My parents named me Larry after that guy from the ancient TV show Threes a Company. Luckily no one my age knows the show. The Larry character was kind of an ass. With the last name Tanner, I quickly became LT. Here are some of my stories warts and all.
The school was having our first boy girl dance. The freshmen’s dance. An annual event meant to introduce the freshmen to the idea of the school dances or something. A tradition that had something to do with the fact the freshmen are not allowed in the upperclassmen dances. The dance has many rules including no dates. It was also mandatory. I needed clothes that would meet the schools dress code. Long sleeve button-down, a jacket and tie. The idea of seeing me dressed up has my parents going nuts. I had to talk my mom out of buying a tux. Dad showed me how to tie the tie. Then mom did the same. Mom tried to teach me how to do the only dance we could do. I explained that no one would be dancing.
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The dance was just what we thought it would be. The guys on one side the girls on the other and the teachers near the refreshments talking about how epic the dance was. From across the room I saw her. Jenifer. We were friends for a while. She was my first kiss but after that we went back to the just friends’ thing. She was in the regimented regulated dress. It was a pale yellow with thin straps that show her shoulder blades. Something came over me. I wanted to talk to her. Maybe even dance with her.
On the girl’s side, all the girls were talking to each other. Then the talk stopped and all of them turned and stared at me. The eyes of my class were upon me. I knocked down my fear and went to Jenifer. She seemed nervous. I think she wanted to talk to me she just didn’t want to be the first girl to be talked too. I said, “hey.” All cool and not in any way nervous. Ok, not really my voice cracked on the H in hey. She smiled at me and looked down at my shoes. I looked at her then the dance floor then back to her. She smiled and nodded. I took her hand and we went to the floor. No really, she tripped on a draping tablecloth went down with me over top of her. Then the punch bowl came a crashing down. The girls scattered. Several teachers were coated in red fruit punch.
I helped Jenifer up and we went to the dance floor. This time on our feet. We started to dance as the room went into chaos. The song was from the 80’s I think something about saving the dance or Safety Dance? She started to laugh at the absurdity of the scene. Eventually others joined in and the dance became a dance. Then the spilled punch reached an electrical socket in the floor and then the power went out. It was about 8:30 pm and the gym has no windows. It got dark fast. We kept dancing. With no music. The crowd swarmed to the exit lit by an emergency light. Then they came back. It was pouring the rain down. The first people out were soaked. A teacher went to get some towels. The vice principle said, “we need to exit the school.” One of the teachers said, “Lawrence it’s raining outside.”
After some arguing we were told we had to go outside in the rain. Something to do with regulations or fire codes. The fire department showed up. We stepped out and immediately were soaked. Jenifer’s dress became clingy and a little see-through. I gave her my jacket. We continued to dance in the rain. Yes, no music. I leaned in and kissed her. We looked back at school. Our entire class was huddled against the school staring at us. About ten minutes later we could go back inside.
Inside they separated us in the gym’s changing rooms. They gave us something to change into. It ended up being the old basketball uniforms. Blue shorts and gray tank top with blue writing. They had a hard time finding a top that would fit Jenifer. Her outfit made her look younger and almost swimming in her clothes. The look was a little absurd with the blue shorts, gray top and high heels. We danced until our parents came to pick us up. After our little PDA, the vice principal stayed next to us enforcing the one-foot rule. There is always tomorrow.
These are short stories I wrote. Some are connected to the larger books I am working on others are just for the fun of story telling.
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