Wednesday 4th February 2009by Tina
“Now, don’t you think this is fun?”
Ian had to shout over the loud party music coming from the speakers that seemed to line every wall of the club. I wasn’t willing to exert the same amount of effort — I just wrinkled my nose at him. As usual, Ian just laughed.
“Aww, loosen up, Ruth! Enjoy! Excuse me a bit,” He added the last part with a wave of his hand before leaving me on my seat while he went to greet someone he knew. I just leaned back on the chair and watched the mass of bodies dancing in the middle of the dance floor.
“Hey Ruth, you okay?”
I looked up and there stood Chiara, the party host. She was clad in a short, bright red dress that screams “Birthday girl!” the moment we entered the door. At that time, the music was still kind of mellow, and there weren’t too many people yet, so I thought it would just be a dinner party type of thing held in a bar. Then people started pouring in and the music went up and that was when the party started.
I smiled up at Chiara. “Yeah, I’m okay. Just resting. Don’t worry about me.” I waved my hand dismissively.
“I know you’re not a party at the club type of girl, but I hope you enjoy yourself,” Chiara said, slightly apologetic.
“Yeah, I will. I mean, I am. But you know, someone has to be sober later for the drive home, and you know how Mitchie can be,” I said with a wink. The birthday girl laughed.
“Yeah, you’re right. But dance! Enjoy! Meet people! I’ll see you later,” I watched Chiara bounce off again as much as she can in her stilettos. As she left, I wondered if Ian would go back to me here, or if I can go and and get a glass of water. All this noise is making me thirsty and is giving me a headache.
“I’m back,” Ian shouted. He slid into the seat next to mine and handed me a glass of water.
“Thanks,” I said, taking the glass gratefully. How he knew why I needed that, I don’t know why, but I’m not complaining.
“I can’t believe you can just stay here and sit while everyone’s there,” Ian motioned towards the dance floor. He was sitting close to me now so he didn’t have to shout.
“Have you ever seen me there even in any of our events?” I asked after finishing my glass of water. There was still the slight throb in my head, but the water helped it. “Did you ever see me ‘party’?” I made quotation marks on the last words.
Ian cocked his head to the side and then shrugged. “Yeah you’re right. But you’re missing out on so much fun.”
I shrugged back at him. The truth was, other than me not being such a party in the club girl, the dance floor just kind of intimidated me. If Pia or Carol were here, I would probably brave it, but with Mitchie, I couldn’t really keep up with her. Plus, I feel really silly letting loose like that. I’d really rather watch out for my friends, than go and dance and party like there’s no tomorrow.
The music continued to pulse through the speakers and the dancing did not stop. Ian just sat beside me, watching everyone with a smile while he sipped his drink. The music changed, and the people on the dance floor hooted and cheered, and still everyone continued to dance.
“How can they do that?” I wondered out loud.
“Do what?” Ian asked.
“That,” I waved my hand to the dance floor. “Dance like that. Without stopping.” I saw Sheila turn around the small spot she had on the floor while Von danced beside her. Even shy Grace was shaking her hips and raising her arms to the beat.
“That’s what you call partying,” Ian explained in a talking to a kid tone. “You know, with music.”
I rolled my eyes. “Duh. I mean…how can they stand the loud music and the heat and the sweat and all that?”
“It’s fun,” Ian swirled the liquid in his glass around. “But then your idea of fun is different.”
“Well yeah,” I said. “Way quieter than this.”
“Have you ever partied like this, Ruth?”
I paused to think. Of all the events that we have organized and attended…never. I told Ian just that. He gasped.
“Seriously? Not even to dance a bit? Not even back in college? Not even during Glenn’s farewell party?”
I shook my head. “Like I said! It’s not my kind of fun.”
“Geez, Ruth. You’re missing out on a lot.”
I turned back to the dance floor without saying a word. Was I missing out? I suddenly felt a pang of envy at everyone on the floor — just a bit, not enough to make me dive in and join them.
“I have an idea,” Ian put down his glass and stood up from his seat. I thought he was going to leave me sitting there again so I reached for my purse to find something to do, but then he pulled on my hand and pulled me to my feet.
“Come on,” Ian said, pulling me to the dance floor.
“Ian! I don’t dance!”
“Tonight you will,” Ian said, looking over his shoulder to grin at me. Struggling aggravated my headache, so I let him pull me. We squeezed into the rocking crowd until we miraculously found ourselves a spot in somewhere on the other side of the dance floor, away from the speakers without too many moving bodies.
“So…what will we do?” I asked, feeling all kinds of awkward. Despite the airconditioning and the little space we had, it was still hot from all the movement around us.
“This,” Ian said, grabbing my hands and then pulled away from me. I just looked at him and after our arms were extended, he stepped forward closer to me again. When he stepped back again I realized that he was trying to dance a swing step with me and I laughed.
“Come on, Ruth!” He said when he stepped closer. He let go of one hand and raised his right arm over to twirl me. I gave in and went under his arm and laughed.
Lights flashed around us and the music wasn’t exactly a swing type of dance, but still we continued. We tried as much as we can to stay with the beat and not bump into anyone, but it was hard. Still, we — sort of — danced.
“See, isn’t this fun?” Ian asked after a series of step-forwards and step-backs. He bobbed his head slightly to the music.
“Yeah,” I said. “But I still feel silly.” I admitted, my face warming up. We pulled away from each other, hands still connected.
“Don’t,” he said. He pulled me to him and his face came too close to mine. He held me there for a second as whispered into my ear, “I’m with you. Don’t worry.”
I pulled back and looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Right. You are.” I didn’t know if he was joking but I squeezed his hand to try to get some assurance.
He just smiled and twirled me around again.
Prompt: “Fearless” by Taylor Swift