A Night in a Year: 48. Wait…

Like a clap of thunder, the music stops. The DJ shouts “Fuck!” and the dance floor is restless rather than pumping, edgy and discordant rather than in harmony. There are calls of ‘what just happen!’ and the DJ still cursing about a technical glitch, and everyone waits. The lights are garish without the accompanying beats.

Jeroen’s hand squeezes her shoulder, Orhan fingers dig into her back, and a chill falls over her body.

There are times like this when she freezes, and she feels herself watching the scenario play out before her, rather than participating. Where she doesn’t see herself as in control, as teasing and stroking the men either side of her, but as the meat in the sandwich, as someone – or even something – who could be tossed between two uncaring men like a toy, whose arms and legs could be pulled off on a whim, and the sight of her limbless would be amusing rather than cause for sympathy.

She stills herself, eyes down, not meeting either Orhan or Jeroen’s. She doesn’t need their reassure, not right not. She needs for them to relax their hold on her, needs to break out from the cage of their arms. Her breathing becomes more rapid, her chest heaving. She rolls her shoulder under Jeroen’s hand, hoping, hoping she’ll get away without needing to fight… and his hand flexes, not quite away, but he asks, in a normal voice, now capable of being heard in room, “You ok?”

She looks up, meeting Orhan’s eyes first. He stares down, frowning, concerned. The pressure of his fingers ease, and instead he rubs her back. Jeroen likewise rubs her shoulder, rough enough to be friendly. She turns to both of them, smiling, feeling the air in the space between them, freer once more.

Next: 49. Nibble

Image found on flickr, by Brandon Fick, used under the Creative Commons License.

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