The Copper Dancer

He came to me with knuckles bloodied. I did not ask him a single question. I did not have to. My face was solemn as I patched him up the best I could. I dared not touch him any more than the delicate grip on his hands.

That cocky gleam in his eyes was gone. That victorious smirk of his was nowhere to be seen. His breathing was heavy. His gaze blank. His mouth, an indecisive line of nothingness. His foot tapped and his fingers twitched wildly.

“Are you okay?” I choked out in a half whisper and halted his twitching fingers. I knew the answer already. He looked at me, his eyes holding a hurricane. They were numbness and sensitivity mixed like mud in his chocolate gaze. His eyes were a car crash. They were broken china. And I could feel them, the hot drips dropping and scaling my rosy cheeks and I apologized. You’re the one who is hurt here, not me.

We sat in silence. I dipped a napkin into the plastic cup next to us and dabbed at the copper smelling liquid. He hissed, but he was used to it. My slender fingers dig out band aids from the blue box, messily covering oozing wounds.

“You’re all set.” I croaked, for that is all I could do. He shifted away but I still held by grip on his wrists gingerly. I spoke his name quietly and he turned back. “What’s your favorite color?” His watch was tired but he answered. I tried my best to crack a smile as I packed up the supplies around us. “What’s your favorite food?” He answered again, too tired to protest. I helped him to his feet, asking him another question. As he mumbled, I switched on the first song on my phone.

It was a song from the early 1900’s. A soft song. I returned to his wrists, carefully avoiding his knuckles. I swayed, moving his wrists back and forth to the beat of the music. I asked another question but instead of an answer he whispered,

“What are you doing?” I grinned up at him with tear-stained eyes.

” I don’t know,” I whispered back. “I learned it from Harry Potter.” He chuckled, giving me a spin.

“You’re a dork.”

“I know,” I moved his large hands to my waist and I rested mine on his shoulders. “What is your favorite emoji?”

“What’s with all the questions?” he stepped forward and I stepped back and we repeated in gentle circles.

“It’s hard to stay sad when you think of all the things you love.” I giggled. I attempted to spin myself again but the attempt only resulted in  a tangle of fingers and arms.

“Ow.” He let a few curses slip from his lips and I apologized profusely. But I found my fingers locked in his and my right hand back at his shoulder as he led me in a gentle waltz.

“I’ll have you know,” he started, and I almost tripped over his feet. “The ghost is my favorite emoji.”

“Really?”

“Really really.”

“I never took you for a ghost emoji type of guy.” I mocked.

“I’m full of surprises,” his teeth flashed. “All of them, naturally, relating to ghost emoticons.”

And we laughed together until we realized that the song was over. But we didn’t mind.

 

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