“Dance with me and pretend the world doesn’t exist,” he pleaded. And after that, there was no going back. She took his hand and let him lead through the crowd and into the dance floor. Her jacket smelled like cigarettes and his hair much like vodka. It hit her nostrils as she approached his chest and let her head fall onto it. The room was completely quiet for an instant. No one dared moved but them. No melody, no words, just the bodies colliding against each other in perfect harmony, the soft and gentle touch of his fingers against her cheek. The lights of the bar faded away. So did the faces of strangers that used to be all around her. She closed her eyes and listened only to his heartbeat, the calm, soft rhythm.

“Why…” she murmured.

“Why what?”

“Why did you never do this before? Just you and me and the silence.” She whispered, “If this had been it, I would have loved you. I would have stayed.” His hand moved to her waist and help her close. She could feel his breath on her hair and the warmth of his skin on her body.

“Whenever I’m with you…” she continued, “Whenever I touch you, I’m in this void. We’re a star in the other side of a black hole and nothing can reach us, not when we are like this.”

“We think we’re indestructible.” He whispered, “But we’re not.” The noise of the music came back and it invaded her ears. “There are rules and there are consequences to our actions.”

“And there you go, bringing reality back into this.” She shushed the music, “I met you and reality faded. That’s why I wanted to be with you. I don’t know how you do it, but you do make it go away. But you refuse to forget it. Why? Why do you cling on so much to reality? Why do you always want to make it appear again and ruin this perfect void. I hate it. I hate reality.”

He passed his fingers through her hair, “I hate it too. But we live in it. We dance our way through life and we’re going to end up hurting a lot of people. Especially ourselves.”

The smell of the vodka hit her again. She held her breath. “There is nothing to harm me here. Nothing but you and I.”

“There is nothing to live for here.” He held her chin and lifted it, “Open your eyes, please. Look for yourself.”

“I don’t want to.” She shook her head.

“You like the void, don’t you?” He asked, “Then why don’t you take a look at it.”

She pressed her eyelids together tightly and breathed out. She opened them. There was nothing but darkness. As far as she could see, black. She held on to his body as they kept dancing in the void.”

“There’s nothing here.” She muttered, “Isn’t it beautiful?”

“There’s nothing for you here. There’s nothing for me here. We both are so much more than just a void. I know you could do great things, but not here. There is nothing for you to do here.”

“Maybe I don’t want anything but you.” She blinked and the darkness began to fade into the faces of strangers.

“You do. I know you do. And I do.” He muttered, “Because the reality of it is that you’re talented. And you’re married.”

“I’ll leave him for you. I swear I will.” She shook her head as the lights of the bar hit her in the eye, “Please let me go back to the void with you.”

“You have a daughter. You can’t leave her. And you can’t give up on dancing.” He insisted.

“I can dance with you. That’s all I need.” She begged.

“Without anyone to applaud for you?” He smiled, “You deserve a stage bigger than the earth and a crowd so big that their claps are deafening. You deserve the world. And I can only give you a void.”

“That’s enough.”

“That’s nothing but destruction.” He let go of her hand and stepped back, “I can’t be the one that destroys you. I care about you too much for that to happen.”

“Don’t.” She cried.

“You need reality to tear you down so you can build yourself back up again, stronger, wiser, and become who you’re meant to be. You need to face the pain to move forward. Otherwise, you remain stuck and become a void, like me, one that only knows how to avoid reality. And it sucks. I don’t want that for you.” He looked into her eyes and said, “goodbye.”

“Don’t leave me.” She sobbed, “please.” She wiped the tears away and he was gone. She let the music deafen her, the lights burn her, the smell made her dizzy, and the tears sting her. She stayed immobile until the pain didn’t seem that bad anymore. She stared into the lights and walked out of the bar and into the world.

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