Nataly Maystrenko

A Late Summer Sketch

The story of one rendezvous
Here is another story. It was a late summer afternoon milonga; she sat on a plank bench dangling her feet. Her head tilted back, her eyes half closed, there was an expression of absolute and complete satisfaction with the moment showing on her face – warm sunlight scattered through sweet-smelling, still fresh tree leaves covered her face, the river was breathing with fresh air. There was enough dancing for today.

It felt so wonderful, so good and so simple that she almost wished for this moment never to end. Her palms rested on the warm wood, her fingers stroking its rough surface repainted so many times; somehow, this sensation was important to her. She swayed her head lightly from side to side to let the air dry the waves of her hair. Its touch against her skin gave her a tickling sensation and she brushed her long fingers through the fair mane, and then stretched out as if she had just woken up.
He had no other choice but to invite the cheerful girl who was so obviously enjoying herself.
He had no other choice but to invite the cheerful girl who was so obviously enjoying herself and so much in contrast with the others – wearing a short denim skirt and sneakers instead of a dress and high heels.

He also stood out in the crowd – Middle Eastern good looks and elegant demeanour betrayed a guest, which was true –he was on a short business trip here, therefore his almost official outfit: a shirt, tango trousers, suede shoes, and a rather big handkerchief in case he needed to wipe sweat away from his face after a little too fast milongas.

He stopped nearby against the sun so the sunset light outlined his silhouette, and waited. ...You all are covered in gold dust..., she thought narrowing her eyes. His smile was nonchalant, he gave an inquiring nod towards the dance floor.

One should be considerate to a newcomer, she thought. He was calm; he offered her, with dignity, his embrace and waited. She reached to him timidly, her hand searching for the right place on his back, not entirely touching it yet.
It happens when two people have something to say to each other.
There was a sudden soundless change in her – like a stream, it would flow through her body. Her toes spread - the wave bounced off her metatarsus and moved upwards, raised her heels from the floor, darted up the legs, slowed a little down filling her thighs. The tail lowered giving the wave momentum to accelerate upwards – through her guts and spine. She nestled against his chest and exhaled, her breath warming up his right hand. Through her arms to her palms, he felt her careful fingers on his shoulder blade and in his palm. An echo of the wave rippled through her neck, she turned her head slightly to him, as if telling him – he could hear – the very moment before exhaling:
«I am. Here. For you.»
It happens when two people have something to say to each other. They were dancing, or rather flowing with the stream, or rather – well, I could not tell – in the moment, on this day.

Many years have passed, a lot has happened. If hand-written letters were still popular, it could be an interesting diary of communication between two different but equal people.

They may still have another dance. This encounter is most likely to be a Pandora's Box – what it hides is too easy to be uncovered, what follows is going to be interesting, to say the least...
Author: Nataly Maystrenko. Translation: Milla Volobaeva.
Opinions expressed in articles within this blog may not coincide with those of the editor.
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