#207 The Mating Dance

by Juliet Rodgers

The fire department would have ejected half the students from the building if it saw the scene unfolding. Yet more college kids burrowed up the stairway that led to the dance floor, clad in scarlet, sparkles, and other outfits that exuded their longing to be noticed. When Kaitlyn and her friends joined the crowd, the plumage they had carefully selected in their dorm rooms only functioned as camouflage.

Upstairs, brilliant colors from the club lights swirled around the floor. The beat of the newest pop hit throbbed in the dancers’ ears. The room burned without fire. Kaitlyn’s social circle squeezed itself into a crevice that had not existed before, then discovered the rhythm of the music. Pop went the hips. Up went the arms. Sometimes feet moved, but not too far. Otherwise, they would stomp on other feet.

One by one, boys sniffed out the five new girls among them. The boys closed gaps with their arms, wrapping themselves around the girls by intuition. For a few beats, their hips popped out of sync before they learned how to dance together. They never exchanged names. Even if they tried, the music’s beat would obscure them.

The smells of sweat and cologne burned in Kaitlyn’s throat. Her hip pops slowed. She turned to face the nameless boy. He grinned at her. Her eyes met his orange shirt. She said nothing. Her face revealed no matching joy.

Kaitlyn thought he said, “What’s wrong, sweetheart?”

“I feel alone.”

2 comments:

Paul Riter said...

Nicely done.

PS: You know me as Ellakite from LiverJournal. My entry is #205.

Sally said...

Really packs a punch, I love it. And the scene described is so vivid!