Saturday, March 17, 2007

No dancing for Me, Part 6

I lean against the brick wall beside me. It doesn’t matter—my dress is filthy anyway. The jumble of smells in the alley—vomit and David’s English Leather mingled with rotting trash and old cigarettes—sets me off again. Dry heaves leave me doubled over and wishing to die or at least disappear.

David’s not behind me any more. I walk toward the street, trying to get away from the smell. Off to the right, Brenda Kay is marching through the pool of light in front of the Legion Hall's entrance. David follows her, carrying a folding chair.

I sink onto the chair and turn my face up. Brenda puts her hand on my forehead and looks into my eyes, and we both know there will be no dancing for me tonight.

“You have to go home,” she says. “I’ll get your folks.”

“They can’t leave. They’re chaperoning.”

David steps up. “I’ll take her home. I can take care of her,” he says.

Brenda nods and goes off to find my mom and dad. I slump on the cold metal chair, sick and sad and smelly. Mom’s feet appear in front of me and I look up into her tight, disapproving face.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asks.

“Don’t know. Just started throwing up,” I answer.

“What?” Realization breaks and she pulls a big wad of paper out of each ear. I recognize the red-and-white paper we used to cover the Legion’s dirty plywood tables. “It’s so loud in there I can’t stand it. What did you say?” she asks.

“I’ve been throwing up. I don’t know why.”

Mom’s lips disappear. Suspicion sparkles in her eyes as she looks from me to David, trying to decide whether we’ve been drinking. She leans toward David and sniffs.

Good grief, could she embarrass me a little more or is this the best she can do?

I’m cold. I’m missing the dance. My head hurts and my throat burns and I’m miserable.

“Go home,” she says. “We’ll be there as soon as this thing is over.”

David takes my arm. I worry about what I must smell like but don’t resist. The Lavender Hill Mob kicks into “Gloria” as we walk toward his car. By the time they should be getting to the G-L-O-R-I-A part, I can’t hear them anymore. Tears stream down my face. I tell David he should come back to the dance after he drops me off.

"No way," he says, his voice a strange mixture of gruff and gentle. "I'm staying until your folks get home."

I don’t argue.


Kim said...

I can feel what you're feeling, smell what you're smelling, hear the music blaring, so near yet so far. More, more, more please!!

kario said...

Awww! I am loving this sexy, swaggering, sweet and gentle guy who you are with and I am loving this story. I'm betting that missing the dance gave you the opportunity to explore something you might not have otherwise. Can't wait to hear about it.

holly said...

i'm so right there in that alley with you (and so happy to be back online reading).

yes, more, more, more!

Monica said...

David seems like a great guy. I can completely understand where you're coming from, too, but I have to say, he sounds so sweet.

I can't wait to keep reading.