Their First Dance by Maria Hernandez

In a small town in Zacatecas, Mexico, the first dance of the summer had begun. Rosa and her cousin, Natalia, were finally finished getting ready. They quietly snuck out the back door of their modest house and headed towards the ballroom in the plaza. The night sky was filled with shining bright stars and the moon guided these two to the ballroom. The night was perfect. The music vibrated underneath Rosa’s feet, and butterflies fluttered around her stomach. 

Before opening the door to the ballroom, Rosa breathed deeply and let her body loose. The vibrant two-story building was decorated with lovely banners in shades of red, white, and silver. The romantic Mexican songs and the crowd of people had Rosa hoping she would have a good time tonight. At Rosa’s previous dances, she rarely danced even though she knew how to. The times she would dance, she wouldn’t feel anything with whoever her dance partner was. She liked to believe that her true love would electrify her body as soon as they touched and danced. She never felt that particular feeling with the men she danced with. This night, however, would be an electrifyingly unforgettable night. Rosa just didn’t know that yet and she wouldn’t know until the night would come to an end. 

Rosa sat next to her cousin in a corner of the ballroom. Because it was their tradition to laugh at others, the two cousins laughed out loud together every time they caught a glimpse of couples who simply couldn’t dance well. As Rosa observed the people on the dance floor moving to the beat of the music, she began to think about her previous dances. All the young men would come up to her and ask her to dance a song with them because she was beautiful. She knew she was beautiful, with her clear, radiant skin and her big brown eyes. The eyes of the men were always on her, but every time she would dance with them, she never felt attracted to them. 

In this two story building, a young eighteen year old boy sat by the balcony. He could not stop staring at the most stunning, young twenty year-old woman who was sitting in a corner surrounded by a crowd of 500 people. Every time he looked down, he caught himself watching that beautiful girl laughing along with her cousin. He remembered her laugh because he had heard it in every dance she attended. No matter how many girls attended every dance, he always caught himself looking for this particular woman, and every time he watched her, he wished to be the one holding her in his arms. He just never had the courage to take her hand and dance with her. This time, Raul breathed deeply and made his way down those stairs towards the first floor where everybody was dancing. He found himself walking towards the girl who was making his heart beat a beat faster than normal. 

Rosa was whispering something to her cousin when Raul approached them. Rosa and Natalia finally noticed a young boy standing in front of them. Rosa immediately thought this young boy was extremely handsome with his smooth, slick black hair and those beautiful hazel eyes that were shining brightly. Now that Raul was closer to this young woman, he noticed how beautiful she really was and once again, he felt his heart begin to pound against his chest. Her perfect, soft smile and that loving gaze of hers was directed towards him, and in that moment, he had enough courage to ask her to dance. 

Raul, with a nervous stutter, said to the attractive girl, “G-good evening señorita, would you like to dance with me tonight?” 

Rosa looked up at Raul, smiled and replied, “Of course, I’d love to.” Raul stretched out his hand and Rosa placed her small hand on his hand. Raul walked Rosa gently towards the dance floor. 

Raul and Rosa began to dance together to the beat of the song. As soon as Raul had Rosa wrapped around his arms, Rosa felt electric. He made her feel a certain way no other man had ever made her feel before. During the duration of the song, the two young people began to talk, introducing themselves to each other. They danced and laughed together about nothing and everything, and the sparks were igniting. Rosa smiled profoundly every time Raul talked, and Raul couldn’t help but smile more every time Rosa laughed. After a couple of songs, Raul and Rosa were embracing in each other’s arms. They held on allowing the sparks to course through their bodies. Both Rosa and Raul felt those sparks until the last song. 

At the end of their long dance, Rosa’s heart became saddened. She had to let go of Raul. When the two separated, Rosa noticed that her heart was beating rapidly, but it wasn’t crashing against her chest because of the adrenaline from the dancing, it was because of the young boy who was standing in front of her. Before parting ways, Rosa and Raul hugged each other one more time and Rosa returned quietly to her seat next to her cousin. 

While Rosa sat on her chair, she couldn’t stop thinking about Raul. This time, every time she saw a couple dancing, she wouldn’t laugh along with her cousin. She would watch them to see if Raul was amongst them dancing with another girl. Rosa had never felt this sensation that she was feeling for Raul with anybody. Rosa didn’t want to ignore this feeling, so she made up her mind that she had to find Raul and see him one last time before she headed back home. 

When the night was coming to an end, Raul too had decided to wait to see Rosa once again. At the exit, Raul found Rosa leaving alongside her cousin. Rosa and Raul locked their eyes on each other and they simultaneously smiled at each other. Neither said a single word and they both simply enjoyed the silence. Their silence said more than a thousand words could and to them—that was more than enough. Before Raul had to head back home, he walked towards Rosa and placed a tender kiss on her cheek. Both hearts began to beat rapidly and in that moment, Raul and Rosa knew that this wasn’t a good bye, this was just the beginning of their story. 

Bio: My name is Maria Hernandez and I am a first generation student. When I was in elementary school, I hated to read and write because I struggled to learn English. My 2nd grade teacher never gave up on me and that led to my love for books. In middle school, I found my passion for writing. I continued to write and it made me realize that writing was what I did best. Writing gives me so much joy and fulfillment. I believe that words hold an everlasting impact to all of us and as a writer, this is a foundation for my stories. I want to leave an imprint on others with my stories. I love to create stories, and I especially love when others connect to them. That is what I want to do as a writer. I also love that words have power in them and that words are a form of art.