Small moments that last for a long time
"When the daylight comes I’ll have to go
but tonight I’m gonna hold you so close
Cuz in the daylight we’ll be on our own
but tonight I need to hold you so close"
It was their last night at the strange bar in the square. The music was rhythmic and unfamiliar, but good. Homegirl couldn’t name a single song except for the random Romanian hit that came out over ten years ago. Other than that it was one latin dance after another. Maybe a few international hits. Oh and that annoying booty song from Jason Derulo.
He came over and took her hand for a dance. Pretending like it’s no big deal she put her hand on his shoulder, and he took her right hand in his left. His hands were huge and rough. Their first dance together after actively trying to avoid one another all night long. She danced with every single one of the other guys and he with every single one of the other girls, some multiple times. That they never danced together until now was almost certainly not by chance.
Did they already feel different after the afternoon strolling around town when he kept gushing at how smart and beautiful she was (in an indirect way of course) and putting his hands on her shoulders and pushing her to the front of the show at the square so she can stop jumping up and down just to get a peep of what’s going on? Who knows.
Don’t think, look at me. He glanced down at her and smiled. Still can’t feel it? She can’t. Don’t think, just look at me. Of course homegirl couldn’t even keep count, if not for the wine she had then for this. This is about the closest they’ve been since they met, a few weeks ago.
Look at him she did. She peered into his deep Spanish eyes and man, they were beautiful. Why didn’t she notice them before? She couldn’t dance merengue for shit, or any latin dance for that matter. How fucking embarrassing, but no one seemed to care.
A few dances later he came back again. This time more freestyle and less thinking. She rested her face on his chest while trying to keep pace. Must as well. The bar was on fire by now and everybody was hot and sweaty, but he smelled somewhat good, musk mixed with sweat. Apparently he was a national swimmer (bits and pieces of information about him shared over the weeks started floating back to homegirl’s mind. She wished she’d pay more attention to what he’s said before.). Ah that explained the broad shoulders and the arms. Those were some arms. At one point he was holding her from behind. Her head doesn’t even reach his chin.
Friends they came with started trickling out of the bar and they were among the last six standing. They reluctantly got out eventually. It was already past one and his cab was coming at four for an early flight out. There would of course be no Daylight. (Maroon 5’s been on repeat, since the day our homegirl came across the song at some store and realized it described exactly how she felt that night).
Outside the bar he somehow told her she was a really nice girl. More than once perhaps. Julia you’re a really nice girl. Julia. Whatever nice means. She remembers his hand on her right waist. And then his right hand holding her left as they walked back.
They stopped to take drunken pictures with the group at Doubledick. Pretty sure it wasn’t spelled that way but what does it matter now. By that time he was practically enveloping her, arm around her waist, she standing in front of him, looking back at him glancing down at her. How tall are you? 185. You? 165. No wonder. He had hairy forearms. He was stroking her belly. Or was she imagining things? Probably not. He has long arms remember? National swimmer.
At the stoplight there is no more pretense. They both understood the end was near, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Too complicated. She put her hand on the back of his hand that was still holding her right waist. She gave it a few gentle, lingering strokes. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. I like you too. No words exchanged, but at least he should know that much.
Hand in hand, arm in arm, they trailed behind the group all the way back to the bright civility of the front desk. He reluctantly released her. You gotta teach me how to dance next time, it was fun. Learn merengue. She smiled.
They went into the elevator. She reached her floor. The group said good night and goodbye. She smiled and hugged everybody goodbye. She came to him last, held him just a split second longer than everybody else. She walked out the elevator and turned around and took one last glance at him. His eyes never left hers, never left her nice blue dress (his words). The elevator doors closed.