The Dance

This is a short story I wrote for my Writer's Craft course. Enjoy! No blogging until after exams, which end next friday. Until then…

I hated being alone. Not because I am codependent but because everyone had someone and I didn’t. Jealousy is the sole reason behind all of my actions. Of course, this had not always been the case. I can still recall the time in my life where I did what I wanted simply because that was what I wanted to do. At this point, my thoughts ran ramped with envy- this burning desire to be the best and to have the most, the most and the best of what everyone else has.

She was beautiful; beautiful and perfect in every sense of the words. Both inside and out she had everything that one could ever desire. I wanted that. I wanted the beauty and the perfection that encompassed her being. I wanted to be her.

The day was young, as was I. I knocked on her door, a knock that’s force vibrated through my chubby hand. In order to become her, I needed to get to know her, to study her. In order to be her friend I needed her to like me. And so I stood waiting for her face to appear through the thin netting in place of the open door, a clear indication of her presence in the house.

I closed my eyes picturing her face- every line soft and subtle, every contour distinctly visible, eyes wide and gleaming, open to the world with a bold air, lips plump and sculpted, with an ever-present, iconic, smile of satisfaction, hair glistening, even in the most dimmed of lights, soft and following past small well arched shoulders.

My eyes opened slowly, stuck together with the dew of the warm summer’s day. There she stood, the smile of satisfaction on her face.

“Hello,” the words soft yet joyful, “This is unexpected! What a great surprise! How are you?” Her enthusiasm was not visible across her calm face, only apparent through the tone of her voice. She did not speak often. She caught me by surprise.

“Hello. Um, I just was on my way to the mall. I wanted to see…if you would like to join me. I need an outfit for school dance and… well… I figured your advice would be very useful…would you…would you like to come with?” Stutter. Stutter is my middle name. Not often. Not when I am speaking in public; not when I am speaking to an adult; but now, when I am speaking to beauty and perfection.

Shock and stutter also took effect when she agreed to join me on our shopping venture. She grabbed her bag of green straw and gold threads, slipped on her metallic sandals and off we went. That is part of her perfection. She need not ask when to leave or when to go out. She was perfection. Even her parents knew that.

We arrived at the mall. This place was not my friend. It was my doom. It was the place where my thoughts and emotion of envy thrived. It was where they had been born.

I brought her here for a reason. Not to search for an outfit, but rather to show her off; to show to the world that I had somebody too. And now here we were, together. No one stared at us or took too much notice. Perhaps they thought I was a relative or sibling. But it was certainly not the atmosphere of shock and awe that I had envisioned. But regardless, there we were.

We were drawn into the most obvious store for youth such as ourselves. I had never been there. I had never been at this store, with its mannequins seductively dressed and poised in the window, the music of chart-topping hip-hop artists resonating throughout, clothing and décor in colours of a coffee shop, and prices, the clothing equivalent of Starbucks.

She was at home here. Eagerly, she searched for an outfit. What would she select I wondered. Curiously, I watched her every move, careful not to close my eyes as not to fall into the trap of shock and stuttering.

“Oh! I found something! You’ll love this!” she bounced back toward me with dark denim jeans and a white and pink striped polo shirt, the very ones as those that were on the mannequin. She had laid them out in front of me.

I wanted them, but to purchase them right away would surely reduce our time together. To try them on would prove to be a greater issue. I did not want her to see me try things on.

“They’re very cool,” I said energetically. “Let’s look at some other stuff …just to be safe.” She giggled. Cute and soft, her giggle was hard to interpret. Every indicator showed that she was a sweet girl, but my paranoia said otherwise. I giggled too, and we continued to look. Soon we had picked out three such outfits- all trendy, all stylish, all for me. Everything is always all for me, but I had never felt special this way before. I bought them all. I bought them all, eager to wear them, eager to show them off.

After I paid for the items and we walked out the store together, I turned to her and stuttered, “At the dance…who…who are you going with…I mean which friends…’cause I really have no one…to go with that night…my friends…my friends aren’t going…they don’t dance much.” I didn’t want to hear her reply. I knew I would be humiliated. I knew that I would shrink down to how small and insignificant I was in her life. My mind begged her not to speak.

She spoke; soft and polite as always, “I am going with a group of people. You are more than welcome to join us.” The smile on her face, the smile of satisfaction was still there, but it was beginning to ware. She was tiring of me. I knew our time together was through. I didn’t want to force her to spend any more time with me. I wanted her to enjoy our time together at the dance. So we quietly parted ways. I had urged her to let me make my way home alone. I had homework, as did she, and leaving together would have proven to be a hassle.

I didn’t go to school the next day. Dance day. I was sick; sick to my stomach at the thought of being with her and her friends so soon. I was nervous-excited. I spent the day in my room trying to conserve my energy for the night; the night where my life would surely change.

I sat there in my room dreaming- fantasizing. I couldn’t wait to be on that dance floor. I have someone now too. And everyone would see and know that soon enough.

The sun was beginning to lower and the sky was beginning to darken. And I was beginning to get anxious. I put on my shirt, the one she had first picked out for me. I had never worn pink before. It blended beautifully with my skin, now a colour of pink, that of blushing and not of sheer skin. It was difficult to get the clothes on, but I managed. I thought of the night ahead. I thought of how my life would change. I thought of perfection. Putting those clothes on was the closest I’d ever been.

I arrived at the dance and made my way to the gym, along my usual route past the vending machines, which stood nearby. Today the walls were shrouded with posters, banners and crate paper. My heart began to race.

What I had assumed would happen at the mall was happening here-stares- stares from every direction. But I wasn’t with her. I was by myself. Shock is what people felt seeing me here. But I couldn’t care less. Soon enough they would see that I had someone too, that I was here just like all of them.

As I entered the gym, my eyes darted furiously back-and-forth. For the first time the thought entered my mind: what if she didn’t come? I didn’t know what I would do if she didn’t come. How would I react? Where would I go? What would people think? My heart was beating at an unbelievable rate.

I felt as though the pounding against my weak chest would certainly suffocate my breathing. My chest tightened. What was I going to do?! My hands were sweaty, the sweat thick enough to prevent me from grabbing anything to stop my inevitable collapse. 

Suddenly, a tap on the shoulder. I flinched. My arms whipped back. My heart plummeted. And then I saw her face-perfection- every line and contour, her eyes, her lips and her hair, all with a new shine and gleam, all soft and stunning. At the sight of this beauty and perfection, my pain was relieved. My day had come. It was real now.

We stood by and talked, chatted. We chatted about the decorations, about the dance organizers, and about the people who were there. The decorations were typical, yet festive. The dance organizers had done a good job in their preparations, and the people who were there were beginning to stare. I was thrilled.

Their stares validated all my hard work at getting here. They affirmed my belief in the shallowness of my peers- which was fine by me! A grin came over me. My face was open and bright. I was thrilled and I wanted everyone to know this. They did.

Then something even more shocking occurred. She turned to me, “Would you like to dance?” No one had ever asked me that before. I had never heard those words. I had never danced. Did I know how? I did not know. But I knew that this was the most amazing thing to ever happen to me.

Before my mind could process a response, before I got over the shock, she had taken me by the chair and had rolled me to the centre of the dance floor. There, in the heart of the gym, we twirled around. We danced.  

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~ by amytalk on June 15, 2006.

One Response to “The Dance”

  1. OH MY GOD. this was so amazing. like you dont even know. be a writer! awesome job!

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