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Robert Harrison

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By Robert Harrison
Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Just one kiss and then we must part.

Joe Loss was playing an old dance tune, “When I grow to old to dream” The couples on the dance floor were dancing a waltz to the music. The beat of the tune was just perfect for the waltz. Couples glided across the wooden dance floor as if it was not there, they danced as if dancing on air, those who wanted to dance anyway. Most of the dancers just shuffled and hung on close to each other. I had come to dance, and as I had not had more than one dance with any girl, I was not as yet up to the cuddling stage. It was not yet half past eight so there was still time for that pleasure to come, with any luck that was. The dance finished at ten o’clock, so I had at least an hour to get to know one of the girls, and half an hour to get her interested enough to finish the night with a cuddle and perhaps a few kisses before the evening came to an end. If I was lucky she may have only lived a few streets away from the dance hall, with still more luck we could carry on kissing by her home. Most times they lived to far away, and so it was a quick kiss in a bus shelter before she got onto her bus.

I decided to sit the next dance out and give my feet, encased in patent leather dance shoes, a well-deserved rest. I considered myself a fairly competent dancer, polite to all of the girls as I escorted them back to their seats while giving them a smiling “Thank you”.

At every dance I attended I would always wore my best suit, white shirt and not to load a tie. A white pocket-handkerchief poked its pointed ears from out of my top pocket. A must at every dance for invariably some young lady had the need for a handkerchief. It was imperative that my mother always had a good supply in my dresser drawer. To complete the picture my curly hair had the smallest amount of Brylcream applied to give it that extra sheen. I was ready for whatever the evening had in store for me.

Joe Loss was playing a Foxtrot, one of my favorites when danced properly. It required the dancers to be graceful to the extent that love seemed to be in every step, every bend of the two bodies, every twist that was made. It was a difficult dance but well worth attempting, and I knew that I could dance the Foxtrot with the best of them. Self-opinionated you might say, yes I suppose I was, but then I had it and so I flaunted it and it brought its own rewards.

The dancers whirled around the floor in gay abandon while Joe Loss, back to his orchestra, conducted and smiled at the dancers. Joe always enjoyed himself, he was at the hight of his popularity, and we loved him, though my first choice in orchestras was that of Victor Sylvester and his strict tempo dance style. I was never lucky enough to dance to his live orchestra, only to the hundreds of records he recorded played on a wind up gramophone.
Scratchy music came from the machine but we did not mind just so long as we could dance. Dances like the quickstep, waltz, foxtrot, square tango, valletta, dinky one step, and palais glide, and oh so many more.

I had noticed the girl had been sitting out most of the dances, in fact she had only been asked to dance twice all evening. She seemed to dance rather well from the glimpses I had of her while she was on the floor. Now as I looked at her from my chair across the dance floor from her, I noticed for the first time that she was somewhat overweight, somewhere around
fourteen or fifteen stone. I do not know why I had not noticed before, perhaps because she whirled passed my line of sight so quickly and the dress she was wearing was carefully chosen for her so as not to accentuate her full figure.

I waited until the dance had finished and the couples had returned to their seats before I looked at her with some interest. She was not looking in my direction so I was bale to look without appearing to be rude. Her hair was black and clipped back so that it just hid her ears,
shoulder length and curled inwards at the bottom. It seemed to sit comfortably upon her shoulders

She wore a black dress with three quarter length sleeves. The dress I noticed had been carefully chosen for her so as not to accentuate her fuller figure, in fact it made one feel that what it covered was something to be desired rather than shunned. Her legs, though somewhat to plumpness were well shaped as they tapered down to a pair of red shoes. Her face was white, made even more so by her dark eyes and black eyebrows. Her lips were full and red, as was her bosom full and round. All this I took in, in between the last and the next dance.

The next dance came and still she sat, one leg demurely crossed over the other, her face impassive to the fact that she would finish the night partnerless. I was determined that that would not happen. There was something about that impassive face that belied what was underneath it.

I walked between the dancers and stood in front of her. She looked up at me with dark eyes that reflected the glitter ball that turned just below the roof like some sparkling planet. I offered her my hand, which she took so lightly, so daintily which took me by surprise for I fully expected a much stronger grip. She gave me the faintest of smiles as I escorted her to the dance floor. As if blown by some wind she seemed to float into my arms as she placed her left hand lightly upon my upper arm, her right hand was as cool as the night outside as I took it in mine. I placed my right hand just where he shoulder blade would have been though I could not feel it. At the right moment she stepped back with her right leg and I forward with my left and we began to dance a Foxtrot.

I lay in my bed that night wandering why I had not at least asked if I might kiss her goodnight. I think that she did not belong to anyone, except perhaps the wind that carried her around the dance floor, and the glittering planets that sparkled in her dark eyes.

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Reviewed by CJ Heck 5/28/2011
Robert, this is wonderful. I've been away for a couple of years and I had forgotten just how much I love reading your work. Excellent, my friend, excellent.
your friend,
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor 3/24/2007
When you dabble, you do good work.
This is such a romantic story and you carry the reader back to that time so well. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

Reviewed by lorraine binskin 3/23/2007
No wonder my mother fell for you. I know she still sees that curly headed young man and that her heart still beats with joy at the sight of you. I wish my age had been able to wear the evening dresses of then, but they wouldnt have been ptactcal on the back of a triumph. love you as always lorraine
Reviewed by Sandie Angel 2/10/2007
Oh, Robert! You were so kind a gentleman. Yeah! I think you should have asked her for her phone number, at least! Heeeheee!!!!!

This is so interesting! I kept imagining you with that suit and the shoes and the handkerchief how good looking you were!!! What a wonderful write!!!!!

Sandie May Angel :o)

Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 1/21/2007
Enjoyed this read...thank you!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Rusty Daily 1/21/2007
Interesting ending. This story betrays you to be the gentleman I suspected you to be.

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