if you tell me you can jitterbug, I’m going to . . . I don’t even know. Set something on fire. No one can dance like that.”I pursed my lips and dusted off my shoulder, a thing I’d seen Elizabeth do when she was bragging.As if he was accepting a challenge, he shrugged off his backpack and stood, holding out a hand for me.I took it and positioned myself in front of him as he shook his head, grinning.“All right, we’ll take this slow. Five, six, seven, eight.”In unison, we rock stepped and triple stepped, falling into the rhythm in our head. After a minute, he got brave and swung me around, lining me up for those peppy kicks I loved so much.People walked by, pointing and laughing, but it was one of those moments when I knew we weren’t being mocked; we were being envied.We stepped on each other’s toes more than once, and after he accidentally knocked his head into my shoulder, he threw his hands up.“Unbelievable,” he said, almost as if he was complaining. “I can’t wait to tell my mom this. She’s gonna think I’m lying. All those years dancing in the kitchen thinking I was special, and then I run across a master.

~ Kiera Cass