DANCING ON MY OWN

The sound of the music is echoing throughout the empty dance hall. It’s been like that for more than an hour now and alone, I tried to match every beat that I hear. Pop, grind, slide, wave, swing, jump, pause, slide; nothing coordinated, just letting my body feel every single rhythm. I haven’t done this for so long that I wonder if I actually look ridiculous.

I can feel the drops of sweat running down my upper body as I move, slowly caressing the skin, like that of a lower taking it ever so slowly. It was both that of torture and of sweet anticipation. I hate that feeling yet I continued to move as if it’s the most important thing to do. I hate that feeling but I didn’t want to lose it too.

“It always looks so raw and beautiful when you’re like this.” I almost missed my footing when I suddenly heard your voice. I stopped in mid-step and tried to regain my balance.

“I never thought I’d ever see you like this again.” You said with a sad smile.

“You shouldn’t have.” I said, walking towards the stereo and turning it off. Suddenly, I feel tired.

“What are you doing here?” I asked you. Instead of answering, you took your shoes and coat off before rummaging on the CD tracks on the desk beside the stereo.

“Dance with me.” You whispered before putting the CD on the stereo. When the first few chords of Broken Strings came out, I just shook my head.

“Please…” There was begging in your voice.

We’ve danced to this song so many times that I can’t even count anymore. This was our warm up song. Every single time, we would play this just to let our body loose. This was our song, the only thing that we really ever had.

Let me hold you
For the last time

I guess we’ve been rehearsing for this day and time. The only thing is, we never really talk about what we should do. We just move and somehow, it clicks, every single time.

You were already moving on your own when I turned to look at you. As always, it was beautiful that it was almost painful to watch. I let out a sigh before stepping towards you. If this would be the last time, then let it be something beautiful. Even pain can be beautiful you know.

“One last time…” I told myself before gently caressing your face with a sad smile. I’ll fall in love with you for one last time.

It still amazes me how synchronized we can be despite not really planning and what would be the next move or next step. You sway and I’ll match it without thinking. You glide and I’ll glide with you. Every pop, every swing, every jump, like that of two bodies with one mind, we dance.

Oh… It tears me up
I tried to hold on but it hurts too much
I tried to forgive but it’s not enough
To make it all okay

Broken strings. Quite fitting. That’s all we ever were. The broken string of a guitar connected only by music and movement. I should have realized that before. You needed me to find your rhythm. I needed you to make each unsteady step firm. We needed each other but only inside the dance floor, that’s all there is to it. Nothing more.

“I used to watch you and wonder how it would feel like to hold you in my arms like this.” I said. You almost missed a step but continued. I did the same.

“When did you stop watching me?” You asked. I almost laughed. Instead of replying, I lifted you up in the air. After all these years, I can still do that effortlessly. You used to say that when I do that, you always feel like you can do anything as long as you have me. I’ve wanted that for you too.

But the two of us have always been a couple of broken toys at the eye of the storm. And the point is, we both didn’t even realize it until we were being thrown all over the place, away from each other.

When I put you down, you didn’t make a move and just stared at me. I stopped as well.

“When did you stop looking at me?” You asked. I let out a sigh.

“When you stopped noticing…” I said. And as if on cue, I heard footsteps coming towards us.

“I knew you two would be here!” I didn’t even turn to see who it was. The storm has come to take you away for good.

“You two aren’t cheating on me, are you?” I guess that was supposed to be a joke. It wasn’t funny.

“We just have to say goodbye the way we know it.” I said with a smile before walking towards the stereo. Just in time too.

Let me hold you, for the last time
It’s the last chance we’ll feel again…

The last notes, the last few beats, and then it was over. Like everything else between us.

“Hey! We’ll expect you tomorrow!” There it was again, the voice of the storm.

“You’re not going to miss our wedding and come up with a lame excuse are you?” I laughed. I guess saying that I can’t watch you any longer as you walk away from me would be lame.

“Of course…” I said. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

I heard your footsteps walking out of the studio before the deafening silence. It was over.

I took the CD out of the stereo and dropped it on the nearest trash bin. I’ll never dance to that song again.

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