****

THE FIRST TIME WE… DANCED

First time

“Dancing For Cupid”

by @TheVunderkind

_____

Bleeding tears is the least of our problems here
We can moan our family’s gone, blistered feelings
All we have’s diseased organs
And I’d die anytime for you
Would you die for me?
– Biffy Clyro

****

Him

The words to describe her haven’t been invented yet. As I watch her hair slice the air in energetic whips, as I watch those shimmering beads of sweat gather at her brow, her buttocks jiggling tantalizingly from afar (striking the delicate balance between squats and possessing an ample butt), I cannot help but swallow thickly. Her musk is a dove that flaps teasingly over my face.

In my head, I sound like a coming-of-age boy trying to court the farmer’s daughter on some backwater Texan ranch. This is unbecoming of a man of my ilk. This is a classic case of role reversal: the prey has become predator, and the panther crouches in wary uncertainty.

She is beautiful, by God. I’m not sure I can hear the music wafting through the speakers of my private training room. I only perceive them by some extrasensory process – my five senses having been taken violently captive by her. The Dancing Lady.

That was so cliché. I embarrass myself.

I am a professional dancer, and so is she. I am Nigerian, and she is Ghanaian. Even though she wouldn’t tell me her age (I never asked anyway – the perfect gentleman, me), I’m sure I have five or six years over her. The age gap and cultural divide between us would ordinarily make us, at best, nodding acquaintances, but we find a single unifying band binding us together: dance.

Having won three talent awards of international repute already, the fame doesn’t get to me as much, but this is the first for her, and I can see her flushed with excitement even as she dances. I can relate.

I recall when I was twenty and receiving my first award. A fourteen-year old girl had approached me and asked me to sign my name on her arm. I did, of course, noting with amusement that she was obviously in love with me. She was my first potential groupie, and I had smirked inwardly. I wasn’t ready for love then, and she was much too young.

But as I stare at this cavorting beauty in this room, alone, with me, I realize that it is time. I am ready.

I walk the few steps that would entwine me with the Dancing Lady.

Her

I can’t believe I am dancing with him!

As he walks towards me, the hairs on my forearms stand at attention and I wonder how he manages to keep from spontaneously combusting from all the static he’s generating. I am sweating slightly, and I wonder – a tad worriedly – if it would put him off. I made sure I used a lot of deodorant before I came though.

I am a professional dancer. He is my mentor, and chances are he probably doesn’t even realize it. It has been a really interesting turn of events for me, and some reporter once called my “transformation” “the stuff for fantasy stories.”

Anyone who knew Jennifer Obidi – that’s me – would be shocked to see me dancing with Nigeria’s best dancer. To be fair, anyone seeing me dancing at all would be shocked.

I was born with the condition called Genu Valgus (jargon for “bow legs”), an uncomfortable (that’s putting it mildly) cross I bore throughout my childhood and for most of my teen years. However, when I was fourteen, something happened. Philip Okereke happened.

For someone who had no hope of pulling off the most uncomplicated of dance steps without eliciting laughter from passersby, I was pretty preoccupied with dancers in my childhood. Jackson, O’Marion, Usher, Chris Brown…

Then I got close enough to an actual dancer – Philip – and asked him to sign his name on my arm. I remember being flushed with excitement. I remember the butterflies banging agitatedly against my stomach lining. I remember being in love…

Of course, he wouldn’t remember.

That one moment in my life was the turning point. I was pleasantly surprised when my father only peered curiously at me and nodded his assent at me when I suggested surgery to straighten my legs. I remember the doctor warning that it was a delicate procedure, but he had also been optimistic that I would come out the better…

I remember five years of dance training, culminating in my first National Creativity Award last year. I remember everything that has led up to me standing here, sweating in this room.

Philip’s room.

Tomorrow, at the United African Convention, we would dance together for the first time in public. Both of us have been hitherto solo dancers. Our dance ‘union’ is supposed to be symbolic. Nigeria and Ghana. United.

