Call and Return

by Rebecca Dempsey

It was always like this, night after night for a whole dark season… him and her. She backed away, her dark eyes large with fear, her face unnatural, pale. He stepped forward, tense, expectant. He clutched at her back and held onto her belt and pulled her close. She could feel his heart beat. He took a step back and she followed – a puppy on a lead. With her hand, he grabbed and flung her with sudden force away from him. She spun, but, at the last moment before her collapse, his support was there; his arms around her. He dropped her and she stretched out, arms taut over her head. Tears traced down her face as she leant back. He folded her back and rocked her. She took up his hand and stepped back – he was still there. They were two people. She dropped her hand away; he held his out to her. She took another step back, then another, head held high. She leant forward. Alert, he waited, coiled. With quick light steps she leapt past him, suddenly he was before her. He caught her up, tightening his clasp and lifted her without effort up above his head, for a second, for two, then let her float down. There was no space between them. They were one. Silence. They turned and stood side-by-side, breathing. Music faded. Light flooded their faces. There came a rush of applause. The dancers bowed and retreated, hand in hand, into the dark.

***

Rebecca Dempsey lives in Melbourne and is a published book reviewer and award winning short story writer. Amongst her qualifications is a La Trobe University Honours Degree in Humanities. Rebecca can be found at her website or on Twitter, musing about writing, reading, pop culture and occasionally, cricket.

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