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Would You Like to Dance?

 

By:  kf6tac (Brian) and Jamie Sommers

 

Email:  kf6tac@yahoo.com

             jamiesommers23@hotmail.com

 

Rated P/G 13

 

Synopsis:  Landon and Jamie have had their first date now they have to face their friends, their family and their own fears.  Written in both Landon’s POV (in bold print by Brian/kf6tac) and Jamie’s POV (in italics by Jamie Sommers)

 

 

 

Chapter 11:  Would You Like To Dance?

 

 

 

Spring break with Jamie passed by pretty quickly.  I took her out whenever she was feeling up to it, and we did things every other teenage couple would do: we went to the movies, we ate out together, and we ran our errands together.  It was kind of strange actually – everywhere we went we met people who were so full of sadness and despair for Jamie, but whenever we were walking around hand in hand or lying on the grass next to each other, we were happy.

 

Jamie had another doctor’s appointment on Thursday afternoon, so I went into town by myself to pick up some groceries for my mom.  While I was in town, I noticed a lot of the guys from school going to or from their cars with garment bags.  Others were going into floral shops, and the girls all seemed busy at the make-up counters in all the stores I passed by.

 

‘Prom…’ I remembered.  Prom was going to be this Saturday night.  I had talked to Jamie about going earlier in the week, but she decided it couldn’t possibly be good for her to have an entire night out like that.  We were both sad that we would be missing our Senior Prom, but I didn’t want her to get worse all of a sudden because of it.  I just got the stuff for my mom and went straight home on Thursday.  Seeing all the other people getting ready for Prom just made me sad, thinking of what Jamie was going to miss.  I had gone to the Junior Prom with Belinda the year before and I figured it wouldn’t be all too different… but still it was fun, and I felt bad that Jamie would miss out.

 

 

 

“Hello?”  I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing and immediately thought, ‘who would be calling so early on a Monday morning?’

 

“Hey baby.”

 

“Landon?”

 

“Is there someone else that calls you baby that I should know about?” he kind of chuckled.

 

“Why are you calling me so early?  You do realize there’s no school today right?”

 

“Jamie,” he sounded a little confused.  “It’s almost 11:30 in the morning.”

 

“What???”  I sat straight up and looked at my clock in disbelief.  I had gone to bed exhausted before 9pm the night before and I had slept until mid morning.  These past few days had obviously been getting to me.  I had hardly had more than 8 hours of sleep combined since Friday night, so I suppose last night’s 14hours were well deserved. 

 

I could hear Landon chuckling over the phone, making a joke out of it.  “Well…I WAS going to invite you out for lunch, but if you’re not up to it…”

 

“No,” I said quickly.  “I’m up to it.”  Pass up a chance to see Landon?  Never!  “Just give me thirty minutes to get cleaned up.” 

 

He picked me up shortly after noon and we headed downtown to my favorite Chinese restaurant.  We talked for a while about school—he had gotten his acceptance letter to UNC—laughed over our egg rolls and he asked me to go to the prom with him while we finished our sweet and sour pork.

 

“I’m not sure I’m up to it.”

 

“Well if you don’t think you can, that’s fine.  We don’t have to go.  I just thought it would be nice seeing as it’s our senior prom and all.”

 

“Why don’t you let me think about it?  If I’m not so tired then maybe…” I cracked open my fortune cookie asking myself if I should take the chance and go with him to the prom.  ‘Jamie that’s a really big event and are you sure you’d be able to sit through the whole thing?  You wouldn’t be able to dance as much as you’d like and you’d probably get tired within the first few minutes.’  I looked down at the little piece of paper that came from within my cookie and smiled thinking; ‘It’s funny how God gets his messages across sometimes.’

 

“What’re you smiling at?”

 

“My fortune.”

 

“What’s it say?”

 

“Here,” I handed it to him.  “Read it.”

 

“Rest has a peaceful effect on your physical and emotional health,” after a moment of consideration he said, “I guess this means we’re not going to the prom after all.”

 

We kind of laughed it off, but deep down inside we were both a little sorry that we had to miss out on it. 

