Dance Floor Declaration – a Flash Fiction

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She looked at him quizzically as if she asked herself if he was playing games. The thought had never occurred to Max that Eve would react quite this way.  The music blared behind them as they stood motionless on the dance floor.  The DJ imagined himself an eccentric when really he had played the same setlist every other wedding DJ ever plays.  The sappy trending pop songs like, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” followed by Journey’s “Open Arms” with obligatory fare like the “Chicken Dance” and the “Electric Slide” interspersed in between.  There was nothing even remotely resembling a song that challenged the listener to think instead of feel.  Max always wondered why Elvis Costello couldn’t be played more at weddings.  Still, he stood there in his blue tux with the lovely Eve on his arm and she still looked puzzled as if the Best Men and Maids of Honor haven’t had a long history of courtship in the cultural imaginations of the western world.

“Perhaps, you didn’t hear me!” Max shouted awkwardly.

Eve leaned, her left ear almost pressed against Max’s lips.  Perhaps she only wanted to hear the words just right.  Maybe she needed to be sure she wasn’t dreaming.   After all, Max Scarborg was hardly ever the socially forward type.   The floor at her feet pulsated with the music coming from the large speakers not 10 feet away promising that if one waited for a quieter moment, one was bound to linger on endlessly in some sort of loud pop music purgatory.  She imagined that weddings in the 21st century would evolve into a less bombastic affair as Max’s lips percolated along with the beat by her ear drum and that’s when she heard the words.

Max had been waiting all night to tell her but the right moment never presented itself.  Best Man at a wedding meant his time would be limited.  It was all about Chris and Veronica after all.  Wedding Days were the ultimate exercise in vanity, however, Max had been honored that Chris had asked even if it meant all the extra involvement.  Stag parties had not been his thing and really grand reception parties weren’t his thing either, but he couldn’t help but notice when he saw Eve the first time that day.  She looked stunning in her blue strapless gown that seemed to compliment her in all the right ways.  Max hadn’t thought much of Eve before then, but his imagination hadn’t stopped spinning into over drive since he laid eyes on her earlier.  Now they were finally dancing again as custom dictated that the Best Man and Maid of Honor share at least one dance together, however, that first dance he had with her had been an awkward affair with multiple missteps and transparent nervousness on his part.  This was going to be it.  Max found it comical that his entire hopes for his attraction to Eve hinged on them having a dance to “Viva Las Vegas” by none other than Elvis Presley. Max had wished for perhaps a song by his other favorite Elvis, Elvis Costello.  Perhaps something off of the “Get Happy” or “Trust” albums but alas there was no room for sardonic wit in wedding music.  It all has to be sappy and syrupy because everyone there just needs to feel happy and forget about all the little inconveniences in life that would most certainly kill them if their petty thoughts lingered long enough on them.

Finally, his words came out, “I think you’re beautiful!”

“What?!?!”

“I think you’re beautiful!”

“What!?!  I can’t hear you over the music!”

With the bravest burst of energy Max had ever mustered, Max  drew his breath one last time so that he might declare what would be for him a bold proclamation just as the music stopped so that now his shout filled the venue with his unwittingly loud and fearless voice, “I THINK YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!”

His face turned red as he realized his faux pas with Eve taking a graceful step back.  She had never before been told something like that in such a bold and unabashedly shameless manner.  She could feel all the eyes on her as she closed her eyes for half a second taking in the words that came from Max’s lips, and then she did the only thing her instincts told her to do.  She leapt into his arms and kissed him and the audience that had built up around them started to clap.  Out of the corner of her eye she could see the bride Veronica turn to her husband by the dais table just beyond the dance floor.  Eve, who had long been practiced in the art of reading lips, saw Veronica say to Chris, “I thought those two would never get together.” Later on, Eve caught the bouquet, and despite never having before believed in that silly superstition, she couldn’t escape the overwhelming inner feeling that her fate had then been sealed as Max’s future bride.

Max, for his part, imagined a wedding with some Elvis Costello to dance to.   Perhaps, “Everyday I Write the Book” would be just right.

The End

Author’s Note:  Here’s the brilliant love song by Elvis Costello, “Everyday I Write the Book” for anyone who hasn’t heard it.

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