The dance lessons were not working.
He’d been attending for a whole month now and failed to catch the eye of the beautiful red head. What’s the point? he wondered. He’d tried every move he’d been taught. Showing off whenever he’d had the chance. He’d even tried to engage her as his partner, attempting eye contact but to no avail. She always chose the squat, sweaty man. He just didn’t get it.
She was so lithe, so graceful. She fairly glided across the floor. The man was clumsy and awkward, and so much older than her. What did she see in him? he stewed.
Sighing, he collected his towel, and packed his dance shoes into his shoulder bag. Maybe he’d give it one more week. He thought of the creamy curve of her neck, the gentle way she held her frame. He wanted her to slip into his strong arms and nestle there for the entirety of at least one lesson.
Rather than dash away, as he had during the previous weeks, he decided to loiter; lag behind and see if he could intercept her departure and make his case.
He busied himself tying his street shoes and fussing with his sweatshirt, all the while monitoring her movements out of his periphery.
His jaw clenched as she clasped the older man’s hand fervently and left the floor. The man led her to her own bag before letting go; pressing her arm firmly and heading back towards the instructor.
It was now or never! he thought, seizing his opportunity.
He strode over to where she sat. She appeared lost in thought, her gaze unfocused. He smiled and waved at her, with no response.
Great! She’s ignoring me, he chided himself despairingly. But he’d committed himself now, so he persisted.
Smiling again, he spoke, “Hi. I’m Simon. You were amazing out there tonight.”
Her head lifted, and she smiled. Her perfectly white teeth and blue eyes shimmering in the soft lighting of the wings.
“Thanks,” she replied, bashfully.
Did he detect a blush creeping up her cheeks?
“I love to dance,” she continued, “but…it’s so hard for me, you know…”
Her voice trailed off and she looked away.
Confused, he sat down beside her.
“You know…what?” he probed gently.
“Alicia?” a gruff voice interrupted. “You ok?”
He lifted his head and saw the older man standing over them. Like a cat. Protective; ready to pounce.
She nodded, “I’m fine dad.”
Ahhh, dad! he realised, pleased.
“Well, good. Ah, here you go,” her father replied, guiding a small white stick into her hands.
“I’ve got to go,” she told him.
“Will I see you next week?” he implored, still not comprehending the situation.
She laughed. A musical tinkle, that made his heart sing.
“I guess you will see me,” she stated matter-of-factly, “but I may not see you!”
And with that she unfolded her cane and tapped her way out of the room, no longer dependent on her father’s arms.
He watched her leave and was more determined than ever.
Next week, he knew he would be the one to guide her around that room.
By Sarah ©2018