 

 

 

I was at home in my room on Friday afternoon when Eric called.

 

“Hey dog, what’s up?”

 

“Hey Eric, how’s it going?”

 

“Craaaaazy my man, you know that report we had to do for Mr. Gilbert’s class over break?”

“Yeah, the one about a species of your choice?”

 

“Yeah, that one man.  I totally haven’t touched it!”  I couldn’t help but laugh.  Here it was, Friday, and Eric hadn’t done his report.

 

“Man, I can’t believe you haven’t started the thing at all!  It’s gotta be six to eight pages!  Mine is at least done except my conclusion.”

 

“Well you know me, bro.  I’ve been all caught up getting ready for Prom and… oh.  Sorry dude.  I kinda forgot.”  Apparently he caught my disappointed sigh when he mentioned Prom.

 

“It’s alright, Eric.  Just make sure you get out there and bust a move for the both of us, alright?”

 

“Heeeeeey man, you know I can do that!”

 

“Sounds good.  But you really should get rollin’ on that report.  Time’s tickin’ away!”

 

“Yeah, yeah.  I’ll talk to ya later Landon.”

 

After I hung up the phone, I started thinking about Prom again.  There just had to be something I could do… but what?  It’s not like I could dance.  Jamie probably wouldn’t have appreciated me trampling her feet again like I had the last time we tried to dance.

 

“Mom?”

 

My mom was reading something in the living room downstairs.

 

“Can you do me a favor?”  After another hour of thinking I finally had come up with an idea.

 

“Sure Landon, what do you need?”

 

“Well… I was hoping you could teach me how to dance.”  My mom was a really good dancer; at least that’s what a lot of her friends had told me.

 

“What kind of dancing are you thinking about?”

 

“Just something that I could maybe do with Jamie.  Nothing too fancy.”

 

“Okay Landon,” she said.  “I think I have just the thing for you.”

 

We spent the next hour or two in the living room.  First my mom showed me the steps.  I had to watch her repeat them so many times just to start getting some sort of idea.  At one point I was afraid I’d never learn the steps right, but my mom wasn’t about to let me quit.

 

“Come on Landon, the steps aren’t that tough.  And besides, isn’t Jamie worth it?”

 

Once again, I couldn’t argue with her.  After I had watched her go through the motions enough times, my mom had me follow along beside her.  It probably was a sight to see.  I stumbled so many times over just my own feet, not to mention stubbing my toes here and there on the furniture.  I eventually got them down though, and then came the final phase: I had to dance with my mom.  I felt so bad for her.  Even though I could go through the motions by myself, it didn’t stop me from stepping on her feet.  She was a good sport about it though, and she kept going until eventually I stopped stepping on her and we were just dancing.

 

That whole thing took about two hours, so I ran upstairs and sat down on my bed with the phone.  I dialed Jamie’s number, and after two rings she picked up.

 

“Hey Jamie, it’s me.”

 

“Hi Landon, how are you?”

 

“I’m doing alright… how’re you feeling?”  I figured I didn’t want to trouble her with my plan if she wasn’t feeling too great.

 

“I’m feeling fine, I’ve been doing okay lately.”

 

“Hey, that’s great!  Listen, I was wondering if your dad would be okay with me spending some time at your place tomorrow evening.  Nothing huge, I just wanted to come over and be with you.”

 

“Ummm… give me just one second and I’ll ask him.”  I heard some muffled voices, and I figured she probably had her hand over the phone while talking to her father.  They went on for a while, and I briefly thought that maybe he was going to say ‘no,' then Jamie came back on the line.  “Landon?  Sorry that took awhile.  My father says it’s okay as long as he’s home.”

 

“So what time is alright with him?”

 

“He’s going to be out most of the day tomorrow, but he says he should be home after 8:30.”

 

“Sounds great Jamie, I’ll see you then.  And tell your dad ‘thanks’ if you get a chance.  I love you.”

 

“I love you too, Landon.”

 

“Hey, ya know what?” I added on really quickly.

