by Ink Spotz
Diane stood in front of the mirrored wall. She was the only one left in the dance studio that late at night. To her, that was a good thing.
It was the only way that she could practice without being nervous.
She could dance with the others around, but she felt self conscious. She was the only dancer she knew that ate fast food still, and she never heard the end of it from the others.
Bending over, Diane clicked 'play' on her stereo before beginning to dance to the instrumental tune floating through the air.
Alone she could feel like the beautiful dancer she imagined she was.
Closing her eyes, she began to move about the dance floor; the curtains that were over the windows of the dance studio making her shadow dance for the people outside on the sidewalk.
Meanwhile Jason was cleaning up the coffee shop. He got stuck with closing again. He flipped the sign to 'Closed' before moving to begin drawing the blinds down on the windows.
The street was empty. Everyone in this small town seemed to become shut up after ten o'clock. Everyone except whomever was in the dance studio. It was then he noticed the lights were still on.
As he finished shutting the blinds, he grabbed up the mop from the closet. He began to mop, thinking about the dance studio.
The dance studio was the source of much of their customers during the day. All the single men liked to come and compare notes on which girl was the prettiest.
Even the employees did that sometimes, standing about with their order pads, placing dibs on the girls and their figures.
Jason wasn't like that. Sure the women were beautiful, but he felt it was demeaning to the women to ogle them. He thought women were beautiful from the inside out.
Pausing his mopping, he walked over to move aside the blinds to see a shadow dancing along the curtains of the dance studio. There was a late night practicee.
He didn't know if it was the late hour, or the amount of coffee he had already consumed that evening, but he started to dance as well.
Without music, he followed the lead of the shadow; dragging the mop about with him, acting as if it were his partner.
Diane twirled to a stop for a moment, moving to pull aside the curtain. She felt like she was being watched. She saw a shadow dancing against the blinds of the coffee shop across the street.
Diane watched it with fascination; not having any clue at the moment who the shadow belonged to.
It was oddly comforting to see someone dancing aside from her. She didn't feel alone.
For once in her life, she felt like a part of someone. Smiling, she dropped the curtain and began to dance again with a renewed vigor.
A few minutes later, Jason twirled to a stop with the mop before moving to peek out the blinds again. He saw that the shadow had stopped dancing.
Soon enough, the lights within the dance studio darkened, and out of its darkness emerged a beauty he had never seen the likes of before.
Seeing her exit the now darkened dance studio, he dropped the mop and moved to walk out the door without letting any thoughts stop him. He crossed the street, running to catch up with her.
As Diane walked, she saw a familiar shadow become elongated alongside her own. She wasn't scared like someone else might be in her position. This shadow was her dance partner.
She knew it as her heart pounded in her chest.
“I saw you dancing,” Jason's voice said behind her. “And I saw you,” Diane remarked back, turning to look at him. His smile was beautiful; shining from the inside out.
“Would you like to come back and talk over some coffee?” He asked, to which she replied by nodding her head.
Accepting his invitation, she interlaced her fingers through his offered hand; their shadows fitting together perfectly. For the first time in forever, she was perfectly in sync with someone.