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,chat and date Riegelwood,       I could feel the music pounding in my chest. The entire space was filled with people, all moving, vibrating with a sort of excitement that electrified the air. The lights were dim, but I could see flashes of pastels, wisps of color blinking in and out of existence.           I stood in the center of the gymnasium, terrified, sweaty. The entire throng of people around me seemed to be completely unaware of my existence.           I thought that it was better that way.           I felt uncomfortable, wearing a sky-blue dress with a ruffled skirt that draped down to right below my knee. There was a large, white bow right in the center, acting like a belt. My hair was half-pulled back, some still falling over my shoulders. I fought the urge to reach up and pull it—a nervous tick that I had developed in middle school.           I desperately wanted to run into the corner (or, even better, leave the dance entirely), but the mass around me acted as a barrier through which I could not escape. The only resolution in sight was that I was doomed to be stuck here for eternity.           That was when my hand was grabbed. I could not tell if it was mine or theirs that was inordinately sweaty. I hoped that it wasn’t mine, but a small part of me was sure that it was.           I spun around to face whoever was grasping onto my hand.           “Marina! You scared me.”           “Come on, you look terrified,” she shot back, yelling to be heard over the music. Her lips curled upward as she pulled me out of the ring of people and into the outskirts of the mob. I breathed a sigh of relief.           “Thanks,” I sighed.           “No problem.”           Marina was wearing a perfect light pink dress; seeing her wearing it, I could not picture her in anything else. She smiled at me and it lit up her face, her freckles invisible among the dim and flashing lights. But I knew that they were there.           “I don’t even know why I came to this dance in the first place.”           I did know why. It was for her. I couldn’t tell that to Marina, of course, but that was my reason.           “Aw, Bonnie, it’s finally spring, isn’t that something to celebrate?”           I watched her as she scanned the room. Her eyes were ablaze. I could feel her excitement as though it was heat emanating from her. If the air was vibrating, she was vibrating as well, at just the right frequency.           “Why celebrate? Spring is an inevitable part of the year. Soon enough it’ll be summer, and then winter, then fall. What, are you going to celebrate those, too?”           I kicked myself for being a little too hostile. Marina was just trying to have a good time.           She didn’t seem to notice my jab, however; or, if she did, she brushed it off immediately. “Why not celebrate? We made it to another spring. Plus, now we get to look out for all the flowers. My garden is going to look amazing!”           She began to hum along with the music playing, something that I did not recognize, as she grabbed my hand again and pulled me. We moved along the wall, just on the outside of the mass in the center, toward the table that housed some refreshments. It was so cliché, to have a huge punch bowl for a middle school dance, but there it was, in its crystalline glory. The bowl itself was shaped like a flower; the tablecloth had a cherry blossom pattern, and there were some cookies decorated like cherry blossoms as well. The huge cake in the center of the table, untouched, boasted a wide array of flowery designs, and icing in the center that announced, ‘SPRING HAS SPRUNG!’ in a dark blue frosting.           To be honest, I was a little impressed at the selection, but I didn’t let any of that show to Marina. I did not want her thinking that I was having a good time or anything.           “Ooh, cookies! Look how cute!” she marveled, grabbing one and admiring it in her hand. I grinned a little as she took a bite and got some of the cookie’s frosting on her nose. She glanced at me and I turned away, blushing a little bit.           “You want a bite?” she inquired, holding her already-nibbled cookie out to me. I was a little startled.           “Uh… yeah, sure.”           I took it from her hand gingerly, scared of all the ways this could go wrong. What if I dropped it? What if I took too big of a bite and she judged me? Too little? What if I accidentally slobber all over it?           I’ve always been an anxious person, if you couldn’t tell.           Carefully, I bit into one of the ‘petals’ of the flower, on the side that she had not bitten already. My eyes closed and the sweetness filled my brain, taking root.           “Good, right?”           “It’s delicious,” I said, words a little garbled from the frosting that stuck to the roof of my mouth. She chuckled a little, watching me, and I fought the urge to turn away again, blushing.           “You want some punch?” she asked me. Marina walked to the punch bowl and started ladling us out two cups. I thanked her and we sipped in silence for a moment, the music still pounding in my chest.           That might’ve been my heartbeat, too.           She watched the crowd of people; I watched her. The excitement in her eyes was breathtaking.           She was breathtaking.           “Alright, Bonnie, back to it!”           She threw her cup in the garbage, and before I could do the same, she had grabbed my hand again. I was flung back into the crowd, the entire area seemingly throbbing to the beat of whatever electronic music was coming out of the massive speakers.           The gymnasium was not particularly large, and it was in no way the perfect place for a dance. Gymnastic mats still lined the walls; the floor boasted a design that was perfect for basketball games, not quite so for dancing. The stage in front had hosted a variety of public speakers and announcements from our own administration. I almost expected the DJ to stand up and start talking about why drugs were bad over the deafening music.           Marina dropped my hand when we were almost directly in the center. Both of the speakers were ominously pointed towards us, angled down, as if they were leaning over us. The entire area smelled like sweat and way too much cheap perfume.           In front of me, she started swaying at first, in time to the music. I glanced around me quickly and recognized a few faces, but there wasn’t enough recognition to warrant any conversation.           I didn’t really know anybody.           But Marina, her movements becoming more and more intense, was the only person I really wanted to see anyway.           Once again—it had become something that I was expecting, now—she grabbed my hand and started moving it along with her, helping me to start swaying in time. I fought back a smile. I couldn’t help it. Her warmth spread up my arm. I had felt almost naked, standing in a dress before; her touch made me feel as if I belonged there, in the middle of the dance floor.           Finally, giving in, I started trying to mimic her movements. Mine were clunky, my feet getting tangled up in each other somehow, even though they never really left the floor.           Marina, on the other hand, flowed like a river. Her hair swayed as though a sweet spring breeze was blowing through the room, encircling her.           She was beautiful.           “There’s that smile!” she yelled, her voice drowning in the waves of the music all around us. I stopped trying to fight it.           I beamed.           I was not sure how long the upbeat techno-style music was playing—all the songs blended very smoothly into each other—but eventually, it stopped, and the DJ tapped his microphone.           Here’s that drug speech, I thought to myself, smiling a little wider.           “Alright, you kids, we’re gonna slow it down now, so grab a partner and get back to dancing!”           My whole face became red, heat rising from my toes up to my ears. I turned around and started heading back towards the outskirts of the makeshift dance floor.           “Bonnie, wait!”           I was a little bit surprised that she didn’t grab my hand this time.           “Where are you going?”           “Oh, I just thought dancing was kinda over for now. Gonna grab some more punch.”           “You didn’t finish your first cup.”           I looked down, the first drink completely forgotten. I noticed that a little had spilled onto the front of my dress while I had been dancing. I hoped that it wouldn’t stain; my mother would be furious.           “Oh, yeah. Right.”           “You can’t go now, the fun’s just starting,” Marina coaxed, winking at me. I took another sip of the punch, then realized that I did not want it anymore and walked to throw it away. The garbage can was only a few steps further, but it felt like a mile.           When I turned around, Marina was there, standing almost nose-to-nose with me. She was so close that I could smell the sweet, citrusy perfume that she wore on the back of her neck.           Finally, gathering up all the courage I had, I asked her, “Do you… um, would you like to dance?”           Marina beamed. That’s what she had been waiting for.           “I’d love to,” she said, and for a second it had sounded like I love you. A warm shiver went up my spine. This time, I grabbed her hand and we made our way to the middle of the dance floor.           I instinctively put my hands around her waist, not hesitating. Her arms reached up and wrapped around my neck. The slow guitar music filled our heads and we swayed in time. Marina’s eyes were closed and she grinned, completely lost into herself. Every once in a while, one of the lights from the DJ’s booth would hit Marina’s necklace and reflect off, making almost a halo around her.           