Chapter Fifteen The Dance

Billy walked outside as soon as he heard the sound of Robert’s car cut out. He stopped when he saw that Kristen was already out and leaning against the side of the car. Robert and Kristen looked at each other and smiled. Kristen looked at Billy and walked towards him. Billy froze and his eyes filled with tears. When Kristen was close enough, he took her in his arms and hugged her fiercely. The tears leaked out. “Dad, don’t get all weepy on me” said Kristen. “These are happy tears Kristen. I thought you would never walk again” said Billy. Robert just watched from where he stood.

Three nights later Billy and Robert were sitting at the kitchen table in Kristen’s home. Robert was wearing a suit. Robert had talked Kristen into going to the dance with him. Billy had a can of beer while Robert had a glass of untouched water in front of him. Billy took a sip of beer and Robert cleared his throat. The movement from upstairs showed that Kristen was coming down. Billy and Robert got up and walked into the hallway. When they reached the foot of the stairs, they froze. Kristen stopped two steps from the bottom. Her hair was curly. She was wearing a deep blue sleeveless dress and one cut down Chuck Taylor shoe, (she was still in the cast, but it was a big walking cast now). In one hand she held a white cardigan and a small light blue bag. She looked down at herself for a second. “Ashley lent me the dress. (She looked at herself again). The cast is...” she said and sniggered. Robert just looked at her. “You’re perfect” he said. Kristen looked up at the same time that Billy gave him a look. Kristen smiled at him. “I’ll take care of her, Chief Charles” said Robert turning to Billy. “I’ve heard that before” said Billy without looking at Robert. Kristen shot him a look and walked down the stairs. Robert opened the front door as soon as Kristen was down. “All right, Kristen” said Billy. Robert walked outside, Kristen looked at Billy, but Billy was looking after Robert. He turned to Kristen. “I put a new can of pepper spray in your bag” he said. “Dad” said Kristen getting embarrassed. “And... Well, you look beautiful” said Billy. “Thanks” said Kristen smiling again. There was a pause. “See you” said Kristen and walked out. Billy watched after her.

The dance was being held in a 1920s inn. The parking lot was full of cars. There wasn’t a parking space in the front, so Robert stopped the car, got out, helped Kristen out and led her to a small wooden bench by the woods. “Hey. I’ll be right back” said Robert as Kristen sat down. He shut the passenger door and went back to the driver’s door. Kristen starred after him as he drove away to find a parking space around the back. “Kristen” came a voice. She turned around to see Taylor coming out of the woods behind her, wearing a long sleeved shirt and tie. “Taylor. Hey” said Kristen. Taylor looked at her and she looked at him. “Nice” said Taylor. “You, too. Are you crashing the dance or something? Did you come with a date?” asked Kristen. “No” replied Taylor and walked towards her. He sat down next to her and they looked at each other. “My dad paid me to come talk to you. Twenty bucks” said Taylor and chuckled. “Let’s hear it” said Kristen feeling that she knew what was coming. “Just don’t get mad, ok? He wants you to break up with your boyfriend” said Taylor. Kristen looked at him. “It’s just, he said, quote, “We’ll be watching you”” said Taylor. Taylor laughed and Kristen gave him a weird look. “Ok, well, tell him, “Thanks”” said Kristen. “Ok” said Taylor still laughing. “And to pay up” said Kristen. “Ok. Let me help you” said Taylor. He had calmed down and saw Kristen getting up. They stood up. “Taylor” came Robert’s voice. They looked up and saw him coming over, holding Kristen’s cardigan. “I’ll take it from here” said Robert standing next to Kristen. Robert and Taylor starred at each other for a minute. “Guess I’ll see you around, Kristen” said Taylor without taking his eyes off Robert. Robert looked down at Kristen and she looked up at him for a moment. Robert placed Kristen’s cardigan around her shoulders. “All right” said Kristen looking at Taylor before by led away by Robert. When Kristen looked away, Robert shot a look at Taylor. Taylor turned and walked back into the woods. As they walked Kristen put her cardigan on fully and Robert looked after Taylor. Kristen looked up at him. “I leave you alone for two minutes, and the wolves descend” said Robert. Kristen sniggered and looked away. Robert smiled and they walked on.

When they got around the back, they had to walk on a red carpet. Farther up was an arch with a photographer taking photos of everyone who passed through. “I can’t believe you’re making me do this” said Kristen when it was their turn for the photo. “Just smile” said Robert. The photo was taken and they moved on. In the garden was a gazebo with lights hanging all over the roof and the pillars. They walked up the steps towards the back entrance of the inn. As they walked closer they could hear the music. It was upbeat music. When they came to the doorway, Robert grabbed Kristen around the waist and lifted her up, over the last step and set her back down. As they walked into the room, they looked around. There was a disco ball hanging from the ceiling, a black jack table and the dance floor. A lot of people were dancing. “Wow. You are really trying to kill me” said Kristen and looked away. “The dance is an important rite of passage. I didn’t want you miss anything” said Robert looking down at her. “Oh” said Kristen looking at him and quickly away. Robert held her by the hand and together they walked around. They saw Michael and Anna having their picture taken next to a cardboard cut out car. Michael was wearing a black tuxedo and Anna was wearing a bright pink sleeveless dress that made her boobs look big. Michael made gunshot hand jesters and them while Anna just waved. Robert just looked at them, but Kristen was stunned at what the dress made Anna’s boobs look like. She made a hand jester and pulled a face. Anna smiled and Michael made another gunshot hand jester. Robert and Kristen looked at each other smiling before turning away. They saw Gregory wearing a black tuxedo dancing with his date. He did make some moves on Kristen. Both Robert and Kristen found it funny. They walked away as Gregory turned back to his date. As they walked, Robert got Kristen a drink from a waiter. They walked on and saw Justin and Christian at the sound system. Justin wasacting like the DJ. Justin was wearing a black shirt with his suit, a pink bow and a bowler hat. Christian was wearing a sleeveless light pink dress. She saw Robert and Kristen and patted Justin on the shoulder. Justin looked up, smiled and held up a hand. “Kristen, hey!” he called. Kristen waved back. Robert looked at her and saw that she was making a face. She looked at him. “Do you want to go?” asked Robert. “Yeah” replied Kristen quickly. They turned and walked back to go outside.

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