Being back in the dress feels nice, I can hear the boys talking out by the front door. I haven’t seen Jordan yet, I came by to get dressed while he went home to get ready. He wanted to come here with me, but I insisted that we get ready separately. Even if he’s already seen my dress, I want to feel like a normal girl getting picked up before a dance.
I adjust the soft, fuzzy wrap his mom gave me for the night. It’s black so it matches my dress, it covers my shoulders and chest, keeping me warm. I run my hand down from the wrap on my shoulders, down my dress and down to pull on my nude tights and heels.
With a deep breath, I give myself one last look in my compact, making sure my hair and makeup are alright before packing it all up and going out to see the boys.
I feel a small gasp escape at the sight of Jordan in his suit. It fits him perfectly and he looks so comfortable. The black jacket he wears is unbuttoned, showing his dark grey shirt and his long tie, the same shade of pink as the under layer of my dress. His tie stands out against the dark colors of his suit, the dark colors also make his blue eyes stand out. I get lost in them.
He watches me as I walk out, stopping when we’re in front of each other. I feel my cheeks get warm and look down at my feet, the way his eyes look into me, it makes me melt.
“You look gorgeous kiddo,” Mr. Marsh pulls us from our thoughts, pulling his camera out, “Go on, up against the wall!”
Jordan chuckles as we make our way to the blank wall by the door to the back room. Jordan wraps his arm around my waist, pulling me close enough that our bodies touch. We both look up at Mr. Marsh as he holds the camera up at us.
“Smile!” We do as we’re told as a series of flashes blind us.
I feel Jordan shift next to me, “Before I forget,” He whispers as he pulls a small plastic box from in his jacket. He opens it to reveal a collection of lace and ribbon and a pink rose, “For you.”
I show a genuine smile as I chuckle, “What is it?”
“Um, it’s a corsage, it’s I guess something guys do for their dates. My mom helped pick it,” He shrugs, blushing, he carefully takes it from my hand, “Here, let me help you.”
He takes my hand, sliding the flower over my wrist. It feels oddly heavy but I love it, I can smell the rose and the ribbons dance when I move. I let out a small chuckle as I smile up at him.
“I love it, thank you.”
I can’t help just stare at him a moment, his eyes hold mine until another round of camera flashes grab our attention again. Mr. Marsh looks almost ready to cry, but he still looks happy.
“Are you ready?” Jordan asks me.
I nod. With that he takes my hand, our bags, and we head for the door. Mr. Marsh waves goodbye and I wave back.
“Have fun you too, I’ll have the pictures printed tonight. You take good care of her boy, and get her home on time!”
We both laugh a little as Jordan gives him a small nod. Carefully, so as not to trip on the gravel in the parking lot while wearing these heels, I follow close behind Jordan to his car. He holds my hand to help me balance, relief hits when I finally get to the car but he doesn’t let go of my hand.
“Are you sure you’re up for this? Feeling better after yesterday?”
He had driven me home late last night, I unknowingly slept on his couch for almost four hours. I told him it was just stress making me feel sick, which it probably was.
“I’m ok now, just was a rough day for whatever reason yesterday,” I smile and squeeze his hand. I didn’t tell him Maria texted me, I didn’t tell him how forgotten I had been feeling. But I didn’t want to think about it now.
He takes me out to dinner, nothing fancy but it’s not in town. We laugh over food, talking about Christmas and work and school. His parents want to take him skiing for Christmas, they insist I come if they do but Jordan tells me the only good that will come of it is watching his dad fall on his face. He talks about how he at least wants to see me on Christmas, just us, my heart melts. An hour before the dance we pay the bill and start heading back to the school.
He’s quiet in the car, a satisfied smile on his face the whole time. I’m not sure if my butterflies are excitement or nerves. I’ve never been to a dance before, he’s my first boyfriend, everything feels new and alien.
I don’t notice us pull into the crowded parking lot, not until Jordan comes to open my door.
“You ready beautiful?” He asks, his hand outstretched.
