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The Dance

“I’m not calling you ‘Amira’,” Gabriel said adamantly as they were driving to their class. “You already have a perfectly good name.”

“Okay,” said Amira tolerantly. “It’s up to you.”

“And, also, Maria, to be honest,” said Gabriel, “I am not really enjoying the person you have become in the months since your hospital stay. Frankly, you used to be much nicer.” Amira couldn’t help smiling but she covered it by turning to look out the window.

“I’m just getting older,” replied Amira. “We get more frank as we age. Perhaps, we are less tolerant of stupidity,” Amira added jokingly. Gabriel didn’t laugh. The only reason Gabriel stopped complaining was that they pulled up at the dance class. He was having trouble adjusting to Amira. It was a good sort of trouble. The sort of trouble that makes us grow. The sort of trouble that brings the possibility of fertile, beautiful moments.

This was their fourth dance class. Gabriel had originally seen an advertisement for the class and asked Amira if she would like to go as well. Like most women, Amira jumped at the opportunity. They were having mixed success. It wasn’t the dancing. They could both dance. It was other issues.

“You are a man and you can dance. That’s double points,” said Amira realistically. “You are going to be inundated with dance requests by all the women. You have a right to do whatever you want but I don’t want to dance with other people and I don’t want to sit here by myself. So if you are not going to dance with me, I won’t come.” Gabriel’s response was a very reasonable affirmation of his intention to do as Amira asked. He was a reasonable man. However, the requests were mounting each week. She would remind him, “I’m not coming if you leave me for ages.”

“Okay,” Gabriel would say momentarily glancing at her. “I’ll try.”

Hmm, thought Amira. “Try” is not what I’m looking for. However, the dancing would always save the situation. It wasn’t all of the dancing. Much of it was spent with Gabriel telling Amira what she was doing wrong. It was the moments; the precious moments. The moments when no one was complaining, blaming, thinking about past hurts or the fear of future ones. It was those moments of simply being present to another person. Those moments of being grateful. Gratitude for another being; gratitude for life. Those moments made their relationship.

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