I see him watching me curiously, and I wonder if I am good enough to dance with him.

He stands up, and I stop breathing.

*******

The First Dance

I would munch some popcorn to this performance, but I have a nasty cough I have no interest in aggravating. This is the United African Convention and I am the hung-over fat man with his shirt riding just above the navel. Hi.

Everywhere I look, there’s a dignitary of sorts. Look, there’s Mugabe, as skeletal as ever. Someone buy him a drink, please. He looks parched. Look, to the right. Goodluck Jonathan just came in with his seven private jets. Such modesty. He could have come with fourteen.

Extra.

I’m just here to see the outcome of my little experiment from a few years ago. I made a little goof – as I always do – six years ago, and I wonder how badly I’ve fucked up.

Aha, my favorite couple has come on stage. The man, dressed smartly as usual, confident before the audience – his fans. The girl, beautiful, flustered, but ready to dazzle the crowd with her fascinating footwork. I think I just peed my pants. Oh, wait, that’s just me spilling my beer.

They both bow, stare deeply into each other’s eyes as the soft instrumental of Robin Thicke fills the air thickly (I like to occupy myself with sour puns of that nature whenever I’m sober) and do a little sashay to the side.

God, this is delicious.

As he takes her small hands in his palm, I can feel the exchange of emotion in that public touch. It is so stark, I feel like a voyeur spying in on the most sacred of consummations. It makes me feel filthy sometimes, and that is why I drink. Well, that’s my excuse for whenever God asks.

No one will notice this, but the man’s chest constricts, and his heart has a hard time pumping blood through his already closed circulatory system. Blood is flowing somewhere else – down south, and he forestalls this by widening his legs a little more than is necessary for this dance. He is in love and lust, a passionate wreck lost in the petrifying softness of her eyes.

And her? Oh, God. This is something. She stares at him, in rapture. She likes his strong jaw, loves the way he stares at her, grips her and leads in the dance. She likes that he is what he is. A brave, unwavering dance instructor.

You wanna roll with me, you wanna hold with me, you wanna stay warm and get out of the cold with me…”

That’s all he is to her, really. Her dance instructor. Her mentor. Nothing more. When she stares at him with those liquid brown eyes and catches her breath, she is not lost in love, she’s lost in worship. He is a god, placed on a pedestal, one she is now incapable of generating romantic thoughts for.

She glances once or twice into the crowd, and I know. Her boyfriend is here. The one she loves. I see him, smiling proudly at his babe.

This woman, once Philip’s groupie, is no longer his to court. Her heart is with another. Another less popular, non-dancing sample of the male homo sapien.

I wonder, why is it always so hard for me? Why is it a trial-and-error process for me to get two people to fall in love with each other at the same time?

It’s all your fault, I sigh sadly to myself as I spill my beer again. Cupid, it’s always your fault. 

****

The First Time…We special is proudly sponsored by SureGifts.com.ng

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Comments
  • Avatar
    Bukola

    aww maineeeeee 🙁

    February 11, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      First… 🙁

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Bukola

    btw furssstttt 😀

    February 11, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      Then…. 😀

      Yyyaaayyy

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    kophojomo

    I love!

    February 11, 2014
  • Avatar
    drunkpixie

    Beautiful……

    February 11, 2014
  • Avatar
    babe

    Coooool!

    February 11, 2014
  • Avatar
    Kay

    And I thought I was first, freaking network. This is my first comment ever on TNC. I love this post, it's so beautiful.

    February 11, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      Thanks, Kay. An honor to be the recipient of your first TNC comment ever. \(^_^)/

      February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      thetoolsman

      Welcome aboard…

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Larz

    If this wasnt cupid writing about the dance, the who is?
    Going back to read in case I missed something

    February 11, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      You're spot on (I think). Cupid is the one writing about the dance. Not sure you missed anything, fam.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

      February 11, 2014
  • Avatar
    chaka khan

    I want more,I just cunt get enough of this……

    February 11, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      You just cun…ah, nvm (<_<)

      Oshayyy.