 

“What?”

 

“It always makes me smile when I hear you say that.”  I was beaming at the moment actually.

 

“It makes me smile too.  I am so lucky to have you with me.”

 

“I am too Jamie, I am too.”

 

We ended up talking awhile longer on the phone until Jamie got tired.  We wished each other good night, and we both went on our own ways to get ready for bed.  As I brushed my teeth, the thought hit me that Jamie and I were, in a way, getting ready for bed “together”.  It made me think, ‘Perhaps one day we’ll be getting ready for bed in the same home too.’

 

 

 

For the time being, Landon and I seemed to put our troubles and fears behind us.  We just enjoyed our time together.  He kept me busy during that week, taking me out to the movies, for walks, dinner and one day he actually helped me take care of some church business but my favorite time was when we did nothing at all.  We would just lie in the grass next to his house looking out over the water and holding hands.   He’d sit with me on my porch swing and read to me from Mr. Rothman’s list—The Catcher In The Rye—until I would fall asleep against his shoulder.  By the end of the week I didn’t even have the energy to sit on the porch swing with him, I was so tired, but we did talk and we made plans over the phone for the following night.

 

“Hey Jamie, it’s me.”

 

“Hi Landon, how are you?”  I always got this incredible feeling when he called me.  Like I was on his mind and he just had to pick up the phone.

 

“I’m doing alright… how’re you feeling?” 

 

I didn’t want him to worry about me so I answered, “I’m feeling fine, I’ve been doing okay lately.”

 

“Hey, that’s great!  Listen, I was wondering if your dad would be okay with me spending some time at your place tomorrow evening.  Nothing huge, I just wanted to come over and be with you.”

 

“Ummm… give me just one second and I’ll ask him.”   I put my hand over the receiver as I spoke to my father.

 

“Daddy?”

 

“Hmmm.”  He was reading the paper and barely looked up at me. 

 

“Would it be all right if Landon came over tomorrow night?  He’d like to spend some time with me,” I held my breath in anticipation.  Regardless of Landon’s display of affections, my father still didn’t trust him.

 

He looked up from his paper and said, “Jamie, you’ve been spending an awful lot of time with him lately.”

 

“Not that much time daddy.”

 

“Did you see him yesterday?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And what about the day before?”

 

I understood my father’s point, but we had discussed this over and over again.  “Daddy, what’s so wrong with Landon and I wanting to be together?  We love each other.”

 

“You’re awfully young to be saying you’re in love.”

 

“You and mommy weren’t much older than us.  You told me she was only 19 when you met her.”

 

I shouldn’t have done that—brought up my mother.  His face grew sullen and his expression changed drastically from one of concern to one of loneliness.  I wondered for a brief moment if this is what Landon would look like whenever someone mentioned my name after I had gone.

 

“I’m sorry daddy.  I shouldn’t have…”

 

“No.  Don’t be sorry.  You did nothing wrong,” he was quiet for a few seconds then said, “I suppose it’s your decision whether or not to spend time with that boy, but I do not want him here at night unless I’m here.  Is that to be understood?”

 

“Yes daddy.”

 

“I’ll be out doing some last minute details on the church’s clothing drive so I should be back by about 8:30pm.”

 

“Okay.  Thank you.”  I bent over his chair and placed a little kiss against his forehead before heading into the living room to finish my conversation.  “Landon?  Sorry that took awhile.  My father says it’s okay as long as he’s home.”

 

“So what time is alright with him?”

 

“He’s going to be out most of the day tomorrow, but he says he should be home after 8:30.”

 

“Sounds great Jamie, I’ll see you then.  And tell your dad ‘thanks’ if you get a chance.  I love you.”

 

“I love you too, Landon.”

 

“Hey, ya know what?”

 

“What?”

 

“It always makes me smile when I hear you say that.”  I couldn’t see it, but I could hear it.

 

“It makes me smile too.  I am so lucky to have you with me.”

 

“I am too Jamie, I am too.”

