As it turned out, dancing wasn’t too bad. There was hardly any room for us to move that much anyway so I just sort of bopped along next to Aislinn and Lloyd, making as little movement as possible. After the first few songs, Lloyd somehow managed to turn me so I was facing him and with my back to Aislinn. As the music continued his arms went around my waist pulling me against him so our bodies were moving together. My arms ended up around his neck as there wasn’t really anywhere else for me to put them, even though I had to stretch to reach all the way around.
Time seemed to pass in a strange way out on the dance floor. Sometimes minutes would pass like seconds and at others I would feel like I’d spent hours dancing when in reality only one or two songs had been played.
The air became increasingly dense as the night went on, the smell of cigarettes and alcohol becoming more prominent and sending me into a strange sort of daze where I had to rest my head against Lloyd’s chest as my eyes grew heavy.
“You alright?” He asked, bending down to shout in my ear over the music. I nodded vaguely in reply, bringing my head off his chest so our cheeks were touching. Through my stupor I could distinctly feel Lloyd’s lips brush against my skin, along my cheekbone and down the edge of my face until they found my lips. I don’t know why I didn’t stop him. It was very clear that I wasn’t the sort of girl who kissed strange guys at parties. Until I’d started dating Luke I hadn’t been kissing anyone.
And yet, here I was, my body entwined with that of a stranger, his lips pressed against mine as we moved as one on the dance floor. It must have been something in the atmosphere or the small amount of alcohol that I’d consumed earlier that had made me lose some of my inhibitions and allowed Lloyd to make his move. And when his lips met mine, kissing me softly, it felt so good that I didn’t want to pull away. Since Luke had split up with me I hadn’t thought anyone would show an interest in me again. No other guy had accepted my weird habits and idiosyncrasies like Luke had. But the fact that Lloyd’s lips were now attached to mine clearly demonstrated that someone else was definitely showing an interest in me.
Needless to say, I kissed him back, pulling Lloyd’s head down so I didn’t have to stand on tiptoe. His arms tightened around my waist, pulling me closer and pressing my body firmly against his.
I wasn’t aware that I was in a room full of people, none of whom would be watching us, a strange couple making out in the middle of the dance floor, when usually I would feel far too self conscious to do anything in that situation.
When we did finally part our lips neither of us said anything, Lloyd simply continued to hold me as we danced, his face resting itself with some difficulty in the crook of my neck where it met my shoulders. I felt strangely comfortable like that and allowed my body to just keep moving to the rhythm and follow whatever Lloyd did.
I have no idea how much time passed before Lloyd raised his head to my ear and whispered, “you want to go somewhere a bit quieter?” I nodded in agreement and followed Lloyd out of the crowded room, into the hallway and up the stairs. I had no idea where Aislinn and Lloyd’s friend had disappeared to, they had clearly vanished some time before Lloyd and I started kissing or Aislinn would have torn us apart very quickly. I didn’t know how I knew this but somehow I just did.
The room Lloyd let me to was a bedroom. I could tell because I walked straight into the bed as soon as I entered the room. Instead of writhing in pain, which was my usual response when I walked into things, I began to laugh and for some reason Lloyd joined in with me. Eventually we both collapsed onto the bed, my hair covering both of as we both gasped for breath, our chests heaving with laughter.
“Are you sure you don’t have a boyfriend,” Lloyd questioned me again once we’d stopped laughing. “Because I find it very hard to believe that someone like you wouldn’t be involved with someone.”
“I’m very sure,” I replied with a confidence that was alien to me. “I’m completely and utterly unattached.”
“Well that’s very good news,” Lloyd said smiling, leaning across the bed so his arms were around me again and his lips were smattering kisses down my neck and along the part of my shoulder that was left exposed where my t-shirt had slipped down. After a while his lips found mine again and we returned to the same state we had been in out on the dance floor; completely oblivious to anything other than our bodies and where they were touching.
Lloyd gently pulled my t-shirt out of my skirt, his hands stroking the skin of my back and sending shivers up my spine. Only Luke had ever touched me like that and it felt strange to have someone else’s hands touching the same skin he had. And yet in my head there was still a voice telling me that the girl in this picture just wasn’t me, that I should stop and leave before something happened that I would regret. I was a good girl who didn’t do this sort of thing.
Then the other half of my brain remembered what I had said to Aislinn only earlier that evening. I thought university was a place where you learnt how to be independent and find yourself. This is me finding myself. This was me becoming a different person, a person with no Luke in my life, totally carefree and living in the moment. That’s the sort of person I was going to be I told myself. I wasn’t going to go back to being plain, dumpy Nessie who was always outshone by her friends and left alone in the corner. I was going to be in the spotlight for once and boy was I going to put on a good show.