We did another song to really get the moves down, and then were introduced to the next level moves. The next few songs, I was put with a mix of cadence blessed boys and the opposite, but as one of the songs ended, I found myself wishing for Randy again as my horn-rimmed glasses wearing, pocket protector owning and snotty nosed partner clung to me for dear life as we waited in line. Looking away from him, I hid my miserable look as I thought of ways to sufficiently disinfect my hand and wash my clothes so I didn’t have to burn them. Save me! I thought, wishing Coach could hear my thoughts.
Then suddenly, the nerd was pulled off me and led away, utmost happiness flooding me as I rushed to my purse for some sanitizer before jumping back in line. I quietly let out a deep sigh of relief, until I saw who they were bringing to me. Wait, what’s going on? Why is Connelly heading towards me? Hang on a min – “Here we go. Let’s try you two.” The Coach looked from me to him and smiled contently before walking off.
We both stood there, awkwardness filling the space between us as we glanced at each other and then away. Something about this morning had changed him, and I was suddenly unsure how well this next dance would turn out. He took me in his uptight arms as the song began and started across the floor like a robot, almost running over me in the process. This was not happening again. I thought and shot him a look, but he continued staring straight ahead. We were quiet, and try as I might to keep up, he was just going too fast. “Hey, can you slow down a bit?” I asked almost in a whisper.
“Rule number one, always keep up with the music,” he said, his voice a forced monotone. He then suddenly spun the other way and in doing so almost jerked me with him because I’d been still spinning to the right.
“Well what’s the use of keeping with the music if I’m doing the wrong steps?” I said, slightly pulling on him to slow down.
Exhaling through his nose, he pulled me back up to speed easily, like I was nothing. “You’ll get it right eventually,” he said forcefully. He kept his eyes trained just above mine, but I could tell he was getting mad.
“If you don’t start dragging me on the floor first. I already went through this with Alister. I will not do this with you,” I replied and after he didn’t answer we fell silent for a while, me concentrating on not tripping myself.
He was barely holding me at all, his hands just brushing my clothes and he was so tense it made me uncomfortable. I could see his jaw muscles clenching and unclenching, his lips curled into an almost repulsive snarl, like he was fighting with himself just to be there. The air between us was so thick I could barely breathe, and I gathered the same rebuking feelings from him as I had in History. What was wrong with him? Why couldn’t he just let it go like I was trying to? “Is this what you did to them?” I asked.