“What?” Dale asked. He couldn’t understand me because my face was squished up against his chest.
“Dale, I think maybe you should let her down.” said a voice and Dale swung around to face Connelly. Dale let me slide down to the floor without a word.
“Sorry to interrupt, but the music’s about to start.” Connelly took my hand and led me away. I smiled apologetically at Dale and he nodded before turning away to find his partner.
“Thanks.” I said, turning back to Connelly with a grateful smile.
“You’re welcome.” he smiled back and put his hand on my back.
“But I’m still mad at you.” I said, letting him know that he wasn’t off the hook yet. He wrapped his arm around my waist and took my other hand in his, positioning ourselves ready for the dance.
“I know.” he glanced down. “I’m really sorry — Truthfully.” he looked at me sincerely.
“It’s okay.” I said softly. I couldn’t resist his sad face any longer, it was just too beautiful.
“I won’t ever do that again. I promise.” he said, and I felt like that promise included more than he was telling me.
“I trust you.” I said. The music started then and we started gliding across the floor, today practicing our Waltz.
“Have we decided what dance we’re going to do?” he asked, a smile at the corner of his lips.
“No, not yet, but we need to figure out a schedule for us to dance out of school.” I said, looking down at our feet. He lifted my face back up to look at him with one finger and smiled.
“I’m almost always free.” he said. He once again pulled a smile out of me and his widened at my reaction.
“Good, because I am too.” I was tingling in the places his hands touched me. It was the oddest feeling, but at the same time, such a good feeling. I felt my cheeks slightly warm from it. Then we were quiet, just dancing and looking at each other. Well at least I was looking at him. I mean, I could feel him looking at me, but all I could see was his nose, mouth and hat. I smiled as an unknown thing came over me and I couldn’t stop, I just had to smile. He smiled too, seeing mine and I was overcome with relief that I knew he liked me. I was blessed for this.
Connelly was just about to say something when the music suddenly stopped and Mrs. Peters clapped her hands for our attention. Maybe it was just me, but it looked like she had given Connelly a warning look. How had she known he was about to speak? I thought it was weird, but I pushed it away as Connelly spun around to face his mother.
“Okay kids, we need to establish which ones of you are going to be doing what dances. Take a moment to talk with your partner and come to me when you have decided.” said Mrs. Peters and then she went back to the bleachers where she picked up a notebook and started scribbling in it.
“So, which one do you prefer?”Connelly asked, peering at me curiously. He swiveled around to face me again, a sly and sexy smile turning up one corner of his lips as he put a hand on his hip and waited stunningly for my response.
“Well, I like the salsa, the tango, and the swing, but I don’t know which one I like best.” I said, trying not to hyperventilate or faint from just the sight of him.
“I prefer the tango over all others.” Connelly said and a grin spread over his face.
“Tango it is.” I smiled back and we went over to the line forming in front of Mrs. Peters. As we stood in line, Connelly kept a small cushion of space between us, but was close enough for it to be a normal space.
I felt awkward and kept staring at the floor and then glancing at him every once in a while. He kept a soft smile on his lips, his face inclined towards me and his hat lifted up to where I could almost see his eyes again. It was so torturous the way he played with me like that. It drove me crazy that I didn’t know what the other half of his face looked like and I could never look him in the eye like I wanted.
During one such time when I glanced up at him, I saw a hand come up behind him and tap him on the shoulder. Connelly seemed to expect this and smoothly swiveled around in one spot. Dale was standing there with a small framed girl with blonde pigtails and a cute face. I knew her as Cindy. And behind him stood Louis with a girl I did not know and Chase with another girl I knew nothing about.
Oh great. It’s like meeting the family. Now they’re going to try and intimidate him. I thought and sighed. Dale gave me a look that told me to calm down and then he looked back at Connelly and held out his hand.
“I don’t think we’ve ever met. I’m Dale Lochay.” Dale smiled politely and waited with his hand open.
“Connelly Peters.” Connelly nodded and smiled graciously. He grabbed Dale’s hand and I could tell that they were having some kind of strength test with the handshake. And then Dale let go, having lost the test if there was one and looked to the skinny stick of a girl beside him.
I was surprised that Dale, being the size that he was, would pair up with a girl that was as skinny and brittle looking as a toothpick. She had long, stringy, obviously dyed, blonde hair that came to her shoulders and the only word I could think of to describe her body was sick. She was definitely not supposed to be that skinny. I didn’t have a clue how Dale could possibly be attracted to someone like that?
“Cindy Heppner.” she smiled flirtatiously at Connelly and held out her hand, Connelly taking her hand and bowing slightly. Cindy looked at him, even more philandering now. I wanted to hiss at her I was so jealous. And Connelly seemed to feel the hostility radiating from me because he gave the slightest jerk of his head in my direction. Then, Cindy Heifer held her hand out to me, which I shook as I took a step closer to Connelly. And as I did she took a step back, getting my message.