It was one of those bright June evenings, still summer cold yet windy. He pulled up outside the Guildhall and parked his motorcycle into a ‘mother and child’ bay and killed the engine. The exhausts started to ping as they cooled. He moved his waist on the seat for a last look at his face in the wing mirror. His dark glasses betrayed a glint and, getting off, sauntered towards the entrance. It felt good as he moved his hips in a sway and he knew who would dance with him tonight.

Girls of all ages, some in pairs, arms entwined, skipped in their sparkly tight dresses and pointy shoes up the stone steps followed by their men who always seemed slightly out of place. The music, muffled from inside pulled them along and most knew the ropes so chatted and jostled as they paid their weekly dues to enter this world of the glitter ball and escape.

The newly arrived and starting couples, like first termers shifted nervously on inappropriately encased feet, looked guilty as they filled out forms with inconsequential details like email addresses so as to gain entry. This was a secret society like no other and had its own hierarchy. Once they had passed the cash-only sentinel, the hall would seem bare and cold to them, but he, in the know of course, meandered to the bar where the experienced gathered, waiting out the beginners class. They always gathered like skittish birds around a table, men perched discussing the latest news, girls with their heads down in deep gossipy conversation waited to steal an occasional hand squeeze from an admirer who passed around their drinks. It was the same each week, whisky and lemonade, Prosecco and warm wine.

The trainees were soon herded away from the dance floor. It was now to become the preserve of the almost to be lovers and so with a tap of leather tipped shoes on sprung floor boards to the gentle sound of the slide and waft of skirts flowing with the music their theatre started. The setting had now changed as the lights dimmed for the prefects of the evening. It was dark and lit by strobe lights with the occasional flash of mobiles taking numbers and pictures. It was fast paced, rules dictated the importance of good hygiene and manners. The society thrived by who could join and they had a few hours a week to live in each others’ lives, exploring fingers gripped and swung each other around, pulling bodies together before flinging them away to another dancer.

He stood at the edge of the group and suddenly without her noticing, he had slipped his arm around her waist as she tried to leave the floor and escorted her back. He felt her dress plastered to her back, damp and sensual. She was hot from her last moves but happily clung, allowing him to side-step her again to her fantasy, but not talking now. They didn’t need to as they mouthed the lyrics of love and passion. They started side by side, feet in unison picking up the steps and soon they were spinning, their faces brushing each other but never closing to a kiss they so wanted. She was shorter than him and like lovers they twirled, holding the minutes together, her head buried in his chest.

The hours slipped by, no one wanted to make the first move from the floor.

As the owls took to their roosts he parked up outside a darkened house. Pushing the door, it swung unlocked to another fantasy land. She had been waiting for him, took his hand and put it around her waist and led him upstairs in silence but still tapping her feet.

One thought on “The way it was and might be again

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