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"MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE?"



My heart was beating ninety miles per hour as I approached her. I looked back several times to see if the boys from my class were still watching me. They had told me that Gloria wanted me to ask her to dance. I did not believe them but every time I looked in her direction, she would smile and waive at me.

I was fourteen years old and I had never danced with a girl. In fact, I had never even held the hand of a girl before. Talking to a girl, or even looking at a female, was strictly forbidden by the orphanage where I lived. Such actions would have one sent off to the reform school. I did not want that to happen.

Just as I was about to reach the prettiest girl in our classroom; a heavy-set girl came running out onto the gum floor.

"Roger, they are going to make fun of you again. I heard the girls in the bathroom laughing about it," she advised me.

Once again, I looked back and saw that the four boys motioning for me to continue.

I looked into Jackie's eyes and saw that she was very serious. She was a heavy-set girl and had a very bad skin condition. No one in the classroom liked her and they always called her "Fatty, fatty, two by four".

I stood there as Jackie turned around and walked back to the area where the girls were waiting to be chosen to dance.

Once again, I turned around to look at my friends.

"Go on," yelled Davis, as he pushed outward with his hand.

I turned back around and looked in Gloria's direction, she winked and then she smiled. I looked over at Jackie whom had never been asked to dance by anyone.

Slowly I walked over and stopped in directly in front of the two of them.

I looked at Gloria and then I looked at Jackie. I bent down, in a bow and I said, "Would you care to dance with me?"

"Look creep. I don..." Gloria started to say.

"I would love too," said Jackie, as she grabbed me like a rag doll and pulled me out onto the dance floor.

All I remember was Gloria stomping out of the gym with everyone laughing at her.

I was not a very handsome boy and Jackie was not the prettiest girl in school. However, she made me feel handsome that night. As I constantly stepped on her feet, I told her that she was pretty and she smiled at me.

That was the night I learned that you do not have to be handsome, or pretty in order to feel good inside.



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