Some memories never leave you, no matter how much time may pass. Every little details tends to hold on tightly, every scent, sound and feeling.
I was twelve then but I still remember it like it was yesterday. The formal brown checked short-sleeved shirt and the dark brown tie which I struggled to knot. The amount of time spent in front of the mirror painstakingly applying the perfect quantity of gel to my hair. I had to look cool.
The short walk to the venue, a friend’s house down the road from mine, did little to ease the nervousness I felt knowing that she was going to be there. I barely noticed the crisp, cool breeze or the rain filled clouds. Before I knew it, I had arrived.
Pretty much everything else was a blur until that song began to play…
“I feel so unsure, as I take your hand and lead you to the dance floor.”
Careless Whisper, by George Michael had begun to play through the loudspeakers and the dance floor cleared quickly. The girls had instinctively gathered against the far wall of the basement while some of the boys had stepped out of the humid atmosphere seeking fresh air.
I was one of the brave ones who remained behind.
With pounding heart and trembling hands I glanced around the semi-dark room searching for Amy*
There she was, smiling and gesturing to her friends, totally oblivious to me and my nervousness which had just increased exponentially.
I summoned up courage I didn’t even know I had, walked over to her and asked, “Would you like to dance?”
I must quickly add that I had no idea how to slow dance at that time, but I was not about to let something as trivial as that stop me.
“Yes,” she said, and smiled at me.
I smiled back, trying to appear cool and calm while I could feel my heart pounding away, threatening to jump right out of my chest!
We walked to the centre of the room where two other couples were already embracing each other.
I placed my hands on her waist, gently, while she placed her hands on my shoulders.
I can still remember the sensation of butterflies fluttering about in my tummy as we slowly swayed to the music. It felt like a daydream. A real life fairytale.
Amy’s* feminine scent, a combination of her shampoo and perfume was just intoxicating.
Through all these sensations which were totally new and foreign to me I was ever so careful not to hold her too tightly just in case I hurt her.
The song began to fade and Amy* broke away from our embrace.
“Thank you,” she said.
She walked back to her friends while I admired her long dark hair which hung below her shoulders.
My first slow dance was clumsy, innocent and ended way too quickly but the memory has lasted a lifetime. The experience was nothing short of a life defining moment. That song almost magically transports me to that very moment in time whenever I hear it.
*Amy is not her real name.