"What are you thinking about?" Mike asked me while staring into my eyes. His hands rested softly on the small of my back, and mine were around his neck. We slowly swayed to the sound of The Dance by Garth Brooks. I gave him a smile, and I don't think he minded me not answering him, because as I lay my head on his shoulder he held me even tighter. The sweet smell of cologne mixed with a hint of hair gel invaded my nostrils, and the smooth texture of his shirt rubbed against my cheek. Looking sideways, I could make out groups of people at various tables, and the music just barely drowned out their voices to a low murmuring. Mike and I had just met once before that night, but it felt like we knew each other forever.
"Can't you sit still?" My Mom hissed at me during the church ceremony.
My best friend Jill's formal party for her 16th birthday started in merely an hour and a half, and my mother wanted me to sit still, who was she kidding? "I am sitting still!" I hissed back at her even though my feet shook so badly that they seemed to have a mind of their own. Not only was I excited about the party itself, but I also couldn't wait to see the people who would be there. In particular, I couldn't wait to see Jill's cousin Mike, who I had last seen in April the year before. Although February now, I wondered if he was still the same sweet, funny, and good looking guy I remembered. I would be in for a pleasant surprise later on that night, when I would find out that he was all that and more.
When my Mom and I got to the Knights of Columbus Hall, the location of the bash, I ran inside so fast that I almost fell.
I wore an asymmetrical purple dress with beaded straps, and my mother's friend had done my hair the night before. "Oh my gosh, you look great!" Jill exclaimed as I handed her a gift. It looked so beautiful inside. White rose displays decorated the walls, with soft pink lighting and tons of people. After all the Hi's, how are you's, and how have you been's, a big group of us girls hit the dance floor. I remember the first song played was a cumbia, and I began to dance in a line with about five other people. All of a sudden, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I slowly turned around and gasped. He wore a plaid shirt with khaki pants and nice black shoes. His hair was little spiky, and he looked just as excited to see me as I was to see him! "Dana!" he shouted while giving me a huge hug. "How are you?" Grinning from ear to ear, I said, "I'm great now! How have you been?" "Pretty good," he answered. "I've been a little busy with school, but it's all good! So you want to dance or what?" The first few songs were more cumbias. The other couples dancing did fancy twists and twirls, but when we tried it, our arms always got tangled up. I silently thanked my dad for giving me the famous "no rhythm" gene.
"So much for that!" Mike laughed.
"Hey I'll get the hang of it!" I joked back.
Even though I never really did get the hang of the fancy stuff, we quickly became some of the best dancers out there. About an hour into the party, the DJ took a little break and Mike and I decided to go out to the front corridor and talk for awhile. The plush leather couch looked inviting, so we sat down to rest our tired feet.
"So what have you been up to since April?" he asked.
"You remember me from way back then?" I asked surprised.
"Of course I do! Fiesta weekend has never been that fun, and it's only February!" I laughed. "I haven't done much actually, you know, besides school and stuff." "Yeah, me too," he answered. "I didn't expect it, but it's really different once you're a junior." The conversation went on with no awkward silences; no one even interrupted us. While he talked I studied his face, thinking. He was intelligent and at the same time fun loving and spontaneous. As I stared into his eyes, I could see the sincerity and honesty in them. It was as if I was looking straight into his soul, and I saw an awesome guy I wanted to be friends with for a long time. The conversation lasted about 15 minutes, but it felt like we talked for hours. He kept giving me roses from the decoration displays, and when he finally asked me, I gave him my number on one of the pink paper napkins. Then I heard the familiar beginning sounds of one of my favorite songs, so we jumped up and ran back to the dance floor.
For the rest of the night, we danced to almost every song. We were inseparable. The DJ played songs like Sin Wagon, Love Shack, The Macarena, and even the song from the movie Grease! I never felt so comfortable around a guy before, like I could just be myself and not worry about looking stupid. That was the great thing about Mike, our personalities matched so well that we could act really crazy and we both found it extremely funny. I didn't want the night to end, it seemed like I had hardly spent any time with him at all, but in reality the party lasted for more than five hours.
With my head still resting on his shoulder and the song almost over, I hardly realized that practically all of Jill's guests had gone.
"Come on honey," I heard the familiar voice of my mom urging me to go with her. "We need to go home, it's almost 1:00 in the morning." I closed my eyes to see if she would go away, burying my face into Mike's shoulder, but unfortunately I felt her tapping me on the back.
"You better go," Mike whispered as he slowly lifted my head up. As I followed my mom out to the car, he and Jill walked alongside us and thanked us for coming.
"I don't want to leave yet!" I whined.
"I wish you could stay, and believe me, I'm not the only one!" Jill joked. "But we're leaving soon too. I'll call you!" As my mom started the car, Mike gave me a hug that lifted me of the ground.
"Thanks for making tonight such a blast, Hun," he said. "I will definitely call you." Then he kissed me softly on the cheek and said goodbye.
It's been three months since we talked, he called me a couple of times this summer but we never got to see each other again. He's a senior now and he's about to graduate. He has a band and he's always landing roles in the school plays. To this day, I'm still trying to work up the courage to call him because I still know his number by heart, but I don't know what to say. I used to joke with him that when he made it big, he shouldn't forget me. Hopefully I will get to see him again before then. But I know I will never forget that awesome night, no matter how many months go by.