Lee stood on the foyer of Guin’s house, taking in the group dynamics between the three women in front of him, facing away — Guin, Matym and Cyvik.
Their biweekly dance practice over, they were talking about a party the next night.
Matym was about to head to work.
Her eyes were red, her eyelids raw and swollen. Earlier in the evening she had whispered to Lee, “Why have you ignored me all week?,” with tears pouring out.
Lee had hugged her, unaware he had ignored Matym, lost in his own feelings of loneliness and abandonment.
He opened the front door and tried to leave without saying a word, hoping Matym would have a minute to talk with Guin and Cyvik without Lee present.
He had danced for the first time with Cyvik that night. In fact, they hadn’t seen each other until Guin pushed them together, sight unseen, for a dance critique video.
Lee had pretended to be new at West Coast Swing to lower Cyvik’s expectations, then joined her in a mutual eye/body dance seduction that exceeded any expectations.
They had laughed and played during the 60 seconds of instant friendship.
They were both good at dropping their guard instantly.
The whole time, Lee snuck quick looks at Matym, sensing he was violating some unwritten understanding they had established a few days earlier in the dances they shared during weekly dance class.
Lee knew, on the dance floor, to be really good you give up your ego for the dance partnership. You make your partner’s life your own, giving her everything you have without reservation. Truly a performance of a lifetime.
Lee was still an introvert at heart.
He didn’t always have an unlimited resource of selflessness to share.
He chose carefully with whom he could share his true self, especially on the dance floor, highly vulnerable to rejection afterward.
But he was willing to take that risk if it meant one other person felt wanted, less lonely, desired as a whole person, if only for an evening.
He owed Matym an apology and more attention.
He didn’t know how.