Ever Lonely

13 - Dance with Me - Ae

She stood on the sidewalk underneath the soft glow of the street lamp. Dressed in taunts of tattered, faded clothes that had lasted her for a good one hundred plus changes and washes, she bit her lip. A bitter lump developed in her throat as she watched the beautifully decked out teenage girls and boys saunter in groups into the cerulean illuminated gymnasium.

All of them chattering happily, all of them walking in groups of two or more. All with their friends, ready to dance the night away. She sadly stuck her hands into her worn pockets, ones that sagged in her cloth pants. High school was murder without friends or money. In one society where money levels where you are. Who you are.

Two girls, one dressed in a knee-length black skirt with a black wraparound top etched with gold sketches over it and the other dressed in a satin blue dress, skittered past her, high heels clicking on the cement as they treaded towards the dance. She lowered her eyes to the ground, as one glanced her way cautiously.

Then they crossed the street and joined another group of highly-clothed teenagers. She swallowed, trying to tie her tears back into her eyes.

"Aren't you going to the dance?" A strong male voice appealed from behind her.

She turned slowly, preparing herself for taunts and laughs. Her eyes downcast, and her stringy brown hair shadowing her face, she replied etched with bitterness, "I'm holding a dance by myself here."

The young man was unsure of her response, and shifted from foot to foot. He stuck his hands in his pockets and said, "What do you mean?"

She looked up, looking him straight in his eyes. Her eyes glittered with burgeoning tears. "If I could go, don't you think I would?"

The young man was taken aback. He's never seen someone this downtraught in his life. He carefully observed her clothing, a bit worn and faded. Her expression sad and longing. She made him sad. "I'm sorry." Was all he could offer.

The girl turned back to watching the charades go on within the cafeteria. "You can go back to your friends and laugh about me now." She said bitterly.

"But I don't want to. I don't even want to be here." He spoke. Soft feathers of rain started trickling through the air. He breathed in the slight scent of fresh rain.

"Why not? You're lucky." She replied, wrapping her arms around herself for comfort.

"Not really. The same faceless crowd, the same standing around making mindless chatter about whose whom and who's wearing what, and who owns what. It's when you stand in the shadows like you are, do you really realize what happens when you aren't looking. When you want to fit in." He explained softly.

She turned to him with a bemused expression. "What would you know about this? You can do anything you want. You can."

"I can do what? I can stand around and judge people, stand with people who only claw onto me to increase their social standings." He exclaimed.

She said nothing but a soft "oh", and turned back to the party. The music could be heard drifting into the night air. A slow song.

"Dance with me," He said, offering his hand. She turned, and looked at him oddly. But without argument or a why, she agreed. This was everything she's ever wanted. To dance.

They danced, under the warm street lamp glow casting their safe haven. Danced slowly, cheek to cheek, to the song. Soft lyrics could be heard in lisps of wind. "In the arms of the angel, you can find some comfort here…"

Taylor Hanson didn't join his friends that night, and after they departed, the girl heading her road, and he winding his, he sat down in his room. He sat down, and he wrote a song. Isn't it weird, isn't it strange. Even though we're just two strangers on this runaway train. We're both trying to find a place in the sun. We've lived in the shadows, but doesn't everyone. Isn't it strange how we all feel a little bit weird sometimes. Isn't it hard. Standing in the rain…No one can hear, though you're screaming so loud. You feel all alone in a faceless crowd. Isn't it strange how we all get a little bit weird sometimes.

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