Carefully I accept his help, letting myself gracefully slide from the car. At least I hope it was graceful. He places his hand on my lower back as we walk to the gym entrance with the rest of the arriving students.
I can hear music as we get closer, it’s so loud I’m almost afraid it’ll hurt to be in there. Kids in all grades run to the door, laughing.
Jordan hands over our tickets before pulling me inside. It’s dark, blue and purple lights shining. Near the door there’s a man with a fancy camera, a backdrop of a snowy field in front of him, occasionally an entering couple goes to get their photo taken.
Jordan sees me staring, with a quick chuckle he takes my arm, “Come on, let’s take one.”
“Are you sure?”
He nods, “Absolutely.”
We make our way to the camera, Jordan and the man exchange a few words before Jordan hands him some cash and joins me in front of the backdrop.
“Three pictures, we can pick them up after the dance,” He pulls me against him, my back against his chest and his arms around my waist, “Ready?”
I nod, giving my best smile to the camera as the flash comes. Before the next one comes, Jordan presses his lips to my cheek, making me blush, which is of course caught on the camera. I look up at him, my cheeks red and hurting from smiling as the last flash comes on. We stand there another moment before finding a table near the dance floor.
“Do you want to dance?” Jordan asks, raising his voice to be heard over the music.
“Maybe in a bit,” I look around at all the sparking streamers and banners.
He gets up from the table, returning maybe ten minutes later with two cups and a plate of random cookies and snacks.
“And this is why everyone eats before a dance,” He pushes a cup to me, I see the drink move in the glass, even though I can’t tell what it is, “I think its fruit punch, but your guess is as good as mine,” He shrugs before drinking his cups worth.
I don’t touch mine, I watch everyone moving and dancing. Not just couples, a couple kids are flying solo while others are in groups dancing in big circles. I start getting this feeling like I’m being watched, making my stomach drop. Looking over the crowds I see Dominic sitting at a distant table, leaning back in his chair. He’s staring at us, but I’m not close enough to see how he’s looking at us. I scoot my seat closer to Jordan and try to ignore Dominic. I take Jordan’s hand in mine, resting my head on his shoulder. I won’t let him ruin this night.
A new song comes on, and it quickly draws my attention. It’s quick like the other song, but more romantic than most of them, with a softer tempo, a guitar instead of techno beats.
I sit up and listen to the opening lyrics, ”Merrily we fall out of line, out of line
I’d fall anywhere with you, I’m by your side! Swinging in the rain, humming melodies, we’re not going anywhere until we freeze,” I feel a small smile spread on my face.
I grab Jordan’s hand, “Dance with me?”
He doesn’t say anything, just smiles as he pulls me onto the dance floor. He carefully pulls me against his chest, wrapping his arms loosely around my waist, I wrap mine around his neck. Slowly we sway together. He stares down at me, eyes sparkling, I look down as I feel my cheeks get warm. The music and the words words vibrate through me.
"I’m not afraid anymore, I’m not afraid. Forever is a long time, but I wouldn’t mind spending it by your side! Carefully we’re placed for our destiny. You came and you took this heart, and set it free. Every word you write or sing is so warm to me, so warm to me. I’m torn, I’m torn to be right where you are. I’m not afraid anymore, I’m not afraid. Forever is a long time, but I wouldn’t mind spending it by your side. Tell me everyday I get to wake up to that smile, I wouldn’t mind it at all. I wouldn’t mind it at all!"
“I love this song,” I say quietly as I lay my head on his chest.
“I love you.”
I give a quick glance up at him before grazing his lips with mine, giving a fleeting kiss.
“I love you too,” I whisper.
We get lost in the music, in each other, listening to the words and paying attention to only each other. I don’t think about dad or Dominic, I feel safe and loved. Jordan’s arms keep a warm hold of me, making me relax further into his touch. I never want tonight to end, I would happily stay here forever with Jordan.
"Forever is a long, long time, but I wouldn’t mind spending it by your side. Tell me everyday I get to wake up to that smile. I wouldn’t mind it at all. I wouldn’t mind it at all."