He danced with me, and I was so proud, almost as if I was twelve again, as if I'd never gone to college or had a career. It was that simple, that familiar, to lean again against his chest, and I spun away and I returned, and he moved with his old grace, hesitating here and there, but still the expert, still the one I'd trust, wherever he went, whatever he did, and we danced one dance and then another, and then the night was over, and I went back to my life, my busy, busy grown-up life, and he never said he was tired, he never said he was sad, but before the week was over, he ran a hose from his car exhaust to the driver side window, and got inside, and danced away, danced away forever; and I don't know where he went, and I don't know why he did it, but my arms are still held out, held out waiting, waiting in vain for him to return.

Copyright 2008 James B. Chevallier