 

I began feeling better as our conversation progressed.  It was as though he had some form of healing power over me.  Whether it was subconscious or not, all I knew was that whenever he was with me, or talked to me I felt alive.

 

“So what’d you have planned for tomorrow night?”

 

“Nuh uh.  It’s a surprise.”

 

“A surprise, huh?  Well it just so happens I love surprises….”

 

 

The next morning I was up a bit earlier than my usual Saturday wake-up time.  Well – given that my usual time to get up on Saturdays is 1PM, I was up quite a bit earlier.  It was only ten when I started going through the fridge, looking for something to eat.  My mom walked in from the garden and was surprised to find me there.

 

“Landon, you’re up early!”

 

“Yeah, I’ve got some things to take care of before this evening.  But right now I’m just starved!  You wouldn’t happen to know of anything I could make and eat really quick, would you?”

 

“Actually no, I don’t think we have any microwave food lying around.  But here, why don’t you sit down and I’ll make you some toast really quick.”

 

“Mom, you don’t have to do that.  I can make toast for myself.”  At eighteen years old I’d hoped I could operate a toaster.

 

“Well, I don’t get to cook breakfast all that often for my son, so I should at least make him his toast,” she replied.  “Just sit down and try not to fall asleep again.”

 

I sat down at the table, and while I was waiting I asked her, “Mom, do we have any sparkling cider around?”

 

“Sparkling cider for breakfast Landon?  That’s kind of unusual.”

 

“Oh not for me right now, it’s for Jamie later tonight.  I have something planned.”

 

“We might have some, why don’t you go check – it’ll probably be over where we used to keep all the wines.”

 

We had a pretty big collection of wine at one point, although I think we eventually gave most of them away to friends as presents or brought them along to parties.  We didn’t exactly have a wine cellar, although we had a few racks along the walls of this empty room in the house.  I looked around, saw a few leftover wine bottles, and then I found a few bottles of sparkling cider.  I dusted them off and looked at the date on the labels.  They weren’t old at all, so I figured they’d be okay.  I took one bottle back into the house.

 

“Did you find them?” my mom asked as she was setting out my toast and some jam.

 

“Yeah, I got ‘em.  Thanks mom.”

 

 

 

I could hear my father’s voice echoing up the stairs and Landon’s following in reply.  The minute I heard the footfalls on the floor in front of my room, my heart began to race with anticipation of seeing Landon.  I had expected my father’s knock any second, I could hear the footsteps walking back and forth in the hallway and wondered, what was going on.  Racing into my closet I grabbed the dress I had out for the night and pulled my hair back into a ponytail.  I was going to leave it down—Landon loves it when it’s down—but I just wanted to hurry up and see him.  After looking in the mirror and being satisfied with what I saw, I headed downstairs to greet him.

 

“Daddy?”  He was sitting in his office putting the finishing touches on his Sunday sermon. 

“Yes,” he looked at me.

 

“Didn’t I hear Landon come in?”

 

“Yes,” he went back to making his notations.

 

“Well…umm…where is he?”  I had immediately gone into the living room when I first got downstairs, but he wasn’t there.  I checked the porch, the kitchen…every room, but still no Landon.

 

“He’s upstairs on the balcony.”

 

“Oh,”  ‘now why would he be up there,’ I thought.  I found out the moment I stepped out onto the balcony.

 

 

 

Jamie’s dad was actually a really good sport about letting me carry out my little surprise for the evening.  Of course I got the usual warnings from him.

 

“Now Landon, I’m just going to be downstairs in my office.  I don’t want any trouble, alright?”

 

“No troubles tonight sir, I promise.”

 

“Good.  Now … what exactly was it you wanted to do?”

 

I explained my plan to him.  “Since Jamie and I couldn’t go to the Senior Prom this year, I thought I’d surprise her by learning how to dance and paying her a visit tonight.  I was hoping maybe you’d have some music she likes that I could use.  Oh, and I, uh, brought some sparkling cider along.  I was kinda hoping to dance with her on the upstairs balcony.”

