The Spring Dance: Part 7

On the eve of the dance, the weather was quite pleasant for most of the day but took a turn for the worse in the evening. Though it was getting late, Jenny and Robert were still at the school putting the final touches on the decorations. They had completely transformed the gymnasium into a vivid representation of the explosion of color and life that was spring. As they were wrapping things up, Robert felt a sudden wave of sadness wash over him and was at a loss to explain it until he looked up and saw Jenny. She was only a few feet away from him, but he somehow felt the gap separating them steadily growing.

As usual, they passed the auditorium on their way out and Jenny’s mood seemed to change. Once again, Robert sensed the shift in her and the divide between them grew. Before Jenny had the chance to say goodbye, he suggested, given the time of night, that he should walk her home. She began to protest, but he declared that it was his duty as a gentleman. This only brought a look of bewildered disbelief to Jenny’s face. She reluctantly accepted in the end, as he kept insisting that it was the right thing to do.

They walked in a cold silence that could only be described as uncomfortable for what seemed like hours. Robert often glanced Jenny’s way hoping to catch her eyes with his smile; she only seemed to ignore him though, looking ahead, deep in her thoughts. Robert was beside himself, the always cheerful young man of the past was now a mess of pain and sadness. Seeming to reflect Robert’s tumultuous emotions, the sky let loose an overwhelming downpour of the largest rain drops onto the ground. Already quite drenched, Robert encouraged Jenny to make a dash for the overpass that was just ahead.

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The Spring Dance: Part 6

As it turned out, organizing the dance was more of a challenge than expected. Much of the leg work remained to be done, contrary to what everyone had thought. Jenny and Robert would meet every day after class to work on all of the intricacies involved with the creation of such an event. Robert hated every single excruciating minute of it and Jenny, knowing Robert’s feelings on the matter, relished in setting up more meetings and adding more tasks to his to do list.

Spending more and more time working on the dance preparations, he slowly and almost imperceptibly came to enjoy it. In fact, as he took on more and more responsibility, he felt empowered. The meetings he held with Jenny started resembling collaborative discussions rather than sessions where Jenny’s input was law and Robert drudgingly obeyed her every command.

As the day of the dance approached, Jenny was increasingly awed by Robert’s transformation. Whereas she had originally thought him to be a complete fool, she now saw his intelligence, his creativity and his passion. Nevertheless, she could not bring herself to forget about Robert’s childish prank at the assembly and would often be reminded of it at the end of their meetings as they would walk by the auditorium on their way out of the school. When they would part, Robert began to notice, after a few sessions, that same fleeting look of mingled anger and disgust on her face that he had noticed earlier on in the year when their eyes would lock for a brief moment as they passed each other in the hallways.

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