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Dream Dance - K Guerin

She wanted a boy to ask her out so badly. Wanted someone to look at her the way that she looked at high blonde ponytails and rail-thin bodies. The way arms wrapped around their waists, both covered in baby blue from the string lights that hung against the gym walls.


She was always desperate and this desperation found every Wrong, but never a Right.


“Fix” the fetish. Feed the desire. Show them the way to a happy life she didn’t even know how to build for herself. Apologize to them. Apologize for them.


Prices were paid with interest; the feeling of being responsible for their messes in some way, shape, or form simply because she was the one who left.


It was an all-consuming need. To feel desired. She found herself back at it again in a setting far from high school gyms and stuffy classrooms. While doing things that made her happy. While living a life for herself instead of others. Sharing smiles with other people who are there to dance for the sake of dancing. To love an art that was upon the world long ago.


Maybe it was the string lights. Or the paper machete hanging from the ceiling. Or the sounds of modern love songs pouring in from the front of the room. The steps people took toward and away from one another. The push and pull of dancing partner after partner. Maybe it was this that spurred the calling in her.


He noticed her. He sat next to her and asked her questions about herself. Then, he found her again. They danced, and it was fun. It was meant to be, but in that moment, she glimpsed a scene in which she knew how to let really loose. To feel free in a body that never quite felt like hers.


He made her laugh, and she felt selfish for imagining a day where he’d ask her to meet with him off the dance floor. After all, they’d only just met.


But the calling was strong. It said, He is beautiful. He is kind. I want to dance with you. I want you to ask me to dance. I want it to keep having fun. What if we were lovers? What then? Can I ask you to dance? I will learn to lead you, just as you lead me.


The spell shook loose when their eyes caught one another’s across the dance floor. It wasn’t a click or a grin that followed. He didn’t ask her to dance again. He kept dancing elsewhere and everywhere until he took one last look at his phone and took off into the night.


She felt like an incompetent prince, not good enough to ask him to join her out onto the floor. Watching her princess take off into the night with no glass shoes, let alone one, in sight.


The rest of her thoughts set in. Everyone you’ve ever been fond of has never been fond of you. He will never notice you. He only cares about dancing. It was selfish of you to think he’d ask again. You’re ugly. No one wanted you, wants you, or will ever want you. Now, he’ll never want to dance with you.


I want to believe that the child I was was enough from the start. Regardless of the faces in the room that looked nothing like her own, the smooth, slightly darkened tint of her skin was enough. The straight black hair that fell past her shoulders was stunning. The curves of her body and the muscle she put on from her gymnastic days didn’t need to be thinned out.


I want to believe that the person I am today is taking steps toward a life where I might feel like I want a boy to notice me, but in reality, I just want to be held in a space where off-white fairy lights line the walls and paper machete lanterns dangle in pretty pastels above our heads. Where knowing that dancing with him will be fun and different, just as it is with everyone else. And that I’ll learn the steps I need to take so I can curate moves all on my own.

 

When they're not reading four books in the span of one week, K Guerin works on several writing projects to keep every corner of their neurodivergent mind occupied. K graduated from SUNY Potsdam with BA in both English Writing/Literature and Women's and Gender Studies. She resides in upstate New York (think: Canadian border kind of upstate) with her best friend and their two cats, Button and Mabel. When not writing, she's either out West Coast Swing dancing or sipping on an iced maple vanilla coffee at their favorite local café.

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