By Zaqary Fekete
PROMPT — No one noticed ...
I picked up Suzie on Friday night. We had coupons. If you know where to look you were set. The First Avenue concert venue always distributed a series of get-in-free coupons which were given to the music-friendly outlets in Minneapolis. Friday night was dance night. If you had a coupon you were in.
Think of a band or a singer from the past…they have probably performed at First Avenue. Prince filmed his Purple Rain performance there. And then there was… Chemical Brothers, Husker Du, Fiona Apple, Tool, Ween, Morcheeba, Moby, Lizzo. They have all been there. In fact, it was crucial for music groups to pass through First Avenue on their way up.
Friday nights were different though. The stage was empty. The curtain was drawn. The dance floor was the only attraction. A DJ high up above somewhere played an endless loop of house music. People who came to First Avenue on Friday nights were there for only once reason…they wanted to dance. Suzie and I had been coming to these Friday nights for the past three months. We had different jobs and nothing in our normal days connected us other than these moments on the weekend. Suzie and I were not romantically involved. We were just friends.
Suzie and I made our way toward the dance floor. Neither of us drank. We ignored the bar and the moment we reached the dance floor we began to spin. For the first hour the only thing I felt was the swirl of rhythmic lights and the drums. The dance floor was a safe space where Suzie and I circled each other, occasionally touching hands, and then circling off into distant corners.
It must have been around midnight that the guy approached Suzie. You know the type…pressed jeans, perfect hair, slick. She noticed him right away. Before he could get too close she smiled and closed her eyes, as though enjoying a high note in the song, and reached out to touch my hand…and she held my hand…long. The guy went away.
Suzie did a couple more turns as the music swelled. Then she leaned in and said, “Thank you.” It was at that moment I understood what had happened.
Zaqary Fekete has worked as a teacher in Moldova, Romania, China, and Cambodia. They currently live and work as a writer in Minnesota. They have previously been published in Goats Milk Mag, Shady Grove Literary, SIC Journal, and 101 Words.