Friday, January 2, 2015

Dead Girl's Dance, Part One

“Dead Girl’s Dance?” I repeat, wiping down one of the many tables at the coffee shop in the student union. Looking over my glasses, I stare at the girl who’d come up to me, asking if I wanted to go with her out of the blue.

Six different pigtails stuck out of her head, all a different color, just above a cute face without an ounce of baby fat that some of the college freshmen tend to have. She had piercings in both of her eyebrows, one in her nose and one in her tongue that I could see glint every time she spoke. She wore an old hoodie that bore a skull on the front, along with a pleated skirt and striped stockings up her admittedly nice legs.
To summarize, she looked cool and beautiful and was talking to me as if I were somehow her social equal.
“Yeah, it’s our sorority houses midterm Halloween party. All the girls ask a boy to come, on the condition they look cute!” She said, smiling.
“And I’m cute?” I reply somewhat sarcastically.
“Oh yeah, you got that emo-hipster thing going on. Plus the broad shoulders. Definite plus.”
Right, was all I could think. Pausing to take the flyer from her hand, I read over the purple leaflet. Sure enough, this was a sorority party invite; I recognized the logo the sorority used in the upper right-hand corner. It said the party was meant for us all to “cut loose and get wild,” something I rarely did. Hell, I only worked at this stupid coffee house as a means to pay for my groceries and internet; the rest of my room and necessities were handled by my various grants. I hand her back the brochure, giving her a fake smile.
“Sorry, I’m going to be studying that night.” I say, earning a look of confusion.
“The day after midterms, on a Saturday night? On Halloween?” She stated, sounding more incredulous with every word.
“Yup, even on Halloween,” I smirk, moving to another table to wipe down. She followed me.
“C’mon, it’ll just be a few hours where you have to hang out with me. Y’know, dancing and drinking… it's part of the college experience!” She says a little too loudly.
My manager, a laid back old hippie, looks up from a clipboard behind the counter, his glasses perched on the end of his nose as he takes inventory of our bags of beans. I give him a sheepish smile, causing him to roll his eyes before going back to his counting. I turn on the girl, leaning partially on the table. “Tell me the real reason you’re asking me and not some Frat boy,” I say flatly.
She fidgets a little, looking down at her clunky boots. “I like you okay?” She finally mutters.
That takes me by surprise! I look her over, to see if she’s acting, playing a role. She has one hand behind her back, holding onto her other arm as she looks anywhere but at me. I finally determine she’s not just messing with me, and nod at her. “Alright, I’ll go. What’s your name?”
She looks at me, blushing. “Oh, um, my name is Ashley. I’m sorry I should’ve introduced myself…”
I wave her off. “It’s cool, forest for the trees kind of thing. So, do I dress up for this?”
“Yeah, duh. You gotta have a Halloween costume!” She replies, cocking her hip to the side. “I’m going as Harley Quinn, from Batman? The new one in the video game, not the old cartoon one.”
“Right,” I say again, trying not to picture her in such a skimpy outfit. “So does that mean I should go as the Joker?”
She looks me up and down quizzically for a moment. “I dunno… do you think you could pull it off?”
I smile. “My degree’s in theater arts, so a night as a lunatic won’t really be a challenge. The beer’ll help.”
“Well if you can, dress up as the one from the video game as well,” she said, turning over the leaflet and writing down her name and number. “Here, call me if you have any questions or, y’know, whatever…”
“Whatever?” I ask, smiling.
“Shut up!” She snaps off, smiling just as broadly. “So are you done embarrassing me? Do I have a date with the cute coffee shop boy?”
I sigh. “Yes, and I prefer to go by Nathan.”
She mouths the word slowly. “Alright, just give me your phone number and I’ll touch base with you Friday. Y’know, so we can go over our costumes.”
“Right,” I say, grabbing her hand and taking the pen, before writing my number on her palm. Once I’m done I shake her hand and give her a smirk. “See you later Harley!”
She smiles and gives me a two finger salute from her temple. “You too Mistah J!”
I admire her as she walks off, her stockings baring enough thighs that I can see the perfect view of her ass as she sashays away. I look back at my boss, who is merely smiling at me, before I get back to cleaning the tables. Once I’m done, I move back behind the counter, folding the purple leaflet and stuffing it into my jeans. John, my manager, doesn’t even look away from the bags he’s counting as he mocks me.
“Not often you get hit on?” He asks teasingly.
“Definitely a new experience for me.” I reply, leaning back against the counter.
He chuckles. “The world's a changing place my friend, back in my day I had to ask all the girls out. Helped that I played guitar.”
“Yeah, well, all I do is study and work on plays,” I say, crossing my arms and watching the students walk by, chatting amicably amongst themselves.
John nods. “Still say you should try and be an actor. That’s where the real game is at.”
“And as I’ve told you before you dirty old man, I like being the soundman just fine.”
“Being the soundman doesn’t net you as much as being the leading man.” He quips.
“Yeah well, I’m not leading man material,” I chuckle.
He looks over at me, one hand on a bag of beans stacked in the cupboard. “Only cause you say so Nathan, only cause you say so.”

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