There were a few couples on the floor. I looked over at you and smiled. We had turned our heads at the same time as if on cue. You knew what I was thinking. We stood up at the same time. You stepped away from your chair and we walked side by side onto the floor.
I walked to the left of you. I moved my hand to the right and felt the back of your hand. We turned our palms inward. You curled your fingers into a loose fist. I curled my fingers over your knuckles, held your hand loosely my thumb on top of yours. I pushed against your thumb, I felt the slightest tightening of your hand. It was a signal that you understood.
We walked to the middle of the floor. I circled around in front of you. Our hands barely touched. You looked straight ahead. It seemed you stared at my chest.
You stood still. I moved toward you. I released your hand, wrapped my arm around your back. My left hand met your right. We stood in position to dance. I waited for the beat of the song to be right to draw me into the music. I stepped forward with my left foot and we danced.
I held you at a respectable distance. We had to be careful. There were rules of decorum back then.
The adult chaperones watched. We danced and glided in a circle and as we did it seemed as if we carved out a space for ourselves in the middle of the floor surrounded at one end by the stage with it’s blue velvet curtains, the basket in front of the stage raised to the ceiling, bright lights shining down, chairs on opposite sides of the room, some kid’s mother playing records in front of the stage, the record player on one of those eight foot tables, boys and girls without dates, the girls waiting to be picked, talking nonchalantly like they could care less, trying to hide their desire to be loved if but for a moment.
Without turing my head I looked down at you. I saw your profile, your face in calm repose. I told you how nice you looked. Funny. I don’t remember what you wore. Was it a green plaid skirt with a navy blue crew neck sweater?
I said it with the shy simplicity … and truthfulness … of a boy. “You look nice.”
You didn’t look at me. But you smiled that sweet, low key smile.
I continued looking for things to say as we danced around the middle of the floor. I wanted to tell you that I Loved you but I knew I couldn’t. Something inside wouldn’t let me. Something said it was too soon, even though we both knew it was true.
So, I used the word Love a few times. “I Love this song.” Or, “I Love your dad’s car.” I felt a little stupid when I made that statement about your dad’s car. I looked at you again. You were looking down with a smile on your face.
The song continued. We turned and glided in a circle. Dancing with you seemed natural and easy. Like walking with myself. I took a chance and looked at your face again. I looked at the right time to be able look straight into your eyes.
You were looking behind me at something. Maybe it was Kathy. I saw the others looking at us. I wondered why. Why were we so important to them?
Then, I stopped paying attention. I had better things on my mind. I had never danced with you or even been that close. I looked down at your eyes. I remembered the first time I saw you that day walking home from school when I was captured by the sight of you. When I fell in love with you.
Your eyes. They seemed to glow like there was an aura around them. They always seemed to glow.
Then, you looked up at me. I remember it very clearly. You smiled. it was a sweet smile. A shy smile. Your eye lids were half open. I wouldn’t have described them as sexy at that age but looking back, I can tell you they were.
I was afraid to stare but I couldn’t stop looking at your eyes. Something held me, drew me in. I marveled at the beauty of your face. I was amazed that I was so close to you. You seemed to read my thoughts.
Your face got red and there was a little puffiness around your eyes. Was that puffiness there an instant ago, I wondered? Then, you looked down.
I looked away from your profile, straight ahead. I tried to concentrate on the song. For no reason I could think of, I suddenly felt embarrassed thinking everyone was reading my mind.