Light from the mirror-ball glitters off the wineglasses and candlesticks; throwing small flickering shadows on the white tablecloths. I stop in the doorway, momentarily dazed by the glitter and thoughts that this must be tacky and I shouldn’t be enjoying the sight. A quick adjustment of the, previously unknown to me, medieval torture device known as a cummerbund and I resume my progress.
My friends circle the table already. I find my seat beside one of my buddies. His ill-fitting grey suit is only marginally more acceptable than my white tuxedo and black shirt—“mob-ware”, as I have been referring to it for a couple days now. I had described to my mother a Bogart look of cream dinner jacket and black pants, and then had left her to look after the rental.
On my left is that blonde girl…what was her name again? She was a grade after me and more a friend of friends. I sit and mumble hellos to my immediate neighbours. I take a quick drink of some horrible bubbling white beverage in front of me. A deep breath and then I look up.
She’s directly across from me, deep in conversation with her best friend. She’s in a long off-white gown that holds every curve, line and angle like molten porcelain. Her dark hair spills down bare shoulders. After a brief pause she turns, feeling my eyes on her, and gives me a quick smile. That smile sends shivers down my spine. I smile back but she has already turned and resumed chatting with her friend.
My smile freezes and falls, I close my eyes involuntarily. Months of back and forth; awkward group dates; embarrassingly expensive flowers—all of it rolls over me like a black wave. I am fucking idiot, I think to myself.
This pall is lifted by a shocking sensation I’d never felt before. A soft hand is there, out of nowhere, caressing the inside of my left thigh. Warm sweet breath pours into my ear and then she speaks: “Hey, it’s okay…let it go man. It’s never going to happen. Just come and dance with me.” A smile starts at the corner of my mouth and gradually takes over my whole body. I turn and look into big, blue eyes—laughing eyes.
I gently gather up her hand and push away from the table without a word.