couple: any two persons considered together.
skate: to glide or slide smoothly along.
My roller skates are white, each with an electric blue pom-pom with a tiny silver bell tied at the toe. The wheels, also blue, are now worn grayish from endless loops around the hardwood rink. Me and my gaggle of 8th grade girls are spinning around under the pink and purple flashing lights to the beat of Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” We are out of breath. We are dizzy. We don’t want to stop.
Then the announcer comes over the P.A. “This next one is for all you lovers out there.” The lights grow dim. The strobe slows down, dotting the rink with little glowing flecks. It is time for the Couples Skate.
We scramble for the nearest exit, holding on to one another as we gingerly step down onto the carpeting. Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” starts up. We huddle around a small, metal table, giggling, determined not to look at the boys from our class who are there too. We chew on the thick, red straws in our Slurpies and grind popcorn kernels between our teeth. One of the girls nudges me and I look behind my shoulder.
“Wanna skate?” he mumbles. There’s more giggling, then a split second of silent expectation.
“Okay,” I say carefully getting up, praying I don’t fall on the way to the rink. My wheels stop and start as I roll sluggishly over the carpet to the entrance. We do not speak. My heart beats hard in my chest, deafening, like a war drum. Blood throbs in my cold, damp palms. My ears are ringing. My mouth is dry. I sneak a look at him, his curly brown hair limp with sweat, his gangly body all arms and legs and pointy shoulders. My stomach churns. I might throw up.
I am in love.
We wait for an opening then he takes my hand and we glide onto the wood.
I’m participating in the 2014 A to Z Challenge during the month of April using the very broad theme of LOVE to carry me through the alphabet. Check out writing by other bloggers taking on the #atozchallenge at @AprilA2Z.