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Afoma

    Ohh Gosh, this is amazing! Having Cupid narrate is simply genius. And she doesn't love him? :O I love this!

    February 11, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      Thanks, Afoma. For reading – and commenting 🙂

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    grateful

    AWESOME!!!!!

    February 11, 2014
  • Avatar
    jinxchrys

    Amazing! amazing!! amazing!!!

    February 11, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      Wow. Thanks!

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    edgothboy

    Nice.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    edgothboy

    Though I wish you actually wrote about the dance, enraptured us with it. The story ended up being about everything but the dance. I think you could have revealed the twist without actually just telling us through Cupid. something like her eyes lighting up as she looks away to someone in the audience just as the phillip guy recognises her as that groupie. Cupid felt like a quick fix, an omniscient quick fix to tie up the loose ends.

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      Noted, sir. Thanks for your comment.

      February 12, 2014
    • Avatar

      rather valid point. (Y)

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    nkonyeasua

    Amaze balls! Firstly, Biffy Clyro! That cinched it for me, then Obidi. My surname whoop! And Cupid at the end. Loved it loved it loved it!

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      Obidi pon bedi (>_>) loool.

      You're Ghanaian? Yay, let's be friends. A confession: I only stumbled across Biffy Clyro when I was looking up songs of unity for this post. Watched to that song on YouTube and I was blown away…had to add that bit at the beginning.

      Glad you liked it too 🙂

      Thanks for the comment

      February 12, 2014
      • Avatar
        Nkonyeasua

        I'm Nigerian actually, haha. We can definitely be friends. Anyone that likes Biffy Clyro is automatically lovely 😀

        February 12, 2014
        • Avatar
          sleeksniper

          Aha (<_<)
          Twitter handle? Facebook username? Phone number? Home address….?
          (._. )

          February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    niran

    Genu valgus is k-leg, Genu varum is bow leg..just thought to point that out . lemme go and read the article.

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      Tsk. Tsk. Thanks, Niran. I appreciate the correction.

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    alberry

    Another tale I can relate to

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Tori

    when love don't love you right.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar

    A piece of cupid's view on bullarkey called love…noice

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar

    Nice. As usual. Very Vundie-esque.

    Maybe it’s just me, but wish there weren’t some jarring, very jarring ‘typos’. Maybe it really is just me.

    I like the style you used, but when he goes “this is her first award”, then she remembers her first award previous, or when she sees him walking towards her, and then him standing up, in the same thought train.. Idk..it just shifted me.

    Maybe it’s just me.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    thetoolsman

    Nice. Really enjoyed this one. I also agree with @edgothboy..

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar

    @writer, liked the writing style you employed, do you have other blogs one can catch up on your old stories? Gracias.

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      sleeksniper

      Hey. I blog at iraborjustin.wordpress.com.

      Cheers. And thanks.

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    ijebuPrincess

    the story itself is nice. the way it was told though… don't think I like it. hiccups here and there, and other literature stuff I don't know about but I can recognize. plus the last line dint make it sound like it was cupid doing the narrative….

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    musingsofagidimallam

    Nice. Very nice. But I agree with Edwin on his point. Still on still, I enjoyed this.

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar

    Oh my word! Is this phenomenal or what?
    Definitely didn’t see that coming.
    Incredibly beautiful story!
    *salutes*

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    Yve

    Not what I expected and thoroughly enjoyable. Cupid's narration did it for me

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    Joy Nteh

    Oshey!

    February 17, 2014
  • Avatar
    Jojo

    Lovely piece and to think of how cupid arranged it

    February 22, 2014
  • Avatar
    igee

    Noiceeee

    March 8, 2014
  • Avatar

    Okay, I just stumbled across this, though it’s almost two years already. But I cannot but comment, this is just so cool. It bewitched me right from the first line, I could not lift up my eyes till I finished it. 🙂

    Thumbs up!

    January 25, 2016
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