Slow dancing in a burning room


Do you know what it sounds like?…

Or maybe what it looks or feels like?

A room on fire.

I looked at her deep eyes. The sparkle that was once there had faded. Only a glimmer of it remained. Her soft brown hair framed her long face, with soft curls falling against her beautiful neck. Her emerald dress flowed down her sensual physique.

I held my hand out to her, beckoning for a dance. She looked at my outstretched hand. Paused for a moment, and despite a slight hesitant look, she put her gentle hand in mine.

Everyone warned us. And the signs, I suppose, were there. But we chose to just look at each other.

Ignorance is bliss, anyway.

And so I pulled her towards me. Breathed in her scent.

That’s probably when the sparks became an orange glow. It crackled as it ate the wallpaper. There was a low hiss from the fire, as it lapped up stood in front of it.

I took the first step, and led the way. She leaned in closer and followed my steps and we slow danced. That’s what she and I loved. On weeknights, with the busses honking outside. With the troubled and envious world outside the window. We slow danced. To Sinatra. To Ibrahim Ferrer. To Roberta Flack. And when we outplayed the others, Buble.

It hissed and it spread. Burn, burn, burn Johnny Cash used to sing.

Our fingers interlaced. Her hand on my back, mine around her waist.

“Are you sure?” they used to ask. After the “of course” and “why not?” wore out, anger set in and the questions stopped suit. ‘Let them be,’ they thought. ‘Let us be,’ we screamed, said, murmured, thought.

Months of laughter became sometimes laughter. More frustration followed by periods of apologies and fallig back into the comfort of each other. The solace of familiarity.

Half the room was torching. It glowed its bright orange, licks of red spread. Its warmth on our skin. Never burning, just tingling.

She put her head on my shoulder, nestled it in. I kissed her head gently.

The hisses grew louder as the warmth and the orange raced across the ceiling.

There we were…

Slow dancing in that burning room.