A Child’s Last Dance

The following is an excerpt from Purple Paradox series: Brandon

A very appetizing smell of grilled meat was roaming through the crisp air, and a pleasant mix of laughter and music could be heard. The sky was blue, and the warm sun was shining through. Yet it was the cool breeze that brought it all together.

Sitting comfortably below a yellow umbrella, Brandon looked through the faces of the gathered crowd, and couldn’t help but wonder, “why are all these smiles not sustainable?”

The band started playing a crowd favorite song, and a small group rushed to dance in the open space between the band and the sitting area. The lead singer, a young attractive woman, was wearing a tight black top and a long red skirt with a double split almost as long as the skirt itself. She knew how to show off her legs so well that almost no one was paying attention to her awful singing skills.

Somehow it felt the music was getting louder as more dancers joined in the dancing, and more laughter filled the air. Strange men and women held each other’s hands, and circled around with joy as if they had no lingering pain.

She stood up from one table away from Brandon. Her light blue apron separated her from the rest of the crowd. Underneath the apron, she was wearing an ordinary long sleeve brown shirt, and an even more ordinary khaki pants.

With a skip in her steps, she gingerly walked to the middle of the dancing crowd. Everyone wanted to hold her hands as she twisted and turned around. Her smile was a mere reflection of a tiny fraction of all the joy she must have had experienced in her life. But the wrinkles in her skin, the missing hairs on her head, and the scars on her fragile body were clear signs that she’s had experienced an equal amount of pain in her life; if not more. Nevertheless, holding hands with men probably younger than her grandchildren, she skipped around with her big smile as if there was no tomorrow and there had been no yesterday.

Looking deeply at her joyful face, for a few brief moments, Brandon’s always active mind stopped processing information, and simply floated in the air as a lonely tear rolled down his cheek. He remembered what he had once told Sheila, “if you look deep enough in any adult’s face, no matter what age they are, you can see the child they once were; you can see the child they still are.”