“Who are you?” we asked at the same time.
I didn’t like the way he was frowning at me. And towering over me. I leapt to my feet. “I reserved the studio for our ballet class.”
He strode over to where I stood and dropped his dirty-looking backpack with a thud. “Well, every afternoon, the dojo,” he stressed on the word, “is ours.”
I looked around the empty room, noticing the blue mats stacked against one corner. Oh, right. There they were. But I couldn’t resist saying, “Doesn’t look like much of a dojo to me.”
“I’m here to set up the mats,” he muttered, giving me a look before marching over to them.
“Wait a minute!” I realized he wasn’t going to listen to me. “We’re here to dance and we can’t exactly do pirouettes on mats.”
“Didn’t you hear what I said? This dojo,” he paused and I tried really hard not to stick my tongue out at him, “is reserved.”
My hands flew to my hips, landing on the waistband of my basketball shorts. “I reserved this studio for the rest of the month. Our ballet studio has a leak—”
“I don’t care about your leak. You can’t have the dojo because I reserved it.”
That was it. Who did he think he was, throwing his weight around like this? “Look,” I spat out. “All we have to do is check with the secretary who will tell you that you,” I emphasized, “made a mistake.”
He stood there, his hands on one of the mats. “I did not make a mistake.” He threw it on the floor. I was about to walk over to it and shove it back against the wall when I figured that was going to be a waste of time. Besides, Teacher Justine and the rest of my classmates were going to be here in a few minutes and I still hadn’t set up the speakers or the rosin for our pointe shoes.
“Well, neither did I.” I pushed both hands against the door and stomped through the narrow hallway to the administration office. Well, I tried to stomp but couldn’t actually manage it in my soft ballet shoes. Padded was a more appropriate term.