The dance

Once upon a time, a man asked me to the dance floor for a dance. I presumed that it would be a short dance so I indulged him even though I wasn’t so sure about the music that was playing. I thought that when it ended, I would go my way, and him his.

At the dance floor, I hesitated at first as I wondered if it was right. If I dared to lay myself bare and expose my not-so-perfect moves. To dance in such a big dance floor, with so many people; some dancing, others watching. There is something about dancing; you either get it or you don’t. You’re an eyeful or an eyesore. Nothing in between.

It started well, the dance. It was slow. Restrained yet teasy. We tried out the first steps with utmost precision albeit with so much uncertainty. We were careful not to step on each others’ toes. Not to stand too close. Not to appear clumsy. In the process, I stumbled on his toes, and he tripped over mine. But we were kind to each other not to take offense. ‘It’s ok’, we said with an understanding smile.

After a while on the dance floor, I started enjoying the choice of music, it kinda grew on me. I looked at him for the first time and realized that he was quite a dancer. He grew on me too. He stood tall, with the broadest of shoulders. I even tried them out by resting my face on his chest. It felt good. Slowly, I got lost in the dance.

Soon, we were dancing all over the floor. Carefree. Not bothered about the other dancers or what they thought of our dance. We swayed, we twirled, we got lost in the music. Just like Rihanna, we too were eye to eye, palm to palm, nose to nose, cheek to cheek, chest to chest – That close.

Then we got showy and we danced fast. The dance became heated, erotic and we were unstoppable. Sometimes we thought we had mastered the moves only to lose our steps again. We felt each other’s hearts pounding from the ferocious dancing.

Then we got dizzy. We got tired and needed to catch our breath. When the excitement died down, we tried to get back in step.

We’ve been in the dance floor ever since. We’re still dancing even though sometimes we lose the steps, tumble down and have to pick ourselves up. Sometimes we succeed, other times we don’t know how to. We keep stepping on each others’ toes. Sometimes we remember to say sorry while other times we are not bothered.

We’ve had to deal with other dancers who intentionally or unintentionally, step on our toes as they do their thing. Others give us a disapproving look like we don’t belong. Sometimes we lose each other on the dance floor, only to spot each other again. Sometimes I twirl so far away that he is out of sight. Sometimes, we are miles apart, literally and metaphorically.

As we dance, we are carefree no more as so much water has gushed under the bridge. We laugh with tears in our eyes. We smile with pain lining our lips. We try, we practice and we keep going hoping that we will get it right. He is not perfect, he reminds me. I am not either, I insist. It is sometimes frustrating not to get the steps right. It is exhausting not to know where to move next. Sometimes, it seems easier to stop dancing and take a flight. But the music keeps playing. It won’t stop!

The dance floor is crowded with people. Ruthless, conniving people. People that I cannot take on, I don’t have it in me. There are couples who are tired of dancing and have opted to take a seat. Some look happy, others look sad. Others are indifferent and others are menacingly close to killing each other. Most are seated with their chairs facing opposite directions. Others are no longer just two but have invited intrusive parties to join them at the table. Some are talking to each other while others can barely look at each other. Some are shouting themselves hoarse in a bid to be heard. Others are moving their lips but their voices are drowned by the music. Most of them look sad and defeated. A sight that is far from attractive.

Many times, I get the urge to stand at the corner and watch the other dancers from a safe distance. This is what dancing does to you; the music makes you high, so high that you could touch the clouds. But there is the other side of this intoxicant – the soreness, the fatigue, the dependency. Sometimes, I even believe that this music is not meant for me. But when I come close to taking a bow and walking out of the dance floor, he always turns around and gives me a nudge, asking me to dance some more. And the music just won’t stop.

It is bitter sweet. It is intoxicating. It is overwhelming. It is beyond me.

As I twirl away, the million dollar question hangs in the air. When the music stops, and when our feet get tired, will we take a seat at the same table? Will he make me a believer? This determined dancer of mine?


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