The night never seemed so lively before. The crowd never felt so comforting before. Blake was glad he took her out tonight. The days felt sluggish until this night.
The way she danced. The dim orange lighting made her look like a firefly, a worried yet cheerful firefly. It’s almost as if they forgot about the debts that were due. The bills seemed to fade as they danced together to Sinatra. The air was soaked with sweat, yet it felt like home.
“There’s no need of a DJ as long as the bartender plays these sweet tunes tonight.” She said with a smile. A drop of sweat lurking down a strand of her hair back her ear. She never looked so elegant before. Authentic, yet elegant.
He smiled. Like always, he was unable to respond. She sensed that, she smiled.
The lights weren’t flickering. They weren’t flashy. The air wasn’t filled with soulless and loud EDM tracks tonight. The night felt serene. It felt like this night would last forever.
The bartender was a sweet young guy who moved with a skip. Old middle aged men sat at the bar with their backs arched. There was a also a group of guys who seemed like they were out for something more than a party tonight. Tonight was perfect.
“How long has it been? How long since the last time we were this close?” she said with her finger trailing down his shirt pocket as they moved slowly to the soft tunes filling the air.
“Gosh… Feels like forever” he said with a sigh. She smirked, then gave him a tight a hug.
The past couple of years were rough. Blake worked all night to make ends meet while Erin struggled to take care of her bedridden mother. Erin was employed until her mother had an accident, things went downhill from then. Blake’s salary alone couldn’t help with the mortgage. Two jobs, took most of the day. They were engaged a year ago, can they afford a marriage in such harsh times now? Erin couldn’t sleep, Blake didn’t get the time to. Erin had several siblings, no one came forward to take care of her mother. They wanted to have kids, Blake wanted to come home to cheerful innocent giggles. Erin never asked for more, all she needed was hope. The ominous spell seemed to never end, until tonight.
The night felt like a trance. Blake wore a flannel, Erin had her favorite ripped jeans on.
With her head resting on his chest, they danced. Blake looked around, he felt at peace.
He looked at the bartender, attending a person with a queer smile on. A sight flashed by his eyes, the bartender looked burnt. Severely. Blake wasn’t surprised, he blinked and everything was back to normal. It was bewildering how such a horrifying sight didn’t affect Blake. He looked at the bar, he saw the cabinets engulfed in flames. Charred bodies sitting around the counter waiting for their drinks.
“Erin? I feel weird.” he said rubbing her back.
She didn’t reply. She hummed a sentence and dug her head deeper into his chest.
Blake ran his hands through her hair, caressing her. A loft of hair seemed to pull right off her scalp and it smelled like ash.
Blake pushed her away. “Something is wrong Erin!” he exclaimed. Things were back to normal. She looked at him with a calm composure. She came forward, put her hands on his cheeks. “You forgot, didn’t you?” she said as she gave a soft nudge on his shoulder.
Erin gently took his hand, she guided him off the dance floor. Blake seemed confused. She took him to the mirror hanging by the wall on the entrance. She stopped, held his hand. They looked into the mirror.
All they could see was the empty dancefloor. No lights, no people. The mirror seemed to look right through them. Blake looked away, things were as usual. He saw flames as he looked into the mirror again. Melted wires, charred bodies on the floor. The overhead lights were on the floor, sparks coming out of them. Two severely burnt people holding hands, peering into the mirror. The fire broke out when they were on the floor. The bartender played with fire in the most inflammable area, how idiotic?
Erin squeezed his hand. He looked at her, confused.
“How long has it been?” he inquired with a bewildered look.
Erin guided him to the exit. The gates were sealed off. The doors and windows were boarded up. A ‘no trespassing’ sign hanged over the lamppost.
‘The premises have been closed down due to a recent tragedy. Trespassers will be prosecuted’
Enforced from and onward – 3/5/1990
Blake smiled. Euphoria had a grip on him. They giggled. Tragedy struck the right people.
They walked back in, greeted the bouncer at the entrance. He acknowledged them with a nod.
They danced. The bills had faded. Pain was in the distant past.
“Feels like forever..” He whispered with a smile as they danced.