I was coming as a favor. A favor to Leigh. Quiet and sensitive, she was the only person in my workplace I had not fully bonded with. I knew a few of her interests – dancing, and reading being the only two, and I'd found that out from another friend – but nothing past that. I knew she was quiet and had few friends. So I was surprised, but also not completely shocked, when I was invited to her 18th birthday in a dance hall down town.
Everyone from work was invited and I had intended not to show – I was tired and fully ready to curl into the sofa and watch TV with Charlie, but he'd insisted she was counting on me and I should at least go and give her her gift and then leave.
As I was upstairs changing, pulling my hair from my face, I felt a rush – a need to go there. To at least be a friend to her, maybe bond slightly more. Mike would be there, so it was useful to have someone I knew and got along with. Since he'd come out, we'd grown beyond close and often enjoyed spending time together with our inside jokes in work, on quiet days when no one seemed to want hiking gear.
So I informed Charlie, applied some make up and jumped into my truck. The drive didn't take too long but as I checked the address I cringed – it was in the slightly dingier side of Forks, the side noone spoke of. I clutched my bag and hoped for the best – the door wasn't far away.
I went inside and found Leigh straight away. She was done up prettily and looked like a dancer – appropriately for a dance hall, I supposed. I felt slightly over dressed and put my glasses on in the hopes to blend in.
"Mike hasn't come yet," she said apologetically, swinging a young cousin's hands. "One of his friends is going to drive him down."
I nodded and grabbed a chair, sitting myself down in the hopes I could just get through this without making an idiot out of myself. Dancing. Why had I come to a dancer's party at a dance hall when I couldn't dance? Idiot.
A few people offered me drinks, and I had a quick chat with Leigh's auntie who thanked me for coming. We spoke about my hopes for the future briefly and what I wanted to do in college.
Before I knew it the DJ was on the microphone telling everyone to, "Get up on the floor guys and gals!" I shrunk in my seat as the few guests got up.
Leigh's grandmother leaned over to me and said, "Go on – I can't dance because of my back, what's your excuse?"
I mumbled something about my dress and tripping over it. She gave me a critical look but laughed and let me be, went to pester another couple sitting. Leigh's aunt returned to me, dragging a tall boy behind her.
"He hasn't got a partner, go on!"
The boy seemed shy but quietly confident. He was wearing a checkered shirt, and skinny jeans. He was like a rake but it suited him – along his arms were bands and rope, and he had a ring on his thumb. He'd pierced his lip and his blond hair was cut cleanly. He smiled at me and raised his eyebrows.
I stood and took my cardigan off, but left my glasses on. I wanted to blend I guess, go unnoticed.
We followed the line and he took my hands in his as per requested. I looked up at him, and he let out a devastating smile on me. I found myself returning it and looked down.
"I feel bad for you," I looked up at him smiling at me. "I can't dance at all."
"Don't worry," he replied, looking at Leigh who stood next to him briefly then back at me, smiling. "You'll get it in no time."
The steps were easy and I did get surprisingly in to it. We switched partners through the dance but he kept coming back to me, my hands fitting into his like they should have been there all along. His skin was dry, not moist like the other men who's hands had been around mine as the dance moved along. He spun me with ease and pulled me back, laughing when I blushed and got the dance wrong. He was a good dancer, and his hands held mine tightly when he returned for the last time.
"You're getting it," he smiled. "I knew you would,"
"Not exactly," I said, looking down at our feet moving. "I think you're better at it than me."
He smiled widely and leaned down to say something. I stared up at him, not caring what his name was or his age or anything else. I hoped he'd hold me for a dance, come up to the bar and get a drink. Keep holding my hand. Anything.
But the music stopped and he pulled away, spell broken. He smiled and held my hand for a bit longer than a standard second and then let it loose, my hand falling to my side. I turned to Leigh for a second, and when I turned back, he was gone.
I looked around for him and saw him by the bar talking to the owner. He glanced at me briefly and smiled and I wondered should I walk up to him.
"I saw you up there!" Mike said, hugging me. "You did great! You didn't fall!"
"I know," I said, grinning and hugging him back. I turned back and the boy was gone.
I danced cheesily with Mike for a while and thought I saw the boy out of the corner of my eye for a second but didn't have the heart to turn and look and make a fool of myself.
When I sat down again I looked around – and I couldn't see him anywhere. I hoped he hadn't left, I prayed he would sit next to me and ask how my dancing had gone, or just make some sort of conversation so I could understand why the hell I felt like meeting him was the reason I'd decided to come tonight.
It came to repeating the dance as the short party came to a close and I tried to drag Mike up with me – though he protested a lot.
"You have to, Mike!" Leigh said. "Jasper's left and Bella hasn't got a partner any more!"
Jasper. I could see him being a Jasper – he looked like one, if that made any sense.
I finally got Mike up and I danced with him and laughed. The dance teacher told me I was definitely "getting it."
I drove home with the radio playing loudly, but I couldn't concentrate. I hadn't even felt relieved at getting out of the dance hall and into my truck without being mugged. I got home and waited for the computer to load. I had a paper to do.
But I kept thinking about Jasper. Had he been interested? Why did I feel as if I knew him already, as if he was my perfect guy?
I was making him into a dream and that was stupid. But then again, I'd never see him again. I could find him on facebook but did I really want to? Did I want to ruin the dream, the perfect guy? The boy who danced with me?
No. I guess I didn't.
I kind of based this on something that happened to me. Except I facebooked the guy and found he's pretty much my exact type. Ah well, he was better off as a dream!