Some time passed—seconds, an eternity—and she pulled me in a little closer, resting her head on my shoulder. I was a little shorter than her, and she was wearing heels. We matched like puzzle pieces, her head nested perfectly into the crook of my neck.           I did not move my feet for fear of tripping over them. This moment was perfection. I would not do anything to jeopardize it in the slightest.           My ears had gotten red again, but I didn’t care. All of my thoughts were on Marina, standing here, with me, smiling.           The song ended and I deflated just a little at the thought of this perfect bubble of a moment ceasing to exist. Slowly, Marina lifted her head off of my shoulder and kissed my cheek; I could feel her lip gloss clinging there after she pulled away.           “That was nice,” I said, barely a whisper, right before the electronic music started back up again. I had not even noticed how barren the dance floor had been during the slow song; now the crowd rushed back into the center, back into the groove.           I saw her mouth the words, “Yeah, it was,” also a whisper, inaudible under the music. But I could hear her.           She was smiling. Was she also… blushing? Did I make Marina blush?           That was impossible.           Suddenly I became so aware of myself, my body, the people surrounding me. I turned from Marina and hurried towards the double doors at the entrance to the gym. They had been decorated, light green and pink streamers hanging down to make a sort of curtain. I pushed the strands aside and rushed into the hall.           Before the dance had begun, there were some teachers stationed here, checking to make sure that only the middle schoolers were allowed entry. Now, thankfully, it was empty, all the teachers on duty inside to make sure nothing happened during the dance. I was afraid that they would notice me out here and come to supervise, but after a few moments nobody had followed.           Sometimes it really helped to be invisible.           I stood, panting a little, back against the cold wall behind me. I was so angry, the heat in my ears turning from a warm fuzzy sensation to a hot one, burning me. Why was I so angry?           “Bonnie?”           The voice was so soft, squeaky, a little horse. I turned away instinctively. I did not want to look at her, even though I did not know why.           “Bonnie, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”           I fought back hot tears, my vision swimming. I wasn’t okay. I couldn’t say so.           She moved forward, arms outstretched to give me a hug, possibly, but I turned away from her.           “I thought the slow dance was a nice time,” she said, her tone suggesting that she was a little hurt. That made me feel even worse.           “It was,” I shot back, my words biting.           “Then what’s wrong, Bon?”           Slowly, I turned to face her, this image of perfection. I knew that she wouldn’t see me the same way that I saw her.           That’s why I’m angry, I thought.           Marina took a step back, looking me up and down. “You know, Bonnie,” she began, her voice still soft as a feather, “I didn’t tell you before, but… you really do look beautiful.”           Our eyes met and I smiled a bit involuntarily. I felt some of that anger subsiding.           “So do you.”           “Are you okay?”           I nodded, looking down. I didn’t want to explain to her why I was so upset. I was sure that that would ruin everything that we had together. She was my closest friend; how could I give that up?           She moved towards me, her arms outstretched again. This time I gave in, letting her wrap me up in one of her signature hugs. After a few moments of simply standing, I, too, wrapped my arms around her.           She still smelled like citrus, like flowers.           “Sorry I ruined our night,” I stated sheepishly.           “What are you talking about? I’m having a blast.”           She pulled away a little, her hands on my forearms.           “All thanks to you,” she added. I blushed again, but this time I didn’t look away.           Before I knew it, Marina leaned in and kissed me, quick, over before I had even noticed. At first all I felt was confusion, then embarrassment, and then… pure bliss.           “Wh—” I started, unable to speak. She, too, was blushing.           Neither of us said anything for a second, until she asked, “Can I kiss you again?”           I nodded. Marina moved in closer to me.           She tasted like cherry blossoms.,40+ dating Butte Valley,date my age Mongul,blind date Colleyville,dating for singles Cyr Plt,17 and 20 year old dating Pueblo Dep Ac,meet singles near me Kincaid,singles to meet Alsea,dating 45+ URB Rubianes,dating 40 year old woman North Grosvenordale,date club Jard De Caguas,mingle dating Cajon Junction,dating for seniors Sheds,dating for singles URB Las Ceibas,50 plus dating app White Hse Sta,dating over 60 Fort Bent,dating in your 50s Fieldsville,asexual dating Antonia,match dating Highland Hills,adult friend finders Henryville,