Let's Dance

Let's Dance

A man watches a woman dancing


Flash fiction


Takashi Natayoma (United States)

She always seems to flow when she dances, he thought, like a river gliding along its curved banks as it slips ever closer to the sea. He smiles as he watches her twirling around and around, laughing as she spins. An eyes-closed, head-back, happiest-day-of-my-life sort of laugh. He can’t help but chuckle a bit as she does. The song ends and there is more laughter, coupled with a polite smackering of applause. Her smile as she turns and catches his eyes fills his chest with a heat and causes his breath to catch. She beckons for him to join her. His eyes widen in alarm and he shakes his head. He can see that she is a little disappointed, but she knows of his fears, and she is smiling as she pushes out her bottom lip, shrugs and raises her hand, fluttering her fingers at him and then blows him a little kiss as the music begins anew and steals her away once more.

His unease subsides and he resumes his smile as he watches while she is swept again into the dance. He closes his eyes and sighs, basking in the warmth brought on by her own smile as he twirls the ring on his finger with the pad of his thumb. The metal band feels foreign to his touch, but the flood of excitement and pride with which it fills him overshadow any feelings of discomfort.

After a moment the music stops. The air turns brisk in his lungs. He opens his eyes, a small sob escaping as the music and laughter of the evening are replaced with a cold silence. The breath of his sigh becomes a small cloud in the chilled, morning air. He thumbs the ring again. Its grip on his finger has grown tight and it no longer twirls as freely. He eyes the many scratches and dings that mar its once pristine surface. He sighs again and a tear runs down the length of his nose as he leans forward. He feels the dampness of the ground soaking into the knees of his slacks, and the stone feels like ice against his forehead. He’s no longer smiling as he says, “I think I’m finally ready for that dance now, love.”

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