Its pitch dark and the window is open. The curtain keeps making waves of letter S in a certain rhythm. When the wave is moving through the upper part of S, it throws a little moonlight on my face and pushes me back into the darkness while it travels down. When the moonlight dares to break the darkness, my closed eyelids shiver but don't open. Occasionally my skin keeps feeling the smoothness of the sheets and my hair keeps tangling among itself while i keep rubbing my neck against the pillow. I am not dreaming yet because the sleep seems to be a bit far to reach right now. Naturally i am dreaming in a different way...as in how you dream when you are awake...as in I am thinking with my eyes closed.
I am thinking about a friend who had asked me to go Salsa with him, some 11 years ago. He asked me very casually and i said "ok", very casually as well. I was so naive that salsa was just a dance style for me. Without knowing what an intimate couple dance it is, i simply agreed to go with him. I embarrassed myself further by wearing a simple t-shirt and a capri with a pair of shoe that was more close to sneakers than casual flats. He looked at me and was stunned, "Well, you might need heels", he said. I looked at my shoes and said adamantly, "Umm... No, i am good!" With a great difficulty, he convinced me to borrow heels from his friend who was going with us. And this is how I went for my first ever salsa lesson with the most casual outfit in my wardrobe which was eventually matched with the most beautiful pair of heels that i had never owned until then.
Everyone in the room were wearing casual but beautiful dresses and not to forget, heels! I secretly thanked my friend for saving me from looking like an idiot in my sneakers in front of so many westerners. And we stood in a circle, salsa-ing to the count of 1-2-3 and 5-6-7. My dressing sense might be terrible but dance was never an issue. I was thrilled and thoroughly enjoying this new experience... until i kept moving forward in the circle, finally to face my friend. A terrible awkwardness struck me. Well, he wasn't really a childhood friend, this was truly a couple dance and i had just stepped into the US, freshly from India. He gave his hand and i had to hold it, looking into each others eyes, our fingers barely touching, 1-2-3 and 5-6-7, 1-2-3 and 5-6-7 and zuppp, a salsa turn. I was facing the next partner in the circle. The truth is, my heart wanted to turn back and go in a reverse circle. I kept looking at my friend while doing the salsa turns with others. He seemed pretty unaffected, unlike me, which hurt, just a little.
After the end of the lesson, me, my friend and his friend, we three sat in the car to drive back. The drive back home was not the same. I was not the same either. I decided what to wear for the next lesson before reaching home that night. I decided to go and buy prettier heels the next day. I promised myself to look in the mirror more often than not.
That night i never imagined that 11 years later, i would book 2 tickets for Salsa with the same guy and we would be a real couple doing this intimate couple dance, as Mr. and Mrs., as husband and wife. Now the wave is moving through upper part of S again, but its throwing sunlight on my face. Oh, looks like half way through, i actually fell asleep and started dreaming :)