Fiction – The Dress

Mahalia checked Twitter as she stepped out of her office building and into an unseasonably beautiful April day. She saw Beyonce was a trending topic. You could never tell what you’d find on that platform, so with a combination of excitement and apprehension, she clicked and found out that Bey had released a version of the Frankie Beverly & Maze classic, Before I Let Go, mixed with the beat from Cameo’s “Candy”.

She popped in her earbuds, started to listen, thought “this is definitely going to be my summer jam”,  and sauntered down Main Street towards Blockheads, her favorite Mexican restaurant.

After she was seated and ordered her meal, Mahalia texted Sam the link to the song with a message that read, “Hey handsome, hope you’re having a good day. Listen to this when you can. Let’s dance to this one day.”

“You make me happy, this you can bet…” The song was light, easy and fun – just like they’d been so far. They’d only been casually seeing each other for a few months, but Mahalia found that he challenged her thinking without being condescending, inspired her creativity, and most importantly, he made her laugh. The last decade had been lacking in both laughter and the potential for love and she was excited.

“You know I think God’ sun rises and shines on you…” All she wanted to in that moment was to move and sway her hips with Sam. Bonus points if they were near the ocean as the sun set.

“I just wanna have a good time”… She could already envision his unnervingly electrifying smile that made her heartbeat faster every time she saw it.

“Turn around, dip, then slide…” Mahalia couldn’t dance worth a damn – her ballet teacher kicked her out of class when she was eight for having two left feet. But in her mind, especially now as her thoughts were being fueled by tequila, you couldn’t tell her any differently – she and Sam would be in tune and dance a perfectly choreographed routine to this joint. She chuckled at the thought.

The waiter brought her drink and as she considered this potential dance with Sam, realized an equally fun dress was needed to match the song. She had to have something new – something that didn’t have the history of any other experiences weighing down the fabric. She spent the next several minutes flipping through a few of her favorite clothing apps, when suddenly she knew she’d found it.

The maxi dress with billowy sleeves was all her – made in jersey material, it would be comfortable while also being able to flow and twirl with her movements. The colors were vibrant — bright tangerine, jade green and black zigzags set on a white background, a deep v neckline to accentuate her décolletage and best of all, pockets.

She wanted to dance with abandon and free of any expectations of the future, but simply accepting what was happening in the moment. Having expectations, which, as she’d come to learn, were at the root of all heartbreak.

And in the moments she spent with Sam or talking to him, all she felt was joy.

Mahalia was ready to dance. “swag the right, surf the left…”


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