Promenade

I strode over to the circle of girls. As I approached, the ring opened toward me, and the girls fell silent. I made eye contact with one of the girls. I remember her large, brown eyes made her look surprised.

“Would you like to dance?” I asked her.

I didn’t know the girl’s name, but I didn’t need to know.

It was my 4-H club’s annual square dance fundraiser at the gym of a church. I didn’t know much about girls then. But I knew one thing: they liked dancing. And I was unlikely to be rejected when most of the other young men were sitting down and sipping punch.

The girl smiled at me. “Yes, that would be wonderful.”

My partner followed me onto the dance area. She wore a long, white skirt and cowboy boots. I was drawn to her, and any pretty girl, with an innocent desire I couldn’t articulate or understand.

Other couples were forming and joining into squares. In square dancing, each couple forms a side of the square: One square, four couples, eight dancers in total. We quickly joined three other couples to form a square. My partner was on my right hand because, as our caller said, the lady is always right.

“Face your partner. Now Grand Right and Left,” the caller said.

I turned to my partner, extending my right hand. We grasped hands briefly then I passed her right shoulder and walked toward the next lady. Left hand, right, left. Eventually, I moved around the circle and met up with my partner.

“Say hello to your partner,” the caller said, “and now you promenade back home.”

I took her right hand and offered my left under our arms. We promenaded back “home.” Her hands were warm and soft, and it felt like I was holding a baby dove. I still don’t know her name, but I don’t need to know.

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  October 20, 2011

    Good memory

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

     /  October 20, 2011

    that was beautiful.

    Reply

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