“So you came over here to dispense worldly advice?” I shot at him. Being a smart ass was my defense mechanism. Maybe it would disarm him.
But he surprised me by saying, “No. I came over here to talk to you, because you were the only person here who stood stiff through every song until they played a good one.”
I laughed at that. He was smooth.
“Yeah, pop music isn’t my thing.”
“Mine either. I like music that makes me wanna move. I like to dance.”
His eyes ran the length of me slowly; like his view of me from across the room didn’t allow him to get a good look at me in my cream sequined open shoulder top and black sateen pencil legged pants. My toes wanted to curl inside my black leather Manolo pumps- all courtesy of Stacy’s makeover, when his eyes returned to mine before murmuring, “How about you Maya? Do you like dance?”
I picked up my Shirley Temple and took a long sip which made him chuckle.
“Let me stop messing with you. You seem a little—how do I put it?”
He seemed to be searching hard for the right word. So hard that I suspected I wouldn’t like it if he had just spit it out.
“Whatever you say, it shouldn’t be offensive unless you are looking forward to this conversation ending.”
“I was going to say, you seem a little serious. Does that offend you?”
I shook my head, denying it. But there was a sting; he was a stranger and in less than five minutes he knew to label me as serious. My outfit, coming to this event was supposed to show that I was living a little; not being so serious. Now I felt like my mission failed.
“You seem a little bothered by my observation.”
His gaze was unwavering and made me a little uncomfortable that he could see deep enough inside of me to read me. To read what I’d prefer to stay hidden; how I really felt.
Not sure why I felt comfortable enough with him to share this but not unnerved by it, I said, “Let’s just say that this isn’t generally my approach to life, at least not in the last couple of years. Mixers, dressing up, all of this is my friends idea.”
Matter of fact, where was Stacy? I looked around and saw her nowhere. She was up to something.
“You look beautiful,” he said drawing my attention back to him. “But you’d look even more so without the permanent scowl on your face. Who took the smile away?”
“That would be another topic that would end this conversation quick.”
His eyes narrowed while he contemplated his response. He didn’t seem pleased with me shutting him down. As long as he got answers, got to see inside of me, albeit temporary, he was content. Well I’m not that open of a book. A few pages will have to do.
“I see.” He looked away and it was as if the music, which was back to pop, the murmuring voices, the environment all came back to me. For the time we’d been talking, he had been my only focus and his focus on me was unquestionable.
I missed it already. How can I get that back when now that he couldn’t get me to open up more, he seemed to be done with me, but maybe we could talk more later. Somewhere else about something less. . . painful.
I watched as he nodded at his sister over by the DJ table, who I no longer thought of as Ms. Stilts.
“What’s her name?” I asked hoping to begin again.
He seemed distracted as he focused on me again. “Huh?”
“Your sister with the legs. What’s her name?”
I was just about to give up when it seemed like he wasn’t interested in talking anymore. Maybe I wasn’t that desperate. Chasing after men, was also not my style and this event and my new found courage to live just a little wasn’t going to change that.
“I was thinking, you might be a little too intense for me. . .”
My mouth fell open. The nerve of him!
“But I always liked a challenge,” he added with an arrogance that quite frankly, turned me on. “I’d like to get to know you. How about a drink sometime?”
If looks could kill, this man would be lying at my feet. I know I gave him the death stare because that was my intent and I was always told my face, particularly my eyes, were expressive. But truth be told, his honesty was invigorating. Refreshing. Different. I liked it. He and I were a contradiction. And in spending some time with this man, I’d be living a little. Right?
“That would be nice, Roman.”
“Cool. Give me your phone; I’ll give you my number.”
“Shouldn’t I be giving you my number?”
That’s a good question. Someone had made those rules up and I’m not sure who. But most women followed them.
“Fine.” I pulled my phone out from my clutch on the table and handed it to him. He took a few moments to enter in his info and then handed it back to me. He surprised me when he pulled his phone out of his pants and asked for my number. I laughed and recited it to him.
“See. Don’t make assumptions about me, Maya. Now come on and dance with me. We shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to dance to Funkadelic, should we?”
I liked him. I liked his take charge attitude and how he kept me on my toes and didn’t back down. In this brief exchange I felt he was the man to help me live a little. I looked forward to his call and to this dance with him.
The mission had not failed, the mission was on target.
With Roy Glenn
© Aja Graves 2014
© Copyright Roy Glenn 2014
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