A mascot costume. A hot cheerleader who hates her. A lovelorn French dude with anxiety, for whom she’s romancing the cheerleader—from inside the mascot costume (tl;dr: $$$! Gotta dance!). Throw in a popular boyfriend who’s maybe lying, and nerdy Caro Riley is in over her head. It’s pure rom-com chèvre with a hint of Twelfth Night and a soupçon of Cyrano.
“I will pay you one hundred dollars to play Diablo for me, Miss Caroline,” Matt Martineau said, in his thick French accent. “I am begging you.”
I stood in front of him in the Darver High dance studio, still panting from my mad dash down two corridors and three flights of stairs. I was expecting to find the room empty. I sure as hell wasn’t expecting this shaking mess of a guy, on the verge of a panic attack, wearing nothing but a jockstrap.
Matt sat on a wooden bench in the corner, squeezing the foam devil head on his lap until the eyes bulged. The rest of the mascot costume lay crumpled on the floor at his feet. “It is like magic,” he said. “Here am I about to flee. Then, voila! The woman with most excellent Diablo dance skills appears!”
Yeah, right. Me and my most excellent Diablo dance skills. Years of dreaming, hours of practicing, and I still wimped out of tryouts.
“I’m going to kill Sofia,” I said. “She showed you the video, didn’t she?”
“It is because she is your friend that she shows me,” Matt said. “Please, you have to help. If Diablo does not go up to the pep rally, there will be many troubles!”
The muted roar of air horns and cheers drifted in through the open door. Any minute now, Coach Hoskins would cue Diablo’s theme music.