Windbreak Shadow

They stood hand-in-hand, the same height, facing each other.

Her shoulders were broad, her hips turned to one side like a pitcher winding up, her grip strong.

He held her hand firmly but let his arm stay loose.  “I promise I won’t drop you.”

She smiled.  “Uh-huh.”

“But I might drop you.”

“Uh-huh.”  Her smile widened.  “You know, you oughta take a look around the room.”

His back to the rest of the dance floor, Lee cocked his head over his shoulder, nodding.  “Yeah?”

“Can’t you see I’m the biggest woman in this room?  You do know my brother played college football, don’t you?”

He shook his head.  “Where is he now?”

“He’s a retired police officer.  When he interviewed to become a DEA agent, they asked him how come he was so tough.  He told ’em he had me as a sister, who could beat him up.  I put stitches in his face.”

Lee nodded.  “I don’t promise I won’t drop you.  I might just try to drop you on purpose.”

“Yeah, you do that.”  She squeezed his hand.  “Or you can try.”

The dance instructor called out in his French accent.  “Five, six, seven, eight.  Sugar push…now the contra move…stop on three!”

Lee held his partner out from him.  “I could drop you right now.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“I might trip you, make it look like an accident.”

“A tango move that went wrong?”

“I promise I’ll pick you up.  Or pretend I will.”

“Oh, don’t do that.  A friend would leave me on the floor…”

“I’ll definitely do that.”

“…and laugh.”

“I’ll make sure I’ll drop you, point, laugh and walk away.”

“Ooh.  You’re good.”

“What are friends for?”

The instructor called out again.  “Okay, dance leaders, rotate counter-clockwise.  We only have so many followers so we’ll rotate twice as faster so they can share themselves weef us.”

Lee looked at his partner.  “See you later.”

She laughed.  “You wish.”  She squeezed his hand harder.  “No.  I mean you’re a really good leader.”


Group dance lessons are like speed dating.  You partner up quickly as you rotate leaders or followers, establishing a relationship which is always instantly based on first impressions.  However, should you speed date often, you may find yourself with the same partner again, having broken the ice or pointing the way to the icebreaker, ready to experiment a little more with or without the first impression the second time around.

Some fun is worth waiting for.

A windbreak between corn fields takes years to reach the right height but never so tall as to completely block out the sunlight or a heavy thunderstorm.

Our sets of states of energy may build up defenses but sometimes the cocoons around our personality are melted by the simplest of smiles.

Or, as they say, there’s a time and place for everything, patience has its virtue, and laughter is the best medicine.

Lee promised himself he’d let her slip the next time, catching her unawares in his arms, seeing if he could avoid the stitches her brother couldn’t.

We all love a good challenge!

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