As she stepped into the club from the cool October air she could already hear the rhythms taking over her. After a long week this was her way of unwinding. Out on the dance floor nothing else mattered but feeling the music and expressing it with the movements of her body. She usually went out with friends but had decided that this night she just wanted to go on her own. She knew this club and the people, so she was never really alone, still for all intended purposes it was just her tonight.
Truth was that she was hoping to see him this night, an encounter she wanted to be private. Stepping up to the bar she scanned the room and saw many familiar faces but not the one she was really hoping for. She greeted people who came up to her and danced for a few songs, all the while maintaning a look out. The time was nearing 12:30 and she knew that the DJ consistently changed the music at this time, from the exuberating rhythms of salsa to the sensual sound of bachata. It was like an internal clock the club provided its patrons.
Sure enough, right on cue, the salsa ended and gave way to the twang of the bachata guitars. She recognized the song, the DJ always played it; she figured it was one of his favourites…it was one of her’s as well. The song was “Llorando Penas” and it was one of the most beautiful songs she could recall. The pace of the song caused partners to hold each other closely and through this she saw him. He was smiling at her from across the room and they both started moving towards each other. They came together with tenderness and passion and started dancing like long time lovers enjoying the ecstasy of being with each other.
The first words of the song were heard and she rested her head on his shoulder as they began their dance.
I’m crying of regret
without your love
So alone and without your heart
I cry like a child
Their bodies move as one. Nothing intricate, just swaying to the music. His arms holding her close, her breath warm on his shoulder.
I want you to listen well
I want you to listen well
To what I say now
I can’t be without you
I miss you
In her mind she remembered the times they’ve shared, many of them in this club and to this very song. It was their own thing, an obvious attraction and longing. Regardless of this, circumstances always kept them apart to the point where this was the only time they could be together. She figured this was why they always made such an effort to share these nights… alone, together.
Why did you let my poor heart fall in love with you?
So that today I would be suffering without your love
Without your presence?
Why did you let those lips that taste of honey
Sweeten my soul?
So that I now feel the bitterness of knowing that you no longer love me?
They turned to look at each other, staring into each others’ eyes. Tears were forming but so were smiles. There was no need to say anything, the moment said it all. Still, why not say something when you felt it?
Today I’m crying
Crying of regret for your love
Today that you’re no longer here
I want to know why you don’t love me
Today I’m crying, its true
And its something I can’t stand
You left me, without your love
And my heart will die of shame.
The song strikes its final chords and with eyes still locked they each whisper “I love you” and share an embrace. They walk off the dance floor in silence, share a final moment and part ways. The moment is bittersweet but they know they’ll see each other soon, its become a yearly tradition.
The night has gotten colder as she leaves the club. She reaches into her purse, looking for her cell phone. There is a missed call, her husband has called her, letting her know he’s back from his night out with his friends and that he’ll see her when she gets back. Hearing his voice brings a smile to her face and a warm feeling in her heart. She calls him back and tells him she’ll be home soon. At the moment she wants nothing more than to be in his arms. Just one more thing to do.
Putting her phone away she reaches for her keys and as she pulls them out they fall to the floor beside a lamppost. She bends down to pick them up and notices the flowers set up around the post. This makeshift memorial had been set up a few years ago to the day, of this she was sure since she had been the one who had mournfully placed the first flowers in honour of the young man whom she had just been dancing with. “Til next year,” she says as she walks off to her car and heads home.