The Night We Met
by RB Tolar
We rolled into the nightclub, the band and I. We had just finished our gig and were visiting, as honored guests, friends of ours at their job. We were here to listen. We were here to party. We were here to jam.
I was dressed all in black, except for a skinny red tie, knotted loosely at the throat with the top two buttons of my shirt unfastened. I heard, “That’s the bass player,” as I walked past crowded tables to the front of the room, beside the bandstand.
We sat with the band’s girlfriends and wives and listened and hollered and whistled as they finished their set. Lucy hollered, “Play Freebird!” at the band onstage and they cracked up. It was a running joke between us. The singer spoke into the mic, “We’ll save that one for later,” and announced a pause for the cause.
The jukebox came on and I wandered toward the bar to grab another beer.
I turned toward the voice and a woman motioned me to where she was sitting.
“This girl here wants to dance with you.” She grinned and pointed. You had the grace to blush prettily.
“Well, come on and dance!” I invited.
You stood and stepped from behind the table; five foot two, a hundred pounds maybe. All in black. Like me. I backed onto the dance floor, watching you move toward me. You smiled then lowered your gaze, blushing again. Something slow was playing. I extended my arms and you stepped into them, placing your hand on my shoulder. I took your other hand in my left hand and with my right, encircled your waist. Such a tiny waist. We swayed to the music and you pressed your body into mine as I pulled you closer. Your cheek touched my cheek and I could feel the heat of that blush lingering. We didn’t speak. I was aware only of the pulsing of the music and the sensation of you against me, moving with me. I stepped more quickly to the beat and you were with me. I spun, then halted in mid-move and spun the other way. You were there. I clasped your hand to my chest and my right hand slid down to where I could feel your hips move and we danced as if we had always been dancing together like this.
I don’t know how long we danced. The music stopped and I pulled back a bit to look at you. I grinned and then held your hand as we walked across the dance floor. Something fast was blaring from the jukebox. Side-by-side, we did a few dance steps as we approached the table where your friends were sitting. I slipped my hand around your waist and squeezed you to my side. Leaning over, I whispered in your ear.
“Thanks for the dance.”
RB Tolar: I am married and living in Union City, TN with my wife and daughter. We have recently had a new addition to our family. My 80 year-old mom has come to live with us. This promises to be a rich source of writing material!
I am still attending the University of Tennessee, Martin where I am a senior. I continue to write and submit