6 min to read
This week, it's time for some dancing! It's the fourth exercise from a creative writing prompts list. It was difficult for me coming up with something for this subject. Dancing is not something I do a lot.
The music was very loud. The DJ had put on a pop song and some people were dancing to it. Not us though. We were standing at the counter, talking about nonsense and making stupid jokes. Just smalltalk. I mostly nodded my hand and smiled.
I did my best not to look at Suzannah all the time but it was hard. She was wearing the most beautiful dress I’d ever seen. We were nineteen and I’d been running around with this crush for her for four years now. From the day that we met, I felt there was something special about her.
Bart told another of his infamous jokes and the group fell in laughter. I joined them but only to please Bart. My eyes kept moving to Suzannah but luckily for me, she didn’t seem to notice. It had been a long time since I really talked to her. My feelings had been in the way.
Bart suggested we’d get some more beers and everyone agreed. It was one of those nights where we had no concerns. The next morning, Bart would leave the country for the army, Suzannah would leave the state for college and I would remain here as a local journalist. I looked down as the thought of Suzannah leaving town emptied my mind.
“Robert?” They looked at me. My mind must have wandered off. “Sorry?”
“Do you want a normal beer or a vodka coke?” I shrugged. “I’ll have whatever you’re having.” “Four vodka cokes it is!” With that, Bart left the group and waved at the bartender.
Kirsten was making a comment about the video clip that accompanied the pop song - I think it was called Bubble Hut or something but I’m probably mistaking - and I noticed Suzannah was eyeing me back. I moved my eyes quickly, probably making it even more obvious that I had been staring.
The music suddenly stopped and the DJ shouted with a deep voice. “Are you in for some dancing?” The crowd cheered. “Move on the floor and show me then. For all the guys standing at the bar, this one’s for you. Get over here and dance.”
He put on a song and after only two words and one note, Suzannah jumped up at Kirsten. “Oh this is the nicest song ever. We should go dance.” I figured they’d probably go and leave me waiting for Bart.
“I’m not in the mood for dancing,” she answered. “Why don’t you and Bart go?” I looked at Kirsten and she winked at me. What was that all about? Was I so obvious?
“Oh Bart, what do you say?” Suzannah had moved a bit closer and I was starting to feel anxious. I had never danced before. The pounding in my chest was making it difficult for me to think. All I could think of was that all the must be hearing it too.
“I don’t know, I’m not a great dancer.” With that, I hoped to be safe. I was wrong.
“Oh it’s okay, we’ll stick to a simple slowdance. I just don’t want to let this song go to waste.” With that said, she tugged at my arm and pulled me towards the dance floor. “It’ll be fun.”
I can honestly say that I have never been more aware of my feet as I was at that moment. I had my arm around her waste and hers was around my neck. There were two things going through my mind.
Don’t step on her feet. Don’t step on her feet. Don’t step on her feet.
While I was giving myself the obvious advise, I added in another mantra.
Don’t look at my feet. Don’t look at my feet. Don’t look at my feet.
What could be worse then looking down at my feet to not step on hers, only to have her thinking I want a peek down her dress. Which of course I wanted.
I was doing quite a good job, if you can call standing in the same place and swaying a bit a good job, when I got overconfident. What I feared the most, happened. I felt her foot below mine. The contact was small and maybe she didn’t even notice, but I did. I whispered “sorry” and closed my eyes. I had almost stopped moving completely and was trying not to shake. I was in the moment I had probably dreamed about for the last three years, and I was scared.
Somehow it had gotten in my mind that anything I would do next would cause her to be angry at me and never come back. I couldn’t see myself living with that.
Some time passed and when I felt something below my foot again, I cringed. I tried to close my eyes even more but it was already dark. I was certain that she would let go of me and ask me to go back to Kirsten and Bart.
I felt the heat rising. Was it just warm in the room or was I blushing like a lobster?
I know my father would have told me to not give up. To get back on the horse I fell off. Only I couldn’t. I was not like him. I didn’t have the spirit to do this alone.
I was going through the different things I’d say when the song was over when I felt something different at my foot. This time, the pressure had been on top. I felt the warm air coming from her mouth as she leaned closer to my ear and said sorry. I opened my eyes and looked into hers.
The last verse of the song ended and we stood on the dance floor looking at each other. I was going to ask her if she wanted to go back to the rest of the group, but she pulled me in closer and hugged me. “One more song, please?”
We danced like that for seven more songs. Near the end, we were whispering to each other constantly. We hadn’t had a real conversation in the last year - I kind of lost my mouth every time I tried to speak - but it was like we had been talking continuously for decades. The DJ went on playing a more alternative pop song but we had just stopped dancing.
This time it was my turn to pull her close and hug her. “I can come with you.” The words were out before I realised what I’d said.
“What?” She looked at me and I closed my eyes again. I’d probably never have the opportunity and at once a saying of Bart popped into my mind. I hate regrets more than apologies.
“I can come with you. To San Diego. If you’d like that.” Halfway through and for the first time in my life, I found myself stuttering. “Of course, I mean, it’s okay if”
She shushed me and kissed my cheek. “You’re a sweet guy, Robert.”
Before I could reply, Kirsten and Bart broke the momentum. They joined us and started talking about ecology and economy I couldn’t care less about. I was speechless. Even more than before, my heart raced.
They were all laughing at one of Bart’s “save the whales”-jokes when I noticed Suzannah was still looking at me. She winked and mouthed “we talk later”.