“He has a girlfriend?” My heart sank further. It seemed Derin was deliberately making me feel bad. Maybe she likes Chris too. I eyed her carefully.
“Yes. Rosa; she is in the senior class. I’ll point her to you when I see her. She must be around here somewhere. They are always together.”
“She’s right over there.” Cherie pointed.
“Where?” I asked, looking around.
“Over there. The girl in tight blue jeans and red alter top.”
She was a pretty girl, very fair and tall. I very badly want to be in her shoes. What chance do I really have? He liked fair girls and smoked marijuana; ‘allegedly’. I was not that adventurous or interesting.
“It is okay, Bella. You can be the exception.” Cherie smiled.
I smiled back. Some exception.
I looked up to see Chris staring directly at me. I was momentarily speechless. I had been hoping he would say ‘hi!’ but that hope was dashed when Derin and Cherie told me of his girlfriend. I didn’t expect him to talk to me while she was around. I jumped as I felt a kick on my shin from under the table. I don’t know if it was Cherie or Derin as they were both looking at me innocently. My bet was on Derin though, she was the mischievous one.
“Hi Chris!” I managed to say.
He smiled. Oh, what a smile. His smile melted my heart and that further flustered me.
“Enjoying the party?”
“Yes, yes of course.” I answer breathlessly.
“Would you like to join us?” Derin offered, out of the blue!
I couldn’t believe my ears. Trust Derin to make it more difficult.
“Oh well,” he looked around. Maybe he’s looking for his girlfriend. “I could for a minute, I guess.” He grabbed a chair from the nearby table and straddled it.
“So what’s up?”
I looked to Derin and Cherie for inspiration. What do I say? I was so tongue-tied. My wish was coming through and there, I was looking like a moron instead of seizing the moment.
Derin finally had mercy on me. “We just chilling, you know? What’s up with you?”
“Just chilling too. Having fun. How about you, Bella?”
“Hmm?” I said, like an idiot.
“You having fun?”
“Yes, I am. Fun, fun, fun all the way.” I babbled. I got another kick from under the table. That time I knew it was Cherie because she was giving me a bad look.
“Would you like to dance?”
“Me?” I looked around, wide-eyed.
“Yes.” he smiled.
“Okay, I guess.” Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Derin rolling her eyes.
He stood up and held out his hand. I put mine in his slowly, hardly believing that I was about to touch him again. I was still reeling from the effect of the last touch. Once again, the feeling was indescribable.
The song playing was a slow one. I walked into his arms nervously but determined to experience this to the fullest. After all, dance is my thing and I’m not about to fuck this up.
“Are you sure your girlfriend won’t mind you dancing with me?”
“My girlfriend?” he looked at me.
“Yes. You know, that special person you care about; girlfriend?”
He laughed. “Who told you I have a girlfriend?”
“Really? Was it meant to be a secret?”
He looked at me askance. “No.”
“Well, the girls have been talking.”
“Well, I don’t think she’ll mind. Besides I didn’t think of it, I just wanted to dance with you.”
“Careful, you might be getting a girl’s hopes up with statements like that.” I bat my lashes at him playfully.
He laughed again. “My bad.”
He’s laughed a lot since we got on his dance floor. Who knew I was that funny?
“I saw you dancing earlier. You can really move. I liked it.”
“Thanks.” I said shyly, lowering my lashes.
“I like dancing too. In fact, I joined a dance crew last year and it’s been fun.”
“That’s so cool.” I punched him playfully. “I love dancing. It’s one of the few things I know I’m really good at.”
“I can introduce you to the crew if you want. If you’ll like to join, I mean?”
“Why would I want to join? I just dance for fun.”
“Well, you dance well. And you’ll get to spend more time with me.” He said with a twinkle in his eyes. Of course, I knew he was joking but my heart skipped a beat nonetheless.
I laughed, trying to be flippant. “True, true. Are you guys any good though?” I joked.
“Oh, she’s got jokes.” He smiled. His smiles are killing me. “We get invited to perform at functions. That should give you a clue to how good we are.”
“Wow. And you get paid and stuff?”
“How does that work?”
“The payment? The crew leader gets a percentage and the rest of us share the rest equally.”
“Why not share everything equally?”
“Well, the crew leader is in charge of bookings and getting gigs. And any charges incurred are on him so he has to use the money for that.”
“Okay, that makes sense.”
“So would you like to join?”
“You are persistent, aren’t you?”
“Am I? I guess I really want you to join.” That tickled me and I didn’t want to push my luck by asking why. I let it go gladly.
“Is your girlfriend part of the crew?” I had to ask. The green-eyed monster reared its ugly head again.
“No. I keep my personal life from my professional life.” He said cheekily. “They don’t mix.”
I looked up. “But I’m part of your personal life, aren’t I?”
He looked intrigued. “Hmm, that’s true. I guess you are the exception to that rule then.”
It’s 11 days to #beyondnow! December 22nd is the date. Save it!