The Time Of My Life

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Freddie sticks his head round the door.CC Image courtesy of jonathan229 on Flickr

‘We’re dancing the next one.’

‘I love that you’re telling me!’ I say, laughing. ‘That I don’t have any say in the matter!’

‘Oh, I’m sorry.’  He’s not, not really.  And I do love it, really.  ‘Do you already have a partner?’

‘No.’

‘Would you like to dance it?’

‘Yes, thank you.’

He laughs.  ‘That was really silly!’

 

The music comes on.  He takes my hand, though I try to extricate my fingers, and leads me onto the floor.  As we dance, I find myself thinking, wishing, if only this was it.  If only life, a relationship, a date, was just a dance.  We work when we dance.

 

It takes me back to a night in early summer.  Dinner and dancing, literally, between the tables.  Then a club, grimy and stark.  I walk in and who should I see but Milonga, leaning against the back wall, flirting with a nondescript brunette.

Freddie and I make for the dance floor, shuffling with the others at first.  Out of the corner of my eye, I can see Milonga and the brunette.  Eventually I crack.

‘There’s someone here I had a brief thing with,’ I say, ‘and – well – he’s here with someone else.’

Freddie looks surprisingly sympathetic.  ‘Who is he?’

‘Oh it doesn’t matter, but, well – I need to look good!’

He spins me.

‘You do.’

 

At the bar, we encounter Milonga, alone.  Freddie, oblivious, greets him.

‘You look great,’ Milonga says, kissing me on the cheeks.

‘Thanks,’ I mutter.

A new track comes on.  I tug on Freddie’s arm.  ‘I love this song.’

He doesn’t get the hint; he never does.  I try a more direct approach.

‘Can we dance?’

Freddie excuses us and leads the way onto the floor.  For the next half hour we dance like I’ve never danced before, a whirl of spins and drops.  Onlookers applaud.  I forget Milonga. I forget everything, lost in the dance.

*

‘You look incredible together!’ Beatrice says, when I come off the floor.

‘I know,’ I say, without thinking.  I look back at Freddie, all smiles, telling another girl her fate for the next.

CC Image courtesy of Xanda on Flickr



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