 

“Well…” he pondered my proposal for awhile, and I wasn’t sure if he was thinking about music or throwing me out.  “I’m pretty sure Jamie has some favorite CDs over here in our collection, and I’ve got a small stereo you can use.  Where were you planning on keeping the sparkling cider?”

 

“I figured I’d just pour us two glasses and keep the rest of the bottle here in the house.”

“Well why don’t you help me move the table over on the porch up to the balcony.  We can put everything on that, and you could keep the bottle with you too.”

 

“That would be great, thanks Reverend.”

 

 

I walked out onto the balcony and saw him standing off to the far corner.  Next to him was the tiny table that normally resided on our downstairs porch.  On it was a bottle of sparkling cider, two glasses and a radio.

 

He lifted the corners of his mouth in a loving smile and offered me the rose he held between his fingers, "I figured...if I can't bring you to the prom then I'd bring the prom to you."

 

"Landon...” I walked towards him and hugged him, whispering in his ear, "I love you."

 

He laid the flower down on the table and turned on a CD, "Would you like to dance?" 

 

We had danced a few times in the past and I knew that it wasn't his favorite thing to do, and my feet would definitely suffer for it, but I said, "I'd love to."

 

He led me to the middle of the balcony and began to dance with me.  Not just the scuff and shuffle that we normally did, but actually dancing with me.  Moving me around in perfect rhythm with the music, turning me under his arm, spinning me out, turning me back into his chest.  'Landon Carter learned how to dance for me. Guess I finally got that miracle,' I thought. 

 

The song changed and another, slower one began.  He pulled me into his arms and held me close as we swayed back and forth.  Placing a soft kiss against the curve of my neck he buried his face in my hair and inhaled deeply, almost like he was breathing me in.  "I love you Jamie."

 

Pulling back to look into his eyes I said, "I love you." 

 

I tilted my head and kissed him softly against the lips, but he pulled away after the first few seconds and said, "I promised your father I would be a gentleman."

 

"You are a gentleman."

 

"If you keep kissing me I won't be."

 

I smiled and laid my head against his shoulder all the while thanking God for my miracle...Landon.

 

 

As Jamie walked onto the balcony, I held my breath and hoped that my surprise would please her.  When she looked over at the table with a curious look, I offered her a rose I had chosen out of my mom’s garden.

 

“I figured… if I can’t bring you to Prom then I’d bring the Prom to you.”

 

We danced the night away up there on her balcony, and it was great.  At first I was worried that I might forget what my mom had showed me… but everything turned out fine.  It felt so wonderful to be really dancing with Jamie, not just shuffling around and stepping on her feet. 

 

Once or twice in the evening I saw Reverend Sullivan out in the yard, looking up at us.  Not long, just a brief glance to make sure everything was all right.  I don’t think Jamie saw him, but I looked back at him in an attempt to reassure him that nothing was wrong.  He was hesitant for a while, but then he smiled weakly up at us.  And I smiled back.  I didn’t know if he still disliked me, but at least he wasn’t angry at me for being with Jamie.

 

We were dancing until about 11PM, and by that time we had just about emptied the bottle of sparkling cider and gone through all of the CDs.  We turned off the stereo and went inside to sit down.  We sat and talked for about five minutes, and then Reverend Sullivan poked his head in the door.

 

“You two should probably be getting some rest.  I’ll be turning in for the night in another few minutes, so Landon you’ll have to get going.”  He didn’t say it angrily or in a way that sounded like he was trying to get rid of me, which was a relief.

 

I stood up and Jamie came over to give me a hug.  “You don’t have to see me out, Jamie.  Why don’t you just hang out here and get ready for bed.”

 

“Are you sure, Landon?”

 

“Yeah, I’ll be okay.  Thanks for the great night.”

 

“Thank you, Landon, for a wonderful Senior Prom.”

 

As I walked out of the room, Reverend Sullivan shut the door and followed me down the stairs.  When I got to the front door, I turned around while grabbing my coat.

 

“Thank you Reverend, for letting me do this.  I really appreciate it.”

 

“You’re welcome, Landon.  Have a good night.”

 

“You too, Reverend.”