Friday, August 1, 2014
Flash Fiction Friday: The Dance
Mortimer looked across the room to the shy yet lovely girl leaning against the wall. The term "wallflower" never seemed more appropriate for the lass. Mortimer smiled. He didn't know why she was so quiet and not popular, not being asked to dance by all the boys there. She was beautiful with long red hair, a constellation of freckles across her nose, and the most expressive and deeply blue eyes he'd ever seen.
Perhaps it was her clothes. Plain and simple, it was obvious she didn't have the money to spend on accouterments other girls had. Or maybe she was just painfully shy. It didn't matter to Mortimer. He knew this girl was going to be his wife, even though they hadn't even yet exchanged a glance.
He walked over, adjusting his bow tie and brushing imaginary lint from his white suit jacket. He crossed the dance floor, ignoring the couples locked in embraces, holding each other but not too closely so as not to attract the ire of the adult chaperons.
She looked up and saw him approach and he could see the fear in her face. But he smiled sweetly and walked to her with all the confidence he could muster.
"May I have this dance?" he asked, holding out his hand.
She smiled, it was a very shy smile, and nodded. She held out her hand and he took it.
They walked to the gymnasium floor, now being used as a dance floor, Mortimer's steps seeming lighter than air as he could feel her hand in his, her skin, the warmth of her body. He thought he could even feel her heartbeat as they walked.
Picking out a spot on among the other dancers, he turned and took her into his arms, looking into her eyes. She looked away. It seemed her touch on his back and in his hand were withdrawn as if she were unwilling to be even this intimate with him.
"I'm Mort," he said.
"Penny," she whispered.
They danced in silence after that, but as the movement went on, she touched him more willingly, moved her lithe body closer to his, as close as they both dared.
They finished that dance, then the next, both unwilling to let the other go. She was now looking at his eyes, smiling at him and he was gazing at her, his heart swelling with his new and growing love. They danced and danced . . .
"Time for your bath, Mr. Johnson," the nurse's aide said
Mortimer looked up at the large, black woman in the white uniform standing over him as he sat in his wheelchair. Then he looked back at the picture on the dresser of the beautiful redheaded woman. It was in a simple plastic frame and the colors had faded with time, turning her red hair pink and her blue eyes grey.
"Let's go, Mr. Johnson," the aide said with growing impatience, her hands on her ample hips. "Just because you can't talk don't mean you can't take your bath."
Mortimer nodded but didn't take his eyes off the picture until the aide turned his wheelchair and rolled him out of the nursing home room.
"Sometimes I wonder what you're thinking, Mr. Johnson," she said as they moved down the corridor. "Sometimes I wonder where your mind is at."
Mortimer just smiled. The music was playing for another dance. It didn't matter that it was just in his head.