Do you know how long it’s been since I had an honest to god CRUSH on someone?
This whole thing started as a joke.
He’s tall. He’s handsome.
He’s in a red vest and a grey cardigan with his hair tied back in a low horsetail like some Dickens’ gentleman and actually looks me in the eyes when we’re being introduced.
Oh look, he’s a good dancer and he’s in a purple collared shirt and I would really like to dance with him.
Notice me, Senpai!
Haha ha. Everyone laughs, but I’ve got this weird fluttering in my chest.
He dances with me and he’s funny and the first time he smiles at me our faces are inches away and his eyes are so… blue. The whole blonde hair blue eyes thing was never my thing but he’s different. Its not his face its the expression on his face that I can’t quite put my finger on. Some simple open expression.
He dips me and he’s the only person I’ve ever danced with where I don’t have the roller-coaster-bottom-dropping-out-of-my-stomach moment of fear thinking I might hit the floor. I’ve said it before, as a simple unspoken truth, he will not let me fall. My trust in him is involuntary; it’s a reflex.
One that, between my general anxiety and my history with men, should not be functioning.
The next time I see him at a dance I walk in as he’s signing in. He has neat handwriting for a man. His name has an old world ring to it. He may very well be a viking.
I sit down next to him for a bit and talk and that flutter is still in my chest; it wasn’t a fluke. He’s forgotten my name and looks genuinely upset about it.
I watch him all night and because I’m watching him, I catch him watching me more than once. The nervous flutter in my chest multiplies, one moth to full blown butterflies. Anxious, I walk to my car and hide in the bathroom more than usual. Every time I return he’s where I was. With my friends, chatting or dancing, like he was looking for me.
We finally dance and it’s electric.
Now this time he walks up the stairs to peek into the pre-dance blues lesson. He’s looking at his feet as he climbs the stairs so from my place by the door I see him before he sees me, and then the man I’m partnered with turns me away.
I’m smiling and that flutter is back. It multiplies when I feel his eyes on me. He leans in the doorway for a little while, watching the class, then he’s gone.
Later, Kay and I talk to one of the Viking’s friends, we’ll call him Evin. The Viking joins us. The two are nearly a perfect foil. Tall and blonde, short and brunette. Both have hair past their shoulders and a sharp wit.
They lean against each other and jokingly mimic a Russian accent. They bond over their hair in jest. He compliments the shoulder length bob I’m still not sure about. His blue eyes sparkle. He shifts and leans against the open door of the dance studio beside me.
He asks me to dance and we do. It’s terrible. We wind up talking more than anything. My feet can’t discern the difference between my heartbeat and the music playing in the room. I laugh when he starts in, excellent as always, and compliment his fancy footwork.
A glow appears in his cheeks. The flush over his cheekbones is not pronounced but his face is so close to mine. He cannot take a compliment. At least not from me. He stumbles over his words saying “that’s it, keep her focused on your feet. she won’t notice that you can’t hold a conversation.” He looks down. I stumble and laugh.
I want to kiss that blushing cheek. I want to compliment everything I know about him until it’s easy for him to take the praise. The flutter in my chest becomes an ache, like stretching a sore muscle. A delicious sort of pang.
We laugh and bond over an ineptitude in small talk.
Kay is sitting with Evin and they’re laughing. The Viking and I stand. Evin tells an inappropriate story. The Viking says something incredibly witty and then he’s gone.
I file the comment away for later and when I sit down across from him the next time he’s alone and I’m not being twirled around the floor like a cyclone I bring it up.
He shares the story and it involves Richard Nixon and “tasteful Dick” and a girl who didn’t quite appreciate the joke.
I appreciate it and tell him so.
The flush is back in his cheeks and we’re laughing together and that stupid flutter in my chest is making me feel like I might float off the floor and he asks me to dance again.
He just comes alive on the floor. He’s so soft spoken and sweet standing still, but he’s so powerful and confident in motion. I can’t match him. I want to so badly.
I laugh at myself disparagingly. I don’t know what I’m doing with my feet. I can’t keep up with his footwork.
He leans away a bit so he can look down at my feet and I feel the nerves. Its the strangest sensation: wanting his attention, but not his scrutiny.
He only says gently “no, see, you’re doing little..” and he names some step I don’t catch because I’m lost in my own pulse again.
I would have kept him for the last dance but I was interrupted by a friend instead.
Before we separate, I tip my head up to meet those blue eyes and say with a grin that he has to say goodbye to me. I’m not sure if it counts as flirting, but it felt right. Teasing, light, and it means I’ll get to see him one more time before going home.
When he does find me after the dance he hugs me goodbye. My arms loop around him and he gives my waist a squeeze and it’s the first time he’s touched me in non-dance context.
His cheeks are pink again. His eyes are deep and blue pulling away.
I have a stupid crush on him and even reading over the most prominent moments in my minds eye, I cannot for the life of me tell where it happened.
It’s just consuming me, slowly.
And this is a big but (ha) given that I don’t understand men, BUT:
I think he may like me back.