I consider my options:
1. I could walk back home. The salsa party will end at 10 and the curfew is not until midnight. Pro: I have time, I can walk from Mohandiseen to Heliopolis. Con: after dancing for three hours, I probably don’t have the energy to walk an extra hour and a half.
2. I could call a cab driver I know. Pro: I don’t have to walk an extra hour and a half. Con: the driver is not picking up!
3. I could try to kill Mostafa for not coming to salsa tonight when he lives beside me and could have easily given me a ride home. Pro: Lots! Con: Lots!
4. I could dance on this Prince Royce song. Pro: I like Prince Royce. Con: I don’t dance bachata.
“Guys! Last song!” I hear DJ Migo shout from behind the music booth as soon as Que le den Candela surrounds the entire room. Two things–One, I love DJ Migo for saving the best song for last because Que le den Candela is my absolute favorite salsa song. And two, I have absolutely no idea what que le den candela means.
As usual, I make my way towards my favorite salsa dancer. She always has a quick smile on her face, she has a great spirit on the dance floor that the dance floor would light and fire up, literally. She is absolutely a crowd’s favorite. For some reasons unknown to me, she just has this ability to stand out even in a pool of faces. Maybe it’s because of her super short hair? Maybe it’s because of the elephant tattoo she has at the back of her neck? Maybe it’s because she loves dancing because she loves dancing. I don’t know. What I do know is that I absolutely love dancing with her and that I have never ever danced with her ever before.
I decide to walk straight to her direction. If my calculation is correct, it will take me about eight steps so I can ask her to dance with me. So, I take the first four steps towards her direction. But before I can take the fifth step, a tall and lanky guy with a shaved head grabs her by the hand. I take the sixth step, and the same guy pulls her to the dance floor. Seventh step. He smiles. She smiles. Great, now they’re both laughing. I take the last step and find myself face to face with an empty chair while my favorite salsera with the pixie short hair dance to the tune of my favorite salsa song. So, I turn around and go back to where I started from.
And as usual, I love dancing with her, but as usual, I have never ever had the chance to dance with her.
Six months, Tamer, and you never spoke to her, never danced with her. Nada, nada, nada, how could you possibly do that?
Ya Tamer, you have been taking salsa lessons at Dansation! Don’t be intimidated!
Who says I am intimidated?
You are intimidated!
Why would I be intimidated?
Because you have a crush on her!
No, I don’t.
Then why do you watch her dance every time you see her dancing?
Because yes you do!
Because it’s difficult not to? Because she is a great dancer? Because she’s really lovely and seeing her smile makes me want to smile too even if she’s smiling at someone else and not me?
See, you have a crush on her!
No, I don’t.
Yes, you do!
“You do or you don’t?” Amr blurts out real loud and real fast that, for once, all the voices in my head stops debating all at once and I am brought back to the now half-empty Bian Caffe. The music has stopped, the dance floor is empty, DJ Migo is packing up, and Amr is still waiting for an answer.
“Do. You. Need. A. Ride. Home. Tamer.”
“I do. I do! I do!”
“OK, yalla, let’s go!”
Pro of riding with Amr? I don’t have to think about options one to four. Con? Zero! And that is why I start following him outside Bian. But before we can reach the door, I see my favorite salsa dancer walking to my direction, except, she is actually walking towards Amr’s direction.
“Are we going?” She asks, totally ignoring my presence.
“Yes we are!” I hear Amr answer, totally forgetting my presence.