Silhouette

So this is where it ends--I'm sandwiched between a rush-job decorated wall and air too thick for me to breathe with just a bar of battery left to my name. My hair isn't even messed up, and that's just sad compared to the other girls who had to pull their hair back to keep it from getting messed up while dancing. I haven't even stopped onto the dance floor for more than thirty seconds.

I can see my friend Jackie from where I stand. She's out on the dance floor, among the brightly colored flashing lights and sweaty boys. The smile on her face is huge, and I'm not sure if it's because she's having fun or because of all the people pining for her attention. Even Tyler, the boy I've had a crush on since freshman year, has his dazzling chocolate eyes on my blonde friend. Then there's me, in a pretty white shirt I've had since I was thirteen and a black skirt that makes me feel slightly self-conscious, as if I'm as exposed as a Paris Hilton tape.

Utterly alone.

I knew coming to this dance was a mistake, I think to myself, wishing I hadn't let Jackie convince me. Nobody's asked me to dance, not even Tyler…

"Ro!" Jackie calls, stumbling over to me and calling me by my nickname. People are tugging at her arm, beckoning her back to the crowded floor. She's trying her best to hold herself up. "Why aren't you dancing?"

I shrug, trying not to look as disappointed as I feel.

"Anybody you'd like to dance with?" she inquires, and that's when I notice Tyler, who glances at me and grins devilishly, as though he knows the pain he's causing me.

Jackie is still oblivious. "Hey, I think there's a cute guy over there!" she singsongs, and nods over to the other side of the room.

I sight and turn in the direction she's facing, not necessarily looking forward to her selection. As my eyes sweep over the room and land on him, however, my doubt vanishes. The boy she pointed out is sitting at a table alone; he has slightly spiked brown hair, and he's looking around the room with a bored yet hopeful expression on his face. It's as if he's waiting for his princess to come and offer her hand for a graceful dance.

Well, I've got the time and I've certainly got the shoes, I think to myself with a shrug. Maybe I could actually get away with a dance tonight.

Jackie's bouncing up and down with excitement, biting her lip to the point where it might burst and spill a million drops of bloody perfection on the floor. I decide to end her anxiety.

"So how do I look?" I ask, smiling so she knows I've approved. She squeals for a second, throwing up her hands to my hair and flinging strands about. "Great, great! You look fabulous! Now go get him!"

I turn away from her (and the overly excited Tyler) and make my way to the boy. As I get close to him, I catch a glimpse of his icy blue eyes, and suddenly Tyler's eyes seem dull, like an overused marker.

"Hi," I say, and flash a smile in front of him.

He smiles, but he doesn't look at me; instead, he's staring out into the mass of teenage bodies dancing in ways they shouldn't for at least two years.

"Hi," he greets back.

I take a deep breath, filling my lungs with a mixture of the uncertainty I've been breathing and the hormones that are lingering in the air. What've I got to lose?

"Um, I was wondering if you'd maybe like to dance with me?" I ask, still wondering what he's looking at.

"Sure," he says, holding out his hand in front of him. I take it, noticing how soft his hands are, and lead him out to the dance floor.

Frenetic beats pulse through the floor, seeping through our shoes and climbing throughout bodies. Before we get the chance to begin dancing, the song stops, and a slow-paced one begins. I look at him and bite my lip, wondering how I must look under the dim lights.

He doesn't seem phased, his hands traveling from my shoulders to my waist. I lace my hands around his neck, suddenly remembering that I don't know how to slow-dance.

"Uh, I, um, don't know how to slow-dance very well," I tell him, embarrassed. The corners of his lips curl up into a small smile.

"It's okay," he whispers. "Nobody's perfect."

"Especially me," I sigh sadly.

He chuckles. "That's what makes a person so beautiful."

"Me? Beautiful?" Is Ashton Kutcher here or something?

"Yes. Well, I can only assume, I mean," he adds as an afterthought. My confused silence probably provokes him to explain. "I'm blind."

Something inside me twists my brain around, making everything click. Unfortunately, my sense of speech isn't intact.

"O-oh…" is all I can say.

There's an awkward silence now, wedged between our softly swaying bodies. Leave it to me to be tongue-tied! Thankfully, he breaks the silence.

"So, what's your name?" he asks me, moving off the subject of the blindness.

I clear my throat, not wanting to sound like a frog when I speak. "Rochelle," I tell him, choosing not to include my last name. Or… wait, should I have told him my full name? Oh, the agony of social awkwardness!

"That's a very pretty name," he says, and I'm grateful that he can't see me blushing. "My name is Aiden."

"Aiden," I repeat, admiring his name.

He laughs softly. "So are you having fun tonight?" he questions.

Part of me wants to lie and tell him that it's the best night of my life, but given that I have no life, I tell him the truth.

"Not exactly. This is actually the best part."

"The night's almost over," he points out, and I'm painfully aware.

"But this is my first dance of the night," I admit.

"Really? Why?"

I take a glance at Jackie, who's dancing with her boyfriend. Tyler's standing on the side, watching her with agony.

"Nobody's wanted to dance with me," I explain, my throat suddenly dry. "They're all dancing with Jackie. All the boys want her, since she's so much prettier."

Aiden frowns, squeezing my lightly and taking care not to hurt me. "Please don't say things like that," he says, his voice soft and soothing. "Her beauty hold no significance compared to yours."

"But… you…"

"Beauty is beneath the surface, not just a pretty face. You were patient for the right dance From what you told me, she jumped on anybody she saw."

I swallow, taking in his words. I didn't expect to meet someone like him, someone who seems to care, when I took the chance in asking him to dance with me.

"Are you alright?" he asks, in regard to my silence.

"Sometimes… there are no words. Sometimes there are only colors and pictures."

He chuckles, the sweet sound of his voice floating into my ears. "Not for me. For me, there's only the feeling that somebody cares." He stares down at me, with big crystal eyes that scream innocence and kindness.

With that, he pulls me closer to him. We sway lightly with the music, stepping with care. From the corner of my eye, I see Tyler and Jackie dancing, Tyler's eyes locked on her as if she's a grand prize. I don't care, though; Aiden's blue eyes are peering down at me as our silhouettes glide across the floor, as if, somehow, he's staring into my soul like it's the most beautiful thing he's ever seen.