Thursday, September 1, 2011

Break your heart

Skye always drew large crowds to his shows and tonight was no exception. In the dark of a moonless night, the open-air amphitheater lit by torches all along the periphery was full of beautiful young bodies, most dancing either as couples or in groups as friends, a few dancing alone or milling about seeking dance partners. I stood alone at my customary back corner near the inexhaustible supply of cheap wine, nursing a glass and listened to Skye sing, eyes flitting from one sashaying skirt to another.

"Come dance with me," she said extending her arm to me with a shy smile on her upturned face and the flicker of hope burning in the flames reflected in her bright eyes.

I hesitated, smiling sadly into her eyes as I struggled to find the right words. Before she could withdraw her arm, I caught her hand in mine and bringing it to my mouth kissed it gently before letting it go. "Please don't be upset Laura. After all these months at Skye's shows, you know well that I don't dance."

"Damn," she said turning away from me with a bitter laugh. "I saw how much wine you had tonight and was hoping that you were drunk enough to break down and finally say yes." I stepped forward close behind her wanting to hug her from the back but resisted the urge for it would just make matters worse. "I hate how pathetic I am to ask you again and again," she whispered, her voice catching and I could sense the unseen shimmer of tears in her eyes.

After a few minutes of desperately trying to figure out how to help my friend, I leaned forward and whispered playfully into her ear, "You know how it is. We will dance. You will fall for me. We will fuck. And I will break your heart!"

She burst out laughing, her body shaking with a mixture of hurt and absurd merriment. "You are one cocky bastard!"

I could sense the tension flow out of her and stepped back a half step.

She turned around to face me with a wicked smile on her face, "And what if I want to take that chance? What if I want the dancing and the fucking even if it means getting my heart broken?"

I tried hard to smile back but instead after an anguished pause whispered, "Perhaps you want that, but this isn't about you, it is about me. I don't want to break another heart."

She stood still and watched the struggle of emotions on my face before reaching up with her hand to caress my face, "She hurt you very badly, didn't she?"

I unsuccessfully tried to suppress a short manic chuckle and shook my head, "No. No. She didn't hurt me at all. There may not even be a she at all."

She smiled sadly into my eyes, coming closer still. "She broke your heart, didn't she?"

"I am not hurt, Laura. Really. Not lovesick, and not heart broken."

I took another small step back and laughed, "And not married and not gay either."

"I just don't dance."

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